RCU Review: Traxxas Slash

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    Contributed by: Matt Gunn | Published: October 2008 | Views: 138099 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Traxxas Slash

    Review by: Matt Gunn (webdr)

    Slash 1/10th 2wd
    Distributed exclusively by:

    1100 Klein Road
    Plano, Texas 75074

    Website: www.traxxas.com

    See the Slash in action!!

    Dialup 9mb

    Broadband 20.5mb



    Strong front and rear bumpers

    Great scale-look

    Very durable

    Handles like a real short-course truck

    Sealed electronics

    Brushless ready

    Extremely rough surfaces can be challenging with the small diameter tires.

    Short-Course trucks, CORR trucks, Pro trucks, call them what you like, this extremely popular and distinct style of semi-scale race truck is currently blowing up like the 4th of July. Their attraction is their handling; these short course rc trucks handle just like the real thing, which I like to refer to as dirty. They exhibit extreme body roll but keep the wheels planted with loose, long-travel suspension. The rear squats on acceleration and the front dives when braking. Watch one flying in the air and the first thing you notice is how far the suspension droops, then straight to the other extreme when landing as the wheels are stuffed way up in the wheel wells. This type of handling is the opposite of what most rc enthusiasts have been taught, and that's probably why the short-course rc truck has been met with mixed feelings. Some are unwilling to accept it because it doesn't have tires the diameter of a compact-disc. I have a hunch that if they only drove one, they would sing a different tune. They are so much fun, it's literally an addiction.

    The Traxxas Slash is my entry into the world of short-course vehicles. It's a 1/10th scale 2wd electric truck that comes ready-to-run, minus batteries. And all you'll need is a 6 or 7-cell stick pack and 8 aa's for the transmitter and you're ready to terrorize the dirt or asphalt. So if your a fan, a skeptic, or just interested in learning about the fast-growing, competitive short-course style of vehicle, please read my review of the Traxxas Slash.


    Name: Slash
    Price: $199.99 street price
    Length: 22.36"
    Width: 11.65"
    Wheelbase: 13.2"
    Dry Weight: 76.2 oz
    Motor: Titan 12-turn 550 motor

    Transmission: Metal Gear Magnum 272?
    Battery used: MaxAmps 7-cell 4700 NiMh
    Radio equipment: (Included) 27mHz am transmitter, 2-channel receiver, XL5 esc w/ reverse and exclusive training-mode, waterproof steering servo

    • 6 or 7 cell NiMh battery pack
    • NiMh battery charger with Traxxas High Current connector
    • 8 AA Batteries for transmitter

    Other Helpful Items

    • Traxxas plug adaptor for your charger

    Body off

    As I stated in the introduction, the Slash is practically ready to run. The Slash's Traxxas logos, window graphics, grill headlights and other decals are applied for you. Numerals for the doors are supplied on a separate sheet so you can choose your own race number. The body's factory graphics most closely resemble the Traxxas-sponsored number-4 Pro Lite truck driven by Jeff Kincaid, and the number-25 Pro 2 truck of Mark Jenkins. The body is pretty big and covers the wheels with some massive flared fenders. Because the body is so wide, the chassis needs extensions to keep it from flopping around on the side. I'll just call them nerf bars for obvious reasons. They have velcro on the side to keep the body in place. The main attaching points are your standard body-clips on top of the shock towers, just like every other rc out there.

    Remove the body and you'll see a chassis made from high-impact gray and black composite nylon. It's durable as can be and features 3.5" of ground clearance at the center. I also like that it has a transponder mount under the front shock tower and drain holes for any liquid encounters. There is also a servo wire channel that goes under the battery tray to keep everything neat. The bumpers are very scale-looking and serve a definite purpose. The front bumper has an oval-shaped plastic shock absorber between it and the body to absorb any impacts, which will happen. The rear bumper doesn't have the shock absorber, but flexes enough to absorb the same amount of shock as the front. Underneath the chassis are front and rear skid plates that support and protect the steering components and differential.

    The Slash is powered by the Titan 12-turn 550-sized motor. It's a decent entry-level motor that has enough torque to spin the tires on hardtop. I noticed it gets pretty hot after a run but still does it's job, so no complaints there. After all, it is fan cooled so running faster, and longer will keep it a little cooler. The esc included with the Slash is the well known XL-5. It's completely waterproof along with the rest of the electronics, allowing you to run through standing water (if you are so inclined) and not melt anything. The XL-5 has a feature known as Training Mode that reduces motor power by 50% and allows budding rc 'ers to concentrate on control first. Two additional modes are available; sport and race. The only difference between the two is that sport mode has brake/reverse and race mode has only brake, making it legal for racing. The Slash's on/off button is built into the XL-5 and ultimately eliminates the need for a sliding-contact switch. Switches can become clogged with dirt and fail faster than any component on your vehicle... be glad you don't have one on the Slash!

    You have the option of running a 6 or 7-cell pack in your Slash. I naturally chose a 7-cell for increased power. The MaxAmps 4700 cells are just the ticket for anyone looking for that extra edge. The large mAh rating keeps you running well over 10 minutes per charge. There are two pieces of foam included in the battery tray that you must remove to run a 7-cell flat pack. The pack fits snugly in the tray and the hold-down bar keeps it secure.

