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Thunder Roadsters vs Formula 500/600 Cars

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  • Thunder Roadsters vs Formula 500/600 Cars

    Hey guys new here, and I was debating on putting this in the Formula forum or just in here since it was a comparison thing. If its better off in the Formula section mods please feel free to move it.

    I came to this site after my buddy Brandon and I got in a conversation last weekend about legends cars and how we both felt like we where getting tired of turning a street cars into a race car. Over the past week I looked up and did some research on legends which led me to discover thunder roadsters. After reading reviews on them they seem quite positive on different sites (although on here it looks like mixed reviews).

    What caught my eye was the cost. They are inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to maintain, and inexpensive to drive. Compared to my old Evo IX I could own one of these cars and run it for a year for less then what I had in mods. Time wise they seemed fairly quick and big on the FUN factor. Locally it seems like they run once a month out at LVMS (although I cant tell if its only oval racing for TR as the Legends are listed at the road course) and the thought of W2W is enticing.

    With that said while I was doing some reading on these I found a guy by the name of Chris on the east coast, saying how slow they where compared to his Formula 600 car. This lead me to Formula500.org and ApexSpeed and after a little digging these cars seem like a blast. The 500s run 2 stroke snowmobile motors with CTV transmissions, and the 600s are 500s converted to MC power (usually GSXR 600 motors) with the trns from the motorcycle as well. Over all curb weight with driver is around 800lbs (so 130hp w/ 800lbs on the F600s). Cost on these used are similar to that of the TR, and the quality of construction seems better then "spit and bail wire"

    So my question for you guys is why are the Formula 500/600 cars not as popular as the TRs? From what I saw on ApexSpeed it seems like there are only 3 F500s on the west coast. Anyone have experience with them?

    My only concerns for the F500/600 vs the thunder roadster is 1) safety (the NASCAR cage on the TR seems better) 2) being able to run HPDEs with no fenders 3) the size when compared to running with full size cars at HPDEs

    Thoughts?

    Pic of the 500/600 cars:

    Click image for larger version

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    Video of that guy Chris' F600:

    Road Atlanta Time Trial - YouTube
    Last edited by Vegas_Sirk; 02-24-2012, 09:57 AM.

  • #2
    It might be because a two-stroke motorcycle/snowmobile engine likely would require more heavy maintenance than a four-stroke. That means, rings, pistons, boring, honing and the like.

    If it were my money, that would narrow my choices to a Thunder Roadster or the F600.
    www.TrackHQ.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I would say that when it comes to F500's there are a few things that aren't quite "black magic" but that a lot of people end up not wanting to hassle:

      1) carb jetting -- with 2 strokes this is a much bigger deal than with 4 strokes.
      2) tuning the clutching on the CVT
      3) the "rubber puck" suspension (as compared to springs/shocks)

      Personally, within formula cars I think that the emergence of the Honda Fit engine for Formula F (the new name for Formula Ford) is going to really damped some of the other formulas, because it shows every sign of bringing running costs down tremendously (the Cortina engine costs were extremely high -- people were spending about $7,500 per 50 hours of running them -- and they were very fragile and prone to getting broken by the slightest over-rev)

      My feeling is that if you are looking for speed and open wheels that a Formula Mazda like Richard got might have a slightly higher cost of entry (but really, a good F500/F600 isn't much cheaper if at all), similar running costs (but less black magic), bigger fields and even more speed.

      Steve

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ucfbrett View Post
        It might be because a two-stroke motorcycle/snowmobile engine likely would require more heavy maintenance than a four-stroke. That means, rings, pistons, boring, honing and the like.

        If it were my money, that would narrow my choices to a Thunder Roadster or the F600.
        Yea 2 Stroke motor is a downer, and I would go F600 over the F500 even though the cost is a little higher up front.

        Comment


        • #5
          Like so many other things, it becomes not a matter of whether you spend the money, but when.
          www.TrackHQ.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SteveLevin View Post
            I would say that when it comes to F500's there are a few things that aren't quite "black magic" but that a lot of people end up not wanting to hassle:

            1) carb jetting -- with 2 strokes this is a much bigger deal than with 4 strokes.
            2) tuning the clutching on the CVT
            3) the "rubber puck" suspension (as compared to springs/shocks)

            Personally, within formula cars I think that the emergence of the Honda Fit engine for Formula F (the new name for Formula Ford) is going to really damped some of the other formulas, because it shows every sign of bringing running costs down tremendously (the Cortina engine costs were extremely high -- people were spending about $7,500 per 50 hours of running them -- and they were very fragile and prone to getting broken by the slightest over-rev)

            My feeling is that if you are looking for speed and open wheels that a Formula Mazda like Richard got might have a slightly higher cost of entry (but really, a good F500/F600 isn't much cheaper if at all), similar running costs (but less black magic), bigger fields and even more speed.

            Steve
            Steve I totally agree with you on the Rubber Puck Suspension, however with the F600 none of those other issue are present. The guy Chris I was talking with said operating costs are minimal. He said he spends about $1,000 - $1,500 a weekend including food, fuel and hotel if he is traveling. Said the motors last years since they are stock GSXR motors and that even if they break you can buy a new one on ebay for under $1K. He also said tires last a while (not as much a TR but quite a few heat cycles).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ucfbrett View Post
              Like so many other things, it becomes not a matter of whether you spend the money, but when.
              Yea its like $8k for a stock used F500 and then another $5K for the conversion ... so your in the 13-15K range depending on how crazy you want to get, however that isnt really that much more then the TRs. Thats why I was wondering why more are not running around.

              Comment


              • #8
                You can get a Formula Mazda for $15,000.
                The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

                2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
                1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
                2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
                2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the end, you have to decide if you care about the racing. West of the Rockies I'm not sure there was a field of greater than three F500's at any race weekend last year. And there was more than one weekend with just one car. Whereas up in SF Region you had between 5 and 9 FM's at various events, plus the Formula Car Challenge events. And in CalClub you still had more FM's than 500's at regionals (not sure of the exact numbers).

                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    2 thunder roadsters available in the 7 to $8k range.
                    Rebuilt engines, many spares, one comes with 3 bodies.
                    More info contasct Skip at [email protected]

                    I happen to have a t/r, if any other t/r drivers want to meet at SOW or Chuckwalla lemme know.
                    IMSA/SCCA Camaros

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hello, we are the new TR Dealer in SoCal, WMotorsportsLLC.com. We Have 8 cars from older cars to 2 new cars available for sale or we rent them. We ran with Speed Ventures a INEX Winter Road Race series. We are working to develop enough interest (car count) for a series. With the cost of these cars, the low maintence, high performance (check out Rob's 1.35 on the Big Track at WSIR on our website) how does this not make sense? Let me know if you would like to race and if you know of other TR owners in the LA bowl, please have them contact us.

                      Herb or Michelle
                      714-299-5881
                      Wmotorsportsllc.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ^^^ I'm giving you a little leeway because you seem sincere and Rob likes you. If you really want to sell your product here, why don't you become a trackHQ sponsor? It's cheap and you will have the exact audience you want for your message. PM me or uccbrett for details.
                        The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

                        2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
                        1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
                        2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
                        2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you, I will contact Rob.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Replied!

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