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Team Losi Racing 22T Preview

Before nitro dominated the racing scene and long before short course took over every track and turned the hobby back to electric, stadium trucks were the popular weekend warrior class. Unlike short course trucks with their scale appeal, stadium trucks only marginally resemble full-size race trucks. But what they lack in realism, they more than make up for in on-track prowess. While a lot of diehard racers have grudgingly joined in on the short course fun, they have been clearly thrilled to see the return, albeit slow return, of what they consider real RC race machines such as 1/10-scale buggies and stadium trucks. Well, timing is everything and just as racers were starting to show some renewed interest in 1/10-scale electric off-road, Horizon Hobby was looking to prove its Losi brand was committed to racing. Horizon launched TLR (Team Losi Racing), which can best defined as the new racing division of the Losi brand, and the first official TLR release was the innovative 22 buggy. After everyone got past how much of a departure the 22 was from the norm, the big question was when would we see the stadium truck version. Buggies are cool, but many of those previously mentioned weekend warriors are drawn to stadium trucks because they offer the same race experience but are noted for being easier to drive thanks to their wider stance and larger tires. Well, that’s enough build up—the 22T is here. Let’s check it out.

 

Key Features

Chassis. The real standout feature on the 22 platform is the use of an aluminum chassis plate. Increased strength and rigidity are the immediate advantages of aluminum over molded plastic. The 7075 T-6 hard anodized 2.5mm plate used on the 22T is noticeably narrow. In fact, it’s so narrow that the speed control is designed to be mounted on the centerline of the chassis and above the rear end of the battery.

Mid- or Rear-Motor Mount. The 22T allows the truck to be built either with the traditional rear motor mounting position or with in a mid-motor setup. All parts needed for either configuration are included in the kit.

Gull Wing Suspension Arms. The front suspension arms are bent down in the center where the lower shock mounts attach. This allows the front shock tower to be lower and that in turn lowers the center of gravity.

12mm Shocks. The 22T uses large diameter threaded body aluminum shocks that feature bladder compensators.

Steering Rack. Instead of a traditional dual bell crank setup, the 22T uses a sliding steering rack.

All Metric. It may seem like a small thing, but not all companies use only “standard” or only metric hardware. TLR makes life easy on the builder by only using metric hardware.

Adjustable caster. TLR includes different spindle carriers for 0, 3, 5 and 10 degrees of caster.

Additional Features. Some of the other features on the 22T include: vertical ball studs, titanium nitride hinge pins, 3.5mm turnbuckles, adjustable rear toe, same rims used front and rear, 30-degree front kick up (25-, 20-degree with optional parts).

Specifications

Length: 15.75 in. (400mm)

Width: 12.99 in. (330mm)

Wheelbase: 11.3-11.41 in. (286-290mm)

First Impressions

The 22 buggy was eye catching with its use of an unexpected aluminum chassis, but you could make a pretty persuasive argument that this design feature is even better suited for stadium truck use. And while going heavier may seem counterintuitive to modern racing thought, there’s no need to worry about the added weight. As RC race machines come out of the box lighter and lighter, electronics have gotten smaller and lighter and we now have more power than ever, adding weight for tuning purposes is the norm now. Take a look at any pro’s setup sheet and you’ll very likely see weight has been strategically added. It’s also worth noting that the chassis plate is about as low you can get on the truck, and this means the extra weight lowers the center of gravity. In addition to the aluminum chassis, I like that the 22 platform is significantly beefed up overall. It’s built to be tough. If 1/10-scale electric off-road stands any chance of coming back and staying back, the segment better quickly build a new reputation of being durable. If not, racers will just stick with short course. If any new release looks like it will be able to take a hit or two, it’s the 22T. I also want to hug the guy who thought to design the 22T to use the same rims front and rear. While Losi is very proud of the ability of the 22 vehicles to be built mid or rear motor, I simply don’t see myself or too many other drivers running on U.S.-style tracks really using the mid-motor layout. It’s cool it may be of use to some European racers, but overall it isn’t a compelling feature since stadium trucks have barely any following outside of the U.S. Other than a feature that most likely will never get used by 99% of the 22T’s owners, the truck appears to be as solid of a choice for racing as its main competitor, the Team Associated T4.1.

 


Gary Katzer of Horizon Hobby interviews Todd Hodge, TLR Development Manager

 

Links

Team Losi Racing

Horizon Hobby

Losi

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Gmade R1 Rock Racer Review

 

“That’s pretty sick!” That’s the reaction most people have when they check out the R1. Then they often ask who makes it. The answer is Gmade. Located in Korea, Gmade is a relatively unknown company among non-rock crawlers—even though it has been around since 2004.  Some people—those uninitiated to crawling—also often ask what exactly is the R1. The R1 is a rock buggy modeled after what you may see competing at newly popular full-size events such as the King of the Hammers, and we decided to feature it here at RC Truck Stop because of its cool design, but also because Gmade includes provisions to mount a truck body.

 

Highlights

> Molded plastic tube frame chassis

> High clearance portal axles

> Kit

> Approximately $240 to $280

> Plastic-geared transmission

> No slipper

> Plastic drive shafts

> 4-link suspension with aluminum links

> Internal spring shocks that can be built short (droop) or long (sprung)

> Phillips hardware

> Includes tires and plastic bead-lock rims

 

Features

Chassis

One of the most distinctive features on the R1 is its molded plastic tube chassis. The chassis consists of two main side plates and a molded plastic center skid plate that the transmission mounts to. The two side plates are connected and reinforced via aluminum tubes. So, despite its scale looking tube frame, the R1 isn’t all that different from the typical twin vertical plate chassis used on most crawlers. The R1 is skinned with four small Lexan body panels, a hood, two side panels and a roof, that will need to be painted. Instead of using the now more common hex hardware, the R1 uses Phillips screws throughout.

