RCU Review: Exceed-RC Mad Beast RTR

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    Contributed by: Matthew LeMay | Published: September 2009 | Views: 77523 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Mad Beast rtr
    Review by: Matt LeMay

    Phone: 1-626-369-2301
    Email: support@exceedrc.com

    Distributed by:
    Phone: (626)968-9860
    Fax: 626-968-9830
    NitroRCX on Twitter
    Website: www.nitrorcx.com


    See the Mad Beast in action!



    Ready to run
    Two speed tranny
    Computerized radio
    Powerful .28 engine
    17mm hex spindles
    Metal gear steering servo
    Threaded aluminum shocks


    Steering servo sluggish
    Front dogbones pop out
    Steering and suspension a little loose.


    I can remember as a boy loving to watch the monster trucks. I got so excited as they roared over the crushed cars, pulled wheelies, & did donuts. I'm all grown up now and I still love to watch any thing big, loud, & powerful run over things. These days I enjoy watching off road buggies, jeeps, samurais, and hybrids maneuvering through terrain that seems impossible to drive through. That is kind of what the Mad Beast reminds me of. Off road vehicles that can go almost anywhere. In this review we will look at where the Mad Beast can and can't go and how well it holds together while doing it.


    madbeast logo

    Name: MAD BEAST RTR w/ reverse module
    Price: $799.95 retail price
    Price: $399.95 sale price
    Length: 21.25"
    Width: 17"
    Engine: .28 Level engine
    Drive Train: Sealed Diffs., 2-speed tranny, & reverse module
    Receiver Battery Used: 4 AA
    Radio equipment: (Included) 27MHz 3 channel computerized AM transmitter, receiver, metal gear steering servo, standard throttle servo, & standard reverse servo


    • 12 AA Batteries
    • Glow igniter
    • D sized battery for glow igniter
    • T-wrench, allen wrenches, screw drivers
    • 20%-30% nitro fuel
    • Fuel filler bottle
    • Thread lock

    left side
    Left side
    Front view
    right side
    Right side

    First glance

    The Mad Beast was well packaged and includes the truck, radio, truck manual, and radio manual. When I first opened the Mad Beast's packaging, I was impressed with the over all look of the vehicle. The body looks like the cab of a tractor trailer truck with an awesome tribal flame paint scheme. The flames are actually printed on the inside of the body for better looks and durability. The openings are all cut out and trimmed neatly. I didn't like having the antenna coming out of the windshield, so I drilled a small hole in the roof. That looks much cooler! The chassis consists of two aluminum upright plates with a roll bar/handle on the top. The electronics and engine are sandwiched between the two chassis plates. The included instruction booklet has exploded views of the truck. I would, however, like to see a little more info on special operations such as the two speed. The radio manual is informative on the basic opperations of the radio. Some more in depth information on the radio functions would be nice though. Over all this truck looks pretty tough. Let's take a closer look.

    left angle
    Left angle
    rear view
    Rear view
    right angle
    Right angle
    rear angle
    Rear angle

    Wheels, tires and drive train

    The wheel and tire combo look mean! The tread pattern is directional with what looks to be claws on the tires. The chrome covered plastic rims have a clean finish and look sharp. I'm very impressed with the 17mm hex spindles which provide a larger mounting platform on the rims. I did not expect that! This adds to the over all stability of the wheels. Sealed differentials in the front and rear of the truck transfer power between left and right tires. This is after all a monster truck, so there is no center differential. However, there is a two speed transmission which allows the truck to shift gears at an adjustable set point. The two speed tranny is operated by a centrifugal clutch which is adjustable so you can have the truck shift earlier or later, depending on the terrain or track. The manual does not include any information on adjusting the two speed tranny, so we'll take a look at that a little bit later. A reverse module is pre installed and is operated with a servo on the third channel. This allows you to shift between forward and reverse by using the transmitter. A slipper clutch is provided to help protect the gears from breakage during sudden impact from hard landings. Sometimes when landing a jump you may have your finger on the throttle. If the engine's revved and the tires suddenly stop, you may end up with smoother gears that you would like. Get my drift? This is where a slipper clutch comes in handy. The blunt of the impact will be absorbed through the slipper plates. The gears in side this beast are steel, except for the two speed and external spur gear. To stop this Beast a steel double stacked disc brake is supplied. The two steel discs supply plenty of stopping power. The truck also comes with a full set of sealed ball bearings. The drive shafts are all dog bone style, six total. I must say, I was a little disappointed to see dog bone drive shafts instead of cvd drive shafts. We'll test how well they work later.

