Beauty and Brawn in an RTR Package!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s September 2015 issue.
Photos by Walter Sidas
Losi’s fabulous TEN-SCTE 2.0 has seen quite a bit of success on the battlefield, winning everything from club races to National Championships. When it came time to produce an RTR version of this truck, Horizon didn’t just want to throw some entry-level electronics in it, they wanted to make sure their truck was fast, competitive and had a bold new look. Well I have to say that they came through with flying colors; this truck is fast, has exceptional handling traits and a great new look thanks to their partnership with Troy Lee Designs.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Losi
WHO IT’S FOR: Everyone
PART NUMBER: LOS03001
HOW MUCH: $539.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Troy Lee Designs body scheme looks great
• Based on Losi’s TEN-SCTE 2.0 race truck
• Powerful brushless system
• Waterproof electronics Capable of handling a 2S or 3S LiPo battery
• Spektrum DX2E V3 transmitter system with AVC
• Exceptionally strong drivetrain
• Surprisingly sticky Eclipse tires
• Extremely tuneable suspension
• ESC ejected from the truck on the first run
• Wiring seems a little messy
The TEN-SCTE RTR is basically a watered-down version of the TLR TEN-SCTE 2.0 racing truck. While you don’t get all the bells and whistles, you do get a stellar platform stuffed with healthy dose of power. Also installed is Losi’s AVC system which, in my opinion, isn’t really all that necessary as this truck has very good handling right out of the box. In addition, you can upgrade the RTR a little at a time to build yourself a fearsome track truck that will hang with just about anything out there.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• L wrenches
• 4-way wrench
• Molded shock, turnbuckle and hex tool
• Molded battery strap extenders (for 3S packs)
• Bag of spare hardware
• Bind plug
• 2S or 3S LiPo Battery with EC3 connector
• LiPo compatible charger
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• Dynamite Reaction 5000mAh 50C 2S LiPo Battery
• Dynamite Prophet Precept 80W AC/DC Battery Charger
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• #LOSB4112 & LOSB 4113 Adjustable Front & Rear Hinge Pin Holders
Swapping out the fixed hinge pin holders for an adjustable set allows you to tune kick up, anti-squat, roll and toe. These are very useful tuning adjustments that can help you dial in your car to any track condition.
• #LOSB2959 & LOSB 2963 Front and Rear Racing Spring Sets
Another useful tool in the arsenal is a set of shock springs. These will also allow fine adjustments depending on track conditions.
Tires are the biggest performance part you can buy. While the Eclipse tires worked well, having the right tires for your track surface will make an enormous difference in the handling of this truck.
• The chassis design is faithfully reproduced after the race winning TLR 2.0 SCT. The 3mm aluminum deck features the same running gear mounting locations as the TLR truck, ensuring excellent weight balance and handling. Fixed to each side of the deck are molded rails with Losi’s flexi- chassis guards attached. These guards are a little different than most; they are mounted on pivots that provide some flex in the event of a side collision. This allows a bit of cushion instead of solid parts taking the brunt of the blow. To control longitudinal flex, a pair of thick molded chassis braces extend down from the gearboxes and attach firmly to the chassis. A swinging battery door is standard equipment, making battery changes quick and easy while holding it securely in place.
Since Losi wants you to have the same experience as their race-bred truck, the RTR shares a lot of the same suspension components as the TLR 2.0. The suspension arms, steering knuckles, caster blocks and rear hubs are shared components. While the shock towers aren’t carbon fiber (like the TLR 2.0), these 4mm aluminum units do share the same geometry as far as shock mounting locations and inner camber link locations. Thick, plated 4mm turnbuckles combine adjustability with extreme durability and the TEN-SCTE RTR includes a set of front and rear anti-roll bars. To finish off this competitive design, a full set of plushy, threaded aluminum shocks are installed.
A bearing-supported, dual bellcrank steering system is mounted in the TEN-SCTE RTR. Like the camber links, the TEN-SCTE uses 4mm plated turnbuckles for the steering. To help carve through your off-road adventure, Losi has included a robust servo to handle the steering duties. The S605 digital servo is a waterproof unit that features a metal geartrain and an aluminum mid-case to help dissipate heat. It’s rated at 161 ounces of torque; plenty of power to keep up with my over-zealous throttle finger around our test track.
The TEN-SCTE’s drivetrain is near bulletproof. The 4WD system spins a full set of CVDs that whirl the wheels on SCT- standard 12mm hexes. Losi’s Eclipse tires are mounted on black SCT wheels with an orange, beadlock-style detail ring added to spice up the color. The Eclipse tires worked great on our un-groomed track with and without the AVC fired up. Located at the ends and in the center, Losi has included three fluid-filled differentials to help control traction. Providing the power to the truck is Dynamite’s 130A LiPo-compatible ESC and 3900Kv 4-pole SCT motor. This system is very quick on a 2S LiPo, but if you’re hankering for a little more get-up-and-go, you can drop in a 3S pack as well. Losi even includes a pair of battery strap risers to allow a larger pack to fit!
