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TESTED: Losi 22S ST

TESTED: Losi 22S ST

If you’re an RC old-timer and remember the late-’80s glory years, you’ll recall that the first purpose-built, not-a-conversion stadium truck came from Team Losi. The JRX-T was absolutely on fire when it hit tracks in 1989, and Losi’s legacy as a top race-truck brand only grew stronger as the JRX-T gave way to ever-more-capable models: LX-T, XX-T, XXX-T, and the modern 22 series. The XXX-T race-truck kit was also offered as an RTR version, and was among the first (if not the first) RTRs to go brushless when Losi offered it with a Novak Super Sport system as standard equipment. Now it’s the 22-series’ turn to go RTR, which it first did with the 22S SCT, as reviewed in our October 2018 issue. For the second 22S-series release, Losi has gone stadium truck with the 22S ST. In keeping with the “hashtag-race-inspired” mission, the 22S takes a few important cues from the Team Losi Racing (TLR) 22T kit truck and mixes it with fun-first features and brushless power to create a fast and fun all-terrain sport truck. Let’s see how well the 22S ST delivers.

If you’re not loving red and yellow with white wheels, you can get the ST in blue-on-blue with black wheels.

AT A GLANCE

Type: Stadium truck
Scale: 1/10
Drivetrain: 2WD
Power: Electric
Build: RTR
Price: $300

VEHICLE SPECS

Item no: LOS03017T1
Scale: 1/10
Price: $300
Weight: 4 lb. 2.8 oz. (1899g) w/o battery
Chassis: Semi-tub
Shocks: Composite plastic, oil-filled
Suspension links: One-piece plastic
Transmission: 2WD gearbox
Slipper clutch: Dual-pad
Differentials: Sealed bevel gear
Driveshafts: Steel CV-style universal joint
Bearings: Rubber-sealed ball
Body: Printed polycarbonate
Wheels: One-piece plastic 2.8-inch
Tires: Losi multiterrain, directional
Inserts: Open-cell foam
Radio system: Spektrum DX2E Active
Servo: Spektrum S606, 65 oz.-in. (est.)
Speed control: Dynamite Fuze 60A
Motor: Dynamite Fuze 4-pole brushless 3300Kv
Battery: Not included

50mph BRUSHELESS POWER

Man, the technology we take for granted nowadays. A 4-pole brushless motor and a speed control capable of running the equivalent of nine 1.2-volt cells was once pretty heady stuff, but now it’s just standard RTR equipment. Dynamite supplies the Fuze 60-amp speed control, which is robustly constructed for 3S LiPo power with a thick aluminum heat sink that gets plenty of cooling airflow via a fan. The sensorless 3300Kv motor gets a nice red finish for its ribbed can and sealed wire exits for water resistance. Dynamite scores bonus points for adjustability, with drag brake, maximum brake, Start mode (aka minimum throttle percentage), and punch each getting four settings to choose from. Per Losi, this setup is good for 50+mph on a 3S LiPo, which I confirmed via GPS with a 52mph run.

The 22S ST’s Dynamite power system is 3S-LiPo-ready for 50+mph top speed.

22-SERIES SUSPENSION

The “race-inspired” 22S ST doesn’t share any actual part numbers with the first-gen TLR 22T, but the suspension arms, shock towers, and transmission housing are closely patterned after the race-winning originals and get the same geometry. It shows in the truck’s handling, which feels downright track-ready—at least by rear-motor truck standards. Less track-ready (but who cares) are the camber and toe links, which are one-piece plastic parts. To which I say, “good.” I didn’t want to adjust them anyway; there are no metal rods or turnbuckles to bend, and if I break or lose a kink, an entire replacement set for the entire truck is just $6. In the shock department, you get composite-plastic bodies with 12mm bores to match modern race specs. The shocks are bladderless and get convenient bleed screws in the caps for easier filling when it’s time to refresh the oil.

