Losi 22T RTR Stadium Truck Review

Hey, Joe Racer, did you know there’s more to RC racing than short course? We love short course and recognize that it may be the best thing to happen to the hobby since servo tape, but newcomers don’t seem to realize–and even the “old timers” seem to have forgotten–that the hobby didn’t start four years ago. Get this, before there ever was a big-bodied short course truck there were these things called stadium trucks. The history of stadium trucks goes back to the early days of electric off-road racing. In fact, if a company wanted to be seen as a winning company–a choice of champions–it needed to win the 1/10-scale electric classes. So, when Losi wanted to prove to the RC world that it is committed to racing as ever, Losi launched the Team Losi Racing (TLR) brand and unveiled the 22 platform. Following the typical pattern, a buggy was first and followed by a stadium truck. Again, the typical pattern was followed and kits preceded ready-to-run versions. Now, the 22T RTR is here and we’re taking it racing.

HIGHLIGHTS
> Full assembled ready-to-run
> $459.99
> 13.5-turn Sensored brushless system
> Aluminum chassis
> Aluminum threaded shocks
> Convertible to mid motor layout
> Gear differential
> Spektrum 2.4GHz radio system
> BK-Bar tires
> Sliding steering rack

DID YOU KNOW?
The first production stadium truck was made by Losi and called the JRX-T. Previous to the JRX-T, stadium trucks were made via conversion kits. The JRX-T was designed by Gil Losi Jr and was based on his JRX-2 design. Both vehicles were released in the late 1980′s.

FEATURES
Chassis
As you may be well aware, 1/10-scale stadium trucks typically use a molded composite plastic chassis. Losi stepped away from the norm with the 22 platform and went with an aluminum main chassis that is significantly narrower than expected. The receiver and speed control do not flank the battery running down the center. Instead the receiver sits behind the steering servo and the speed control is adhered to a molded plastic shelf and brace in front of the rear shock tower. The 22T RTR’s chassis’ non-hard-anodized finish differs from the full kit version which is hard anodized, but the layout and design is essentially the same. It is made out of 2.5mm thick 7075 T6 aluminum which is a high quality heat treated material. The outer edges are angled up for clearance and plastic side braces add stiffness. Like the other vehicles in the 22 family, the 22T RTR’s chassis is designed to allow the transmission to be mounted with a rear motor (as it comes assembled) or mid motor.

DID YOU KNOW?
Most RC’ers know Horizon Hobby owns Losi. Horizon purchased the company in 2001. Gil Losi Jr.–son of Losi’s founder–stayed with the company until 2007. At one point, Ernie Provetti–owner of Trinity–briefly owned a large share of Losi before Horizon bought the company.

Suspension
Unlike the chassis design, layout and material, the  22T RTR suspension isn’t a big departure from the norm. That is to say it uses the standard lower suspension arms with adjustable upper camber links setup. Compared to other 1/10-scale stadium trucks, however, the 22 platform looks noticeably beefier. The design looks like it has some 1/8-scale DNA. Racers who like to tinker and tune will appreciate that the camber links all use vertical ball studs. The front suspension arms have a gull wing design which is an innovative way to get away with a slightly lower front shock tower and lower center of gravity. The turnbuckles–camber links and steering–are 3.5mm thick to go along with the tough stance of the truck. The rear arms are the same parts as used on the 22 buggy RTR. To make up for the narrowness of the arms, the outer stub axles and hex adapters are longer than typically seen. Long, truck-specific, front arms are used because extended front axles and hexes would cause tire scrub when turning and poor handling. The real stars of the suspension are the shocks. The aluminum shocks feature threaded bodies and large 12mm bores and are frankly far better than expected on any RTR. The are an emulsion design (the kit versions are not), and the shock caps are composite plastic and feature bleeder screws.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Losi JRX-PRO SE buggy was the first race buggy to use a molded composite plastic “tub” chassis. Previously, the norm was aluminum or flat plates made out of graphite or fiberglass. That makes the use or return of an aluminum chassis on the 22 platform somewhat ironic.

Drivetrain
Like most 1/10-scale electric off-roaders, the 22T RTR uses a 3-gear “stacked” transmission, and like its 22 brethren, the 22T RTR transmission can be mounted with the motor in the rear- or mid-position. Unlike the kit version, the RTR uses a sealed gear differential that can be tuned with different thickness silicone fluids. The kit uses a ball differential. Another very pleasant surprise on the 22T RTR is the inclusion of universal axles. Of course, the truck rides on full ball bearings.

