True Baja Action!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s January 2016 issue.
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez
Bashers and off-road racers across the globe have been waiting with zealous anticipation for Axial to release a trophy truck. Once the early videos of the new Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck hit the internet, that anticipation grew to a fever pitch. Building off of the original Yeti chassis and drivetrain, Axial took the design a step further with a fullblown Trophy Truck body that’s loaded with scale details. The solid rear axle mimics full-scale desert racers and the 90 degree sway bar system helps the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck to float across even the roughest of terrain. Top it all off with a potent electronics package that’s fully waterproof and you’ve got a surefire winner whether your bashing in the yard or competing in rock racing events.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Axial
WHO IT’S FOR: Bashers
PART NUMBER: AX90050
HOW MUCH: $449.97
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Full metal internal tranny gears
• 2 or 3S capable ESC and motor
• Aggressive trophy truck styling
• Unparalleled Axial durability
• Chassis collects loads of dirt and debris
For many years (decades actually), I was pretty much a race only type of RC guy. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy bashing, but it just didn’t do it for me … until I got my first Axial vehicle. After watching the videos of the new Yeti SCORE Trophy truck, I was prepared to sell my soul to get my hands on it! Luckily, the powers that be saw fit to let me review this sweet new machine without the risk of eternal damnation. The Yeti is a durable machine, but once you add the full cloak of the Trophy Truck body and bumpers, it takes things to a whole other level of non stop fun.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way hex wrench, shock accessories, pivot balls, driver helmets, gate markers, body mounts and a host of other spare parts.
• (4) “AA” batteries for the transmitter
• 2S or 3S LiPo battery
• Compatible charger
• MaxAmps 5450mAh 120C 2S LiPo $119.99
MaxAmps makes some of the best LiPo batteries on the market, so we went with their 5450mAh 2S for our Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck review. The battery tray in the truck is fully adjustable and plenty long to fit the pack of your choice, but if you want the best battery for power output, MaxAmps is the go-to source. The high capacity gave us a
good 12-14 minutes of runtime, with most of it having the throttle pinned.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• Duratrax Onyx LiPo 3S 11.1V 5000mAh 35C (DTXC1967) $89.99
To crank up the power on the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck, we employed this Duratrax 3S LiPo. The 5000mAh gave us plenty of runtime while the top speeds and launching power are just plain old insane.
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Axial 2-Speed Hi/Lo Transmission (AXX31181) $94.99
The Yeti 2-speed transmission conversion is one of the coolest option parts for this vehicle. Just like the stock unit, it features full steel gears and bearings, as well as two different servo mount locations. The third channel on the TTX300 transmitter can be used to switch between high and low gear.
The AR60 rear drive axle is designed to dish out loads of power while keeping the rear wheels firmly planted. The long travel sway bar helps to prevent chassis roll and offers up a full three inches of suspension travel at each wheel! That equates to a platform that is always able to put the power down, no matter what the terrain. Even if you do happen to unsettle the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck to where one of the wheels comes off the ground, the locked diff will keep you on pace. The suspension on the Yeti Score really is a brilliant design that works perfectly.
The transmission is packed with all steel gears that ride on sealed bearings, giving the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck another added dimension of durability while delivering smooth power. Axial also offers a two-speed transmission as an option part. Not only does it up the ante on the scale realism, but it helps this Yeti dig hard or open it up, it’s entirely up to you. Like the other vehicles from the manufacturer, the transmission in the Yeti SCORE is easily removed for service or upgrades. It also utilizes a 32 pitch spur/pinion to keep from stripping during abusive power output.
When equipping the Yeti SCORE with electronics, Axial spared no expense. The Vanguard ESC was developed by Castle Creations for Axial and it can be programmed just like any other Castle ESC, using either the Field Program Card or the Castle Link. The long can 3150Kv brushless motor doles out some great speeds on a 2S LiPo, staying nice and cool even under heavy throttle doses, meaning back to back packs aren’t an issue. On 3S, the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck becomes a brute, with power and speed to spare. Finishing off the electronics is the Tactic TSX45 metal gear servo that pushes 150+ ounces of torque and is fully waterproof and the Tactic TTX300 radio system.
