Monster truck excitement all in one great package!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s August 2015 issue.
By Justin Glaze Photos Walter Sidas
Helion has seen tons of success providing us with its very capable models at an unbe- lievable price point. After driving the Dominus short course truck which was released a couple of years ago, I was sure that the Invictus 10MT would provide a great driving experience once I had the privilege of taking the wheel. The Invictus comes standard with all the ingredients to jump and shred around your favorite bashing spots. All weather electronics, four wheel drive, oil-filled shocks, and a high center of gravity chassis are standard features on this truck. The only thing left to add in are some “AA” batteries and a craving for lots of dirt slinging action!
WHO MAKES IT: Helion
WHO IT’S FOR: Beginners to Advanced Drivers
PART NUMBER: HLNA0570
HOW MUCH: $309.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
+ Impressive ground clearance
+ High quality electronics
+ Reliable gear diff’s used throughout
+ 2.4GHz radio
– A LiPo battery standard would be nice
The monster truck segment of the RC world has been one of the most popular for many years. These vehicles are very appealing to both new drivers and the more advanced. The Helion Invictus offers plenty of great features to make it a clear choice for a basher. Both the drivability and the appealing looks of the vehicle make it look realistic and drive just as well.
4 “AA” batteries for the transmitter (RTR)
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
Aluminum threaded big bore shocks, Part number HLNA0182. These shocks not only are trick looking, they give added performance to your handling.
Black wheels, Part number HLNA0274. This mod is strictly for looks but I feel that the black wheels would really set this truck apart from the rest.
TOOLS & ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4 way multi wrench 2 hex wrenches
• 2 extra servo horns
• Shock preload spacers
• Wall mount battery charger
• Helion 1800mAh NiMH battery
CHASSIS: Helion RC really did their homework with this chassis to make it ideal for Monster truck use. Many companies may simply use a short course style LCG chassis with big tires and call it a day. Not with the Invictus! High centering on rough terrain adds unwanted time to your driving sessions as you walk over to get the truck unstuck. This is why the Invictus is ideal for the ultimate monster truck driving performance! The layout provides high side rails where the body meets it to keep things a bit more dry when the going gets muddy. I was able to access the drive system and electronics with basic RC tools.
SUSPENSION: The Invictus provides you with four independent oil-filled shocks. Each shock has a 10mm bore with bladder top bodies. Single rate black springs topped with cool looking red shock caps complete the look of the suspension. Adjustability doesn’t stop with different oil viscosities, you can change the shock location on both the top and bottom mounts to suit your driving style or for different conditions. The tires offer a good bit of cushion with a soft to medium tire foam which work together with the suspen- sion to give you those fun monster truck characteristics while bouncing through and over objects. Up front you have a pivot ball setup which includes an upper A-arm. On the rear it is a single A-arm setup.
STEERING: The stock 6kg high torque steering servo turns the big monster truck’s V tread Swampers. A servo saver is included in the vehicle to pro- tect your servo gears from direct hits by soaking up the impact before it can do real damage which could leave you stuck on the sidelines. A dual bell crank steering rack is locat- ed under the receiver box in the front of the chassis which pushes and pulls adjustable tie rods. The servo is mounted upsidedown and is easy to access and remove for maintenance.
DRIVETRAIN: The Invictus has a long drive shaft running down the middle of the entire chassis from the steel ring and pinion gear mesh located at the rear end of the chassis. Both the front and the rear of this monster truck feature very durable full metal planetary gear diffs. These style diffs provide one of the most consistent and reliable driving experiences allow for longer intervals between rebuilds. The out-drives on all four corners of the truck use metal dog bones that connect to sealed bearings in the hubs. The high quality bearings will definitely help you out if you tend to drive in dirty conditions, which in monster truck terms is all the time!
ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Additional features include the use of Deans style connectors, making it easy to use other batteries that you may have already laying around for other RC vehicles. The center driveshaft as well as the typically exposed pin- ion and main spur gear are covered by a cool, clear plastic protective shield. The housing shields the moving parts from the elements and is for sure a really nice feature. The kit includes a Helion HRS-3.1 2.4GHz radio system which has adjustable end points, dual rate, digital trim and servo reversing.
SPECS & TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 16.61 in. (422mm)
WIDTH: 13.27 in. (337mm)
WHEELBASE: 10.83 (275mm)
WEIGHT: 5.83 lb. (2645g)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted and cut Monster Truck
WHEELS: Silver dish wheels
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm hex
TIRES: ”V-Tread” style Swampers
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 2-tower, 2-arm, (R) 2-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles
ROLL: Non Adjustable
WHEELBASE: Non Adjustable
RIDE HEIGHT: Adjustable
STEERING TYPE: Dual bell crank
TYPE: HGC (High Ground Clearance)
TRANSMISSION: Gear mid-mounted
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear diff
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 9
Performance – Handling: 10
Performance – Durability: 9.5
Feature Breakdown: 9
Overall Value: 9.5
When I opened the box for the Helion Invictus 10MT I was very impressed with how realistic it looked. This usually translates to a fun and adrenaline-filled driving session. After topping off the included Helion 9.6V 1800mAh NiMH battery it was off to the backyard for some major bash session driving. In my backyard I have a loamy dirt pile from a recent deck project which I naturally gravitated toward. The Invictus handled the longer grass with relative ease on the way over to the dirt. The grassy sections would definitely benefit from a 3S LiPo battery which the Radient Reaktor ESC is rated for but it does just fine in stock form with the included battery. The dirt pile is where this truck really started to shine and put a big ol’ smile on my face! All four tires were slinging the soil as it raced up and down the hill with ease. I also did some great power turns which put the monster truck on its toes while it bounced over the bumps. Once I finished ripping up the dirt, I headed out to the front yard and drive- way. I was able to see what this truck had to offer speed wise as I ripped up and down my street at the 30 mph top speed. After a few passes on the street I looped the truck around toward my driveway where there is a decent little incline where the curb meets the road. The Invictus launched off that little lip and gave me a thrilling monster truck bounce as it came back down. This curb jump reminded me of the real trucks I see on television or at monster truck events as it bounced and jostled its way out of the landing with a steady jab of full throttle to pull it straight again. I finished my session back by the new deck where there are still some 2X4’s left and was able to get the truck to do some awesome slap wheelies. I can’t wait to get back out there for some more monster truck fun, maybe with a LiPo battery for added excitement.
THE LAST WORD
What can I say? I have a sweet spot for monster trucks and the Helion Invictus has everything you could want in one package. I have been driving and racing RC cars for more than 10 years and this truck brings me back to that same feeling I got when I first got into the RC hobby with my original monster truck. This truck is an excellent choice for the first timer, all the way up to the seasoned racer who wants a fun truck to drive on non-racing days.
Firelands Group, LLC, firelandsgroup.com (800) 205-6773
Helion, available from hobbytown.com (800) 205-6773