RCU Review: Redcat Racing Monsoon XP

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    Contributed by: Matt Gunn | Published: October 2007 | Views: 80106 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Redcat Monsoon

    Review by: Matt Gunn

    Monsoon XP
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Redcat Racing
    3217 S. 38th Street
    Phoenix, Arizona 85040
    Phone: 602-454-6445

    Website: www.redcatracing.com

    Monsoon in action!



    RTR race-ready

    Strong .28 big block

    Fully adjustable suspension

    Aluminum oil-filled shocks

    Lots of anodized parts

    Good tires/wheels for a RTR

    Detailed "American flag" body

    A bit on the heavy side

    Tuned pipe is too close to the fuel tank

    Redcat Racing's latest entry into 1/8th scale scene, the Monsoon XP, is one of the larger truggies that I've had the joy of operating. It's very wide track width and long wheelbase create a stable platform that dances over the rough sections of the track while it soaks up the big hits with long-stroke aluminum dampers. Wait, there's more...

    Because Redcat built the Monsoon with competition in mind, it has been given a big-block mill, a center differential, and long, super beefy a-arms...a must for any racer. But don't worry all you bashers and weekend warriors, because the Monsoon is no track queen; feel free to shred the parking lots, fields, and construction sites with this capable, multi-purpose truggy while it takes a beating and rarely calls for a time-out.

    The Monsoon XP was tested at the local track and a few bash spots. It exhibited outstanding performance with only a few small problems encountered. In this review, I will outline the good aspects of the Monsoon along with the issues that manifested themselves during testing. Now, grab your field box and lest go test Redcat's Monsoon-XP!


    Name: Monsoon XP
    Price: $349 retail price
    Length: 20.86""
    Height: 8.07"
    Wheelbase: 14.37"
    Dry Weight: 8.37 lb
    Engine: M28 P3
    Receiver battery used: Protek RC lipo receiver pack
    Radio equipment: (Included) 2 Channel AM Radio, receiver, throttle servo, steering servo

    • Air Filter Oil
    • Fuel Bottle
    • Phillips Screwdriver
    • 12 AA Batteries
    • Fuel (20%)

    Other Helpful Items

    • Temperature Gauge
    • Threadlock Formula
    • After Run Oil
    • Fail Safe Unit

    Right front
    Left front
    Right front
    Left Front

    The Monsoon XP, like all other Redcat's, comes in a "universal" box. Mine had a picture of an Avalanche on the front, prompting me to believe I got the wrong vehicle. Redcat uses one box to ship multiple vehicles, and a closer inspection revealed the Monsoon on the side of the box, a check next to it's picture confirmed I has the truggy.

    Packaged extremely well, the Monsoon sits creatively cradled in a cardboard cocoon. Its wheels, transmitter, and tools are all packaged in separate containers. Everything arrived without a scratch and I suggest you now taking a picture of it in it's pristine state, for it will soon be covered with dust and dirt...the way it should be!

    Take a good look at the body; there's alot of detail in the paint and it makes the Monsoon stand out in a sea of boring RTR polycarbonate. The only thing you need to do is cut a hole in the windshield for increased engine cooling. The wing is that yellow plastic one we've come to know and love from Redcat. All three of my previous Redcats have had this wing in various sizes and I will say it's a blessing to have it; it's made of some seriously strong plastic and will protect the cooling fins during most roll-overs.

    Remove the body and you'll see an anodized aluminum chassis with components placed in a manner to allow easy access for maintenance and cleaning. Braces are used to support the front and read differentials making the entire chassis extremely rigid. My only concern is the proximity of the tuned pipe to the fuel tank. There's been some buzz about fuel tanks melting from the heat of the pipe and with a little work and a pair of pliers, the pipe holder can be bent to space the pipe away from the tank.

    The shocks included with the Monsoon are of high quality; their aluminum bodies are grooved to prevent the preload adjusters from moving. To adjust them, just loosen the set screw and slide them to a desired level and retighten. Although sprung just a bit on the light side, they seemed to work well and I was glad to see multiple shock adjustment points for fine tuning the ride. The suspension arms consist of super beefed up lowers and adjustable length upper arms for setting camber. Don't expect to camber the front wheels in much; their "neutral" setting is almost fully closed. Out at the end of the arms are some pretty large knuckles. They are kingpin style and bomb-proof if you ask me. Of course, all this added strength does come at a price; weight!

    Front end
    Chassis layout

    Directially responsible for noise pollution and destruction of property, the .28 big-block mill puts out some serious power. We're talking all four wheels breaking loose on the pavement! This engine is loud, strong, and really holds it's tune. The pull start worked as expected and brought the engine to life in a matter of seconds. Overheating problems are a thing of the past with the .28 and I noted temperatures around 250 degrees post-run. The exhaust manifold is held on with a spring and attaches to the tuned pipe with a rubber adapter.

    I was a little disappointed with the "Monsoon specific" clutch bell. This non-universal little number limits your gear selection to whatever Redcat decides to put out, and at this time, isn't much. All you track junkies wont be effected though, as the current bell is geared well for the track. From the clutch, power is transferred to the center differential and on to the foreward and aft diffs. All three worked well, and as an option I added 10,00ct differential fluid to the rear for more locked action. Very strong dog-bones tie the differentials and wheels together and proved to be virtually indestructible.

