Arrma’s flagship truggy gets a makeover!
Over the course of the last half year, Arrma has revamped most of their lineup in addition to releasing an entirely new machine (Nero). The latest rig in their fleet to get the new electronics and revised components is the Kraton 6S BLX. A standard truggy layout that’s meant for backyard bashing and parking lot drag races, the Kraton now features the potent BLX185 ESC and 2050Kv four-pole motor combo. That means blistering speeds and power only matched by the reliability of this new system as tested in the earlier new releases. All that, plus the fact that the electronics package is completely waterproof means that blasting through mud puddles isn’t only possible, it’s downright mandatory. The improvements to this latest iteration of the Kraton include revised front and rear hubs to increase durability and longevity as well as a new wing mount to keep the downforce where you need it after those unexpected tumbles. This Kraton 6S BLX also got a makeover in the tire department with the new dBoots Minokawa AT tires and multi-spoke rims. To top it all off, the new Kraton looks amazing courtesy of the re-worked paint scheme, ditching the previous “cookie cutter” body. The new model comes in your choice of red/black or green/black.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Arrma
WHO IT’S FOR: Anyone
PART NUMBER: AR106015
HOW MUCH: $499.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• 6S capable for speeds over 60 mph
• Full steel gears in all three diffs
• Fully waterproof electronics package
• Wide stance for superior stability
• Red and black alloy goodies included
• Battery tray could be a bit bigger
Truggies are where it’s at for high paced, adrenaline fueled race action where the pipes mean nothing and big air is the norm. However, if you’re a backyard basher who rarely (if ever) sees a track, why would you spend a G or more outfitting a full-blown race machine to beat on in your yard? You wouldn’t and that’s where the Arrma Kraton comes in. It not only packs all the fun of a truggy with its design and handling, it’s also fully waterproof and capable of running 6S, resulting in speeds in excess of 60 mph! Kraton translated from Javanese (Indonesia) means Royal. I guess the king and queen like to go fast, because this Kraton is all about speed and power!
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• Like the other new releases of the large scale variety from Arrma, the Kraton 6S BLX comes with a handful of spares, a full tool set and a couple of XT-90 battery connectors for the packs of your choice.
• 4S – 6S LiPo battery (or two 2S or 3S packs wired in series)
• (4) “AA” batteries for the Tactic transmitter
• Compatible charger for selected LiPo pack
• (2) Duratrax Onyx 5400mAh 3S LiPo (DTXC2004) $69.99 We used these packs in our Arrma Nero test truck and we like em so much, we scooped up a few more for our Kraton. They come pre-soldered with XT-90 plugs, so you won’t have to break out the iron yourself and the 50C discharge rating means that you can easily achieve those blistering 60+ mph speeds. We did have to remove all the wire retainers from the battery tray and “coax” the packs in side-by-side. As a result, the two batteries were too wide for the included strap braces, but we were mainly doing straight- line drag style runs on 6S.
• Duratrax Onyx 255 Charger (DTXP4255) $109.99 The perfect complement to our beefy Onyx LiPo packs, the new Onyx 255 dual charger from Duratrax. This nifty little unit picks up where the 245 left off, but it increases all the limits on charge rating, cell capacity and run- time, but it also does it all in a smaller pack- age. With this charger from Duratrax, you’ll be able to charge up to 6S LiPo packs and with a warranty that’s second to none, you know that the manufacturer has got your back for the long haul.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• TrakPower 4S 14.8V 5400mAh 50C Hard Case LiPo (TKPC0385) $109.99 For insane speeds, you’re going to need the 6S power fed by a single pack or two 3S batteries stacked side by side. For more versatile bash speeds and cooler running temps, this 4S pack from TrakPower is perfect. It features 4mm bullet plugs so we soldered one of the included XT-90 battery plugs up and were good to go. We used the 4S pack throughout most of our testing, only strapping in the 6S power when in a few select wide open areas.
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Associated Silicone Shock Fluid $3.49 each To custom tune the suspension to your liking, check out these silicone shock oils from Team Associated. The manufacturer serves up a wide variety of oils to suit any driver’s style or any level of rebound for any type of terrain.
