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Home » Reviews » Hot Bodies D185 Review

Hot Bodies D185 Review

Ready to Win! Tessmann Worlds Edition

This article was originally published in RC Driver’s January 2016 issue.

Photos: Edwin Rodriguez

Hot Bodies not only continues to impress us with new and innovative releases, but with pro, Ty Tessman, and other skilled drivers behind the wheel of these cars, the team continually delivers impressive A-main results. So when HB announced the D815 Tessman Worlds Edition buggy kit, an evolution of the successful D812 and D8 kits, we were more than interested to see how this car line could go next level. Long gone are the days of the D8 as this new buggy, the D815, is loaded with quality components engineered with precision and with the best results for the driver in mind. The buggy boasts large bore shocks, lightweight driveline, durable hubs, stout knuckles and even tuneable suspension arms. With true refinement and a dedication to racing; HB fans, here is one 1/8 nitro buggy you won’t want to miss.

WHO MAKES IT:  Hot Bodies
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to Pro
HOW MUCH:  $629.99

• Major revamp from its predecessor
Quality materials and well machined components
Balanced chassis layout
Amazing attention to fine details
Includes Pro-Line body and wing
Excellent handling should make it easy to drive

• No mount for the air fi lter
Needs a cool tank pull handle

Hot Bodies continues to pump out competition dominating race machines and the D815 Worlds Edition is yet another buggy that dedicated HB drivers will find easy to build, maintain, tune and most importantly, nimble to drive on the track. The quality of this kit is top notch and is backed up with amazing performance traits on many different styles of tracks.

• Allen wrenches, turnbuckle wrenches, box wrench, oils and manua

• 2-Channel Radio System, .21 Engine and Pipe, Two High-Torque Servos, Starter Box and Igniter, Fuel and Pit Bottle, Wheels and tires, Paint, Receiver Battery and Switch

TOP/ Novarossi Elite 5 Engine – TOP is back in the US and it is, made exclusively by Novarossi so it of course is assembled with high-end quality materials and machine work for epic performance and great fuel mileage.
Futaba 4PX Transmitter – The 4PX is a true workhorse for RC Driver magazine, so many of our test cars have been programmed into this one radio for testing. It is loaded with great features, tuning options and of course, multiple model memory.
Pro-Line Fugitive M3 Tires – A favorite tire at our local test track, the Fugitive tire offers great traction and good wear characteristics. Pro-Line has a wide selection of tires to hook up on just about any track.

• Novarossi 9901 Tuned Pipe
Savox SB2270SG Servo
ProTek RC On/ Off Switch
LRP LiPo Battery
Byron’s 30% Gen2 Race Fuel

• HB Aluminum Steering Horn, Part No. Varies. The kit comes with composite plastic servo horns, but realistically you need an aluminum horn. HB offers aluminum horns that will fit whatever servo you choose to install in your buggy.
HB Carbon Arm Inserts, #111741 – (FRONT)#111742 – (REAR). These ultra cool looking arm insert plates help stiffen the feel of the arms while improving durability. This is a very cool tuning option to test on your specific track.
HB Mud Guard Set, 109865. There was some serious dirt build-up on the left rear arm of our buggy during testing. The Mud Guard set will prevent dirt from collecting on the driveshafts and shocks.

‹A black hard anodized 7075 aluminum chassis plate is loaded with milled reliefs to reduce the plate’s weight. Its relatively rectangular chassis plate shape arranges the components that bolt to the center in a tight configuration for better weight distribution. What really sticks out when inspecting the chassis is the steel rear insert plate that resists wear. Mounted to the top of the chassis is HB’s new radio tray that locates the servo all the way up front with the battery behind it followed by the throttle servo and then the radio box with a long narrow channel along the side to run the wires. Thankfully there is plenty of room in this new box to mount today’s LiPo batteries. A composite front brace plate bridges the gearbox and steering posts with composite braces to secure the front and rear clips.

‹The front suspension is a C-hub style loaded with high-end race features. Starting inboard, the hinge pin braces are machined aluminum with acentric bushings for tuning the hinge pin position. The suspension arms are thick, well-constructed and molded in composite plastic, but the eye catchers here are the plastic brace plates that screw into the arms and can be replaced with carbon fiber plates. Outboard on the arms, machined aluminum caster blocks mate up with machined aluminum steering knuckles, all anodized black, of course, for a cool look. The steering arm on the knuckle is a separate carbon fiber plate that can be replaced with optional plates for steering tuning. Much like the front, the rear also features a plate with inlayed arms mounted to aluminum hinge pin supports with aluminum hubs to support the rear axles. Carbon fiber upper plates on the hubs can be swapped with optional units to change the position of the camber link mount. Back inboard, thick machined aluminum towers are anodized black and support the large bore shocks. The two-tone anodized aluminum threaded shocks are super impressive from their finish to their feel.

‹The steering assembly is revised with a composite lower arm and aluminum upper arm in the main crank. Also in the main is the servo saver spring with a locking pressure nut located at the top. A great additional feature is the foam cover over the spring to help keep dirt out of the saver assembly. The cranks are linked up with an aluminum drag link and ball bearings support the assembly on lightweight aluminum steering posts. Threaded turnbuckles are, of course, included for toe adjustment.