    Massive tires
    17mm hex spindles
    Sealed differential
    dog bones
    Dog bone drive shafts
    rear diff
    differential housing
    Dual disc brake
    two speed
    Two speed Transmission
    Disc brake


    There are two different RTR versions of the Mad Beast. One version does not include the reverse module and the other version does. The version w/o reverse comes with a standard "non-computer" transmitter. We are testing the Mad Beast RTR w/reverse which includes an AM computer transmitter, metal gear steering servo with servo saver, and two standard servos control throttle and reverse. The metal gear steering servo is a very important upgrade for a truck with such large tires. The metal gears will not strip as easily as the plastic gears. Well done Exceed-rc. The computer radio has lots of features like servo reversing, end point adjustments, dual rate steering and throttle, exponential on steering and throttle, fifteen model memory, and ABS. The forward reverse switch is located under the steering wheel for easy access and both steering and throttle trims are also easily accessible. Eight "AA" batteries are needed to power the transmitter and four "AA" batteries are needed for the receiver.

    th servo
    Standard Throttle Servo

    Digital AM Transmitter

    steer servo
    Metal Gear Steering Servo
    Frame plates
    radio tray

    Receiver Tray

    Throttle Linkage
    reverse lever
    Servos and reverse linkage

    Engine and clutch

    The anger behind the Beast comes from a .28 Level engine with rear exhaust and pull start. The slide valve carburetor has a dual stage air filter A dual stage air filter keeps debris out of the engine. The dual stage filter actually uses two filter elements for double the protection. Be sure and keep some filter oil on hand to periodically clean and oil the filter elements. An aluminum tuned pipe keeps the Beast's roar down to a more pleasant volume. Power is transfered by a clutch with three composite shoes and three separate tension springs. The three clutch shoes provide better grip and better distribution of heat throughout the clutch bell. The clutch pinion is meshed to a plastic spur gear slipper clutch. A steel spur gear would be more durable, but I do like the idea of having a slipper clutch. If properly set, the slipper clutch will keep you from shredding gears from a hard "on the throttle" landing. Yes, as you might have guessed, this has happened to me with previously owned monster trucks. Set the slipper clutch tension by tightening the nut just enough so it doesn't lip from acceleration or when under load. Do not crank on the nut as tight as you can get it, this kind of defeates the purpose of having a slipper clutch.

    engine lft
    .28 engine...left side
    engine back
    .28 engine...rear
    engine tr
    .28 engine...right side
    slip clutch
    Slipper clutch
    3-shoe clutch
    slipper clutch
    slipper clutch
    tank under
    Fuel tank
    Aluminum pipe & filter
    Fuel tank


    The suspension on the Mad Beast consists of a lower A-arm and upper adjustable link. Providing dampening are eight oil filled, threaded, coil over aluminum shocks. The threaded shocks allow you to adjust the tension with out having to keep up with a bunch of different sized spacers. A small drop of silicone sealant on the threads will help keep the tension exactly where you set it. The toe in/out and caster/camber are all adjustable thanks to threaded linkages. The shock towers, A-arms, upper links, castor blocks, and turn knuckles are all durable plastic and look pretty hefty. I noticed quite a bit of play in the steering and suspension. A couple of shims from the local hardware store placed on the steering bell cranks and suspension pivot points will quickly solve this problem. This is not a necessary step, but it will increase the performance of the truck. Be careful not to put too many shims. You don't want the steering and suspension to be too tight and bind. We're looking for non sloppy free moving pivot points. The front and rear suspension are identical, so not many spare parts are needed. I would say over all the suspension looks very durable.

