Brutal speed and incredible durability!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s May 2015 issue.
Photos: Walter Sidas
Over the many, many years I have been involved with hobby level radio control vehicles I have never had a truggy. Monster trucks, yes, 1/8 buggies, sure, but a truggy has never been in my fleet. Then, I saw the new ARRMA Talion and my eyes opened wide like a kid viewing his haul of presents on Christmas morning. Not only does the Talion look phenomenal, but ARRMA states is can hit speeds exceeding 60 mph! The more I looked at what this truggy had to offer, the more I wanted it. After a few phone calls (OK, only one to Greg Vogel) I was lucky enough to get the review of this beast. Was the vehicle itself as impressive as its specs and claims? Read on…
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: ARRMA
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate users and up
PART NUMBER: AR106003
HOW MUCH: $479.99 BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Ridiculously fast on 6S LiPo
• Very fast on “just” 4S LiPo
• Extremely durable
• I love the low profile cab for- ward look of the body
• Sharp looking red anodizing throughout
• It’s waterproof for all-weather fun
• Outstanding warranty
• Designed to be easy to wrench on
• Very adjustable
• Low end throttle response could be smoother
ARRMA has taken the evolution of the truggy to the next level with the Talion. Wheeling the Talion was the most fun I have had with a radio controlled vehicle in a long, long time. It is brutally fast, and while many manufacturers can also make this claim, the Talion also handles exceptionally well and is as rugged as rugged can be. The Talion is the ultimate blast to drive!
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• Detailed manual
• Nut wrench
• Box wrench
• Allen keys
• 15-tooth high speed pinion gear Battery spacers
• Two, 3S 11.1V LiPo battery packs to reach maximum speed
• Compatible LiPo charger
• 4 “AA” Batteries
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• 17-tooth pinion gear, AR310478, $4.99. In order to reach the highest speeds ARRMA states the Talion can attain this optional pin- ion gear is required. I tried one out on my truck and they were telling the truth!
The backbone of the ARRMA Talion is the black anodized 3mm thick aluminum plate chassis. Super tough composite stiffening braces span from the front and rear to the center of the chassis to help eliminate front to rear flex while still allowing for some side-to-side flexibility to help generate traction. Composite side guards attach to each side of the chassis to help keep mud, dirt and debris away from the running gear under the body. Helping the Talion perform to its potential is a well- balanced chassis with the batteries and sealed receiver box on the left hand side of the chassis and the motor, electronic speed control and steering servo on the right hand side. Speaking of the battery, it is secured to the chassis with easy-to-use Velcro straps and the battery tray itself is adjustable to accommodate many battery types. The battery can also be moved forward or backward to help in weight tuning.
The plush suspension on the ARRMA Talion begins with the 16mm big bore threaded red anodized aluminum shocks. They feature black aluminum anodized caps for added durability and a nice touch of contrast. Since the shock bodies are threaded, making preload adjustments to the spring rate is as simple as tightening or loosening the adjustment collar. Rubber shock boots are employed to keep the shafts free from dirt and debris that may scratch the shafts inside and they prolong the life of the shock oil. The shocks attach at the top to an ultra-thick 5mm black anodized aluminum shock tower at the top and a pin/retaining screw setup on the
lower arm. The adjustable front end utilizes pivot ball style arms/knuckles that operate smoothly up and down and side to side. The beefy arms have been molded in such a way that they have just enough flex to not break in a hard collision. Front and rear sway bars, like what you would find on race specific vehicles, compliment the suspension system and help it cruise smoothly over most obstacles while reducing body roll.
With massive truggy tires on the Talion, ARRMA made sure the steering setup was more than capable of turning the wheels from side to side. It all starts with the waterproof ADS-15 digital steering servo that features metal gears and 208 oz./in. of torque. The black anodized aluminum servo arm connects to the dual bellcrank that incorporates a spring loaded servo saver, although the servo gears are so tough this is simply an added level of protection. From there, extra beefy rod ends and 5mm thick turnbuckles connect to the pivot style steering knuckles. Speaking of the steering knuckles, each offers a red anodized aluminum arm for even more toughness and an eye catching look.
With the massive power pumping through the Talion ARRMA was sure to include a drivetrain that many full scale compact cars would envy. It goes without saying that the entire vehicle runs on metal shielded, low maintenance ball bearings with oversized bearings used wherever possible. The front, center and rear diffs are of the sealed gear variety and can be easily tuned by changing the viscosity of the oil inside. All gears, including the spur on the center differential are made from nearly indestructible steel for long life and to help eliminate failures. The front and rear diffs are housed in composite housings that are so well designed that by disconnecting the sway bar and removing four screws they can be removed for servicing or tuning. The steel dog bone type axles that connect the center diff to the front and rear diffs and are 5mm thick! Likewise, steel dog bones are used used on the back of the Talion while CV style shafts are used up front. Red anodized aluminum 17mm wheel adapters are used all around and are compatible with most 1/8 truggy wheels on the market.
