urge to hop-up your rc truck is quite normal, and under-powered
monster truck owners everywhere unanimously agree that the best
way to combat it is to throw copious amounts of cash into your
truck, making it faster, but at the expense of reliability. So
you throw even more money into your little speed demon to beef
up it's suspension arms and strengthen differentials that were
never designed for the amount of power you now have on tap. Pretty
soon, you've sunk near a grand into a 350 dollar platform that's
becoming increasingly difficult to tell what it originally was.
HPI has come forth with a Savage that is guaranteed to out perform
almost any other monster truck out there, stock or modified. The
Savage Flux HP is by far the baddest Savage to
date, thanks to a brushless motor/esc combo dubbed the Tork and
the Blur. Both are high current, super high-quality units capable
of accelerating the Savage as fast as a slingshot up to a mind
numbing 62+ mph mark that's sure to put the brakes on your buddies
time to put away the nitro fuel, the packs of spare glow plugs
and the bottle of air-cleaner oil and replace them with two battery
packs and a charger. The Savage Flux HP is the first in a new
era of brushless 1/8th scale monster trucks that has the competition
scrambling to catch up.
Tork 2200kv brushless w/ heat sinks
Blur esc w/ reverse. Up to 6s lipo
colors: Dark gray w/ red flames
used: Racers Edge 2s 7.4v 5000mAh lipos
Flux Tork 2200 brushless motor, Flux Blur ESC, HPI
TF-3 radio system, SF-5 high torque metal gear steering servo,
painted & trimmed body, wheelie bar, instruction manual
and HPI RC Cars DVD
6-8 cell NiMh packs, or two 2s or 3s lipo packs
AA batteries for transmitter
Optional Castle Creations ESC programmer available from HPI
Body off front
Savage Flux arrived just like all my Savages have, packaged securely
and in a ready-to-run state that required only batteries and a
quick esc programming. The body is the well known GT-2 style but
with all new graphics to complement this all new truck. The scheme
is gray with red flames and is arguably one of the baddest paint
combos out there.
the heavy duty body pins and you'll see a TVP (Twin Vertical Plate)
chassis made of 2.5mm thick aluminum plates, very similar to the
nitro Savages. The transmission case, differentials, and motor
plate form the backbone of the chassis and provide rigid mounting
points for the chassis plates. On either side of the chassis are
lightweight battery compartments with included rubber locking
straps. I tried running around without the rubber straps but the
plastic snaps like to pop loose when you roll, so make sure to
run the Flux with the rubber locks installed. The battery compartments
are long and wide enough to accommodate the big 11.1v lipo packs
and the longer 8 cell NiMH packs but includes foam blocks to reduce
the area inside the compartments when your running smaller packs
such as the 7.2v NiMH battery. Deans connectors come standard
and there is an area at the rear of each battery compartment for
the wires to exit. Take care when you close the compartment as
to not pinch the battery wires, it can happen. At the front and
rear of the Flux are the standard Savage heavy duty bumpers. After
numerous nose and tail landings, the bumpers have maintained their
rigidity and appearance ...no broken plastic to mention.
out the back of the Savage Flux like a giant tail is the wheelie
bar equipped with bearings for less drag. The wheelie bar comes
in handy quite often but progressive use of the throttle is key
or else the Flux will flip right over it like it wasn't there.
The bar comes packaged in the box and must be assembled then installed.
It isn't a painful process but does take a few minutes to bolt
it all together. Two bar positions are available and I chose the
one that put the bar closer to the ground for more realistic wheelies.
The wheelie bar is as stout as they get and has survived alot
of rear end landings without breaking.
Tork 2200kv motor
brushless motor and esc combo included with the Savage Flux bring
the 1/8th scale monster truck game to a new level. Raw unstoppable
power on demand is what you get, even when running small 6 cell
NiMh packs. Drop in a couple of 11.1 volt lipos and you've just
given the Flux the ability to break most speed limits. The motor,
called the Torq, is rightfully named due to it's instant power
from the beginning all the way to wide open. The Torq is a 2200kv
brushless motor equipped with heat sinks to help draw the heat
from tit. With a 5mm motor shaft, it can accommodate a wide range
of pinion gears for higher top speed or more torque down low.
