Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

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Crestwood23
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Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by Crestwood23 »

I am very torn between these two for my next car and need some help deciding one way or the other. I am equally sentimental about both as I couldn’t afford either back in the day.

I am looking for a 4wd Classic to bash around with. As far as I can tell here are some key advantages and disadvantages of both:

JAVELIN:
Very precise kit with hex screws and lots of nice metal parts throughout. The build should be fun, painless and satisfying.

Upgraded parts throughout allowing for Modern higher power brushless / Lipo setup if desired

Reportedly a good runner on grass, which will be my primary surface, although ground clearance seems lower than the Cat and tires/wheels seems smaller (maybe larger ones could be fitted?)

CAT:
Parts fit and finish seems to be hit or miss, leading to a possibly frustrating and confusing build.

“Unique” belt diff design could be a challenge to dial in properly for a novice like myself

Needs expensive transmission upgrade to run brushless/Lipo.

Might be the better runner on grass with bigger wheels/tires and higher ground clearance?

English quirkiness vs. Japanese precision:
I prefer the overall look of the Cat. I also think it’s pedigree and history is the more interesting of the two.
My fear with the Cat is that Id be in over my head and and not be able to dial it in properly to run at its best. My fear with the Javelin is that after it’s all done and running I would regret not getting the cooler looking Cat. I would o love to just get both, but can only swing one!

So which would you choose? :D

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by tintin74 »

Javelin for bashing and small vintage races, but if you plan on racing it, and want to learn about how to dial it in, then the CAT. But for a novice, the Javelin is so much more precise and fun to built and drive.

I would be scared to get a CAT for bashing, as you might bashing with it 2 or 3 times, then put it on the shelf, as its not really a basher, its a racer. Not that the Javelin cannot be raced on the contrary, its just so much easier to take care of...

My 2 cents.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by Crestwood23 »

tintin74 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:23 pm Javelin for bashing and small vintage races, but if you plan on racing it, and want to learn about how to dial it in, then the CAT. But for a novice, the Javelin is so much more precise and fun to built and drive.

I would be scared to get a CAT for bashing, as you might bashing with it 2 or 3 times, then put it on the shelf, as its not really a basher, its a racer. Not that the Javelin cannot be raced on the contrary, its just so much easier to take care of...

My 2 cents.
This is helpful, thanks. I definitely won't be racing, just bashing around the park with my son. I usually enjoy the build as much if not more than bashing, so a frustrating build would kill some of the fun for me for sure, which was my main hesitation with the Cat.

What makes a car a "racer" vs a "basher? Shouldn't a durable, fast, race-ready car also be great for bashing about?

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by tintin74 »

Crestwood23 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:23 pm
What makes a car a "racer" vs a "basher? Shouldn't a durable, fast, race-ready car also be great for bashing about?
Bashing, I think means more of a carefree driving around without the worry of having to adjust many parameters for the car to run correctly. And I also think the Javelin is a stronger car that can take more beating than the CAT.

I would also think that a lot more parts are available on the Javelin side than the CAT.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by joelwhite »

I agree here, the Kyosho remains true to its roots but updated in small ways to make it more durable and easier to build and use. The Schuie although sick, its just as it was back in the day making it a tricky build.

nice choices to have imo

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by rraeford »

Having raced and bashed with both, the Schumie is a great car to race but the hardest car to build I ever worked on and the hardest to fix if it develops a weird problem. The Javelin/Optima uses commonly available bearings and though not as easy to wrench on as modern cars, is easier to work on. Truly, what looks cooler than a Javelin with its tube body?

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by Crestwood23 »

rraeford wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:35 am Having raced and bashed with both, the Schumie is a great car to race but the hardest car to build I ever worked on and the hardest to fix if it develops a weird problem. The Javelin/Optima uses commonly available bearings and though not as easy to wrench on as modern cars, is easier to work on. Truly, what looks cooler than a Javelin with its tube body?
Thanks for the feedback! That’s three votes for the Javelin, for all the reasons you guys listed it makes sense why it’s the best choice for me.

And I agree, the Javelin is a real looker!

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by rraeford »

One more thing. I notice that Kyosho products are scarce right now (due, no doubt, to the pandemic). You may want to wait and save yourself some money. They’re out of stock in a lot of places.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by Crestwood23 »

rraeford wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:34 pm One more thing. I notice that Kyosho products are scarce right now (due, no doubt, to the pandemic). You may want to wait and save yourself some money. They’re out of stock in a lot of places.
I noticed that too. Lowest price I’ve found is around $350 (for anything in stock). I’m not sure Kyosho is making any more of these, but do you think the prices will come down post Covid?

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by rraeford »

They are advertised as out of stock but you are able to back order. Normally, this is good news as they would otherwise just say discontinued. The Optima, Ultimate and a couple of other re-res like the Scorpion are showing up as out of stock also. I think they will but I have zero insight into Kyosho. If they come back, the prices should be back to “normal”.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by rraeford »

They are advertised as out of stock but you are able to back order. Normally, this is good news as they would otherwise just say discontinued. The Optima, Ultimate and a couple of other re-res like the Scorpion are showing up as out of stock also. I think they will but I have zero insight into Kyosho. If they come back, the prices should be back to “normal”.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by stickboy007 »

The CAT XLS is a better racer, but will certainly require more attention to detail and more finesse when driving it. Schumacher's jankiness makes AE look quality by comparison ;) The Javelin can also be very fast, especially on low grip tracks, but you may find it is not quite as adjustable.

- For the money, you're better off finding a CAT 2000, restoring it, and getting a few spares. Both the 2000 and 2000 EC are quite good on the track, and easier to work on than the XLS.
- If money is no object, get a '95 YZ10 and a repro '97 upper deck with the YR4 M2 center spring unit. Much stronger than a CAT and just as fast, although the front is not quite as adjustable.
- A great middle ground would be a Lazer ZXR. Not nearly as expensive as the Yokomos, but almost as strong. As adjustable as the CAT, and the sharpest handling in any 4wd buggy I've driven. Needs some work to get it to jump well, but it's possible.

I assume you're not quite looking for digging up vintage cars, though, and are more interested in building a re-re. In that case, you're probably better off with a Top Force than either of the Javelin or XLS. Putting the diff spline issues and lack of slipper clutch aside, they're dynamically very good and parts are plentiful. Just don't put a crazy motor in it and you'll be fine.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by Crestwood23 »

stickboy007 wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:27 pm The CAT XLS is a better racer, but will certainly require more attention to detail and more finesse when driving it. Schumacher's jankiness makes AE look quality by comparison ;) The Javelin can also be very fast, especially on low grip tracks, but you may find it is not quite as adjustable.

- For the money, you're better off finding a CAT 2000, restoring it, and getting a few spares. Both the 2000 and 2000 EC are quite good on the track, and easier to work on than the XLS.
- If money is no object, get a '95 YZ10 and a repro '97 upper deck with the YR4 M2 center spring unit. Much stronger than a CAT and just as fast, although the front is not quite as adjustable.
- A great middle ground would be a Lazer ZXR. Not nearly as expensive as the Yokomos, but almost as strong. As adjustable as the CAT, and the sharpest handling in any 4wd buggy I've driven. Needs some work to get it to jump well, but it's possible.

I assume you're not quite looking for digging up vintage cars, though, and are more interested in building a re-re. In that case, you're probably better off with a Top Force than either of the Javelin or XLS. Putting the diff spline issues and lack of slipper clutch aside, they're dynamically very good and parts are plentiful. Just don't put a crazy motor in it and you'll be fine.
Thanks for the suggestions - No doubt your recos are better performing cars - but anything after 1990 is just not retro enough for me :D

My first and only RC car is/was a Tamiya Porsche 959, given to me for my 12th birthday by my generous parents in 1987. I was torn between that, a BigWig, a Javelin or a Schumacher Cat. Went with the 959 as I thought it would be the easiest build for a beginner. My best friend got an RC10 which I though was cool but didn’t want to have the same car he had LOL.

So this is really about getting a car I couldn’t have back in the day - I remember drooling over the Javelin and Schumacher boxes - but ultimately leaving with the 959.

I have since restored the 959 and my son and I have had so much fun with it that I want to take the next step. I want to move away from all the plastic Tamiya parts and try something more durable and fast, with a real racing pedigree.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by EvolutionRevolution »

stickboy007 wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:27 pm
I assume you're not quite looking for digging up vintage cars, though, and are more interested in building a re-re. In that case, you're probably better off with a Top Force than either of the Javelin or XLS. Putting the diff spline issues and lack of slipper clutch aside, they're dynamically very good and parts are plentiful. Just don't put a crazy motor in it and you'll be fine.
Although the Top Force is indeed quite a nice basher, it has a few more issues that may render the experience not too much fun unless you stick to nothing more powerful than a brushed 23 turn motor. It's very easy to overtighten the various tapping screws, either stripping the holes or cracking them. The rear gearbox cover tends to come off when using too powerful motors (there is a fix for this). If you get a kit that includes the aluminium idler gear, know that it is made from too soft aluminium and tends to disintegrate over time - the particles released will destroy the other gears (replace it by the plastic touring car version to avoid the problem). The front hubs tend to crack (get alloy ones).
The non-Top Force variants of the chassis have even more issues: overtightening the shock caps makes the shocks leak, fragile shock towers, wheel hexes can overheat and melt, dogbones can fail (unless you have the all-metal ones), center axis can't take power of more powerful motors, step screws back out of soft plastic and cause suspension failures.
For the amount you need to spend to fix all of the issues, you can buy the Javelin and some of those fancy and expensive Kyosho options, and the Javelin will still be the better car.

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Re: Javelin or Schumacher Cat XLS re re?

Post by stickboy007 »

EvolutionRevolution wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:38 am
stickboy007 wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:27 pm
I assume you're not quite looking for digging up vintage cars, though, and are more interested in building a re-re. In that case, you're probably better off with a Top Force than either of the Javelin or XLS. Putting the diff spline issues and lack of slipper clutch aside, they're dynamically very good and parts are plentiful. Just don't put a crazy motor in it and you'll be fine.
Although the Top Force is indeed quite a nice basher, it has a few more issues that may render the experience not too much fun unless you stick to nothing more powerful than a brushed 23 turn motor. It's very easy to overtighten the various tapping screws, either stripping the holes or cracking them. The rear gearbox cover tends to come off when using too powerful motors (there is a fix for this). If you get a kit that includes the aluminium idler gear, know that it is made from too soft aluminium and tends to disintegrate over time - the particles released will destroy the other gears (replace it by the plastic touring car version to avoid the problem). The front hubs tend to crack (get alloy ones).
The non-Top Force variants of the chassis have even more issues: overtightening the shock caps makes the shocks leak, fragile shock towers, wheel hexes can overheat and melt, dogbones can fail (unless you have the all-metal ones), center axis can't take power of more powerful motors, step screws back out of soft plastic and cause suspension failures.
For the amount you need to spend to fix all of the issues, you can buy the Javelin and some of those fancy and expensive Kyosho options, and the Javelin will still be the better car.
Yes, I'm familiar with these issues ;) Replace the screws with M3 screws, and replace the metal idler with a plastic one, and use an aluminum motor mount and you'll be fine. There are other mods that people do which are unnecessary, but to each their own. I have a Dirt Thrasher that I've raced a few times at VONATS and it's great.

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