Associated FT Silicone Diff Fluid$5.39 each Like the other Arrma 1/8-scale rigs, the Kraton features three fluid filled steel gear diffs. That fluid seal allows end users to tune the diffs to their liking using any oils they like from Associated. Lock all three up for the ultimate in traction and drifting or leave them loose for better diff action … the choice is yours.
• Team Durango Shock Springs $7.99-8.99 (per pair) Being partner brands under the Hobbico umbrella, many of the Arrma vehicles share parts with the race-bred Team Durango models … such as these shock springs. If you’re looking to catch some big air or stick to pavement, get some heavier springs for a more rigid ride and less bottoming out on landings. If the rough stuff is your game, grab up some softer springs for the ultimate in suspension travel and shock absorption.
• Pro-Line Road Rage 3.8” Mounted F/R Street Tires (117-11) $46.36 (per pair) Anyone who’s anyone knows that Pro-line is the go-to source for aftermarket shoes for just about any rig out there. If sub-orbital speeds across pavement or concrete are the order of your day, these Road Rage street tires mounted up on Desperado rims are just what the doctor orders. They come pre-glued and utilize the same 17mm hex drive as found on the Kraton … and nearly every other 1/8 vehicle these days.
The BLX185 ESC and the 1/8 scale 2050Kv motor found in this model take things a step further, technologically speaking, than the first release of the Kraton. These new electronics are not only more powerful, but also a lot more reliable, so you can rest assured that you’ll still be out slinging rooster tails when others are down for the count. The ESC also has a host of parameters that can be tuned to suit your individual driving style, so no matter how or where you run, the Kraton 6S BLX can be twisted to fit the mold.
The standard flat-chassis layout of the Kraton follows suit with most truggies out there; to keep the weight down low and to make them easy to wrench on. Truggies, by nature, are simply stretched out buggies with truck bodies and tires … hence the name, so the roots steeped in racing are readily apparent in the Kraton. Does that mean you have to race it? Of course not (though club racing with some properly offset rims and tires on 4S is always an option), but it means that the platform is a proven winner and will be loads easier to maintain than a traditional monster truck.
The suspension of the Kraton 6S BLX makes it a pleasure to drive. The supper plush big bore shocks can be filled with the oil of your choice and the threaded pre-load spacers make on the fly tuning a breeze. The new electronics weren’t the only change to this truggy, though. Arrma also revised the front pillow ball hubs as well as the rear uprights, making the Kraton more durable while enhancing the performance in the real world. These new hubs offer better geometry for more consistent handling and are built a bit more stout than the previous versions, again, to keep the action rolling rather than down for repairs.
Though it’s not a feature of the Kraton itself, it is worth mentioning that Arrma backs this vehicle (and all of their vehicles) with an industry leading two-year limited warranty. “Sweet … so every time I break an arm from crashing into the dang-blasted street sign outside my house, they’ll replace it?” No, not quite. However, they will cover anything caused by manufacturing defects and workmanship … blah blah. The important factor here is that this applies IF you use your Kraton properly and take care of it after each use, the important (and mightly more expensive) components are covered. Let’s say your ESC goes poof after a year of mild use. Hope you held onto that receipt and/or registered your purchase with Hobbico …
ON THE TRACK
The all the other recent releases from Arrma, the new Kraton 6S BLX uses the manufacturer’s ADS-15M servo for steering duties. Much like the Nero and Senton, we were pleasantly surprised with the holding power of this servo given its modest torque ratings. While bashing in the dirt and lose stuff, the servo performed flawlessly. When on higher bite surfaces like asphalt or grass, it would waiver ever so slightly when pushed hard at high speeds, but I’ll gladly sacrifice a bit of steering authority for a ton of grip any day of the week. The fact that the 208 ounces of muscle can swing those big ole dBoot Minokawa tires around is impressive, never mind the fact that it performs pretty darn good in the real world. A little bit of toe-out helped cornering on the track a bit easier and the overall suspension setup keeps the Kraton squared up at speed.
