There are those who enjoy a weekend out rock crawling with their RC vehicles, and there are those who live and breathe RC rock crawling on a daily basis. These are the individuals that don’t merely see a pile of rocks and tree roots, but instead see driving lines and
crawling routes that are meant to be conquered. These enthusiasts are known as extreme crawlers.
On challenging hiking trails, where getting past obstacles even on foot can give people trouble, extreme crawlers see it as an opportunity to see what they and their RC crawlers can do. Extreme crawlers know their rigs inside and out and know when they can be pushed right up to the limits of grip and balance.
Axial Adventure has released a new dedicated rock crawler that is perfect for those who enjoy precariously balancing their rigs on seemingly impossible-to-pass obstacles. Appealing to both extreme crawlers and weekend warriors, this new 1/24-scale rig is small—but don’t let its size fool you. The AX24 XC-1 is endowed with DNA of a serious crawler and promises to give you the same type of performance.
If you’re a longtime Axial fan, you’ll recognize that the AX24 XC-1 pays homage to the legendary 1/10-scale AX10. AX10 has been conquering the trails since 2007, and it’s about time that a junior version of the capable rig is ready to hit the line. As we’ve pointed out over the past several issues of RCCA, RC vehicles smaller than 1/10 scale are on the rise, and we’re loving this trend. Axial is right on target with the AX24 XC-1, and it’s not just its size that impresses us.
With an overall length of 7.8 inches, Axial AX24 XC-1 features a 5.3-inch-long wheelbase and 1.3 inches of ground clearance. With these specs, you would expect to get over many obstacles, but that’s where you’d be wrong. Getting behind the wheel of the AX24 XC-1, you’ll discover that you’d be able to crawl over bigger obstacles and pull tougher lines than you can with any other 1/24-scale rig. This isn’t marketing speak; we tried it out on some serious trails and this thing really crawls.
The AX24 platform provides stability, durability, high clearance and generous articulation thanks in part to its flat chassis side plates with rock sliders, which help it move through tight rock formations. The solid axle suspension rock crawler also features long-travel shocks, a 4-link suspension, and a worm gear drivetrain that combine to make the AX24 an easy handling rig. Vehicles at 1/24 scale aren’t generally known for their precision handling and smooth power delivery, but the AX24 excels at these things. You want to place the front right tire on top of a rock? Feather the throttle and lightly correct the steering and it’s done.
The real story here is the AX24’s unique four-wheel steering system. Following the line tightly, even around rocks without having to do an Austin Powers-like 15-point turn, has never been easier. AX24 is capable of three transmitter-activated steering modes. One is for no rear tire input, a second is for mirrored rear tire input, and the third is for the “crab crawl.”
Powering the four-wheel steering capability are dual Axial AS-1 servos that are mounted just above the front and rear axles, with servo savers that allow for steering accuracy while protecting the servo gears in the event of a bind or impact. The four-wheel steering capability provides the flexibility you need to maneuver over or around almost anything in your way. If you haven’t tried a true four-wheel steering system yet, you’re in for a treat. At 1/24 scale, we’re impressed by its terrain-conquering ability.
For nighttime or harsh light crawling, AX24 is equipped with LED rock lights that are mounted in the rock sliders. These lights keep your path visible in low light or within the harsh shadows of a sunny day. You’ll be able to see and surmount obstacles you might not spot otherwise.
Looking at the driveline, you’ll find steel front and rear axles, stub axles and dog bones that help provide AX24 with the strength and durability needed to keep running with confidence during tough climbs and over rough trails. The front and rear axle housings each have a worm screw and worm gear setup that help get power to the axles and create higher ground clearance. Furthermore, its driveshafts are splined and sleeved to allow for maximum suspension travel while keeping the power to the wheels.
We did say that this tiny rig is packed full of features, didn’t we? On top of all that, you’ll be glad to know that the AX24 also comes with a full set of ball bearings, some shielded, some not. A Dynamite 88T brushed electric motor provides the right amount of torque for steep climbs. It’s mounted to a stamped aluminum motor mount that keeps flex to a minimum.
Speaking of wheels, AX24 rides on 1.0” Rockster wheels and 2.44” Rock Lizards tires. This package is a miniaturized version of the wheels and tires that appeared on the original AX10. Also miniaturized is its 2007-period replica body and livery. AX24 features a hinged body system that provides fast, easy access to on-board components. Its hook-and-loop hinge design lets you reach the chassis and battery simply by swinging the body up.
A TRUE RTR
When Axial says this is a ready to run (RTR) vehicle, they aren’t kidding. Everything is included in the box to start your adventure, even the four AA batteries required for the transmitter controller. The included Spektrum SLT3 transmitter is ergonomically designed for fatigue-free driving and has a foam wheel for precise fingertip control.
Paired with a Spektrum 2-in-1 ESC/Receiver, the 2.4GHz signal lets you crawl in the company of multiple other rigs without worrying about interference. As a bonus, a new throttle port serves as an ESC bypass for using aftermarket ESCs without having to buy a new receiver. The RTR rig also comes with a rechargeable Dynamite 350mAh 2S 7.4V LiPo battery and 0.5 Amp USB charger, so you’ll be able to charge up after depleting the battery.
We unboxed the AX24 and hit the trails. We were excited to see what its driveline, suspension and four-wheel steering could do. We went to an area with natural obstacles first. That’s where we discovered that this crawler can go just about anywhere, from driving up almost sheer verticals to gingerly wading around and through tight spaces. The transmitter features a rocker switch that easily switches steering style, which we used with plenty of enthusiasm. Crab crawling never gets old.
After our day out in the field, we returned to the office to see what it could do on the confines of our desk. Making a course with found objects in and around our desk was fun in itself, but being able to confidently crawl all of it was even better. We noticed that in many circumstances it can take on steeper inclines and bigger obstacles than the larger Axial SCX24. How’s that for capability? Perfect for both indoor and outdoor courses, it’s also a great platform for full-scale off-roading enthusiasts to exercise and refine their driving skills.
Axial AX24 XC-1 4WS Crawler Brushed RTR VEHICLE SPECS
Length: 7.8 in. (198 mm)
Width: 4.5 in (113mm)
Height: 3.7 in. (94 mm)
Wheelbase: 5.3 in. (135 mm)
Ground Clearance: 1.3 in. (34mm)
Chassis: Side plate
Body: Pre-painted polycarbonate
Suspension: Solid Axle, front and rear
Transmission/drivetrain: Worm gear 16T/4T
Differentials: Front and rear lockers
Wheels and Tires: 1.0” Rockster wheels, 2.44” Rock Lizards tires
Transmitter: Spektrum SLT3
ESC: Spektrum 2-in-1 ESC/Receiver
Motor: Dynamite 88T brushed
Battery: Dynamite 350mAh 2S 7.4V LiPo, 4x AA batteries
Charger: 0.5 Amp USB charger
We’re enjoying the low cost-to-benefit ratio that Axial has struck with the AX24. It retails for $160 with no other accessories needed to drive, and it gives you the driving enjoyment of a full-sized rig. The AX24 may be designed to please experienced RC rock crawling hobbyists, but we feel that newcomers will find it to be a fun and highly capable mini crawler as well. If you’re looking for a slightly larger than pocket-sized rig you can drive anywhere, indoor or out, yet experience the capability of a larger crawler, look no further than Axial’s AX24 XC-1.
Text by James York
Images by Jerry Tsai