PHOTOS PETER HALL
1/5-SHORT COURSE TRUCK | ROLLER
Choose your radio, engine, and pipe for this 4WD racing truck
For the money, there's little that's cooler than a 1/5-scale vehicle. Yes, the buy-in is up there but when you think about the benefits of it, it's actually a lot cheaper than you may think. With any 1/10-scale or 1/8-scale car, you're looking at $250+ for a vehicle or $400+ for a good RTR. Then factor in chargers, batteries, fuel, engines, motors, tires, bodies — the list goes on and on. Before you know it, you're well over a couple thousand bucks to run your vehicle for 10 minutes at a time. When the Losi 5IVE-T jumped into the mix, it brought with it a $1,600 price tag. However, for that money you got great, big-scale handling. While it was RTR and worked well, the mentality behind RC is always to improve your ride, which sparked the birth of the 5IVE-T Roller. For just over $1,000, you can now buy the very same amazing 5IVE-T 1/5- scale short course truck but the radio gear, engine, and pipe options have been left up to you. Did I mention it comes with a clear body so you can paint it however you want? Let's get this monster rolling!
Item no.: LOSB0024
Weight, as tested: 38 lb. 2 oz. (17,293g)
Type: 5mm aluminum
Type: Lower A-arm with adjustable upper link
Inboard camber-link positions (F/R): 3/3
Outboard camber-link positions (F/R): ½
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2
Shocks: Threaded 24mm aluminum bodies
Type/ratio: Shaft drive, 3.31:1
Spur gear/clutch: 58T/19T and 25T included
Differential: Gear-type, fluid-filled
Driveshafts: Steel constant velocity style
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: Gray, SC-style with black bead-locks
Tires: Losi Nomads
ENGINE AND ACCESSORIES
Engine: Bartolone Racing
Pipe/header: Bartolone Racing XP Big Bore
Fuel capacity: 800cc
Spektrum DX3R radio system
ProTek RC Supreme Power 100C Shorty Pack
Bartolone Racing 28.5cc engine
Bartolone Racing Tuned Pipe
VENTED DISK BRAKES
Losi includes a pair of vented disk brake rotors that are nearly the size of soda cans!
The 5IVE-T Roller utilizes a set of twin vented disk brakes to handle stopping duties. Similar in design to 1/8 nitro buggies, the brakes are nearly the size of a soda can, and have holes and slots to keep them running cool when things get hot. The truck comes with all brake and throttle linkages installed and adjusted properly so all you need to do is install your servo and you're ready to go. The servo end of each of the brake linkages has a knurled adjuster if you want to set the brake bias more for the front or rear.
DIY PAINT SCHEME
We sent our 5IVE-T Roller's clear body to G2 Graphics for this awesome job.
Losi always does a great job with their RTR bodies and the 5IVE-T is no exception with its two available color schemes. However, when you get a bunch of these giants together, they can get boring to look at in a real hurry. To overcome this, Losi includes a clear body that comes mounted to the roll cage out of the box. Simply draw your design on the outside of the body to ensure it lines up later and then take the parts off and get painting.
PLUSH RACE-INSPIRED SUSPENSION
The suspension on the 5IVE-T is inspired by 1/8 racing machines to make this might truck totally track ready.
24mm aluminum shocks can be found on all four corners and provide one of the best damped rides in 1/5 scale.
1/5-scale vehicles have a lot to overcome when it comes to suspension and damping. Losi put a lot of work into developing the suspension on the 5IVE-T. Modeled after a 1/8 buggy suspension, the 5IVE-T features a plush independent setup that's supported by cavernous 24mm aluminum threaded shocks. Because this is built to be a racing short course truck, Losi has worked in a few mounting options for both shock and camber link suspensions to dial your truck in.
JUST ADD ENGINE AND PIPE
The 5IVE-T Roller leaves the engine and exhaust option up to you. For our test we chose the powerhouse 28.5cc engine and XP Big Bore Pipe from Bartolone Racing.
In full running trim the 5IVE-T is no different than the RTR (at least as far as layout goes). The Roller includes a factory build clutch assembly that bolts right onto your engine's clutch to keep things simple.
In my opinion, this is the biggest feature of the Roller. The ability to select your engine and pipe means that you can tailor your 5IVE-T to your specific needs. Because I planned to race mine, I chose to go with a 28.5cc tuned engine from Bartolone Racing along with their tuned pipe. The engine is CNC ported and features machined pistons for higher rpm and longer lifespan. To install them in the truck, simply bolt on Losi's clutch, attach the mount for the pipe, and bolt the engine and pipe to the chassis plate.
