PHOTOS JOEL NAVARRO
1/10 SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD STADIUM TRUCK | RTR
Full-time 4WD and fully equipped for fun, DHK's RAZ-R makes “pro” features more affordable than ever
It's impossible to talk about high-performance anything, whether its cars, computers, cameras or anything else, without asking which model delivers the most capability for the least bank. The question is usually posed as, “what's the best bang for the buck?” and it's certainly a top consideration when blowing the rent on radio control. With the RAZ-R, newcomer DHK appears to offer atomic-grade bang for dollar-store buck. The list of specs is impressive, from a midships-mounted power system and 2.4GHz radio gear to “big bore” shocks and fully adjustable suspension. Add a heaping portion of orange-anodized aluminum, and the RAZ-R looks like an easy way to get a whole lotta truck for the equivalent of ten lawn mowings (assuming you're charging $20 a mow, and you should be).
WITH THE RAZ-R, NEWCOMER DHK APPEARS TO OFFER ATOMIC-GRADE BANG FOR DOLLAR-STORE BUCK.
Fully adjustable independent suspension
The RAZ-R's suspension system features turnbuckles within the wishbone-style upper arms for fast camber adjustments, threaded shock bodies for easy preload adjustments, and multiple shock mounting positions on the shock towers and lower arms. The lower suspension arms even offer adjustable down travel limiters to optimize the suspension even further. If you like to tune, there are plenty of options here. The oversized shocks definitely qualify as “big bore,” and squish-testing on the bench revealed smooth, well-damped action.
Item no. : 8134
Weight, as tested: 4 lb. 14.4 oz. (2,223g)
Chassis: Composite plastic tub w/aluminum upper braces
Type: Lower H-arm with camber upper-link
Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1
Outboard camber-link positions (F/R): 1/1
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 4/4
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3
Shocks: Threaded plastic bodies
Type/ratio: Shaft-driven 4WD; 2.94:1
Spur gear/pinion: 53T/18T; 48-pitch
Slipper clutch: None
Differential: Gear, oil-filled
Driveshafts: Constant-velocity style
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: DHK satin-finish, 10-spoke
Tires: DHK square pins
Inserts: Closed-cell foam
Transmitter: DHK D302T 2.4GHz
Receiver: DHK D302S
Speed control: DHK H111 forward/reverse
Motor: DHK H112 Sensorless brushless
Steering servo: DHK D303 metal gear, 100 oz.-in. (claimed)
With nothing protruding from the bottom of the chassis, you won't have to worry about hanging up on rocks. The plastic chassis resists being gouged or scratched, and it's also cheaper to replace than aluminum.
IF YOU LIKE TO TUNE, THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPTIONS HERE.
Full-time shaft-driven 4WD
The RAZ-R's Velcro straps hold the included NiMH pack securely in place, while the narrow box stands the pack on its side to keep the weight closer to the center of the car.
The RAZ-R features a center-mounted motor, heavy-duty center driveshafts, CV-style drive axles and dual oil-filled differentials—features usually found on more expensive trucks. As expected, all the rotating parts spin on ball bearings. The sealed, oil-filled diffs can be tuned by changing the viscosity of the fluid within them, and the steel axles won't need upgrading to handle even more power if you decide to go brushless later (or, you can go brushless from the start with the “BL” version of the RAZ-R. just add a C-note to the price tag).
DHK's D302T 2.4GHz radio fits best in smaller hands, but is comfortable and easy to use for modelers of all sizes. It's well-balanced and has all of its knobs in one place for easy adjustment.
Aluminum-fortified plastic chassis
Check out those front steering knuckles! They use an interesting hybrid kingpin/pivot ball design that eliminates the need for a separate caster block without using a full pivot-ball setup.
The RAZ-R is built on a reinforced plastic semi-tub chassis bolstered by a two-piece aluminum upper deck that ties neatly into the center-mounted spur gear mount/shaft support. In addition to contributing to the chassis rigidity (which is high, based on a two-hand twist test), the orange-anodized parts really pop against the black chassis and other molded parts. The chassis uses space efficiently to hold all the electronic gear and also provides good access for maintenance.
High-torque 550 power
You don't see orange-anodized aluminum very often, and when combined with the orange shock springs, the chassis adornments on the RAZ-R really pop.
A four-wheel drive truck requires more torque from its power systems than a 2WD counterpart, making the longer “550-size” motor under the RAZ-R's hood a smart choice. The DHK H111 speed control features forward and reverse operation, 45A of power and integrated heat sinks to help keep the unit cool.
550 motors versus 540
The numbers “550” and “540” that are often used as motor designations refer to the length of the motor's “can” in millimeters (the can is the motor's cylindrical outer housing). However, few 550 and 540 motors are precisely 550 and 540 millimeters long, so the terms can be thought of as catch-alls for “long can” and “short can” motors. Why choose one over the other? A longer can holds longer magnets, which results in a stronger magnetic field, and thus more torque. Just the thing for a 4WD truck such as the RAZ-R.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
For an out-of-the-box truck, the RAZ-R does a solid job of transferring the power to the ground. The RAZ-R reaches an impressive top speed with the stock setup—over 20mph in about 100 feet. The gearing, however, definitely favors top speed over acceleration. The RAZ-R feels a bit unresponsive at low rpm, but gearing-down the pinion by one or two teeth would help to level-out the acceleration curve for a better mix of initial bite and top speed. The stock 1800mAh NiMH battery pack is sufficient for beginners, but it dumps rather quickly when traversing through terrain. When paired with a higher quality 4600mAh pack, however, the RAZ-R exhibits noticeably improved acceleration and stretches its legs even further before running out of steam. Total runtime is dramatically improved with the upgraded pack as well—fetching over 15 minutes of solid driving time.
The RAZ-R's cornering is surprisingly sharp out of the box. It turns hard into corners, but does feel soft exiting sharp turns. Upon inspection, this particular truck had a fair amount of toe-in out of the box— no doubt accounting for its turn-in and exiting characteristics. I tightened the turnbuckles to straighten the front tires, and while this muted the initial turn-in, the truck steered better while exiting corners and wasn't as twitchy at high speeds. The RAZ-R handles long, sweeping turns effectively, but does exhibit a fair amount of chassis roll, no doubt due to the soft suspension that helped it soak up the jumps and bumps that I blasted through with reckless abandon.
The battery compartment is limiting
Stock gearing favors top speed
The battery and plugs aren't very good
Despite the truck's lack of a center differential, and a stance smaller than that of a typical ⅛-scale monster truck, the RAZ-R hops through ruts but stays on its feet as long as you stay on the power. It jumps well, too, with much of the truck's mid-air maneuverability attributed to its four spinning wheels and short wheelbase. With enough ride height to clear most of what you'll find in the backyard, and the smooth plastic chassis sliding across what's too tall to straddle, it takes considerable effort to upset the RAZ-R.
THE RAZ-R OFFERS A GOOD BALANCE OF OUT-OF-THE-BOX FUN WITH PLENTY OF ADJUSTABILITY AND POWER-UPGRADE POTENTIAL.
The RAZ-R offers a good balance of out-of-the-box fun with plenty of adjustability and power-upgrade potential. The full-time 4WD drivetrain and 2.2-inch tires make it an excellent backyard basher, great on trails, and a natural for racing up and down the street. The price is rock-bottom low (especially for all you get), and there's also full parts support at Hobby People stores and online at hobbypeople.net. The RAZ-R deserves a serious look for anyone jumping into RC with their first truck, or hoping to add to their fleet with truck that combines big features and a small price.
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