‹On to the driveline of the D815, it has been revamped for better durability and acceleration. In the front and rear, new gearboxes support fluid filled gear differentials. These diffs have been outfitted with lightweight cross shafts and new ring gears that mate up to one-piece bevel pinions that also serve as the center driveshaft universal cup. Before I get ahead of myself, the diffs all have lightened out drives and precision seals for low friction. Lightweight shafts extend from the diffs to the axle shafts outside of the car and the center diff on the inside of the car. Rubber boots help keep dirt out of all of the universal joints. The center diff features a lightweight spur gear and lightweight outdrives as you would expect. Slowing the buggy are sintered brake pads with steel rotors. HB even includes lightweight hard anodized aluminum brake cams. Providing the punch from the engine is an aluminum flywheel with aluminum 3-shoe clutch and standard steel clutchbell.

‹Being a racing vehicle, this buggy comes in kit form with great instructions for the build-up. Inside the box along with the cool parts and features mentioned earlier are some Pro-Line Racing support items like a Type-R body and Trifecta clear Lexan wing with wickerbill. Two one-piece wing mounts are included in the kit for tuning the wing height. You’ll need your own wheels and tires, but that’s standard on race kits.

Well, it was love at the first pull of the throttle! I took the time to break in the TOP Elite 5 engine before hitting the track and with a quick bench tune before dropping the D815 into pit lane; I was ready for a full day of testing. When I hit the straight with the buggy and leaned on the gas, the D815 had great pull and excellent forward bite. On the packed track the Pro-Line Fugitive tires hooked up and it seems like all the stars aligned to lay power to the ground. Out of the corners the buggy had plenty of snap and it was easy to clear every jump on the track. On the braking side of the buggy, the D815 slows quickly under hard braking while staying squared up to the lanes with no real pull in either direction. The braking response is smooth and linear so you are in control whether it’s slowing down on the end of a straight or to rotate the buggy through a corner.

The D815 just feels planted, plain and simple. The weight of the buggy and how it’s placed in its design gives it an all-around solid feel and gives the driver behind the wheel confidence to push the buggy harder. I was truly impressed by how I could power through the six-pack section of large jumps on the front side of the test track. The key to being fast is keeping on the throttle when others are letting off for their buggies to settle and the D815 is on point, allowing you to stay on the throttle with the suspension doing all of the work to stay stable. Through the rough sections the chassis remained flat; the buggy jumps level and easily drops the nose for landing the downside of a jump to pull it through. The D815 recovers well if you hit a jump without setting up properly and is fully controllable in the air with throttle or steering input.

On the bench, the D815 has good physical steering throw, but does appear a little limited in comparison to others. However, on the track that appearance seems to be an illusion because this buggy steers hard! There was a 180-degree turn on the track and the first time I went around it, I couldn’t believe how hard the buggy cornered. I must have been within a half inch of the pipe, cut past it and ripped down the straight. Since it was practice, I cut the pipe to try it again and sure enough, a repeat! The D815 feels planted in the corners from the tight switchbacks to the big sweeping corners that you can hammer the throttle through.

The HB D815 is a bit of a tank in feel, it’s solid on and off the track. So when I hammered into a pipe it sounded like the pipe got the raw end of the deal. If I rolled the buggy, it always seemed to land on four wheels. If I tumbled after a landing, the buggy didn’t seem to wince. I was concerned that with no filter support wire, the filter would pop off, but it never happened. The only thing that really did happen was I mauled the Lexan wing. I did push the buggy hard to find issues and the only item to suffer on the car was a creased wing. I guess I should stick to nylon wings.

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LENGTH: 15.6 in. (396mm)
WHEELBASE: 12.8 in. (326mm)
WIDTH: Varies WEIGHT: 7.4 lbs.

BODY: Clear Pro-Line Type R Buggy
WHEELS: Not included
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 17mm hex TIRES: Not included

TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 5-tower, 2-arm, (R) 5-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles
ROLL: Adjustable camber link position
WHEELBASE: Adjustable shims
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load collars on the shocks
MISC: Anti-squat, kickup, hub height

TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles

TYPE: Flat with kick-up
MATERIAL: 7075 Aluminum

DIFFERENTIAL: Sealed gear diff
GEAR RATIO: Optional gears
BEARINGS: Full set of rubber shielded
CLUTCH TYPE: Three-shoe

Opinion: 9
Performance – Acceleration: 9
Performance – Steering: 9
Performance – Handling: 9
Performance – Durability: 9
Feature Breakdown: 10
Overall Value: 10

The Hot Bodies 1/8 buggy line has an impressive lineage and the latest edition, the D815 Worlds Edition, combines winning knowledge with impressive design that means a machine that is ready for success to its future driver. The quality of the D815 is excellent and its tuning options are plentiful. This buggy was just amazing on the track and when I spent more time having fun than worrying about handling, I found myself laying down fast lap times with ease. The D815 Worlds is a true pure race buggy.

Hot Bodies/ HPI Racing, hpiracing.com, (949) 753-1099
TOP/ Novarossi, dist by: Novarossi Direct USA, novarossidirect.com (205) 306-4526
Pro-Line Racing, prolineracing.com, (909) 849-9781
Savox, distributed by HRP Distributing, Inc., hrpdealer.com, (800) 622-7223
Byron Originals, byronfuels.com, (712) 364-316

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