Transmission

The R1 uses a plastic-geared transmission that is a little different than what you’d find on a 1/10-scale electric vehicle or, say, Axial’s SCX10 or AX10 series crawlers. Instead of having a sealed 3-gear setup with an external pinion and spur, the motor-mounted pinion connects directly to a stack of 32-pitch gears inside the transmission housing. With the included 12-tooth pinion, the final ratio is approximately 40:1. Gmade states the transmission is “dustproof.” It certainly isn’t waterproof, but the semi-sealed design will keep most mud, dirt and debris at bay. Two different size bearings are used: 5×11 and much smaller 5×8.

Axles

While the tube frame may be the first thing you notice on the R1, the real standout feature is the use of portal axles. The portal axle design drops the ends of the axle below the axle housing. This is achieved by using a two-gear stack. The Gmade R1 axles feature a small amount of gear reduction since the top gear connected to the end of the main axle shaft is 14-tooth and the gear attached to the output is 16-tooth. The housings are molded plastic, but feature a one-piece axle housing design that is made via a complicated multi-piece mold. This is similar to what Axial now uses for its Wraith axle design. Similar to the transmission, Gmade uses two different size bearings.

Suspension

The R1 uses the typical 4-link suspension that is extremely common on crawlers. The links are aluminum and the rod ends are stout. The anodized aluminum shocks look great and feature two different length internal springs—one above the piston and one below. This means the shocks can be built in a droop or sprung configuration.

Tires

Gmade includes it 2.2 Bighorn directional tires and its own GT bead-lock rims. Standard, non-memory foam inserts are also included. The tires are fairly firm both in compound feel and carcass.

Running Gear Used

> Viper speed control

> Viper 21.5-turn brushless motor

> Spektrum DX3R Pro radio system

> MaxAmps.com 2-cell LiPo

> Team Associated XP servo

Optional Parts Tested

> Adjustable Upper Link Mount (GM51123S)

> Aluminum C-hub 7-degree axle carrier (GM51121S)

> Low CG Battery & Servo Plate (GM51107S)

 

Performance

Since I installed a 21.5-turn brushless system, I expected ballistic speed and further expected torque twist to lift the right front tire off the ground, but when I fired up the R1, I was surprised that when it took off with some punch but didn’t seem out of control at all. And, there was no dreadful tire lift. It seems that that’s to the low gearing and use of a 2-cell LiPo kept things in control.

I know many of you crave speed, but the 21.5-turn and 2-cell LiPo was a good match for the R1. I’ve seen videos of people running faster setups, but they are almost always constantly flipping and rolling over.

Out on the rocks, I was pleasantly surprised by the Bighorn tire’s performance. Given their firm feel, I didn’t have very high expectations. The tires did slip and spin on the rocks, but they climbed better than I expected. The Bighorns aren’t the next hot comp tire and I will replace them with stickier, softer tires, but it’s worth noting they work just fine for fun crawling and you won’t need to be in a huge rush to replace them.

When climbing, the R1 performed well as it was able to navigate a variety of steep obstacles. It sometimes needed a second try with a little more wheel speed, but it more than met my expectations for a shaft driven crawler running stock tires. I built my R1 in the droop configuration and found that it side hilled exceptionally well—and I mean exceptionally well.

There is some torque twist when trying difficult climbs and there is also some noticeable rear axle steer when the suspension is articulating. I’d say the rear steer was far more noticeable than the torque twist.

After running numerous times on the rocks, I was extremely impressed with how few scratches were on the bottom of the R1. The raised portal axles were nearly spotless. The benefits of the portal axle design is very real.

The R1 also proved to be pretty good at speed. Even though it didn’t have a lot of suspension up travel in the droop configuration, its stable stance helped compensate for its somewhat bouncing ride. It certainly has some rock racer potential.

 

Final Assessment

With a price tag between $240 and $280, depending on where you buy it, the bottom line is the R1 is well worth the money. The vehicle looks good, the axles are an innovative design and the overall materials quality is on par with the top brands in RC. The Phillips hardware is a bit of a let down, but still used on a few Asian brands. CKRC has the best price we’ve found on the R1. JunFac out of Soth Korea also large assortment of option parts for the R1.

I did notice the some front wheel wobble or slop, but it didn’t seem to impact performance at all. While I was disappointed to see the small 5x8mm bearings, the use of some small bearings didn’t seem to have any sort of negative affect on performance and only long-term testing (check back as we offer that at RC Truck Stop) will reveal if there is any issue with the bearings. It’s undeniable that there is significant potential for failure with the small bearings.

Overall, I see the R1 being a for-fun rock racer. It isn’t necessarily designed for competitive crawling and that segment is strictly dominated by motor-on-axle machines such as Axial’s XR10. With the right tires and a little tuning to reduce torque twist (which is no worse out of the box than any other stock shaft driven crawler), the R1 is a viable choice for a shafty-only class.

Hot

> Portal axles

> Scale looks

> Quality materials

Not

> Phillips hardware

> Some small bearings used

 

Links

Gmade

CKRC Crawlers

JunFac

MaxAmps.com

Spektrum

Team Associated

Viper

 

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