The machines that tackle the annual King of Hammers off road race are probably the pinnacle of custom built extreme off-road rigs. If you’ve ever seen them in action, you’ll know what we mean. They can climb sheer cliff walls and mob through the desert at high speed, all the while soaking up any rough terrain that comes in their way.
Inspired by such off road prowess, Axial’s RBX10 Ryft is a 1/10-scale tribute to the full-scale brutes. Their latest version of the 4WD Ryft comes in kit form. This RC rock bouncer is built for intermediate level enthusiasts to get a handle on just how these incredible vehicles are built and what they are capable of doing.
Like its one to one-scale counterparts, the RBX10 Ryft 4WD is centered on a robust, custom tube chassis. This chassis is engineered from a high-strength composite plastic that withstands the punishment that RC off roading often deals out. It can bounce off rocks, climb and descend steep inclines with the best of them. It can also bomb out at high speeds over difficult off-road terrain like nobody’s business.
Details designed into the Ryft by the Axial design team are on par with the other vehicles that they’ve produced. Blending engineering realism with outright fun RC driving, one can tell that Axial loves real-life off roading as it shows in their vehicles. Both of Ryft’s front and rear axles boast a durable one-piece, molded plastic, solid axle design and realistic metal differential covers. The heavy use of durable plastics in this kit keeps the weight down which adds to performance but it also ups its ability to shrug off damage considerably. The solid axle design allows the Ryft to carry a lot of power over punishing off-road tracks. We like the realistic metal differential covers that are left raw and unfinished.
Because rock bouncers depend so much on the traction they make where the rubber hits the dirt, you’ll find officially licensed Interco TSL Super Swamper Bogger tires mounted on Raceline Monster wheels on all four corners. Traction is also aided by a 4-link suspension as well as adjustable, long travel front and rear oil shocks. The aluminum capped oil-filled shock features a threaded body and pre-load adjustment for tuning the suspension’s dampening rate. The shock’s 12mm bore size allows more fluid volume for better performance.
A BUILDER’S KIT
Combining these features, plus being endowed with a full-time 4WD transmission, make the Ryft a dynamic rig to take on both technical courses as well as tough speed challenges at full throttle. Because this is the kit version of the Ryft, which is also available in a preassembled ready to run (RTR) form, the builder will get to choose how his or her rock bouncer is outfitted. The kit requires a transmitter, receiver, electronic speed controller (ESC), motor, steering servo on top of the usual battery and charger. We’re the type that loves getting their hands dirty so building this rig was an exciting proposition.
Also unlike other Ryft RTRs, this Ryft kit comes with a clear body for finishing in your favorite colors. It also includes decals and realistic interior details for you to add scale details. We were informed by Axial that many option parts are also included in this version of the Ryft including spool/locker, rear aluminum link plates, rear sway bar, and parts for a 2-speed or single-speed transmission setup, though an additional servo would be needed to build out this option.
WHY WE BUILT IT
Axialfest Badlands 2021 was the debut event for the Ryft and it was insanity. Our excitement was on par with the full-sized versions if not more, and when you pair that up with a 15 Year Old and Under Concourse Class at the event, it’s a perfect recipe for any newcomer to dive into a build and make it their own. Leigh Guarnieri, Associate Publisher of RCCA, made this Ryft build a family project to do with his six year old daughter. With only two weeks until the event, his father-daughter project was going to be in his words, “epic.”
We’ll let Guarnieri take it from here, “The kit went together in a very straightforward and methodical way that went from a kitchen table covered in parts to something that looked like a rig in just a few days. The kid was dead set on a neon yellow cage with some grey and white accents so we boiled up water and mixed in neon Rit dye and dropped in every plastic part we had. Five hours later we had this weird green-ish color. She was unimpressed with it so off to Home Depot we went for some exciting blue florescent spray paint to cover up the green.
“That was another epic failure the florescent paint wasn’t able to cover up the green. Not wanting to go shopping again, we scored big in the garage with a hammered steel spray paint used for our old mailbox. Since the cage was a disaster, I let the kid spray away. After it was all dry, I gave her some 200 grit sandpaper and taught her how to sand off the runs and get through the layers to give it some trail rash and a beat up look.”
Chassis wise, the kit came together as it should, smoothly without any issue. If you haven’t tackled a build yourself yet, this is a good one to try out. As long as you go slowly, follow the instructions.
WE CUSTOMIZED IT
While planning out our build, we noticed that aftermarket upgrade company, Treal Hobby, produces plenty of aluminum upgrades for various parts of the Ryft. Since we were doing a ground up build, we figured that we’d include their upgrades as we went along. We’ve had a great experience with Treal’s machined aluminum bits on other builds in the past so we were excited to get some of them onto our Ryft too.
For the required items to complete the kit we went with Reefs RC’s Raw 500 steering servo. It’s a proven unit that has become a household name for a reason. We love it for its power, precision and reliability. For the power plant we chose a Hobbywing EZRUN MAX10 SCT Combo in the 4000kv option. After witnessing the carnage that is rock bouncing we went for a milder setup with plenty of grunt but also speed if needed to learn the ropes. We did went one pinion because of the high KV of the motor and mitigate any heat issues we may have out in the desert rocks.
To get the most out of our custom build, we opted for Pro-Line’s renowned PowerStroke shocks. These smooth performing shocks come with aluminum shock bodies and caps and are endowed with beefy 3.5mm shafts with locknuts to hold the piston on for maximum durability and performance. We also swapped out the original wheel and tire combo for aftermarket units.
The tires are Pro-Line Hyrax 2.2 G8 in the Predator compound, which are designed specifically for this type of vehicle. Featuring tons of grip and stability on tough terrain, we paired up these tires with a set of 2.2 Method replica wheels we had laying around for another project. The tires are super sticky and being that they measure almost six inches in diameter; they gave the Ryft an aggressive look.
About the details, Guarnieri told us, “The Ryft comes with a detailed interior and drivers figure so while the wife was out, I let the kid loose with mom’s nail polish and after about two hours, she had done a bang up job making them look like she imagined they should. Dad was impressed! Mom wasn’t amused but snuck in a, “Good Job” anyway. We finished the rig with custom graphics by SOR BDU Series Graphics in Urban Camo with custom RCCA logos.
OUT FOR A RUN
After charging up an 11.1v MaxAmps 8000mAh LiPo, we debuted our Ryft build at Axial Fest. First impressions are that this rock bouncer was as capable as any of the full-sized King of Hammers rigs that we’ve seen, only scaled down to one-tenth scale. It took larger rocks as well as flat dirt trails just about the same; it glided over all of it without hesitation. All the damage you see here is the result of post-Axial Fest event battle damage. As you can see, the Ryft took a beating and we happily report that it kept on keeping on.
Guarnieri reports that he and his daughter had a fantastic time building, decorating and running this Axial RBX10 Ryft 4WD kit. It made it through his six-year old’s attempt at painting and driving at Axial Fest and is now ready for more.