So, I’ve been talking about how fast the Talion is but I have yet to actually talk about the motor. The big BLX 2050Kv 4-pole brushless motor is anodized in red, like many of the other components on the Talion, and the can is machined with heatsinks to aid in heat dispensation to help it operate efficiently. The waterproof BLX180 ESC has a red case and built-in fan to keep it from overheating. The ESC also has three large internal capacitors to help eliminate cogging, also known as turbo lag, when taking off hard from a dead stop. The BLX180 can run on 4S, 14.8V LiPo or an unbelievable 6S, 22.2V. High voltage Deans Ultra Plug battery connectors come preinstalled on the BLX180. ARRMA equipped the Talion with an ATX 2.4GHz radio system has good range and has steering and throttle trim as well as steering dual rate adjustment.
As soon as I unboxed the Talion I was blown away with how well detailed the body was. The white, red and blue scheme is super sharp and the low profile cab forward design looks super aggressive. The black composite wing not only has an aerodynamic look, but at high speeds helps generate downforce to keep the rear wheels planted. Black 5-spoke wheels come with dBoots tires pre-mounted and are well secured to the truck by a large aluminum black anodized 17mm wheel nuts.
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ON THE TRACK
With the batteries fully charged I took the Talion to Robinson State Park near my house. I first tried it out in the dirt and stone dust parking lot that had not been smoothed out in a very long time. On grabbing the throttle the Talion blasted forward sending a HUGE roost of dirt and debris in its trail as it took off. On take off the back end of the Talion sunk down and the front end pulled up ever so slightly. As expected on a vehicle this fast the tires started to balloon as the Talion reached full speed but it hardly impacted the handling. As I ripped back and forth through the parking lot the suspension worked flawlessly over every surface imperfection, allowing the Talion to basically float and keep all four wheels in contact with the ground, even over the more aggressive bumps and ruts.
I headed for some wide trails with both narrow and wide sweeping turns as well as plenty of ruts and tree roots where many mountain bikers test their skills. Hitting some of the larger roots that protruded up from the ground over two inches was not an issue for the Talion as it would just blast over them, getting some fun air in the process. Cutting through the trails was an abundance of fun as I could take the wide turns at near full speed while I would break the back end free on command to navigate the tighter corners and turns. Down in the woods there is an area where a small foot bridge is locat- ed over a three to four foot wide stream below. This gave me a great idea, jump the gap! If I did not make it the Talion would land in the shallow water below so I could test the water-proof electronics package. If I made it, I had a good test of it’s jumping ability. I stood on the far side with my buddy Justin Glaze on the other with the truck and punched it. The Talion launched through the air but I held the throttle a bit too long while in flight and caused it to over rotate through the air and land hard on the other side. I was afraid that something might have broken but upon inspection it was fine! I tried to jump back to the other side but did not have the same success because I was going from the low side to the high side this time and did not get enough of a launch. The Talion landed upside down in the water below, meaning I was going to have to go down and get wet to retrieve it. While I was down righting the truck in the water I had to drive around some before I climbed back out. Here the truck was equally at home as on the trails and in the parking lot as it spit mud and water all over the place.
Back in the woods I handed the transmitter over to Justin so he could have a go. He immediately had a huge smile as he ran through the trails, until he clipped a tree a near full speed and sent the Talion spinning. Both of us ran over to the truck to inspect it as I was sure there was serious front end damage. Yet again, the truck was absolutely fine, with only plenty of dirt, mud and water sand and debris covering the body and coating the inside of the chassis.
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 22.5 in. (571mm)
Width: 16.7 in. (425mm)
Wheelbase: 14.9 in. (378mm)
Height: 7.5 in. (190mm)
Weight: 134 oz. (3.8kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Low profile cab forward pre painted truggy
WHEELS: Black nylon 5-spoked
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 17mm hex
TIRES: dBoots Multi-surface tires with hard wearing tread pattern and foam inserts
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: Multiple tower loca- tions
ROLL: Multiple link locations WHEELBASE: Adjustable
RIDE HEIGHT: Threaded shock bodies/collars
TYPE: Dual bellcrank with saver TOE: Adjustable
TYPE: Plate MATERIAL: Aluminum
TYPE: Shaft drive
DIFFERENTIAL: Oil filled front, center and rear gear differentials
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full set of metal shielded
Performance – Acceleration: 9.5
Performance – Steering: 9.5
Performance – Handling: 9.5
Performance – Durability: 10
Feature Breakdown: 10
Overall Value: 10
While some people do race electric truggies, the vast majority who own them are backyard bashers. While the Talion is more directed toward this basher crowd, it can, check that, it will perform admirably at the race track too. With its silky smooth suspension, many tuning options, insane speed, and phenomenal durability, I can easily see someone bashing the Talion with friends on a Saturday and taking town the TQ and win at their local track on Sunday. Should an electric truggy be in your future, this should be first on the list as it is the com- plete package from top to bottom.