To keep the motor firmly mounted in place, a 3mm 7075 aluminum
motor plate and 8mm billet aluminum clamps are used for protection
against the insane torque it produces.
keep the Torq brushless motor running, a massive esc was in order.
HPI chose the Blur speed control for its ability to handle up
to 6s lipo power without skipping a beat. Fitted with 6mm bullet
connectors and 10-gauge wires, the Blur delivers maximum power
efficiently. Deans connectors that come pre installed make for
zero power loss between the batteries and the motor. To keep the
unit cool, a fan is mounted on top of the esc. The Blur esc attaches
to the chassis with double sided servo tape and a large zip tie.
Although not included with the Savage Flux, an optional programming
kit is available so you can connect the Blur to any Windows-based
PC to control all the various facets of its power delivery, braking,
throttle curves, battery cut-off and much more. You can also save
various profiles to have profiles for racing, speed runs, stunts,
fun running and more. Even if you don't buy the programming kit,
you can still do some basic programming from the transmitter and
detailed instructions are included.
took a step in a different direction by including big bore nylon
shocks on the Savage Flux instead of the dual-shock configuration
that has been so popular with previous Savage versions. These
big bore shocks are plush as can be and are set from the factory
with a few ride height adjusters installed. I chose to remove
one from each shock to lower the Savage a little. Even when lowered
slightly, the Flux maintains respectable ground clearance while
reducing the chance of roll over.
suspension is a direct pull from the Savage XL and the large front
and rear hubs look like they should be on a Baja 5B. The a-arms
are reinforced with cross braces for added durability and the
upper arms are thick to reduce the likelihood of breakage. Overall,
the setup has proved worthy of the Flux and has caused me no problems
even after repeated cartwheels and off camber landings.
Big bore nylon shocks
is transferred from the Torq brushless motor to the wheels via
the single speed transmission with all metal gears to help cope
with the power. Sealed ball bearings are present throughout to
help reduce drive train drag. Unlike the 2-speed transmission
on the Savage XL, the Flux tranny cannot be opened up without
removing it from the truck. Tying the motor and transmission together
are a pair of hardened steel gears. The pinion comes from the
factory with 20 teeth and the spur with 44 teeth. The mesh was
set well from the factory.
the transmission, power is carried through hardened steel dog
bones to the front and read differentials. Again, because of the
massive torque generated by the brushless motor and lipo batteries,
the dog bones are thicker than normal to prevent them from twisting
under the extreme load put on them. The differentials are hardened
steel as well and are designed to take some punishment along with
the rest of the drive train.
tire and wheel combo on the Flux is a take-off from the Savage
X 4.6 RTR. The GT-2 tires offer great off road traction as well
as on road grip ...a great feature for a vehicle that will probably
spend some time making high speed passes on asphalt.
Oversized Savage XL knuckles
Racers Edge 7.4v lipos
Hardened steel diff gears
Heavy duty metal differentials
battery of choice was the Racers Edge 7.4v lipo. This battery
packs in a whopping 5000mAh to provide long run times even with
the power hungry Flux system. Racers Edge packs are ROAR legal
due to their impact resistant hard shell cases and feature balancing
connections that work with any Align or Electrify type charger
or balancer. You can choose from Traxxas or Deans connectors when
you order your packs from Racers Edge. You should take note that
lipo batteries with female bullet connectors built in to the case
will not work with the Flux's battery box unless you can solder
the connectors at right angles coming out of the case.
transmitter and receiver combo are your standard HPI electronics
package we've come to know and love. The TF-3 transmitter features
a dual rate knob and two trim knobs. Servo reverse switches are
also present for all you left handed drivers out there. As usual
with HPI transmitters, the system functioned flawlessly and I
never had a loss of reception. The receiver is housed in a receiver
case mounted on top of the steering servo. Taking care of the
steering duties for the Savage Flux is the metal-gear HPI SF-5
high-torque servo, which has plenty of power to turn the front
wheels at low and high speeds, in any sort of terrain. The servo
provides 8.9kg/cm2 at 6 volts (126 psi) of power.
