Brushless motor system
Includes two Lipo batteries
Includes Lipo charger
Redcat Racing has
introduced it's new 1/8 scale brushless buggy, the Backdraft RTR. This
isn't just a ready to run brushless buggy, it also includes dual LIPO
packs and a charger. This is literally ready to run.
In this review we
will take a look at the quality and assembly of the parts that make up
this buggy. We will also look at how well this thing handles on the
track. Are you ready to get sucked into the Backdraft?
Backdraft 8E RTR Price:
8T 2400 RPM 540 Brushless Drive Train:
Front, rear, and center sealed differentials Batteries Used:
Two LIPO 7.4V (20c 3200Mah 2s) included Radio equipment: Included
two channel 27MHz AM radio (now shipping with 2.4GHz), BSD rc sport AM
2ch receiver, and a metal
gear steering servo.
AA batteries for radio
with the Backdraft 8E is the transmitter, LIPO batteries, LIPO charger,
instruction manual, and ESC instructions. The manual includes detailed
drawings of the exploded view which has all part numbers listed. A
detail of the part, part description, and part number is also included.
The ESC manual goes into great detail about the operation of the
The metallic blue
body is not only awesome looking but it is also trimmed very
accurately. Post holes and antenna hole are also drilled. The graphics
are cool and the decals are straight. Two lexan side guards are mounted
to the bottom of the chassis and mesh very well with the actual body to
enclose all electronics. This will help keep them clean from dirt and
The rear wing is
held on by two body clips. This seems to be a sturdy set up. The wing
brace mounts to the rear of the shock tower, rear diff case, and the
lower rear suspension.
consists of upper and lower aluminum plates. The two upper plates are
connected by the center differential mount. The two level chassis adds
The vehicle seems
to be assembled well. All hardware is tightly secured and neatly
fitting. The screws holding everything together are Phillips head and
are both flat and pan head design. Everything on the bottom of the
vehicle is counter sunk and fastened with flat head screws. I'm happy
to see the screw heads don't pulrtrude from the bottom of the chassis.
This will keep the screw heads from getting ground off by hard dirt and
Left angle toppless
Upper, lower chassis plates
tires and drive train
wheels are plastic dish wheels with firm compound square knobby tires
glued to them. The tires are aggressive and because of the compound
should ware well. They are held on by 17mm extended wheel spindles.
transferred to the front and rear sealed differentials by way of a
center sealed differential. The center diff helps to keep the front end
on the ground during acceleration, improves cornering, and protects the
gears on a hard nose dive landing. The center diff just transfers the
force of the motor to which ever tires are off the ground, in this case
the rear ones. All differential gears are metal and the spur gear is
The two center
drive shafts are of dog bone style while the shaft joints at the wheels
are constant velocity drive shafts, or CVD for short.
Front and rear diff.
Front and rear diffs
The Backdraft 8E
comes with a 27MHz two channel AM radio. The radio is basic however, it
does include servo reversing, throttle and steering trim, charging
jack, and volt meter. The steering wheel is made of plastic, which I
don't find as comfortable as the soft grips. Overall, the radio does
not have any glitches, has good range, and works well.
The receiver is a
BSD rc sport AM 27MHz two channel receiver. The included steering servo
has metal gears and turns the wheels with plenty of authority. The item
number on the servo is 6009. The electronics are all powered by the two
LIPO battery packs so there is no need for a separate receiver battery.
EDITORS NOTE: At time of review the
vehicle included an AM 2 Channel Radio. We understand that Redcat is
now shipping the Backdraft 8E with a 2.4GHz radio system.
Electronic speed controller
Battery tray vent
ESC, and Batteries
power is supplied by a brushless RC 540 KV: 2230 motor. A fan cooled
Hobbywing XERUN-80A electronic speed controller is mounted firmly to
the chassis with double sided tape. The ESC has many adjustments so you
can tweak it to your driving style. They include three different
running modes, forward with brake, forward/reverse with brake, and
forward with reverse. Other adjustments include drag brake force, low
voltage cutoff, punch or acceleration settings, max brake force, max
reverse force, initial brake force, neutral range, timing, overheat
protection, motor rotation, and Lipo cells.
ESC comes preset from the factory and the only thing you must do is set
the neutral throttle position. This is very easy to do and the
instructions are very detailed about this matter. The set button is
located on the on/off switch.
hard to believe Redcat racing also included two LIPO batteries with the
Backdraft 8E RTR. These batteries tend to be expensive so this is a
real value you don't see too often. The batteries are
AP® 2s, 3200mAh, 7.4 volt, 20C, lithium-polymer Shida
Batteries. A Lipo balanced charger is also included. The charger can
handle 2 cell (7.4V) or 3 cell (11.1v) Li-ion and Li-po batteries.