Suspension geometry mirrors the first-gen 22T race truck, while one-piece camber and toe links trim cost

STEEL-GEAR DRIVETRAIN

There’s no skimping in the drivetrain department. The 3-gear transmission wears an aluminum motor plate, and you’ll find all-metal gears inside. That includes the differential housing, which is sealed to hold silicone fluid so that you can tune diff action if you’re feeling ambitious. CV-style universal-joint driveshafts are a big step up from turnbuckles, and there’s a dual-pad slipper clutch to protect the spur gear—the only plastic gear on the truck. The slipper’s pressure plates and the motor plate are just flat stampings to save a few bucks, but Joe RTR isn’t going to notice or care.

Losi puts extra dollars where they will do the most good—like these race-grade CV driveshafts.

The ST is built for brushless power, with a full set of metal gears.

The ST’s slipper clutch looks like most other dual-pad designs. Good—no need to fix what ain’t broke.

It looks basic, but the DX2E is surprisingly well featured. Steering and throttle endpoints are adjustable, and you can choose 50, 70, or 100% throttle via a switch—no need to fuss with the speed control if you want to slow the truck down for a youngster. You can also add a Bluetooth module so that the radio can talk to the free Spektrum Dashboard app.

The ST’s 2.8-inch wheels look good and get firm multiterrain tires for acceptable off-road grip without wearing overly quickly on the street.

TESTING

How Fast Is It?
The 22S ST is geared conservatively with a 16T pinion so aggressive that driving won’t overheat the power system, but there’s still plenty of speed on tap. On a 2S LiPo, the ST will wheelie off the line on the way to 29mph. Install a 3S LiPo and the ST really comes to life, with a top speed of 43mph. Be advised, the truck will wheelie even from a rolling start on 3S, so ease into the throttle. The truck doesn’t have a wheelie bar, and skidding across pavement on the roof takes a toll on the body. Thankfully, throttle feel is very smooth, so it’s easy to stay in control. For all-out speed, a 19-tooth pinion (not included) will indeed get you to 52mph.

Bump and Jump Handling
The ST puts its long arms and fat shocks to work in rough terrain, where it soaks up some pretty heavy stuff. Stadium trucks will always get knocked around more than short-course trucks because of their shorter wheelbase, but the Losi rig is pretty stable by stadium-truck standards. That’s with Active Vehicle Control (AVC) off; dial up the stability assist (the knob is right on the radio) and the ST magically becomes easier to handle in the rough. As for jumps, the ST is a drama-free flier on both takeoff and landing. If you need to gas it or brake to adjust attitude in flight, the ST responds well (those 2.8-inch tires help). Sufficiently high launches will slap the chassis on landing, but the ST takes it in stride.

Cornering & Wheel Feel
A short wheelbase, fat tires, and brushless power make the ST a wheelie machine, so the front end is very light any time the truck is on power—pretty standard stuff for this type of vehicle. Let off to transfer weight up front and the ST turns in tightly. The steering servo isn’t very speedy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as super-fast steering isn’t great for beginners. The ST will want to oversteer when the front end digs in on loose surfaces, which can be counteracted by dialing in some AVC. Overall, there are no surprises in the handling department. That 22 vibe comes through.

PLUS
+ Sharp handling, goes fast, looks good
+ Active Vehicle Control makes it easy to dial in feel
+ Transmitter-based throttle limiting is handy for “let me try”

MINUS
Steering servo is a
bit slow

FINAL WORD

Losi’s got a winner. The 22S ST is fast and nimble, and its 2.8-inch wheel and tire combo gives it a bigger footprint for improved off-road traction compared to the race-sized 2.2-inch rubber formerly used on Losi’s RTR stadium machines. The 50-70-100% throttle switch is a smart addition, and Active Vehicle Control is a particularly welcome feature on a short-wheelbase, high-power machine. If you’ve got a chip on your shoulder about electronic stability assistance, I recommend getting over it—AVC makes the 22S ST more fun. Losi gets the specs right with pricier parts where they count (AVC, waterproof electronics, metal-gear transmission, CV driveshafts) and smart trims that don’t affect the fun factor (one-piece camber and toe links, unfancy metal finishes). For $300, there plenty of RC excitement and value in the 22S ST. –Peter Vieira

Updated: January 10, 2019 — 1:13 PM

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