||For those of you who want an 1/8 aluminum caged machine this is it. I actually had the opportunity to take one out on a 1/8 dirt track in straight RTR form with no adjustment of any sort just to see if their quality control at XTM is reliable.
I threw in a 4s 5000mah Gens Ace hardpack which is what I run in all my 1/8 electric buggies, GT8's, and monster trucks. Well if you can look past the fact that the aluminum is more for looks than protection and the junk steering servo and steering saver plus the so so-ESC you still get an average brushless motor for an RTR.
First thing I hated the most besides the crazy understeer which of course would be from the terrible servo and just the wrong type of tires and wheels for a race track. You never want to run beadlocks of any sort if you are racing that is just asking for trouble. Bashing with beadlocks or rock crawling is fine but not on a go-fast machine they say is capable of 45 mph.
Second thing I hated was the mix of hardware. You have hex screws then you have phillips? What are they going to do next? Throw contersunk flat head screws?!
Third thing I don't like seeing is THREE fans AND a ridiculous looking heatsink. That means the motor has heat issues whether it be too high of a gearing setup to push this heavy monster up to "45 mph" just to stick it on the box. Like they say in this hobby...all the newbies want is speed. 45 mph + 4s battery + aluminum chassis and cage plus electronics plus those ridiculous heavy beadlocks is A TON on unbalanced weight.
Recipe for disaster. Name one product XTM actually received an award let alone just praise for.
Bottom line....why on earth would you spend your hard earned money for a not so popular buggy that just has cheap aluminum caging on it to make it look somewhat more scale?
If you want a tough RTR and don't want to build it yourself look for a proven manufacturer with several titles under their belt. Look for a manufacturer that you know has great customer service. Talk to your local hobby shop owners see what they think. I guarantee you in the long run you will understand.
And by the way i bent both rear hinge pins after stripping down the buggy from the test drive. Now where can I go locally to get a replacement piece right away?
I am by no means bashing XTM as a company. They have a very interesting niche in the r/c community and that in itself is to be respected. Now we all know what niche that is but come on if you can afford a $400+ 1/8 brushless weak aluminum constructed buggy do yourself a favor and do it right the first time.
Go look into other 1/8 machines. I've owned an HPI Apache C1 Flux and loved it. I jumped it off a gravel ramp roughly 40 feet into the air with 17mm Proline Badlands XTR monster truck tires/wheels and landed on the back right sidewall and the only thing that broke was the camber link nut that stripped itself out from the hard landing.
I then jumped it a good 8-10 times until I could land it perfectly with those humongous off set monster truck wheel/tire setup. All on again my stash of 5000mah 40C Gens Ace 4s hardpacks.
Now where the XTM Racing Rail might be passable for the price is obviously relatively flat dusty ground like a dried up lake bed. Looking at the stock tire tread pattern and actually having about 20 minutes of drive time on a prepared 1/8 buggy race track before going back to my Factory Team RC8Be out of frustration for such a poorly designed r/c. Even my RTR SC8.2e can outmanuever, launch faster, have much more punch from the motor to land a jump, and actually not have to worry about breaking anything or finding any hobby shops that don't carry Team Associated spare parts.
If you truly are in love with the looks of the XTM Rail which I think it's just because of the cage...then all you need to do is purchase the cage from XTM separately and find an old Team Associated RC8e chassis roller and re-use as much Associated parts as possible. If the cage doesn't fit simple...go buy yourself a tube bender for $20 at O'Reillys and bend and shape it yourself until it fits. This is of course after you've decided where to mount it onto the RC8e chassis.
Hope my detailed write up would help newbies getting into this hobby, and not getting swindled by shiny things or slick LHS owners who just sell Red Cat or XTM and think their items are just as reliable as Traxxas and HPI which I both consider as "beginner to intermediate" cars and trucks.
I was ALMOST fooled into buying the XTM Racing Rail too because I'm a big scale r/c crawler fan and I've always wanted to modify an electric 1/8 into a sand rail....well keep dreaming because that chassis is going to have to be custom running transmissions that have to bulletproof and easy to service. Also rear CVD's will have to be a must on any sand rail.