RCU Review: Traxxas Kyle Busch truck

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    Contributed by: Matthew LeMay | Published: October 2011 | Views: 27940 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Traxxas Kyle Busch truck
    Top photo
    Review by: Matt LeMay

    Matt LeMay


    Phone: 972-265-8000
    Toll-free: 888-TRAXXAS
    Email: support@Traxxas.com


    Price: $289.98 (as of time of review)
    15.4" (391mm)
    Front Track: 7.3" (185mm)
    Rear Track: 7.3" (185mm)
    Weight: 2.7lbs (1.24kg) (with battery)
    Height (overall): 4.85" (123mm)
    Wheelbase: 8.1" (206mm)
    Wheel Diameter: 1.9" (48mm)
    Shock Length (front/rear): 44mm / 44mm
    Front/Rear Tires (glued): Hard Compound Slicks
    Electronic Speed Control: Waterproof Velineon® VXL-3m ESC
    Motor (electric): Velineon® 380 Brushless
    Drive System: Shaft-Driven 4WD
    Radio System: TQ™ 2.4GHz High Output with Traxxas Link™
    Battery Tray Dimensions: 89mm x 35.5mm x 20mm
    Included Batteries: 6-cell NiMh with Charger
    Required Batteries: 4 "AA" (transmitter)


    Super Fast

    Durable & proven chassis design

    Stable feel

    2.4GHz programable radio

    Realistic appearance

    Traction could be increased from softer compound tires




    The Traxxas Kyle Busch truck is packaged in a color rich box with the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD truck series endorsement on the front.

    Inside the box you'll find the truck with a highly detailed Kyle Busch #18 body, Brushless motor and LiPO ready ESC already installed, TQ 2.4GHz radio system, 6-cell NiMH battery pack with wall charger, full color instruction manuals, Traxxas decals, product catalog, high speed 31 tooth spur gear, extra body clips, and the tools needed for working on the model such as three hex wrenches and a 4-way wrench. The only thing required to run this truck are four AA batteries for the transmitter.



    The #18 Kyle Busch on-road race replica uses the same cantilever suspension design as the popular Revo which positions its shocks inboard to shield them from debris and crash damage. The cantilever suspension design allows the shocks to be mounted horizontally for a lower center of gravity and progressive travel rate. The well tuned on-road suspension puts the Kyle Busch truck low to the ground with limited suspension travel for superior on-road handling.

    The GTR oil-filled shocks have threaded plastic bodies for easily fine tuning the ride height. The shocks are also oil-tunable and include pressure bladders under the cap for air/oil separation. Spacers are used inside the shocks to limit downward suspension travel which keeps the center of gravity extremely low.

    The pillow ball suspension uses upper and lower A-arms. The metal pillow balls sit inside reservoirs in the hub carriers which offer less pivot points for less resistance. The included hex wrench may be used to adjust camber by adjusting top and bottom pillow balls in or out with opposite relation to each other. An example of this would be increasing negative camber, pointing the top of the tire inward. To do this, screw in the top pivot ball and screw out the lower pivot ball. Toe in and out can also be adjusted by threading both top and bottom pillow balls in or out evenly in the same direction.

    An in line servo saver is mounted behind the front suspension. This will help protect your steering servo from damage during crashes. A skid plate protects the servo saver from road rash.



    Wheels, tires, and drive train

    The hard compound rubber Good Year Wrangler slick tires are glued to black plastic racing wheels. The hard compound will ensure the tires last a long time but sacrifice some traction. The yellow lettering on the sidewalls really make these tires stand out and look incredible at high speeds. Just like the real thing.

    The 1/16 Kyle Busch #18 race truck is four wheel drive and equipped with plastic telescoping drive shafts with universal joints at each of the ends. This eliminates the need for dog bones for a smooth operating drive train.

    Each of the two hardened steel sealed differentials house three metal planetary gears and are filled with silicone. The differential's pinion and drive gears are also metal construction. Different weight diff fluids may be used in both front and rear diffs to change the handling characteristics of the truck. A center differential may be bought separately for further tuning the truck's cornering capabilities.

    The transmission contains both plastic and metal gears. The 48 pitch plastic gears are wide enough to accommodate the added stress of the Velineon brushless motor and the idler gear is steel. A slipper clutch is mounted to the transmission's input shaft to further protect the drive train. The spring loaded adjustable slipper clutch uses a 45 tooth plastic spur gear.



