What is an RC enthusiast? There is no set definition, of course. For some, RC is one of many casual hobbies or activities that they participate in–sometimes regularly and sometimes only occasionally. Other enthusiasts qualify as diehards. They may race almost every weekend or maybe they are constantly working on some sort of RC project. Then there are the Lifers. Not only have these Lifers been into RC for a significant part of their lifetime, but RC is a huge part of their lifestyle. Lifers–as the saying goes–eat, sleep and breathe RC. The subject of this RC Truck Stop Perspective, Mike Baylis, is a Lifer, but the reason we sought Mike out was that he takes being a RC Lifer one huge step further–he is a pioneer and a role model.
Mike Baylis’s segment of choice is monster trucks. Not just big-wheeled bashing trucks, but true side-by-side and freestyle monster trucks. He’s also unsurprisingly a true fan of full-size monster trucks. His passion for RC and full-size monster trucks has led him to bring RC to Monster Jam. Mike and his East Coast RC Trucks club–the club he founded–can be seen at every Monster Jam event in New England. Mike is a pioneer because he actively and diligently promotes RC. He loves the hobby, it shows and he wants to share it. Mike is a pioneer because he leads and doesn’t follow. You can see this in the chassis he has designed.
While many enthusiasts have built custom chassis for the Tamiya Clod Buster, Mike’s creations are truly unique. Mike went with what is essentially a 1/8-scale design. He didn’t follow popular trends in design and, instead, used his own creativity and followed his own instincts. Mike’s independent spirit when it comes to design paid off when he won the 2012 No Limit R/C World Finals in the 4×4 Pro Mod Electric Monster Truck class.
We selected Mike as our first subject for Perspectives for the simply reason that this completely unassuming enthusiast is a great role model. Mike’s good nature and commitment to being a positive influence and ambassador for the hobby is a quality example for all of us.
Name: Mike Baylis
Years in RC: 14
Favorite RC: Tamiya Clod Buster
10 QUESTIONS WITH MIKE
1. RC Truck Stop
What were some of your early interests in RC and how was the hobby different when you got started?
I had a lot of the original vehicles, like, my first, the Tamiya Clod Buster, and the RC10 and the Lunchbox. The vehicles were simple to maintain.
2. RC Truck Stop
Were you instantly hooked and what really got you to become a hardcore hobbyist as opposed to a casual enthusiast?
Yes, I am hardcore and my dad was too. He took me to every event there was. That’s why I’m like that now.
3. RC Truck Stop
Over the years, what has kept you active and prevent you from losing interest in RC?
I have always been dedicated. The one time I took time away was when I got my first real car.
4. RC Truck Stop
When did you form the East Coast RC Trucks club and what were your reasons for starting the organization?
About four years ago; I was aiming to bring kids together of any age to get involved to the hobby.
5. RC Truck Stop
Besides East Coast RC Trucks, what are some of your current RC interests and activities?
I do a lot of testing on the Clod platform. I have six chassis designs.
6. RC Truck Stop
You recently achieved a major accomplishment when you won the 4×4 Pro Mod Electric Monster Truck class at the 2012 No Limit R/C World Championship. What was that experience like and what does that win mean to you?
It was a great feeling. All my hard work paid off, so I will continue to build race trucks. I already have a new chassis in the works for 2013.
7. RC Truck Stop
You won that race with a truck of your own design. What do you call your chassis and how long have you been making these chassis?
I call my work MHB 2 Engineering. I spent a total of eight years working on Clod chassis.
8. RC Truck Stop
How much has the chassis design changed over the years?
A lot of changes. Almost every chassis gets improvements.
9. RC Truck Stop
How do you see the chassis design evolving and do you have any future plans for improvements, modifications or changes?
There’s always areas of improvement. I’m working on chassis Numbers 7 and 8 now; they wil be great.
10. RC Truck Stop
You’ve seen the hobby change a lot over the years. How do you see it changing in the future? Where is the hobby going?
I hope there will be more opptunity for the RC’ers do more with their RC’s–like at local events.