RCU Review: Redcat Racing Rampage MT


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    Contributed by: Nathan Maat | Published: October 2008 | Views: 85412 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Nathan Maat
    12 Years Experience
    nathan.rcuniverse.com


    Web: redcatracing.com
    Sales: sales@redcatracing.com
    Tech: support@redcatracing.com


    Redcat Racing

    23 West Watkins St
    Phoenix, AZ 85003

    Tel. 602-454-6445


    HITS

    • Price
    • Durability
    • Size


    MISSES

    • Battery/Receiver Case
    • Gas Tank Position
    • White Gear Cover


    SPEED TEST RESULTS


    Redcat Racing has been making a difference in the r/c world with new products that challenge the big companies. With the introduction of the 1/5 scale Rampage MT, they're trying to tap into a quickly growing market long dominated by one or two other products.

    While 1/5 scale has been around for many years, it's not really been given consideration by the masses due to the often prohibitive costs. Fast forward to today, when competition is driving prices down and quality up. This has allowed the masses to afford what once was out of reach, products like a 1/5 scale monster truck. And Redcat Racing is right offering new products to the market with the best of them.

    I've been impressed with the service Redcat Racing offers its customers and feel they've done a nice job getting quality products to the market. Given their history, I'm looking forward to seeing what they've done with the Rampage MT. Let's take a look.


     

    Model ...................................... Rampage MT

    Price ............................... $949.00 (truck only)
    Type ............................... 1/5 Monster Truck
    Length ............................ 29"
    Width .............................. 23.5"
    Height ............................. 13.75"
    Wheelbase ...................... 20.25"
    Weight ............................ 33.5 lbs dry
    37.75 lbs wet
    Engine ............................. 23cc Gas
    Transmission ................... 2-Speed
    Differentials ..................... CNC Metal Gear
    Clutch ............................. 3-Shoe Racing Slipper
    Chassis............................ 4mm - 6061 T6 Aluminum
    Wheel Rim........................ 8.25" High
    Shocks ............................ 4 Oil Filled
    Brakes ............................ Dual Disk Fiberglass

    Fuel Tank .........................

    700cc
     

    So just how big is the Rampage MT? I'm sure you read the specs above, but let's take a look at some pics that show perspective and really give you a good idea about the enormity of this truck. First, you'll see a picture of the Rampage leaning up against my Chevy Silverado truck tire. The next two pictures show it next to a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi.

    Chevy Silverado Tire 2-Liter Pepsi Front View 2-Liter Pepsi Side View


    DECALS

    After taking a couple pictures, I applied one of the RCUniverse.com decals on the front bumper. It's subtle, but kinda cool at the same time. This is also the time I like to inspect the vehicle. It's always a good idea when you get a ready to run or almost ready to run vehicle to check it over prior to starting it up.

    ADDING DECALS RCU DECAL


    GAS TANK

    When doing my pre-run inspection I noticed a few things. The first thing I noticed was the gas tank position. Because I got the truck with the optional tuned pipe, access to the gas tank is now limited. It's not a problem when you first run the vehicle (provided you have a funnel), because everything on the truck is cool to the touch. After that first run when the tuned pipe gets hot, filling the tank is going to be more of a challenge. It's very likely I will have to let everything cool down before refilling is safe.

    Another option is to flip the gas tank so the fill cap is on the other side of the truck. This isn't a huge task, but will take a little time. Because the tank wraps around the drive shaft, it will require removal of the roll cage and engine first. I was too anxious to fire this thing up, so it's something I might do later should I find it a major inconvenience. For now, I'll use a funnel and make sure the pipe has cooled before refilling.

    Gas Tank Tuned Pipe Over Tank Gas Tank Fill Cap


    BATTERY BOX

    Next is the battery installation. Getting to the receiver, fail safe and battery isn't as convenient as I would like. It requires the removal of 4 screws, one of which is a different size from the others. I would like to see this changed in favor of a hinged top with one post using a pin. It would allow much easier access and eliminate concern with stripping the housing by over tightening the screws.

    Battery/Receiver Box Removing Cover Inside Battery Box


    THROTTLE LINKAGE

    After installing the batteries I turned on the radio then receiver. I immediately noticed the truck was braking properly, but was not engaging the carburetor. It turns out the collar and spring were on the wrong side of the servo arm. It was a quick fix as you can see.

    Incorrect Throttle Linkage Correct Throttle Linkage


    GEAR COVER

    One final thing I'd like to point out before we get to what makes up the Rampage MT. As I was going over the truck there was one particular thing that really stuck out and needed my attention, the gear cover. To be blunt, it's ugly. Fortunately the fix is a can of spray paint away and I just happen to have some black paint in my workshop at home.

    Spraying about 6" from the inside of the cover, I lightly applied an even coat of paint. When it was dry, I applied a second coat. Of course painting the inside will prevent it being scrapped off as I drive the truck.

    The result as you can see is noticeable. I don't even see the cover any more as it blends in so well with everything around it. It's one of those simple things you can do to set your truck apart from others. Paying attention to details like this will help you customize and make it your own.