    Motor and Electronic speed control

    A Velineon 380 brushless motor with a stock 28 tooth pinion gear and supplied 6 cell NiMH battery pack will send this truck to 30+ mph. A 31 tooth pinion gear also comes with the truck for use with the 50+mph setup. This setup uses two battery packs (second pack and adapter sold separately).

    The VXL-3m waterproof electronic speed control can handle a 3s LiPO or 12 NiMH cells. Three configurations may be used including sport mode, racing mode, and training mode.

    Sport mode: 100% Forward, 100% Brakes, and 100% Reverse
    Race mode: 100% Forward, 100% Brakes, and No Reverse
    Training mode: 50% Forward, 100% Brakes, and 50% Reverse

    The electronic speed controller can be set up for low voltage Lipo detection and radio calibration. The full color instruction manual goes over all the ESC settings and setup in great detail.

    Traxxas includes a Traxxas "series 1" 6 cell NiMH Power cell and wall charger.

    As an inexpensive alternative to the included slow charger, Traxxas offers an EZ-Peak 2amp fast charger at an affordable price. Check out the product showcase below for more information.

    The Traxxas Kyle Busch replica includes a 6-cell Series1 battery that can be installed in one of two battery compartments. The battery compartments are located on both sides of the chassis. This allows the batteries to be positioned low on the chassis providing stable handling from a low center of gravity. Each door is hinged at the bottom with two molded plastic latches at the top. No clips are needed to hold batteries in place reducing the chance of losing components while having fun.



    The Kyle Busch truck comes with a 2.4GHz radio system with programmable with 20 model memory and Traxxas Link™.

    Traxxas Link™ technology saves up to 20 model settings in its memory and once the transmitter is bound to a new receiver, it saves that receiver and all the settings in the transmitter's memory. Every time the transmitter and receiver are turned on it recognizes that receiver and automatically recalls all of its settings. This means no flipping through models to find the right one.

    The Traxxas TQ 2.4GHz radio has many adjustments and features like built in fail safe which returns the model to neutral if there is a signal loss.

    Here is a list of some of the adjustments that can be made with the new Traxxas TQ 2.4GHz radio.

    • Steering expo
    • Throttle expo
    • Steering dual rate
    • Braking %
    • Throttle trim
    • Servo reversing
    • Sub trim
    • End points
    • Model locking
    • Set for electric model
    • Set for nitro model

    While the manual is a necessity while learning all the different radio functions and settings, a mini reference guide is stored in the transmitter's battery compartment for confidence inspiring adjustments at the track. Many settings can be layered over top of each other enabling you to make many adjustments to customize each vehicle just the way you want it.

    The 5 channel Traxxas Link 2.4GHz receiver is sealed in a water tight box keeping it safe from all the elements. Two channel-1 inputs makes it easy to plug double steering servos into this receive. If you ever decide to use this receiver in a larger vehicle like the Revo or Summit, this will come in handy.

    A Traxxas digital waterproof steering servo is protected by a spring loaded servo saver. All the linkages are supported with sealed bearings and are shielded by a lower skid plate.

    product highlight

    Performance accessories

    If you are looking for blistering speed, then an extra Traxxas Series1 Powercell and Y-harness are what you need. Install the included 31 tooth high speed pinion gear and optional second battery pack with Y-harness and you can reach speeds up to and beyond 50mph! The optional EZ Peak2 fast charger will cut charge time down drastically allowing you to spend more time driving and less time charging.




    Traxxas EZ-Peak 2amp fast charger

    A quick charger is recommended to cut down charge times allowing you to have more fun driving the Kyle Busch replica. The EZ-Peak charger is a great charger for beginners because the charger does all the work for you. You don't need to know all the specifications and technical jargon about your battery packs. Just plug a 5-8 cell NiCd or NiMH battery pack into the charger, select 1-2amps and let the charger do the rest. The EZ-Peak charger has advanced peak detection circuitry which fully charges your battery packs every time. The lack of complicated menus makes it simply enjoyable to use.

    The charger is equipped with Traxxas connecters and is backed by Traxxas' lifetime electronics warranty.

    An LED light on the front of the charger flashes green or red letting you know when the battery is charging and when it is completely charged.

    This is an AC charger which means you can plug it directly into your household wall outlet and start charging.

    Click here for more info



    • AC input= 100~240Vac 50/60Hz
    • Battery types= 5-8 cell NiCd or NiMH (6-9.6V)
    • Battery capacity= 900-8000mAh
    • Fast charge current= 1A, 2A linear
    • Fast charge termination= Peak detection
    • Fast charge cut off= 240 minutes
    • Peak sensitivity= 5mV/cell
    • Auto-trickle current= 1/20 of fast charge setting
    • Input control= Slide switch
    • Display type= 2-color LED
    • Output connections= Built-in lead with Traxxas High Current connector
    • Case size= 4.67" x 2.38" x 1.43"
    • Weight= 9.1oz (258g)





    Performance & Handling:

    The Traxxas Kyle Busch brushless race replica is plenty fast in stock form with speeds more than 30mph. With the stock single battery set up, the VXL truck handles great with plenty of acceleration.

    Adding an optional second battery with the included high speed 31 tooth pinion gear rockets the Kyle Busch race truck to speeds over 50mph! With this set up, steady throttle control is much needed.


    Stability and Cornering

    The Traxxas Kyle Busch race truck is very stable and has no trouble staying rubber down thanks to the tuned suspension.

    The Good Year Wrangler™ slick tires are just that, slick. The truck has no problems doing victory burnouts and will attempt them often. This is great if you like to show off to your friends or enjoy drifting around corners. I was able to remain a steady groove in the stock form, but once I introduced the second battery pack and 31 tooth pinion, it got exciting. While this tire compound is perfect for that on the edge real truck feel, it's not optimum for winning races.

    I attempted to drive around a paved oval walking track using the high speed setup and wasn't able to keep it on the track. Anything over half throttle would spin the tires sending the truck into the grass.

    I applied some Paragon traction compound to the tires while running at high speeds for added control. I noticed much improvement in traction and the truck felt more responsive.

    A large smoothly paved area is needed while performing 50mph runs. It is truly amazing how quickly this 1/16 scale vehicle can cross such large parking lots.

    The truck is a blast to drive and looks amazing speeding through large parking lots.

    Acceleration and Braking

    The Kyle Busch VXL race truck excels in the acceleration department. Without traction compound, too much throttle will send the truck into high power donuts, which will continue as long as you wish. Applying gradual throttle will get the truck up to speed at a quick and controlled rate. There is no doubt this truck has plenty of power!

    Applying traction compound will offer quicker acceleration as seen in the video. The Kyle Busch truck's ESC has plenty of braking power but leave plenty of room to stop when traveling 50mph. Jacking on the brakes at top speed will send the truck into an uncontrollable slide. It's a blast setting up an obstacle and trying to slide through it from top speed! The truck is capable of accelerating and braking with desirable results when a little trigger finesse is used.




    See the Traxxas Kyle Busch NASCAR truck replica shredding up the pavement!




    The Kyle Busch race replica VXL brushless edition is an amazing little truck. With its scale looks, incredible speed, and stable footing this truck is nothing short of fun!

    The materials used are high quality and so are the components. The radio gear worked flawlessly and offers much adjustability and control. The motor and ESC combination provide plenty of smooth reliable power. The body and tires give the truck that realistic scale look we like to see in a radio controlled vehicle.

    The beefy 48 pitch gears used in this truck are plenty strong to handle the powerful brushless power plant and offer a final drive ratio of 8.10:1 in stock form.

    The truck handles great at slower speeds but lacks adequate tire traction at blistering speeds. Tire traction compound helps to remedy this but a softer compound tire is the best solution for racing.

    If you are looking to bash around this truck is awesome and will provide many hours of enjoyable excitement. If you are looking to race and are more interested in precise handling, then I would recommend looking into an after market tire and/or traction compound.

    Either way you go, the Traxxas Kyle Busch race truck replica is an awesome truck to drive offering much adjustability and tuning options.


    manu and credits

    1100 Klein Rd
    Plano, Texas 75074

    Phone: 1-972-265-8000
    Toll-free: 1-888-TRAXXAS
    Email: support@Traxxas.com
    Website: www.Traxxas.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Traxxas Kyle Busch truck

    Posted by: elven wizard on 10/25/2011
    nice review !
    Posted by: KRO on 12/22/2011
    It looks cool , to bad they have such a butthead for the driver . Kyle Busch should be banned from motorsports IMO , he is a danger too himself and the other drivers .
    Posted by: KRO on 12/22/2011
    It looks cool , to bad they have such a butthead for the driver . Kyle Busch should be banned frm motorsports IMO , he is a danger too himself and the other drivers .
    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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