    rear susp
    Rear suspension arms
    top close
    Top up close
    front susp
    Front suspension arms
    coming out
    Coming out of the dark
    Shocks & Towers
    The Beast



    Break in

    The break in process went very smoothly. The needle valves were already pre set from the factory so ran a few tanks of fuel through it while the engine was set to idle. I placed the truck on a block and let it idle while I went inside for a snack. While on the fourth tank of fuel I ran the truck around the yard while taking it easy on the throttle. Make sure you look over the truck after the first run to see if any screws have loosened. Apply thread lock to any loose screws where the threads contact metal.

    Performance & Handling

    I decided to take the Mad Beast out to several different types of terrains, since it did remind me of a "go anywhere" truck. The first place I took it was to the park with lots of grassy fields and hills. The truck barreled through the grass with ease and climbed almost any hill I put it up against. When on the steeper hills, it had a tendency to pull wheelies and roll over backwards. It was pretty fun trying to time it just right and shifting into reverse to level out. I then found a small ledge to hop the truck onto. This Beast really likes to climb over things. That gave me an idea. Rocks! I found a bunch of medium sized rocks to do a little fast paced crawling. It was a complete blast! The Mad Beast did really well crawling, or should I say "jogging", over the bed of rocks. The big tires and powerful engine add tons of excitement to your driving experience.

    I was really pushing this thing hard. I figured with a name like Mad Beast, someone with a heavy finger might be buying this thing to bash, so I wanted to make sure I tested it that way. So far I'm pleased with the durability, even with all of the beatings I've given it. I continued some tight maneuvers on some rocks and....... wait a minute. What's this? The front tire was locked up. Something was wrong! A dog bone dislodged itself from the wheel axle cup. I had to remove the tire and pull the upper caster block pin to reset the axle back into place. This happened several more times. I needed to figure out what was causing this because I was getting a little annoyed. After some investigation, I figured out that the front dog bones were coming out when you turned the wheels sharp and gave it throttle at the same time. The pressure from the terrain on the tires would hyper extend the steering knuckles. They would actually pry themselves out because of the sharp angle. You can not fix this with the steering EPA on the controller because of the angle of the steering linkage. This will make sense when you grab the steering knuckle and over turn it with your hand. You will see that the only effective solution to this problem is a stop block of some sort mounted to the steering knuckle. I found that the easiest solution was a couple of old keys I had lying around. Why keys? They are a soft metal which makes them easy to cut and it's the perfect shape and size. Use a pair of tin sheers and cut the keys to the same shape as the keys in the pictures. Then you need to remove the steering linkage screw and put it through the hole in the key as shown. Use a zip tie to secure the other end of the key to the steering knuckle. You can also go to the hardware store and purchase some small springs to place in the diff out drive cups to get rid of some of the slack. I cut the springs to about 1/4" long. If you cut them too long the suspension will bind when compressing. The dog bones have to be able to move in and out a little because of suspension dynamics. This seemed to work pretty well. Rock on! Back to bashing!

    For the most part the truck shifted into reverse and back into forward very smoothly. There were a couple of timesthe linkage got stuck in neutral, but that was because I had not completely stopped before shifting. The Mad Beast's engine is very powerful! It'll pull wheelies in the grass with ease and even on the pavement when the tires hook up. Trying to ride a wheelie for any length of time is a blast. Did I mention I was having a good time?

    It's time to try out this beast on the dirt track. Corners weren't bad for a monster truck, jumps were big, and it screamed on the straight away. The suspension is a little bouncy but if you loosen the spring tension it will help a lot. Jumps were a lot of fun. The brakes are really touchy though, so be careful. Applying a little brake to level out a jump may cause you to land upside down. This can be remedied by using the exponential settings on the transmitter. I set the exponential to -50 for the throttle and -100 for the brakes. This really helps smoothen out the feel of the truck.