    Stock Gear Cover Painting Painted Gear Cover Installed

     

    Included with the purchase is the truck, necessary wrenches and instructions. You'll need to supply the transmitter, receiver, fail safe, batteries and fuel. Of course, all but the fuel are also available at redcatracing.com when you order the truck. In case you've missed it, this is a massive 1/5 scale truck. I am used to 1/8 scale and its impressive size, especially when presenting it to a newcomer. However, even I was a bit surprised with the presentation of the Rampage.

    It ships without the wheels installed, and to be honest the box does not really hint to the size of the monster inside. It really wasn't until I opened the box top and began removing the truck from the box did I realize what I was getting.

    RAMPAGE MT FRONT RAMPAGE MT SIDE RAMPAGE MT BACK


    SUSPENSION

    The Rampage has stout, aggressive styling with a wide stance for stability. The shock tower assembly is very thick and will be a good basis for the suspension components. There are 4 fully adjustable, oil filled, shock absorbers. They feature a threaded aluminum body with 2 piece cap, which should keep the truck pointed and in control.

    Accompanying the shock absorbers are lower suspension arms which appear more than capable of handling the 35+ pounds and are seemingly built to last. There is also plenty of adjustability in the front and rear suspension components. The upper Y-arm will allow 4-wheel camber adjustment, and the front have adjustable links to adjust the wheels toe in or out.

    The short of it is if you don't like how your Rampage MT is handling, you can adjust the camber in all 4 wheels, adjust the front wheels toe in or out, and finally adjust the suspension with different weights of oil and spring loading.

    Transmission Gear Drive Clutch Bell Housing Dog Bone / Differential


    ENGINE

    The Rampage MT comes equipped with a 23cc engine. Because it's a 2-stroke engine, a ratio of 25:1 oil/fuel mixture is a good place to start. That means 25 parts fuel to 1 part oil or about 5 fluid oz/gal.

    You'll also find the engine equipped with a user friendly choke mechanism, which is also clearly labeled to what is open or closed. And finally, notice an emergency kill switch. Reaching your hand under the body to hit the switch is easily doable if its needed.

    23cc Engine Choke Emergency Stop


    BRAKES AND ACCESSORIES

    Now that you have the Rampage MT going, you need to stop it. Taking on this challenge are 2 fiberglass brake pads and 3 steel discs. Protecting your steering servo is an integrated servo saver. Any one who's stripped the gears of a steering servo due to less than perfect landings can appreciate this simple little device.

    The engine is protected by a large air filter, which looks like it will feed plenty of needed air to the engine. I also like it's location as it is in the perfect spot to avoid as much crud as possible.

    And of course where there's air coming into the engine, there is air that needs to escape. Doing so on my test truck is the impressive tuned pipe; an upgrade to the stock pipe. This should give it a little more oomph at take off and push the max speed up just a touch. And of course I'm sure the decibels will increase as well.

    Finally, all the power in the world does no good if the wheels can't handle it. Because of the weight and power the tires have to handle on this truck, the Rampage MT wheels are 7" in diameter and bead-locked with a total of 24 screws per wheel. I'm pretty sure there's not much that will separate these from each other.

    Fiberglass Brake Pads Steel Brake Discs Integrated Servo Saver
    Air Filter Housing Tuned Pipe 7" Bead-Lock Wheels

     
     


    This is where the rubber meets the road. Priced well below its competitors and combined with awesome support from the people at Redcat Racing make this an absolute winner. It's not without its flaws however, so let's take a closer look at the Rampage MT's performance.

    First things first, let's range test the radio. Don't overlook this step, especially when dealing with a truck of this size, weight and speed. If it runs away from your control something could get damaged, or more importantly to consider, someone might get hurt. This truck has a fail safe installed, but I like to take the extra precaution and know when I'm stretching the limits of my radio.

    With the receiver and transmitter on with the antenna down, I started walking away. I would expect a solid 25' before noticing servo jitter. I made it about 3 times that distance before the servos began jittering erratically. Even then, with the antenna down at 75', I had control of the truck.

    Next, I started the engine and did the same thing. With someone standing next to the truck to prevent it from driving away, I began walking. I made it nearly the same distance as before so I don't need to do anything else, this is a successful test all around.

    As I learned to drive a 1/5 scale monster truck, the handling was a little better than I imagined. A truck of this size cannot be expected to be agile in its performance. However, I found it actually felt lighter than I thought it would and was very controllable. Of course the nose pushes like a charging bull when turning with any speed (under-steer), but a little throttle manipulation keeps it going where it's pointed without too much trouble.

    I felt the acceleration was just ok. It's not a rocket ship off the line, but the 23cc engine combined with the tuned pipe does a nice job once this huge truck is rolling. The higher the rpm's get the faster it accelerates. And once up to full speed, stopping it is no problem with the hefty braking setup. Braking stayed strong throughout the testing.