prep the Flux for running, we need to program the esc. This is
very easy and is detailed in the instruction manual. It only involves
pushing the throttle full forward, neutral, and full reverse when
commanded to by a series of beeps. The esc is pre programmed from
the factory for lipo batteries. Consult the manual on page 30
for instructions on how to set it for NiMH. Install your antenna
tube, wheelie bar, and add 8 AA batteries to the transmitter and
your ready to run. It is suggested that you remove the wheels
and place the Flux on up off the ground when programming. The
wheels spool up very fast and can cause damage if its sitting
with the wheels on when you are setting the esc for the first
Savage Flux is insane when running on 2s and pure evil on 6s.
I found its driving characteristics somewhat touchy even on 7.4
volt lipos. 11.1 volt lipos definitely take a little getting used
to. But for this review, we will report on 2s lipos.
use of the throttle is key when learning to drive a truck with
instant throttle response. No longer can you just pin the throttle
from a stand still and expect the truck to do anything other than
flip backwards. Ease into the throttle and the Flux will take
off very fast. If you feather the throttle just right, the Flux
will hold a wheelie indefinitely. It doesn't have any bad tendencies
when riding a wheelie like some other vehicles I've driven.
the factory, the shocks have two spacers installed for a relatively
hall ride height. If your running around on a track or making
alot of sharp turns, you may want to lower the truck for added
stability and less tendency to tip over; I pulled out one spacer
per shock which really helped the handling. The suspension is
pretty plush and soaks up everything you can throw at it plus
there are no bad bouncing habits after landing. Of course with
a super plush ride comes alot of body roll; the Savage Flux pitches
around a little more than my Savage XL when navigating around
the track. The tires are also very soft and contribute to the
lean as they begin to roll under the rim when cornering hard.
Savage Flux is capable of some impressive aerobatics thanks to
its brushless torque on demand. As soon as you leave the jump,
pin the throttle and watch the Flux back flip effortlessly. If
you want to stop the rotation, throw the brake full forward and
the motor braking stops the wheels almost instantly. Its also
fun to point the Flux to the sky, then apply the brakes at the
last moment to level it out before landing. I feel the Flux is
a great platform to learn how to control a monster truck in the
air because it is so responsive to throttle and brake inputs.
you want to navigate the Flux around a track and keep from spinning
out or overshooting your turn, you have to respect the throttle.
A little goes along way on the short sections of the track. As
you approach the front or back straights, ease into the throttle
to prevent a wheel stand and the Savage Flux will accelerate blisteringly
fast but let off before you reach the first turn or you'll end
up in the fence. The GT-2 tires provide adequate traction off
road but seem to struggle with lateral traction on dusty dry tracks.
If there was one change I could make for off road performance,
it would be a set of pin tires like the Savage XL TerraPins.
time with the 5000mAh Racers Edge lipos was a respectable 11 minutes
on the course. If your making high speed passes in a parking lot,
expect a little less run time due to the Torq brushless motor
drinking up all the power it wants. After all, this isn't a 1/10th
scale street cruiser.
has set the bar for all companies with a high performance 1/8th
scale monster truck that has the acceleration and speed of a smaller
1/10th scale brushless. The Savage Flux's insane performance is
reserved for those seeking way more than any nitro vehicle could
ever deliver. Even on 7.4 volt packs, the Flux is borderline out
of control ...drop in two 11.1 volt packs and it becomes a handful
for even the most experienced drivers. But it doesn't take long
to learn how to drive this truck with authority and once you do,
be prepared to destroy the competition.
you want to have the baddest truck currently available, I suggest
you pick up a Savage Flux and see for yourself how far brushless
technology has come in recent years. Thanks for reading my review
and have fun with it!
Distributed exclusively by: HPI Racing
P70 Icon St
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
to Jessica Halsak for helping me test the Savage Flux.
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.