    The two speed transmission is already set really well from the factory. If you should want to adjust it you will need to pull out the rubber grommet from the side of the center gear box. This rubber plug is located beneath the muffler. Shine a light in the hole and turn the spur gear until you see a set screw lined up with the hole in the gear box. With an allen wrench, just turn the set screw a little to change the shift point. Turn in small increments. You can find more detailed info on tuning your two speed on line. As far as breaking things goes, I did break the inside link to the upper arm. I admit, it was a bad landing. I put the Mad Beast through a lot of beatings and the only thing that actually broke was a camber link. That's not bad.

    See the Mad Beast RTR in action!

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!




    spring here

    key fix

    key fix2





    I can't even express how much fun I had leaping over everything from my son's sand box, to decent sized rocks, to the street in front of our house. I do believe I've had just as much if not more fun with this truck, than any other truck I've driven. That's no joke! I would say the Mad Beast deffinately has a few querks but they are fixable for less than ten bucks. This truck is not one of the top name contenders, though it is pretty tough and very powerful. I would say this truck is very well priced and if you get it without reverse and computer radio, it's even $100 cheaper. They're worth the money though. I think with those simple repairs done spoken of earlier, this beast is awesome! It's fast, powerful, big, and kind of behaves like a real monster truck. The big tires allow the Mad Beast to go almost any where. If you're looking for an affordable monster truck with tons of excitement, the Mad Beast lives up to it's name.

    manu and credits

    13240 Amar Rd.
    La Puente, CA. 91746

    Phone: 1-626-369-2301
    Email: support@exceedrc.com
    Website: www.exceedrc.com

    Phone: (626)968-9860
    Fax: 626-968-9830
    NitroRCX on Twitter
    Website: www.nitrorcx.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Exceed-RC Mad Beast RTR

    Posted by: silverman1 on 09/07/2009
    The mad beast is a cool looking truck, and seems to wheely with ease which is great fun, but to have jury rig the front end, because it was not built right?? Instant turn off to me. If I pay out 300.00 dollars it better be good from the start, Im not saying it should be perfect. Other than that I really like it. Hey exceed how about cvds on the front for future models??
    Posted by: bigblock454XXL on 09/12/2009
    Good review Matt. Even tho the Dog Bones were a problem I could see this Nitro Monster truck being my next one. You had me at the first sentence. Monster truck. I like the wheelies too. On the track it looked like a strong running truck. Sliding around the turns and massive jumps. Again, Good Job!!
    Posted by: marinusK on 09/12/2009
    It looks to me that this car is realy good in almost nothing and it looks like nothing. If you buy this thing than you are the mad one
    Posted by: Foxy on 09/17/2009
    Good review, honest and accurate. Why no antialiasing on the image headings though? :) PS. Silverman, Jury rigging is a federal crime. I think you meant jerry rigging. ;)
    Posted by: suzukiman650 on 09/22/2009
    Wow, that is a nice Savage, I mean Mad Beast. RCUniverse should have a policy against reviewing rip-offs.
    Posted by: zeo 1 on 10/08/2009
    nice truck friends got one and that drive shaft issue hasn't plagued his ? hmm weird aside from being a savage clone >> as is the cen nemesis its looks beast :D
    Posted by: nitro nige on 04/21/2010
    help please,im in the uk and own the mad beasts cousin the raptor 1/8th,im after the reverse module to fit my raptor can any1 put a link on so i can buy 1? thanks
    Posted by: nitro nige on 04/21/2010
    help please,im in the uk and own the mad beasts cousin the raptor 1/8th,im after the reverse module to fit my raptor can any1 put a link on so i can buy 1? thanks
    Posted by: GOSOMER on 09/23/2010
    Posted by: GOSOMER on 09/28/2010
    The actual part number is MAD-MA2136, hope this helps.
    Page: 1
    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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