    MaxAmps 7-cell 4700mAh
    The MaxAmps 7 cell 4700mAh NiMh pack provides nice long run times and the extra power needed to take big jumps. Mine came standard with low-resistance Dean's battery bars. They can be fitted from MaxAmps with Traxxas connectors upon request.

    The suspension on the Slash was designed to mimic a real short course truck. The Slash's handling is loose as heck which makes the fun factor shoot right off the chart as the truck power-slides through corners crossed-up like a full-sized race truck. The oil-filled shocks are plastic with powder-coated progressive rate springs. You can adjust preload by adding or removing the included spacers. Use them sparingly though, because the Slash is at it's best when it is sitting low to the ground. Traxxas does recommend adding a few spacers and adjusting the shock mounting points when running on asphalt, to stiffen the ride. The Slash uses lower a-arms and upper turnbuckles which allow for camber and toe adjustments and the rod ends are captured so they won't pop off.

    The tires and wheels included also mimic the full-sized race truck. They are a relatively soft compound and mount on 2.2 sized rims. The foam inserts do a good job of keeping the tread pattern firmly planted. I found these tires hook up very well on asphalt and dirt and tread wear is minimal, even with a soft compound.

    Front end
    Front bumper shock absorber
    Chassis layout

    Power from the Titan 12-turn motor is transferred through an 19-tooth 48 pitch pinion gear and an 86-tooth 48 pitch spur gear. An optional 23-tooth pinion is included with Slash to give you a little more top end. The Slash features a Revo-Spec Torque-Control slipper clutch that uses semi-metallic friction material and finned aluminum alloy pressure plates to dissipate heat and provide consistent traction control. A nice feature is that you can remove the spur gear without altering the slipper adjustment. From the slipper, we move into the transmission. It's known as the Metal Gear Magnum 272 and has ball bearings and 48 pitch internal gears. This tranny is very solid and is ready to take the extreme power of brushless system if you feel the need to upgrade. The composite Traxxas planetary gear differential now features a steel ring gear with a nylon housing for long life, and the lightweight diff case keeps the rotating mass low for more responsive acceleration. It uses hardened steel internal gears for maximum strength. This type of differential requires virtually no maintenance. The last component in line before power hits the wheels are the driveshafts. They are telescopic, meaning they slide in and out when the suspension compresses and unloads and allow for increased rear suspension travel.

    At each corner of the Slash is a hub fitted with rubber-sealed bearings. They are extremely strong for the Slash and have proven themselves worthy after some pretty hard hits.

    Nerf bar w/ velcro body mount
    Oil filled shock and progressive-rate springs
    Realistic tires and wheels
    Titan 12-turn motor
    Traxxas XL5 esc w/ reverse
    Waterproof servo

    The radio system included with the Slash is your standard Traxxas transmitter. Its called the TQ, or Top Qualifier and features throttle and trim knobs, and servo reversing, but not much else. That's ok because the Slash is marketed towards affordable racing and you can't expect high-tech computer radios with budget-friendly rtr's. The light-weight 4-channel mini receiver is sealed up tight in a waterproof radio box that features a removable blue rubber seal. The servo is fast for a rtr unit, and just like the rest of the electronics, is also waterproof. Although I don't recommend it, I think you could run this truck under water, and I've found a few videos online that back up that statement. Be aware that running submerged requires some extra maintenance. Read the "wet running" section in the manual before you go play submarine.

    Front knuckle
    Rear hub
    Revo-spec Torque-Control© slipper clutch
    Servo saver
    Included goodies
    2-channel 27 mhz am transmitter

    The Slash doesn't need much to run, but you will need to apply some decals and charge a battery. Take time to verify your alignment. While it should be set right from the factory, mine was set with a slight bit of toe-out on the front. I set it so the front toe had about 2 degrees negative. Refer to the owners manual for an in depth explanation on setting your suspension. You'll need to install the antenna which is held in place with a blue-anodized clamping nut which is easily installed with an included tool that slides over the antenna tube. Also make sure you cycle your new MaxAmps battery pack 2 to 3 times before use. This gets the pack broken in and ready to take a full charge.

    Driving the Slash is comparable to most 2wd rc vehicles; progressive use of the throttle is needed on dirt to maintain direction. If you just grab full throttle from a dead stop, the Slash will likely take off in an arc as the rear end slides out and ultimately just loops around. Feather the throttle for clean take-offs on loose surfaces. Once you get going though, the Slash maintains direction quite well, especially with a little toe-in on the front wheels. Give it a little left or right input and it will break into a controlled power slide but, again, feather the throttle to keep from looping. Now is when you can appreciate the Revo-spec slipper clutch. You can loosen it up without overheating or melting gears, a great feature for loose conditions.