DID YOU KNOW?
The previous generation Losi stadium truck, the XXX-T, had a wheelbase of 11.1 inches. The 22T and 22T RTR are stretched close to the maximum limit the ROAR rules allow and can be set up with a wheelbase of 11.3 to 11.41 inches.

Electronics
You may be picking up on an ongoing theme in this review. The 22T RTR isn’t equipped or spec’ed out like the typical RTR. It’s not just that the design is unique–that’s cool–the truck is simply very well outfitted for a RTR. I’m talking about the shocks, universal axles and now the electronics. I was extremely happy to see a sensored brushless system. I expected a sensorless system. I am a firm believer that a sensored system, and the smooth throttle control it provides, is the only way to go for a race vehicle. The motor installed is a 13.5-turn means this truck will be placed in an Open or Mod class which is fine because that is all that most tracks consistently have for stadium truck drivers.

The goodness of the electronics continues with the Spektrum 2.4GHz system. It is the more basic DX3E transmitter, but it offers all of the adjustments you’ll need. Losi rounds out the electronics package with a metal gear servo that puts out 140 oz.-in. of torque.

Body, Wheels & Tires

The 22T RTR is offered in two different pre-painted schemes–one predominately black and one predominately white. The tires are Losi BK-Bar tires mounted on yellow dish rims. The tires are simply listed a “race-compound” and feel soft and reasonably tacky. BK-Bar tires feature a low tread that is best suited for indoor tracks or smoother outdoor tracks with a well established racing groove.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Losi BK-Bar tires get their name from their creator and world champion racer, Brian Kinwald. He created the original tires by cutting up tires and using the low profile inside support ribs as the tread. His cut up and glued together creation worked so well that production BK-Bar tires were then created.

PERFORMANCE
At RC Truck Stop we adamantly believe in really testing a review vehicle. Bashers get bashed and race trucks get taken to the track. I hit up both the local indoor and outdoor off-road tracks. Out of the box, the 22T RTR is very much at home on the typical indoor track. With its well designed suspension, it’s capable outdoors, but most outdoor tracks will more noticeably require a tire change to be dialed in (more on that later).

I did have to perform a quick fix before hitting the track. The wiring from the speed control to the motor was secured too tightly and the speed control was being pulled free of it mount. I applied new servo tape and cut the cable tie binding the motor wires, sensor loom and speed control power capacitor together. I’m all for the wires being neat, but the wires can’t be secured so tightly that there isn’t some room for flex. This isn’t a problem you’re likely to find on every 22T RTR, but instead I’m inclined to suspect this is more of a fluke.

When I tested outdoors at Pin Shop Hobbies in Oakville, CT, the tires were not happy on the unwatered track surface. If the track was watered, it would be a whole different story, but when I tested, if I was too aggressive getting on the throttle, the rear wanted to kick out. This is not a weakness of the 22T RTR; the BK-Bars are simply more of an indoor type tread pattern. Indoors or out, the suspension worked great. The truck is smooth, planted and easy to drive if you’re not stupid aggressive with the throttle.

On to the more important matters, the 22T RTR quickly proved itself to be a racer. It just happens to a pre-built one. The 22T RTR has excellent steering. It’s responsive and carves smooth predictable turns. The indoor track I tested at–RCHR is Waterbury, CT– has, as you expect, one tight turn after another. Even with its box-stock RTR setup, the 22T RTR was able to carry speed from turn to turn and didn’t feel like I had to drive past the truck’s or my limits to be fast. That’s the longwinded way of saying it felt fast without feeling loose. I did feel the steering servo was too slow for competitive indoor racing. I didn’t really notice any steering response lag outdoors, but if I were to race indoors, I’d swap out the servo for something faster. As a race vehicle, the 22T RTR has plenty of adjustments, so if the steering isn’t to your taste, there are plenty of tuning options to get it dialed in. What I liked best was that the truck felt planted when applying throttle in the turns.

Jumping was easy with the 22T RTR. It landed even the biggest jumps without any ill effects. Even better it sailed over small jumps, whoops and rhythm sections presented no problem for the 22T RTR. It’s been awhile since I’ve raced a stadium truck and I have to say it was nice to not have to feather the throttle so much.

As for a damage report, even though I rang the truck’s bell a few times when running indoors, it held up fine. Is it indestructible? No, of course not. Race trucks like this break (and it’s always the harmless hits that spell disaster), but the 22T RTR is built to be a survivor. It will get you through the race day.

