For those who have been tinkering with WLToys RC buggies over the last few years, it has become pretty common knowledge that the now famous 144001, 124019 and 124018 are clones of the lesser-known LC Racing EMB series. So, who is LC Racing? They are an RC brand that has been around since 2012 when they launched their 1/14 scale EMB platform. In 2013, they began to sell in the USA under the Tacon brand, offering the product line in both brushed and brushless models. The Tacon and LC Racing product ranges consists of a short wheel-base buggy (the EMB-1), which the 144001 is a clone of and the short wheelbase monster truck (EMB-MT) which the 144002 is a clone of. They also have longer wheelbase 1/14 versions for their Truggy (EMB-TG), Desert Truck (EMB-DT), Short Course Truck (EMB-SC) and Rally Car (EMB-WRC) that the 124019 and 124018 are based on. They have since expanded to larger 1/10 scale RC’s, but their bread-and-butter products are still the 1/14 and 1/12 scale categories.
Looking at the two images of the LC Racing EMB1 and WLToys 144001, one would be very hard pressed to distinguish the differences on the surface. The EMB-T and 124019 visually look different mainly because of the body styles and wheels, but they share the same architecture underneath the covers. But still equally difficult to see in pictures is why an LC Racing model commands a 2x price premium compared to the WLToys model. As a point of reference for when this article was written (November 2021), a brushed 124019 with 3 batteries retailed for USD$139 and an LC Racing EMB-T with 3 batteries for USD$270 on Banggood.com.
LC Racing EMB1 vs WLToys 144001
LC Racing EMB-T vs. WLToys 124019
The WL Toys 284131 (which I reviewed here) and the K989 that precedes is described as a micro drift car but the lack of gyro (such as appears standard in the SG1603 drifter) makes this difficult. In this article I've installed a gyro, added a low friction aluminium wheel and tyre set and have improved steering lock which vastly improves the drifting experience.
Drift wheels and tyres
The 284131 and of course the K989/969 which is it is based on have and excellent weight balance and handle well which makes them great grip/track driving micro rc cars but no so good for drifting. First of all let's address the wheels - the stock tyres have too much traction so we need to swap these out for a set that have much less. Rather than messing about with trying to put PVC piping over the stock wheels you can change them out for a set of bold on aluminium drift wheels cheaply and easily with this part: Metal PO Fitting Wheels Hub Rims Tires with Drift Tire For Wltoys 1/28.