RCU Review: Traxxas Slash, Robby Gordon Dakar edition

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    Contributed by: Matthew LeMay | Published: February 2013 | Views: 47168 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Traxxas Slash Robby Gordon Dakar


    Top photo
    Review by: Matt LeMay

    author Matt LeMay
    Matt LeMay



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


    Vehicle: Traxxas Slash, Robby Gordon Dakar edition
    Desert racing truck
    Scale: 1/10
    Drive: 2wd
    Fuel Source: Electric
    Length: 22.36 in (568 mm)
    Width: 11.875 in (302 mm)
    Height: 8.425 in (214 mm)
    Weight: 76.2 oz (2.16 kg)
    Motor: Titan 12T 550 Brushed Motor
    Battery: 7 cell 8.4v 3000mAh NiMH Battery (stick pack)
    Charger: NiMH Wall Charger
    Radio: NEW STYLE 2 Channel TQ? 2.4GHz radio
    ESC: XL-5 waterproof ESC (4-8cell NiMH -or- 2S LiPo)
    Shock Type: Coil-over, oil-filled, plastic ultra shocks
    Bearings: Complete

    Needed: 4 AA batteries for the controller


    • Looks AWESOME!!!
    • Official Robby Gordon "SPEED ENERGY" DAKAR trim scheme
    • NEW style 2.4GHz radio
    • handles great for the high center of gravity
    • Black Chassis
    • Many features make it great for beginners
    • Easily rolls during high speed cornering



    Check out http://www.robbygordon.com/ to learn more about Robby Gordon and SPEED energy.


    Many of the RC community own or know someone who owns a Slash, so most of this review will be familiar territory.

    What make this slash different? The obvious difference is the Robby Gordon Dakar race truck body. This great looking body is modeled after a hummer style vehicle and is dressed with SPEED energy drink sponsor logos. You can get this body in orange or black. I personally like the black. Harsh lines and sharp corners give this body a "tough" look. I rear spoiler is mounted to the body with four counter sunk screws. Orange trim on the rims offer the perfect balance of color to complete the look.

    The Slash comes with many accessories including needed tools. Allen wrenches, flat wrenches, and socket tools are included for working on and tweaking the Slash. A decal sheet of Traxxas logos allows you to customize the already trimmed body. Four body washers protect the beautifully designed hummer body and four spare clips ensure it will stay in place. Foam blocks are used in the battery tray to change weight distribution and a 7-cell NiMH battery pack along with wall charger allow you juice up your Slash. Traxxas also included an optional 23 tooth high speed pinion gear and optional 86 tooth spur gear. Four spare screws and two plastic trees of shock tuning parts are also included.

    An easy to understand instruction manual covers all that is need to know to operate your Slash successfully.

    So, what else is different about this Slash? You'll have to keep reading to find out.

    Chassis, Wheels, Tires, & Suspension

    The modified tub chassis on the Robby Gordon edition Slash is the same structural design as other 2wd Slashes but uses black plastic. This eliminates having to dye that gray plastic on your own. The high sitting chassis offers 3.5 inches of ground clearance and will keep the actual pan from bottoming out.

    The hummer style body dips in on the side panels so the plastic bumper gaurds found on the other slash chassis sides are not needed. The same heavy duty front and rear bumpers are used for ultimate crash protection.

    The new Robby Gordon body is modeled after the hummer and requires longer body posts. Adjustable body posts are used front and rear.


    Classic five spoke rims with faux bead lock orange rings are used for that scale race truck look and finish off the look nicely. The inside of the rim is larger than the outside to allow for suspension components to clear while offering that scale look. Rubber sealed ball bearings are used through out the entire for smooth operation.


    The Traxxas spec tires have a directional tread pattern with a realistic scale appearance. The tire compound is medium to firm and should provide great wear characteristics.


    The Slash uses a lower H-arm and upper adjustable link suspension. The beefy suspension arms offer two shock mounting options in the front and five positions in the rear. An anti squat wedge is used under the rear suspension mounting blocks.

    Wheel camber is easily adjusted using the provided tools to tune the Slash to any track or surface.

    The coil over oil filled ultra shocks are ultra smooth. Factory dampening coupled with the included spring rates give the Slash suspension a plush smooth feel. The front and rear shock towers do not provide additional shock mounting options.

    All plastic seems to be of high quality and neat finish.

    Drive train

    The drive train is where the Slash shines. Ultra smooth all metal internal gears make it easy to upgrade to a brushless power system. The gear box is easily accessible and uses full ball bearings to support the heavy duty metal gears. Four hardened steel planetary gears inside the differential are smothered in grease and offer smooth dispersion of power. A heavier grease or silicone could be used but I'm going to test it in stock form. A piece of tape is used to seal the bottom of the gear box where it mounts to the chassis. The aluminum chassis covers this area so I don't anticipate any problems.

    The 90 tooth 48 pitch plastic spur gear is mounted to a Revo spec slipper clutch with semi metallic slipper pads and aluminum construction. The spur gear can be removed without changing the slipper clutch setting. This makes gear changes a snap. The 19 tooth pinion gear and slipper assembly are protected from debris with a plastic gear cover. A small removable rubber insert allows slipper adjustments without removing the gear cover.

    Plastic telescoping drive shafts with universal joints at both ends are used to deliver power to the rear wheels. It is important to periodically clean the telescoping surfaces of the drive shafts for continued smooth operation.



    The new TQ 2.4Ghz radio is an improvement over the older system. Although the TQ is Traxxas' beginner model, it does what is needed to operate the Slash. The transmitter solidly binds to the receiver and is easy to set up. The completely internal transmitter antenna is a good touch and gives the radio a sleek look and feel. Four AA batteries are need to power the transmitter.

