The Lowdown On RC Trucks
Before you groan and wonder why the heck we would be reporting on radio-controlled trucks in the pages of OFF-ROAD, then take a second to remember your roots. We're guessing that a lot of you out there started learning vehicle dynamics with some type of R/C car. Are we wrong? If so, then just skip this entire section. But if we're right, then read on to see the advances the radio-controlled industry has taken.
Over the last 15 years the R/C Industry has grown leaps and bounds in terms of technology and popularity. High tech materials, along with state-of-the-art design and engineering practices are leading to some of the most impressive handling vehicles on earth. The strength and tune-ability of the average hobby-grade R/C racing truck is mind blowing. This adjustability is invaluable to anyone of any age looking to get their head wrapped around basic off-road dynamics. Key elements in tuning of full sized racing machines can be learned and fully understood through making changes to your R/C truck. Many of the vehicles will offer adjustability in camber, caster, shock oils, spring rates, and suspension geometry. Tire compounds, tread patterns, and a slew of aftermarket components are commonly available to best prepare the vehicle for the desired environment. The changes can make drastic differences in the handling of the vehicle and help the driver better tune the car for his or her driving style and track condition. It is not uncommon to hear people who are not of legal driving age discussing camber and shock oil suggestions at local R/C racetracks. Imagine what the future of off-road will be like when these youngsters are out in the desert tuning their full-size rigs.
Traxxas Slash 2WD Short Course Racing Truck RTR
|Track width:||11.65 inches|
|Motor:||Titan 12-turn 550|
|Speed control:||Waterproof XL-5 ESC|
|Gear ratio:||2.72 (final drive: 12.58)|
|Chassis type:||Modified Tube|
|Chassis material:||Composite Nylon|
|Top Speed:||30+ mph|
|Average retail price:||$189.99|
This truck put short-course style R/C on the map. This car is hugely popular at the track and Slash racing is usually run as a "box stock" class. With enclosed wheels, big bumpers and nerf bars, you can bang doors all day long. Waterproof components are a Traxxas-only feature, which cover the servos and speed control. The receiver is held in a watertight, o-ring sealed box keeping the elements out. Steel transmission and differential gears make it "brushless ready". You can drop in a high power brushless motor to increase speed to 65-plus mph without fear of tearing up gears. Other features include a heavy-duty slipper clutch, oil-filled shocks, adjustable camber and toe, rubber-sealed ball bearings, and much more.
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The first thing we noticed about the Slash is that it is perfectly balanced front and rear. This quickly translated in the dirt to controlled driving and perfect high-speed cornering. We ran the Slash side-by-side the other cars bumping our way along to the front of the pack on many laps. We felt the stock shock setup was a bit soft, so we added additional spacers to increase spring rate and the ride was perfect, no more bottoming out. The car is 1/10th scale but the body width makes it look and feel much larger. Acceleration was very quick off the line and through turns. If you want to get into spec class racing, Slash racing is the way to go and don't be alarmed if an OFF-ROAD Magazine staffer happens to be trackside.