The XTM Rage is a 1/18-scale 4WD monster truck. It’s fully ready-to-run and includes everything you need—battery, charger, truck and even AA batteries for the transmitter. It’s a great little truck, and its plush suspension system has two shocks on each wheel, aggressive tires and a sturdy construction. It’s a fun vehicle out of the box, but I wanted to take it to the next level with brushless power, an improved radio system and some hop-ups for extra durability. Follow along as I show you this tricked out XTM Rage.
I added a number of key components to increase the durability. As an added bonus, they are all polished aluminum and look sweet. The truck comes out of the box with aluminum shock caps, but I also added XTM’s aluminum bumpers, A-arms, knuckles and hexes. They increase durability to this truck and give it the strength that I need when jumping curbs, taking jumps and driving on rough terrain. The upper suspension arms offer camber adjustment and are substantially beefier than the stock units, while the aluminum knuckles offer that extra protection that most people tend to break on a mini. The aluminum hexes are not only strong, but are less likely to spin a wheel hex.
The stock Rage does a solid 20mph, which is pretty fast for a mini. I wanted it to go even faster and have better acceleration. I choose the Tekin Mini Rage system as my powerplant. It features one-touch programming, 2- to 4-cell LiPo support, LiPo cutoff, a solid 2amp BEC and can handle 25amps continuous current. The motor that I paired the speed control with is a 5500kV sensorless brushless motor that will be plenty fast for what I’m looking for. I didn’t have any issues with the stock radio system, but since I was running a faster brushless system, I choose an Airtronics MX-3 FHSS 2.4GHz radio system. The receiver is small enough to be used in a mini, and I like to have the reliability of 2.4GHz technology. The radio also features an easy to use menu that makes adjustments a snap. I kept with the stock battery, as it provided good runtime and enough power with the brushless system to do wheelies, high-speed jumps and even donuts.
I added XTM’s graphite upper deck to increase the rigidity of the truck. With a stiffer chassis setup, it handles better in corners and is more predictable while driving. It also looks trick. I matched the upper-deck plate with the graphite battery hold down. The graphite battery hold down also has the XTM logo cut into it.
I drove the tricked-out Rage indoors and out. I started in the office and did a number of jumps, as well as some high-speed passes. The tires hooked up like Velcro to the rug surface and I was able to do high-speed cornering, even in a small office environment. Taking jumps off a two-foot bike ramp was a blast and easy to land every time. After playing around inside, I took the Rage to a local BMX track where I was able to have some real fun. The truck was fast and it also handled well in the corners and over small ruts and bumps. Unlike some other minis, the Rage was pretty hard to get out of shape unless I was driving just totally punched. Sensible use of the throttle resulted in a fast but stable truck, even over rough terrain. Thanks to its eight shocks, the Rage soaked up the big jumps at the BMX track. A couple of times, I knocked off the turnbuckle from their holding cups, but they snapped right back on. This truck may be mini, but with its plush suspension and extra durability, it was a ton of fun to drive.
>> MX-3 FHSS 2.4GHz radio w/3 channel receiver #751595
>> Mini Rage brushless system #TT1200
>> Rage 1/18th EP 4WD Truck RTR # 145604
>> Battery Holder (Carbon/Fiberglass – 2mm) w/Ant Mount #XTMR-0001
>> Aluminum Knuckles Fr or Rr (Pk2) #XTMR-0003 (2)
>> Aluminum Lower Suspension Arms – L/R (Pk2) #XTMR-006 (2)
>> Aluminum Upper Suspension Arms (Pk2) #XTMR-0007 (2)
>> Aluminum Upper Bumper (Rr) w/Screws #XTMR-0002R
>> Aluminum Hex Wheel Adapters (Pk4) #XTMR-0005
>> Aluminum Upper Bumper (Fr) w/Screws #XTMR-0002F
>> Upper Deck (Carbon/Fiberglass – 2.5mm) #XTMR-0004