The best new feature of the Kraton 6S BLX is obviously the BLX185 conjoined with the 2050Kv motor. This combo gives the Kraton excellent launching power on 4S and is just plain silly on 6S. Parameters such as brake strength and running mode can be adjusted, in addition to the LiPo cutoff feature. Being able to dial out less the the factory (and lowest) setting of 80 percent would be nice as even that much results in instant front flips while airborne. Nevertheless, the brakes have a nice, linear feel when on terra firma and when the throttle is opened up, there is little cogging, especially on 6S. We did notice slight stuttering when we swapped in a 16T pinion for high speed runs, though it was of little consequence as we were in a huge, empty parking lot that was nearly 300 yards long. Needless to say, at 60-plus mph, the Kraton isn’t really driving any longer, it’s more-like floating across the concrete.
If there’s one thing Arrma vehicles are known for (aside from their durability), it’s got to be the performance in the yard, field or on the track. Where else are you going to find sway bars, droop screws and big bore alloy shocks on an RTR vehicle? There are as many tuning options on the Kraton as there are on any pure race-bred design. On high bite surfaces such as asphalt, we could have used some heavier fluid in the diffs as they tended to unload if we pushed the truggy through a corner where the sway bars couldn’t keep all four firmly planted. Conversely, the fluid could have been a bit lighter (in the rear, for our tastes) when on a dry and dusty track. The moral to the story is, the Kraton comes pretuned to be able to rock and roll in any conditions. Priming it to your particular driving style and locale is up to you. No matter where we ran our test rig, it performed exceptionally well and had a consistent feel across a myriad of terrain surfaces.
The only aspect of the Kraton that is better than the performance is the durability. That’s a key selling point for backyard warriors and weekend racers alike. Keep the costs down, keep the fun at 100 percent and keep the model rolling even in the hands of an abusive throttle-jockey. The Kraton 6S BLX is no different than any other vehicle in the Arrma stable. Its insane power and speeds can result in some pretty darn hairy tumbles, but rest assured that this truggy will take more hits than your standard race machine. At one point in our testing, we clipped a hidden rock in a field while wide open on 6S. The resulting cartwheel went on for so long, we almost got bored, fully expecting a yard sale of parts at the end. Much to our dismay, the Kraton landed on its feet, boogied back over to us for inspection and was back out ripping sod after we saw not a single part broken or out of place. Not even the wing was bent!
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 23.39 in. (594mm)
WIDTH: 18.11 in. (460mm)
WHEELBASE: 14.84 in. (377mm)
WEIGHT: 9.9 lbs. (without batteries)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted truggy
WHEELS: Black multi-spoke
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 17mm
TIRES: dBoot Minokawa
SHOCK POSITIONS: (Front) 1 arm, 3 tower (Rear) 1 arm, 3 tower
CAMBER: (Front) Pillow Ball spacers, (Rear) Adjustable links
ROLL: Multiple camber link mounting locations
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load collars on shocks
MISC: Sway bars and droop screws
TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TOE: Adjustable links
TYPE: Plate with stiffeners
MATERIAL: Anodized aluminum
TRANSMISSION: Center diff
DIFFERENTIAL: Bevel gear front and rear
CLUTCH TYPE: None
BEARINGS: Full set
Feature Breakdown: 8
Overall Value: 8
The summer of 2016 has surely been a busy one for Arrma. The backyard-friendly manufacturer has come out with a killer new MT and they are smack in the middle of revising their entire lineup as we type. The Kraton locks down the truggy duty in that selection of models and it does an awesome job of it. Whether you’re looking to tear up the backyard until your parents make you start replacing your divets, perhaps you’re a speed junky looking for something a little different than your average street ride or even if you’re looking to catch some silly big air on the track or empty lot, the Kraton will fill that role dutifully. The new BLX185 ESC is a huge step up from the earlier BLX180 and you can rest assured that this new truggy will keep you grinning rather than wrenching.
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez