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Unbelievable RC

Air Hogs Moto Frenzy

August 2010
air hogs moto frenzy

Street Price: $24.99 US
Manufacturer: Spinmaster
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8
Our recommended age range: 6-11
Primary use: Indoor
Top speed: Slow
Radio: Infrared, 3 channels available
Includes:

  • Assembled vehicle with rider
  • Controller/charger
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 6x AA batteries for the controller

Initial Impressions

For the number of motorbike fans there are in this world, it's not often that you see a new RC motorcycle hit the market. The Air Hogs Moto Frenzy is a 4" long micro unit supposedly in the style of a motocross bike, but with slick street tires. With as bulky as the frame is, it's easier to call it a street sport bike with a motocross front end. It includes a removeable rider figure with joints in the shoulders, waist, and neck. This is actually important to me. When I see an RC motorcycle that has no rider, I can only think to myself, "What's the point?" A bike riding around with no rider just doesn't make any sense, and unlike with a car or plane where there's an enclosed cockpit, the lack of an operator on a motorcycle is really, really obvious.

Preparing to Drive

Standard Air Hogs micro RC setup here. The controller is also a charger, so read the instructions, toss in the AA batteries, charge up the bike, and go.

Testing

The controls for the Air Hogs Moto Frenzy are just slightly different from the norm. First of all, when you turn the bike on, it immediately starts running forward without command. It's actually a little scary the first time, because it sounds very loud, and it sounds like it's trying to go very fast, and accelerating quickly on top of that! As it turns out, the only thing that's going fast is the high-speed flywheel hidden inside. Gyroscopic forces from this help to keep the bike upright. When you put the Moto Frenzy down, it moves at a decent, very controllable speed, and steering feels very natural. The bike balances itself well and only falls over while driving if it hits a big enough bump at a weird angle.

The steering buttons are on the right side of the controller, but on the left, up & down aren't for forward & back like norma. Instead, the "up" button is actually a toggle between go and stop. Hitting the button while moving does not stop the bike immediately -- it just starts to slow down. With some practice, you can learn to use this to your advantage by slowing down to make tighter turns. The down button is for popping wheelies. There's a bar hidden under the bike that will press down against the ground, angling the front of the bike towards the sky. If the Moto Frenzy goes into a full standing wheelie, it will stay that way until you hit the whelie button again, then it'll come back down to two wheels safely. I found that during the first couple of battery charges the bike could do these standing wheelies regularly and easily, but after that it would generally only pop the front wheel up briefly, even if I re-posed the rider to move his weight rider back. I inspected the bike carefully and could not see anything physically wrong or different about it, so I have to conclude that there's something internal that wears out too easily.

Video

(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)

Conclusion

Just the fact that the Air Hogs Moto Frenzy is a working RC motorcycle with a realistic rider is enough to secure a passing grade. The convenient small size, appropriate speed, and simple controller-based charging bump it up another level. The ability to do wheelies is an extra perk, but the way the wheelie-maker device lost steam took away some of the "cool factor." The price feels right, as there's a lot of play value to be had with this bike. In all, for its size, the Moto Frenzy is as good as it gets.

A

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