2-stroke fuel 101
Like many 1/5-scale RC vehicles, the 5IVE-T's engine runs on 2-stroke premix fuel, which means you have to mix up your own fuel using normal, straight-from-the-pump gasoline and a special blended oil additive that you can buy at hobby shops, lawn mower repair shops, dirt bike and ATV shops, and even your local Walmart. That's right, it's the same stuff you use to run 2-stroke bikes, chainsaws, and weedwackers. So what ratio do you have to mix it to and what are the differences? Here's a quick guide to 2-stroke fuel.
When you go to mix up your fuel, you'll notice that the package of oil and your 5IVE-T's manual have ratios they recommend. The Losi manual recommends a ratio of 25:1, which means 25 parts gasoline to 1 part oil. This is considered the “safe zone” mixture ratio because it provides the engine with plenty of lubrication, tuning isn't as critical, and it will keep it running cool. The trade off is that you won't get the most out of your engine in terms of horsepower because oil doesn't burn the same as gas. Mixtures that are leaner on oil, such as 32:1 and especially 40:1, will make more power but don't lubricate the engine as well and are more finicky about the carb settings. The best bet for the beginner is to start with 25:1 — play it safe and learn to tune the engine (if you even care to). Either way, get out there and enjoy that monster!
CHOOSE YOUR OWN RADIO
The Spektrum DX3R radio system has all the adjustments you expect in a high-end digital radio and comes with Spektrum's SR3520 mini receiver.
As the name “Roller” implies, this is a complete truck without the radio, so you'll need a transmitter and receiver, a pair of 1/5-size servos, and a receiver pack to hit the dirt. For our test, I installed a Spektrum DX3R radio along with an SR3520 receiver, a pair of Hitec HS-5765MH servos and a ProTek 4300mAh shorty pack that I connected a receiver plug to for a little extra run time and voltage.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
The large cutouts in the windshield and behind the cab allow you to prime, choke and start the engine without taking the body off.
Before I could get things “rolling” (see what I did there?), I had to install the engine, pipe, and radio gear. I started by putting the Bartolone Racing 28.5cc engine together with the carb, clutch, and pipe installed before bolting everything to the chassis. Losi keeps the process of setting the gear mesh simple by including a set of chassis keys that fit in under the motor screws to position them in the exact location for the 19-tooth clutch. With the engine in place, I installed my Spektrum DX3R radio system along with a pair of Hitec HS-5765MH servos to control the 5IVE-T when I noticed a small hiccup. Hitec's servos are made for use in large-scale RC and provide plenty of torque and speed, but they're slightly smaller than servos normally included with the truck. While some 1/5 scales come with adapters to fit various servos, the 5IVE-T does not include such a thing. As a simple fix, I cut two small pieces of graphite and drilled them to mate up with the servo and radio tray mounts and I was quickly on my way to Wolcott Hobby in Wolcott, CT. On the track, the 5IVE-T is surprisingly adept. While it drives like a 1/5-scale car, which is very close to how a real car drives (huge amounts of weight transfer), it steers very similarly to what you would expect from an RC short course truck. It's crisp and sharp, the outside front corner tucks as the tires dig in, and the rear end rotates very well. Full on-power steering yields a gentle amount of understeer, which makes the truck very calm and easy to drive. Feeling confident in a truck this large means a lot, especially when you have this much weight and power on tap. Grabbing handfuls of throttle, the Bartolone engine gets on the pipe quickly and as it revs up, your excitement level will skyrocket. I wouldn't say that acceleration is explosive in comparison to a 1/10 brushless setup, but when you consider that this is a 2-stroke that weighs TK pounds, seeing a vehicle this large take off in a hurry is nothing short of stunning. The only thing more exciting than the sight and sound of running the 5IVE-T is jumping it. Off 1/8 prepped jumps, the Roller catches big air. It flies level thankfully as mid-air adjustments just aren't in the cards for a 1/5 vehicle of any sort. Most importantly, when the 5IVE-T touches down, it does so in a confident way and thrusts forward ready for more.
Engine, pipe, and radio options are left up to you
Race-inspired suspension design
Clear body so you customize paint
1/5 has its own learning curve, so RTR is easier for the newcomer
Servo adapters not included
Life-changing … very rarely do I use such a word with regard to an RC vehicle, but driving a 5IVE-T in any form is one of the RC experiences you should make sure you have before you die. It goes without saying that a truck this large is exciting; the sound, the power, the brute force of all the weight being hurled across the ground. While the 5IVE-T has always been a crowd favorite, the Roller version takes the original and offers RCers a new perspective. You can try 1/5 and still have options. Being able to pick out your own powerplant, paint your own paint scheme, and customize your radio to your preference are options you don't normally have available in a vehicle this size. Truth be told, the Roller will land you in the pricier end of 1/5 by the time it's all put together. Our test vehicle wound up costing just over $2,000, but at the same time, it's now a full-bred racing machine ready to lead the pack to the checkered flag, and … well, you just can't put a price on that.