FINAL ASSESSMENT

The 22T RTR has somewhat of a split personality–in a good way. It is beginner friendly and race worthy. Those two don’t usually go together, but the 22T RTR pulls it off. It is pre-built and appropriately equipped for someone relatively new to RC, and yet, it is well outfitted and capable of being raced competitively out of the box. I wouldn’t say the 22T RTR is a good choice as a first RC vehicle. It could work as a first vehicle, but there are better choices. At $460, it also isn’t cheap. There are plenty of RTR vehicles available for half the cost of the 22T RTR, but makes sure you get your money’s worth as is evident by the shocks, sensored 13.5-turn brushless system, universal axles, metal-gear servo and Spektrum 2.4GHz radio system. The best way to sum up the 22T RTR is that it is perfect for someone not brand new to RC but new to racing. Get a Losi 22T RTR and you’ll know that your equipment isn’t holding you back.

Hot
> Sensored brushless system
> Large threaded-body shocks
> Universal axles
> Innovative design of 22 platform

Not
> Servo is too slow for tight indoor tracks
> You have to pay for all those nice parts
> Stadium truck is a spotty class at many tracks

 

Links
Losi
Horizon
Pin Shop Hobbies
RCHR 

Social Share Toolbar

Filed Under: FeaturedRace TrucksReviews

Matt Higgins About the Author: Matt has over 25 years of experience in RC and has worked professionally in media for over a decade. Matt enjoys everything from racing to rock crawling to bashing, and he believes RC should be all about having fun. Matt is as at home covering a world championship in an exotic country as he is showing a new hobbyist how to set gear mesh. His desire to share the hobby with as many people as possible inspired him to create RC Truck Stop and RCTruckStop.com.

RSSComments (11)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Great review of an excellent stadium truck. I particularly like the flashbacks in the “did you know” sections. I remember how dominant the JRX-T was back in the day and from what I’ve seen of the 22T TLR has once again given us a real game-changer.

  2. James Mikoliczyk says:

    Good review,

    I too liked the little “Did You Know” facts. I think it’s great that my personal favorite racing class is comimg back. Funny to think that just 6 months ago, maybe even 4 months ago, the ST class was all but dead in many places. At my local track the ST class is gaining speed as more and more racers are going to that class. Oddly enough, many are from the Open/Mod 2wd SC class. I would have to say that TLR hit one out of the ball park again with the 22T, as it looks to have impacted the ST class just as the 22 did the 2wd Buggy class. Good job for TLR going a little old school retro with the alum. chassis while at the same time, keeping the new “cool” factor going.

    • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

      I’m not too surprised to see racers migrating from SCT to stadium trucks. I’m sure some have just re-found their love for racing thanks to short course now want to get back into a racing class they’re familiar with. I bet far more are people who got started in racing in the last few years with SCT and not want what they see as a more “serious” racer.

  3. James Mikoliczyk says:

    What I have seen locally at least is that many new racers some into racing with a SCT. Hard to beat a SC RTR in many cases. Then they have begun to move on to other classes. Some for more serious racing and others seem to move to a more populated class of racing. Either for a second class to run, or perhaps the raing bug bit them and they want to race a more serious class. Could be 4×4 SC, 2wd Buggy, 4wd Buggy (though locally that class has taken a big hit), or now the ST class. All of which is good for racing in general, though like always some classes feel the impact a little bit more than others. Locally that’s the 4wd buggy class and the Open/Mod 2wd SC class. The Sportsman 2wd SC class seems to be hanging in there if they all show up.

    I guess it’s part of the natural progression of racing. Some will stay with the class they started with, some will move to another class for one reason or another, and some will try to run as many classes as they can. Though some are finding that on a club night it’s pretty hard to run 3 or 4 classes in one night. Some classes always pick up and some always decline.

    Wether all the renewed intrest in 1/10th elec. racing is based all or in part to the SC class or what TLR has done with the 22 and 22T. There’s little doubt to me that the 1/10th elec. racing hasn’t seen the kind of attention it currently has since ’98 to ’00ish. Which is a very good thing in my opinion.

    Now if we could just keep from having 15 different classes of 2wd buugy, SC, ST, or whatever type of car or truck, then we’ll be doing well in the long run I think.

  4. Pete says:

    I love that sensored brushless is included. it’s sooo much better for racing

  5. Stuart Brabant says:

    This truck looks cool. I’ve seen guys racing this fridays at my local track. I may give it a shot

  6. Earl says:

    ILove the little tips and behind the scenes bits. Stadium truck is dead in Florida where i live

  7. Leroy says:

    Thrilled to see the SCT version!

  8. bradlee says:

    how durable is this car.Looking to buy one

    • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

      Ours survived some pretty extensive testing without issue. That doesn’t mean if you whack one of those long arms into something immovable while going full speed that something won’t go snap.

Leave a Reply