    M28-P3 .28 big-block
    Chrome tuned pipe
    Fuel tank

    Braking on the Monsoon consists of a double brake setup that requires an allen key to adjust the bias. From the factory, it was set a little rear wheel heavy to facilitate sliding into turns for faster exiting...no problems there. The brakes did not fade after long runs and exhibited a positive feel under all conditions.

    The fuel tank on the Monsoon is stout and never leaked a drop of fuel. It has a strong hinge spring and keeps the lid secured and the tank debris free. The fuel lines are routed a little awkwardly and rub against the cooling fins on the engine but I didn't have any issues with them during testing.

    The transmitter included with the Monsoon is the standard AM radio included with all Redcat products. Although not a super high-quality transmitter, it functioned well, had good range and decent battery life. I especially like the three led battery-level indicator which takes the guess work out of changing low batteries. The trim knobs are located for easy access with the right hand. The receiver is another Redcat favorite and, again, functioned as expected. It's small and light-weight which helps shed weight from this behemoth. The throttle and steering servos have decent torque and functioned as expected. It was nice to see a dust-sealed on-off switch fixed to the end of the radio box; this is where most failures originate and sealing it from the elements nixes that problem. To sum up the electrics on the Monsoon; they're descent. You aren't going to wow anybody at the track with this equipment but you can expect it to work well and not give you any fits.

    Knuckle and hub
    Rear diff/chassis brace
    AM transmitter
    Radio box
    Sway bar/captured hinge pins

    To ready the Monsoon for break-in, I oiled the prefilter, installed a Protek RC lipo receiver pack and voltage regulator in the truck and 8 AAs in the transmitter, and threaded the antenna wire through the tube. A little nitro fuel on your finger helps the antenna slide through the tube much easier. The break-in consisted of 2 tanks worth of idling and 2 tanks of figure-eights followed by a final tank of 3/4 throttle passes. The engine broke-in quite easily and only stalled once. It did eat a glow plug in the beginning of the break-in but other than that, performed as expected. The driving portion of the review was done at Loganville RC Speedway near Atlanta Ga.

    Sponsored racer Tyrone Echols met me at Loganville RC Speedway to aid in testing the Monsoon. The conditions had changed dramatically from when it was broken in; humid and somewhat cool gave way to dry and hot. Yet the .28 required only a small adjustment of the HSN to find that sweet spot and we commenced with testing.

    Did I mention the Monsoon is heavy? The engine uses every bit of power to push the chassis around the track...and rather quickly I might add. Any smaller sized engine just wouldn't cut it with this truggy. Crack the pipe on the back straight, and the Monsoon rockets to the other end of the track in a flash. I was truly amazed at the power on tap; quick, technical 180 degree to double jumps were easily navigated with a pull of the throttle.

    I did find the suspension a little soft in the front end but a few adjustments to the ride height solved that condition. With the suspension dialed in, the Monsoon holds it's own on a track. The steering is quick even though the Monsoon sports some massive tires. Throttle response is fast thanks to the slide carb.

    A huge double at the front of the track was made easy as the Monsoon sailed level over the massive jump. If the Monsoon overshoots the landing ramp and lands on the flat, expect an earth-shaking "thud" as the chassis slaps terra-firma. The shocks do a decent job of soaking up bumps but need a little tuning to sail over the washboard sections effortlessly.

    In the bashing scene, the Monsoon is king. It's sheer size is intimidating and you can expect alot of attention when you fire it up; the sound of a dirt bike comes to mind. When the taller pinion becomes available, expect a real improvement in top speed and overall experience.

    32.4 mph

    The Monsoon had a best top speed of 32.4 mph. A Garmin 60csx gps was used to determine the speed within +/- .2 mph accuracy. Multiple body-on passes were made on asphalt with the high-speed needle leaned progressively until peak mph was reached, then richened 1/8th of a turn.

    Monsoon in action!



    To sum up the Monsoon XP; it's a jack of all trades. Although marketed as a full blown racer, it's just as comfortable in a bashing enviroment and can take almost any beating. But be careful, it can dish out a beating to other monster trucks as well. My point? Watch where you drive the Monsoon because it's sheer mass is dangerous!

    I really enjoyed driving the truggy, with alot of credit going to the .28 big-block. The extreme sound, the ease of starting, and the ability to hold a tune all make the .28 an exceptional engine for this truggy. I would suggest the Monsoon XP to anyone that wants to go fast without parting ways with the wallet. It's a great first race truck and a good basher and I expect it to hold up to many sessions at the track or field. In the 1/8th scale department, Redcat has shown they are a company to contend with and I expect many more quality off-road machines from them in the future.

    Monsoon XP
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Redcat Racing
    3217 S. 38th Street
    Phoenix, Arizona 85040
    Support Phone: 602.454.6445
    Website: www.redcatracing.com

    Loganville R/C Speedway
    1441 Highway 81
    Loganville, GA 30052
    Web Site: www.loganvillerc.com

    Thanks to racer Tyrone Echols for helping me test the Monsoon XP.

    Comments on RCU Review: Redcat Racing Monsoon XP

    Posted by: PENGUINBLASTER!!! on 01/03/2008
    Somebody's getting lazy, I wanna see the diffs, porting of the sleeve, the clutch and such.
    Posted by: chaserogesr14 on 10/20/2008
    what percent nitro is best for this truck?
    Posted by: cbeck611 on 10/07/2010
    don't buy a redcat racing product they suck
    Posted by: tommie! on 01/18/2012
    Sick Truggy.
    Posted by: ezzrock2462 on 09/13/2012
    monsoons xtr is junk
    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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