There are a few more details I’d like to cover, the first being Losi’s AVC system. It’s basically a traction control system and it’s a great setup for beginners learning throttle control. You can increase or decrease the amount of controlled traction depending on the surface you are running on. The addition of the snazzy Troy Lee Designs scheme looks great on the track. The orange coloring both on the body and the wheels made the truck easily visible even when entering any shadowed parts of the track. Chrome-plated screws scattered throughout the chassis are another nice touch, adding a bit of bling to the black parts. The layout on the chassis works well, but I did have one minor issue; the ESC mounting. During the first test run, the ESC popped off the chassis and started flopping around inside the truck; it’s a sizeable ESC with some weight so a better mounting system would have been nice. I re-attached it with some uber-gooey double- sided tape and didn’t have any more issues for the rest of the day.
ON THE TRACK
We packed up the TEN-SCTE and headed down to Wolcott Hobbies for a day of fun, sun and toy cars. You can imagine our disappointment when we arrived only to find the track in major disarray … the Wolcott crew was in the process of giving it a full rebuild for an upcoming event. While not completely groomed yet, we did have the general idea of the track; a long straight, a few switchbacks and a huge double/triple jump section. The best part was that, since the track wasn’t groomed, we’d get a good idea of how this RTR truck would run in a typical RTR environment.
After a few pictures in the pits, a quick charge of the Dynamite LiPo and a few sips of my Monster drink, I was up on the driver’s stand ready to tear up the torn up track. I cranked the AVC up to auto-drive and yanked the throttle; as expected, roosts of loose dirt shot out from behind the truck. On a 2S pack, this little SCT flat-out moves! We were all pretty impressed with its speed right out of the box and the gearing seemed just about right for the length of this particular layout. It had plenty of low end squirt from corner to corner, thanks in part to the AVC allowing me to simply mash the throttle all the time. The suspension seemed to eat up the bumps, simply gliding over some of the rougher areas. Jumping was excellent as well, but caution had to be taken when risking the triple jump. Short course truck bodies like to capture air under them, making them a little unpredictable once in the air. The steering felt a little lazy, but I know that has to do a little with the AVC. The traction control not only fiddles with the power, but the steering as well, so at times this lethargic feeling is normal. I ran the entire battery at full pace, getting a feel for the truck on full AVC; its jumping characteristics, acceleration, steering and cornering. When I brought it back in for a battery change, I immediately noticed the ESC hang- ing out the side of the truck; it had ejected sometime during the run and was just bouncing around inside. Feeling pretty lucky that it didn’t get sucked into the drivetrain, I replaced the mounting tape with some super sticky stuff I had in my pit bag and re-attached the ESC. It was time to recharge the LiPo and head out for pack number two.
On the second test run I turned the AVC all the way off and have to say that, even in RTR form, this truck’s 4WD system and the box-stock setup are excellent. The steering felt much more alive as did the overall response of the truck on the smoother parts of the track, but when I ran through rougher parts the TEN- SCTE seemed to bounce and deflect off course much easier. Diving hard into the corners required a bit more skill to keep it under control, so it took a few laps to get a feeling for it and find the limits of the tires. Jumping felt about the same as full-AVC-on, with the awesome suspension settling the truck the moment it landed.
At one point during the second pack, a mild screeching started coming from the truck. It didn’t seem to affect performance so I kept going. It pro- ceeded to get louder and louder, so I brought the truck in to give it a look – a large rock was pinned under the front/center driveshaft and the rotating shaft was causing this sound. It was wedged under there pretty good and I’m not even sure how it got under there! It took me a few minutes to remove it, with the only damage being a scratched driveshaft.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 21.34 in. (524mm)
WIDTH: 11.65 in. (296mm)
HEIGHT: 7.3 in. (185mm)
WHEELBASE: 13.15 in. (334mm)
WEIGHT: 6.3 lbs. (2.9kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Painted and trimmed Short Course body with exclusive Troy Lee Designs trim-scheme
WHEELS: Beadlock-style with colored outer ring
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm hex
TIRES: Pre-mounted Eclipse SCT tires
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 4-tower, 3-arm, (R) 3-tower, 3-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles
ROLL: Optional shock tower locations
WHEELBASE: Adjustable with shims
RIDE HEIGHT: Threaded shocks
TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TYPE: Flat deck with braces
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear diff
CLUTCH TYPE: Center fluid-filled differential
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full shielded
Performance – Acceleration: 9
Performance – Steering: 9
Performance – Handling: 8
Performance – Durability: 8
Feature Breakdown: 8
Overall Value: 9
Having driven a few packs with the AVC 100-percent on, 100-percent off and everything in between, I found that setting it almost all the way off allowed the best steering, some fun slides and a lot more action. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven quite a few Losi cars with the AVC system and it’s been a night and day difference (both in performance and fun), but I just found that, for me, this particular truck was the best at a very low AVC setting. The combination of the box-stock setup, excellent 4WD system and the grippy Eclipse tires didn’t really demand the use of the AVC, but it’s good to know it’s there if you want it. Overall I had a great time with this truck, now it’s time to go racing!