    Speed is decent with a 7-cell pack and so is acceleration. The Slash will just start to break the tires loose on asphalt if you grab full throttle from a dead stop. On dirt, it's nothing but roost throwing action! If you install the included 23-tooth pinion, you can expect speeds around 30 mph with a 7-cell pack. I noticed that the motor gets pretty hot after a run, especially if you do alot of stop/start running in confined spaces. The Titan is a fan-cooled motor and will stay cooler if you open it up on the straights and drive fast. So far, the hot motor condition has not caused any issues, just let it cool before you switch to a fresh battery pack.

    Asphalt running is interesting with the Slash. You get alot of body roll and fender-to-wheel scrubbing if you don't set the suspension accordingly. That means adding spacers to the shocks and moving them outward to stiffen the ride, and even then, you realize this is no touring car! It's really meant for fast and loose running on dirt but can be fun on nearly any surface. If you are running on the street and turn hard at any speed above 1/4 throttle, expect the Slash to flip over. The best advise is to use the included spacers to stiffen the suspension. Braking is marginal on asphalt. The esc just doesn't apply enough resistance to slow the truck quickly. You can jam the brakes in a turn and slide to a stop just like any other rc. Although, braking on dirt works well.

    Running the Slash off road is the most fun of all, and you'll soon realize it requires all your attention to keep it under control. The suspension is soft and reacts much like a real short course truck. The body will pitch around as you negotiate the track and squat the rear fender to the outside when you turn. I also like how it dives when you apply the brakes and squats the rear end when you accelerate, it just looks so real! I've read a few reports about how people said the Slash couldn't jump, and that statement is just not true! The Slash will sail through the air and land on all fours very well. I found it was able to take big table top jumps as well. And for those of you that will argue that it doesn't jump like your truggy, well it's not supposed to. These short course trucks can't compete with purpose-built race platforms, but they can offer the same level of excitement at less than half the cost. If you plan on racing the Slash, you will find that many clubs offer a Slash spec-class just for your vehicle, and racing is just as competitive as the big boys.

    Durability is a word that is thrown around in rc quite often. And what really defines durability? I think a vehicle can truly be durable if it can survive a wreck at any speed, and not a catastrophic head on collision into a dumpster. I expect no vehicle to come out unscathed from that punishment, but rather one of those a-arm breaking hits off of a curb or an off-camber landing that snaps a turnbuckle. Those types of glancing blows define durability to me, and the Traxxas Slash proudly earns the title as the most durable vehicle I've ever driven. I literally beat this little truck and it never threw in the towel. There were a few jumps shown in the video where it literally fell 5 feet to flat on asphalt and kept on trucking. That's quite impressive in my opinion.

    I tried running the Slash in grass and it had a tough time overcoming the drag, especially taller grass. The Slash would come to a halt quickly in tall grass because the small 2.2 wheels weren't big enough to roll over the surface. Bigger rough surfaces also proved challenging as the Slash just didn't have the clearance or tires to roll over big clumps of dirt. The Slash runs best on smoother dirt or gravel.

    The Traxxas Slash should be known as the starting point in a new era of spec-class off road racing and short course style bashing. Its realistic looks and handling are what's attracting so many people to this type of truck. Traxxas is also fully aware that you may want to install a brushless system and has prepared the Slash for the challenge with a hardened steel-gear transmission, its truly brushless ready. But for those of you content with the brushed 550 motor, you'll be just as happy cutting laps at the local track or bashing anywhere you can find a dirty patch of land.

    I suggest you purchase the Slash if you've been wanting one but have held out, you will not be disappointed. It's fun for beginners as well as hard core racers because it is tough, looks good, and performs well for what it is designed to do. Thanks for reading my review and have fun!

    Slash 1/10th scale 2wd
    Distributed exclusively by:
    1100 Klein Road
    Plano, Texas 75074

    Thanks to Jessica Halsak for helping me test the Slash.

    Comments on RCU Review: Traxxas Slash

    Posted by: brushlessboy16 on 10/05/2008
    wow, this is one of the best review vid's i have seen, great job!
    Posted by: rc racer 4 on 10/07/2008
    wicked awsome i love slashes and corr racing. my grand parents race race trucks but not corr cool vid
    Posted by: whipnet on 10/08/2008
    Excellent review, thanks. I love my Slash! *
    Posted by: madmax22 on 10/28/2008
    Wanna give me one to test??? :D
    Posted by: fusebmx13 on 11/13/2008
    Nice looks really great. I am getting one now to haha.
    Posted by: fusebmx13 on 11/13/2008
    Nice looks really great. I am getting one now to haha.
    Posted by: SlashBasher on 11/13/2008
    sweet review! great job!
    Posted by: taylor28 on 01/15/2009
    just got mine yesterday.. fun truck, you must adjust shocks for the street cuz it flips easy if you dont. works great in the dirt... was shocked on the size it almost looks like 1/8 scale, bigger than 1/10 but smaller than 1/8...Nice video
    Posted by: butty41 on 01/24/2009
    great review!!!best ive seen.i just want to know,can you use the traxxas/tamiya adaptor for the truck or just for charging? it would be a great help if you could tell me!!1 thanks for the review!!nice vid me favourite one yet!
    Posted by: d.k.v on 02/17/2009
    your review makes me want one even more
    Page: 1 2 >
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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