The output rate of the charger is .75A and is powered by a 100-120 volt
wall receptacle. In other words, you plug it into the wall. Charging
times are around three hours per battery. I'm no genius but that's six
hours for both batteries. I think I'll get another charger.
The batteries are
held in by a plastic hold down which is secured with two body clips.
This seems to be plenty secure but the battery can move around a bit. A
couple of foam inserts will help keep the batteries from getting
damaged while being jarred around on the track.
Motor, switch, esc
Adjustable wing mount
oil filled shock absorber is assigned to each wheel, which makes a
total of four. Each plastic threaded bodied shock is equipped with a
blue aluminum cap and adjustment ring. Gripping the shocks are two
sturdy plastic shock towers.
lower suspension A-arms are molded plastic and are hinged to the hub
carriers with steel hinge pins. Two strong aluminum steering knuckles
are held in with two screws and look to be sturdy. The upper suspension
arm is an adjustable ball link. An adjustment to this will change the
handling characteristics of the vehicle. This will help you tune the
suspension to different tracks or terrains.
links are also used on the steering. A servo saver is incorporated into
the steering linkage as well. There is a long plastic arm that connects
the servo horn to the steering linkage. Although this may look flimsy,
it is very sturdy with very little flex at all.
Servo saver linkage
Front shock tower
Rear shock tower
Rear suspension and wing
Redcat Racing Backdraft 8E is incredibly quick. Driving up and down the
street is a blast. I got it up to average speed and then punched it.
The rear end squatted, the front tires swelled, and the thing just
warped into hyper drive.
I took the
Backdraft 8E to the local race track. It had rained for about a week so
the track was rutted and washed out pretty bad. Time was not something
I had much of so I ran the buggy anyway without repairing the track.
If you're the type
of guy who likes to just peg the throttle, let off in the turns, and
peg it again you're in for a whole lot of 360's. The buggy needs to be
driven with some finesse, otherwise you'll over shoot the jumps and run
into things. I know because that's what I did at first.
I'm not sure if
this is even a word, but to describe the Redcat Racing Backdraft 8E
RTR, I would have to say it has amazing launch-ability. At first, I was
way over launching the jumps. I even approached the jump slowly until
the last minute when I gave it full throttle, the tires hooked up, the
dirt scattered, and outer space welcomed our little friend. You guessed
it, I over jumped. This thing must be part rocket or something.
Jumps were tricky
for me to master. I decided not to give it full throttle over the
jumps. In fact, I only used half of it's potential power around most of
the track. The in flight characteristics were obviously different with
the different jumps, however on the medium sized double it flew level.
On the large jump it kept picking it's nose up at me. I guess it thinks
it's better than me. Seriously, it really took some in flight
corrections to land the big jump. It's a lot of fun in that
The suspension is a
little on the stiff side, which is probably one of the reasons it
jumped so far. The chassis slaps on big landings and the suspension
pre-load also helps the buggy slide through the turns.
Cornering was easy.
The buggy will slide around a corner if you give it throttle. However,
too much throttle will send you into a spin. The steering servo has
plenty of power to swing the front wheels around and steering feels
smooth and accurate.
The durability of
the plastic parts was a little disappointing. The rear wing mounts
broke almost immediately, within the second flip. The rear body mount
broke shortly after.
I did not have any
spare parts, so I glued the wing and body mount back together. When I
got back to the track, as expected, the repaired wing did not hold up.
I was surprised to see however, that the rear body mount held on
strong. I went around the track several times and then it happened. A
bad landing. Right on the nose. The plastic connecting plate in the
steering rack broke. Fortunately, Redcat Racing has what I
need to get me up and running again in just a couple days and will give
me the opportunity to buy upgrades.
really like the Redcat Racing Backdraft 8E RTR. I know I had some
problems with breaking the wing mount and a couple other parts but I
still like it. It just has so much power and is extremely fun to drive.
I'm willing to buy a few metal parts to replace the broken ones of the
problem areas. I mean, come on! Look at the price of this thing.
Then on top of that it's brushless with Lipos. I have not had any
problems other than the ones I have mentioned. When I look at the
price, what you get, and the amount you might spend to beef it up a
little, the Redcat Racing Backdraft 8E RTR is worth the money.
Racing 23 West
Phoenix, AZ 85003
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.