    With the engine still puffing a fair amount of smoke (running rich), I was able to get 32mph from the Rampage. I am sure I can get above 35mph if I start tuning the engine a bit more for performance. However, I want to give the engine a little time at the rich setting before trying to get more out of it. I'm very pleased with 32mph from a truck this size.

    Of course all this would be pointless if it wasn't durable enough to handle a back yard bash. The weakest points on any truck are going to be the body and body mounts when you flip the truck on its back. Next will be the suspension components. Because I possess such awesome driving skills I was able flip the truck on its back and test the body and its mounts often. Despite my continued efforts to drive the truck upside down, the body and the mounts have yet to fail.

    I was also able to test its abrupt stopping strength, also due to my excellent driving skills. On more than one occasion did I find a stump, curb, wall or rock with my Rampage MT. I was able to drive away after each accident with the Rampage MT asking for more. I have no doubt a couple of those incidents would have ended my day with a few of the 1/8th scale trucks out there. This really is one tough truck.

    WRAP UP

    So if you can't tell yet whether I'm stoked about the Rampage MT, I am. Size, sound, durability and Redcat Racing all combined make this truck a real pleasure to own and drive. You can't ignore its size and you certainly cannot ignore its sound. And fact is no matter what I drive, I want it to last and the Rampage MT has proven durable. When I do push it beyond its limits I want a company that will stand by and support their product. Fortunately, Redcat Racing's support is second to none. They have built a reputation for their products based on their support.

    The most enjoyable thing about driving this truck comes down to 2 things. First, its ability to soak up rough terrain that would otherwise baffle, confuse and stop a smaller truck. The Rampage MT is just not affected by the more difficult terrain in the same way. It doesn't get all squirrelly on you like those silly 1/8 scale trucks. Sweet! Of course, the flip side to that size and weight means you'll need a sizeable jump and some decent speed to get the Rampage MT flying. Even with a full tank of fuel, it felt a little too nose heavy and difficult to control in the air. Its weight makes corrections much more difficult, which is not a fault of this truck, just a fact of any vehicle this size. However, the Rampage MT impresses me in ways the others can't so we'll leave all those high flying circus stunts to the smaller, lighter trucks

    Second, fuel economy. With nitro getting to more than $30/gal, $3/gal for gas is a bargain. And then consider the run time on gas vs nitro. A 1/8th scale truck might give you 15 minutes of hard core bashing. I barely go through a 1/4 tank of gas in 15 minutes running the Rampage.

    I mentioned a few frustrations while discovering the Rampage, but they were clearly overshadowed once I started the engine. If you're looking for a 1/5th scale, I have yet to experience how you can go wrong with the Rampage MT. It's cheaper than its competition, has proven very durable, is huge, aggressive, loud, and is backed by one of the best customer support businesses in R/C right now; Redcat Racing.

     


     
     

    Comments on RCU Review: Redcat Racing Rampage MT

    Posted by: webdr on 10/28/2008
    sweet review Nathan. Good pics and I love your bash spot! Matt
    Posted by: rajvirdee on 11/06/2008
    I think you got the % of oil in gas wrong - its not 75% Gas and 25% oil, but nearer 3% oil!!!
    Posted by: dacaur on 11/08/2008
    Or maybe thats why it seemed so sluggish in the review vid. lol.
    Posted by: bajamaniac69 on 11/13/2008
    very nice review looks good
    Posted by: hellya on 11/14/2008
    add a dominator pipe to that 23cc makes the truck a rocket
    Posted by: hellya on 11/14/2008
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeMxlgL64aI
    Posted by: Cal-Torque on 11/19/2008
    A few comments... 1) I would leave the gear cover opaque so that you can easily check on wear. 2) 25:1 mixture is not 25% oil! Yikes 3) Why is being loud a positive? No offense, but an experienced large scale person should have done this review.
    Posted by: Nathan on 11/19/2008
    Thank you guys for pointing that out, I have corrected the error in fuel/oil ratio. This review is based on my experience with the Rampage. And based on experience that goes as far back as the Jackrabbit. Checking wear on the gears is as easy as pulling off a few screws. It's not something that needs to be done all the time, so I'd rather have a cover that blends in and looks nice. It's ok that you don't. In this case, loud adds to the over perception of the truck. It was in fact a positive I enjoyed about the Rampage. I just don't expect a truck this big to be quiet, I want it to grab the attention of those around and it does.
    Posted by: Krawlin on 11/26/2008
    Great review Nathan, thought this was pretty sweet. I am planning on getting into the 1/5 scale scene myself so this is a pretty neat option for the price. Thanks for the great review!
    Posted by: mabarnett_2000 on 02/18/2009
    I have a Redcat Racing Rampage MT with a 28cc engin and it came in a box which had a sticker on it that stated that the petrol / oil ratio was 75% petrol and 25% two stroke oil. There were no other instructions in the box. I have run two tanks of fuel through and it seems to run fine! (still just running it in at the moment, I presume that these engines still need running in these days?) Having read above I'm still not clear are you saying that it should be 25:1 (ie approx. 97% petrol and 3% oil)? Thanks in advance.
    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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