Great performance isn’t the only thing the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck has going for it. It also looks killer. The all new Trophy Truck body has tons of scale features such as molded exhaust outlets, hood vents and light buckets that are ready to accept the LEDs of your choice. There is also an internal chassis tray with licensed driver figures that can be customized. Putting the ponies down, Axial went with the Method racing wheels spinning BF Goodrich Baja tires. Not only will you be ripping up the race course, you’ll also look great doing it.
ON THE TRACK
The TSX45 servo from Tactic gives the Yeti SCORE great authority in the steering department, plus it’ll stand up to some abuse with the full metal gear set. The low speed turning radius isn’t all that tight, but that’s largely due to the rear locker. Over the rough stuff, the truck has great steering and the long travel suspension helps immensely with control input. When we were out on the looser surfaces, a simple blip of the throttle was often employed to whip the rear end around for instant direction changes. Throughout our test sessions, we did have the steering bellcrank get bound up on a pebble a few times, but simply inverting the Yeti Score and rolling the steering wheel back and forth would solve the problem.
For a sensorless system, the Vanguard ESC and Axial motor are pretty smooth. While the truck isn’t as fast as a traditional 4WD brushless SCT on 2S, the speeds are plenty quick enough for rock racing. The super plush suspension keeps all four wheels planted firmly on the ground so the Yeti Score always has good grip, giving it great acceleration. The ability to pop in a 3S LiPo is awesome and cranks up the top speeds quite a bit, just keep an eye on the motor temps. Braking felt almost as smooth as a sensored system and can easily be tuned using the Castle Link. Mid air attitude adjustments were easily made so we always had the truck landing squarely to get right back on the power.
The handling of the Yeti Score is something you have to see to believe. Pick the gnarliest section of yard or lot you can and the truck will just power through it. The long travel suspension design keeps the chassis from getting unsettled and the rear sway bar keeps the rear end where it should be … on the ground. Jumping the Yeti SCORE is sheer pleasure. The centrally located battery tray keeps the CG in the middle, so aerial adventures are a no brainer as the truck flies nice and level no matter how the jump is approached. Even during hard nose landings (due to too much braking in the air) the Yeti would square up nicely, ready to tackle the next obstacle.
If there’s one thing that Axial vehicles are well-known for, it’s their durability. The Yeti SCORE is no different. We put the truck through some torturous test runs, almost trying to break it, but each time it came out unscathed. The AR60 rear axle and Wildboar driveshaft can stand up to some serious power and the tub chassis protects all the vital internal components. Of course, the full Trophy Truck body with the large front and rear bumpers cover almost everything, so this Yeti isn’t prone to breakage like and open wheel racer. The only time we had to perform any maintenance on the machine was when a small pebble worked its way into the spur gear.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 19.5 in. (495mm)
WIDTH: 12.3 in. (312mm)
WHEELBASE: 14.25 in. (360mm)
WEIGHT: 6.51 lbs. (2.9kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Short course style with rear cage and spare tire
WHEELS: Licensed Method 105 black spokes
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm front and rear
TIRES: Pre-mounted BF Goodrich Baja T/A KR2
TYPE: Independent front, solid axle rear
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 3-tower, 2-arm, (R) 1-chassis, 1-axle
CAMBER: Fixed ROLL: Adjustable rear link positions
RIDE HEIGHT: Threaded shock collars
TYPE: Dual Bellcrank
TYPE: Tub front, 4-link rear
TRANSMISSION: 3-gear locked
DIFFERENTIAL: Bevel gear front, locked rear
GEAR RATIO: N/A
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
CLUTCH TYPE: Slipper
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 8
Performance – Handling: 9
Performance – Durability: 10
Feature Breakdown: 9
Overall Value: 8
The Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck combines all the great things about the original Yeti and wraps it all in a sweet looking truck body with fully licensed tires, wheels, shock caps and driver figures. If blasting through the desert in scale fashion is your cup of tea … this is your truck! The performance is matched only by the durability and the available hop-ups and tuning options available for the platform are aplenty. It’s no wonder that Axial was able to get the Yeti SCORE licensed by SCORE International. I foresee Baja style racing getting really big thanks to this truck. Now that’s cool!