    The 3 channel TQ 2.4GHz receiver is housed in a water tight radio box and has two "channel 1" outputs for use in vehicles with dual steering servos. A bind button is found on the face of the receiver for quick binding to the transmitter.

    A Traxxas digital high torque 2075 waterproof steering servo offers high speed and plenty of power for steering the Traxxas Slash. A servo saver horn protects the servos gears from jarring damage and a bell crank steering system ensures the wheels will point where you steer them.

    The waterproof XL5 brushed electronic speed controller is mounted to the rear of the chassis with two screws. The XL5 can handle 4-8 cell NiMH batteries and has a built in low voltage cut off for 2S LiPo use. A green light indicates the ESC is ready for LiPo use and a red light indicates it is ready for NiMH packs.

    A 7 cell 3000 mAh NiMH stick pack is included along with a wall charger for repeated use.

    The Titan 12T 550 brushed motor provides power to the rear wheels and an internal fan helps to keep things cool.




    Performance & Handling:

    The 2wd Slash may not be the best handling or the fastest RC vehicle out there, but it is the truck that started the short course truck excitement in the RC world and deserves some recognition. That being said, I had much fun driving the Slash around the track.


    Stability and Cornering

    As many already know, the Slash is a bit top heavy and on high grip surfaces tends to roll while cornering. High speed cornering on pavement and moist packed dirt is a good recipe for rolling over.

    Normal to low grip surfaces such as dry dirt allows the Slash to slide while keeping all four tires planted on the ground.

    Even with the high center of gravity, the Slash is an enjoyable truck to drive. The large amount of chassis roll aids in traction and looks as the full scale Robby Gordon Dakar race truck.


    The scale looking medium compound Slash tires coupled with the soft suspension provided more side bite than expected. Keeping the amazing looking body scratch-free is a bit difficult while making high speed U-turns. While the body roll seems excessive on pavement, it is much needed on looser surfaces


    Running through grass is easy. The Slash's extra ground clearance keeps drag to a minimum and allows the truck to easily roll over sticks and other small obstacles.


    Dirt is where this truck truly belongs! The soft suspension helps this truck hook up in the dirt. There is a good balance of grip and rear slide. It takes a little getting used to cut a consistent line. As you can see during the filming of the video, I wasn't there yet.

    The Slash was much fun driving around the local track, even if I couldn't clear the triple. The Slash has proven to be durable and after several triple attempts and many face plants into the third jump, the Slash came out in one piece. The Slash did clear every other jump on the track and looked good doing it.

    After I recorded the video, I went back to the track wanting to perfect my line. The track surface was much dryer which allowed for more on-throttle cornering. I ended up settling for a double/single on the back triple which had me letting off the throttle four feet before the launch ramp. The truck settled on the second exit slope and handled the third jump nicely.

    The corner at the end of the front straight had less traction allowing the rear of the Slash to swing around, unlike in the video with a moist track surface. This made a much smoother corner.

    When I first went to the track, video crew and all, I must say I was a little frustrated with my ability to consistently drive a decent groove around the track. There is slightly more weight up top than the original Slash resulting in roll overs. This is mainly caused by the bigger and heavier body. Jumping was inconsistent and cornering was more of the same. I was still able to get adequate video and photos, but left unsatisfied and new I was going to have to come back when I was able to focus more on driving and less on filming.

    I went back to the track the next day by myself not having to worry about film rate, f-stops, exposure, and camera focusing, I was able to relax and just have fun. The Slash is a truck meant to be fun. It was then I was able to learn the truck's characteristics and watch how it reacted to different parts of the track. I then started to get comfortable with the truck and ended up liking how it behaved. The dryer track also played a roll in it but I really enjoyed myself the second time out and the truck seemed much more predictable. Jumps were more level, corners became less wild, and the overall drivability went way up. I could see the diff was needing some heavier silicone and a little weight was needed in the nose. I put a 2s LiPo in the truck and using the included foam block, I pushed the LiPo to the front of the battery tray. Adding a small amount of weight to the nose provided the perfect balance for slightly nose down jumping.

    Jumping the Robby Gordon Slash requires a little pre-thought. The large body catches much air and the tire mass provides little if any pitch control. I found completely letting off the throttle before hitting the jump provided the best results.


    Smoothness of electronics

    Throttle is smooth and braking is consistent. The steering servo works reliably with no glitches or snags. Overall I would say the electronics are smooth.


    Overall Handling

    Overall the Robby Gordon Dakar edition 2wd Slash was a pleasure to drive. The key to this truck is just having fun. There were a few obstacles to over come such as roll and parachuting, but it is definitely a truck you can get comfortable with and find much enjoyment.




    See the Robby Gordon Dakar edition Slash 2wd Truck in action!






    This truck includes the same 2wd Slash chassis that started the RC electric SCT race class. A few changes include black chassis, lack of side guards, long adjustable body posts, and an awesome looking Hummer style Dakar body.

    The truck handles like any other slash with a little added body roll from the added body weight. It does, however, look much better! The new body style is AWESOME! I had a couple local guys call it a brick, which I can see their point, but how much does aerodynamics really matter with a brushed RC vehicle? I think the appearance greatly outweighs any possible loss of aerodynamic performance.

    The Slash did well on all surfaces with many roll-overs on pavement. It's obvious the slash has a higher center of gravity than many other SCTs but it handled surprisingly well. I would have to say the Slash it most at home in the dirt. Oh, did I mention IT LOOKS AWESOME!

    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







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    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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