Big, Bad Beautiful MT that can take a beating!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s June 2016 issue.
Words: Peter Klaven
Photos: Sydney Fife
While I’m a racer at heart, every now and then I like to get my hands on a big, burly machine that I can take outside and just blast around with. I have three criteria when it comes to choosing my ride; first off it needs to look good since I’ll probably be drawing a lot of attention. Second, with the crowds forming, it has to be powerful; people like fast cars that wheelie all the time. Lastly, it has to be durable; no one wants to draw a crowd only to break in the first three minutes of driving. With all that being said, I think I found a big rig that suits my driving, my style and ultimately that fun factor I’m always on the lookout for. Introducing HoBao’s new Hyper MT Sport Plus the 4WD MT that’s definitely a show stopper!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: HoBao
WHO IT’S FOR: Monster Truck Enthusiasts
PART NUMBER: HB-MTE-C150DG
HOW MUCH: $690.00
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Great looking Ford-ish body
• Huge offroad tires wrapped around stylish multi-spoke wheels
• Powerful (and waterproof) 2000Kv brushless motor and 150A ESC
• 4S or 6S capable
• Symmetrical front and rear suspension arms
• Double-lock wheel hexes
• Super strong aluminum monocoque chassis
• Steel gear-train
• Huge threaded shocks
• Adjustable battery trays
• Sealed radio box
• Very durable
• Steering servo seems a bit weak
• Parts availability may be an issue
This ‘Plus’ version of the Hyper MT is a pretty great truck. It’s very fast on the asphalt, grass or dirt with a 4S LiPo setup, even more ludicrous on 6S. The large shocks and massive MT tires do a fantastic job of soaking up any ground
irregularities. I was very surprised by its overall performance, but greatly pleased by its ability to stay together under my hamfisted driving style!
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• L wrenches
• 4-way wrench
• Batteries – 4S or 6S
• MaxAmps 5400mAh 11.1V 3S LiPo (pair)
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• OP-0081 Wheelie Bar Set—This is a no brainer you’ll see the first time you pull the trigger.
• OP-0094 Torque Limiter Set—Also known as a slipper clutch. While the Hyper MT Sport Plus does come with a full metal drivetrain, it’s always a good idea to add a slipper to help prevent any parts failures.
• OP-0101 Hyper MT Chassis Support Plate—This plate mounts just behind the front skid plate and helps deflect any rocks or debris from heading right towards the gearbox.
The chassis on the Hyper MT Sport Plus is unique it’s a singular piece of 3mm aluminum that has been cut and bent to form a monocoque tub. A front and rear 2mm upper plate then keys to the chassis and is secured to the front and rear gearboxes to provide a rigid platform for the entire truck. Like other MT’s, this tub protects the steering, center gearbox and drivetrain. Hanging off on both sides are the battery boxes, while a tall, molded hoop supports the body in the event of a rollover.
The Hyper MT is no lightweight, so the suspension has to be built to withstand the brutal environment and support this 10-pound truck! HoBao started by using symmetrical suspension arms; basically arms that are the same on the front and back. This is a great idea as it only requires you to purchase one set of arms for either end of the truck. Adjustable, 5mm turnbuckles are used to control camber and toe, and massive knuckles and uprights ensure maximum durability when out in the field. To soak up the bumps, enormous Big Bore threaded-bodied shocks are used with rubber boots to help protect the shafts. The rest of the molded suspension parts are simply immense; shock towers, bulkheads and rod ends. There is some adjustability to the suspension, but tuning options aren’t really going to make that much of a difference when you’re blasting over rough terrain in Monster-Truck mode.
The steering system in the Hyper MT revolves around a dual-bellcrank setup that features an integrated servo saver. The crank arms, HB-5514MG servo and steering link all seem rather frail in this big ol’ MT, but in actuality the system does quite well to keep the wheels pointed in the right direction. At low speeds the steering is great, however at higher speeds it does struggle just a bit to keep the wheels turned. I tightened the servo saver up a little more and it helped, but I think that’s just the nature of this beast. I’m fine with that.
To match the monster power in this truck, HoBao has boosted the durability of the parts in the drivetrain. A full, metal gear transmission is mounted in the center of the truck with 4mm drive axles running to the front and rear gearboxes. In those boxes are more metal gears; both the sun and gear diffs feature metal parts. More 4mm drive line parts extend out to the wheels; CVDs up front, dogbones in the rear. The large tires are attached to the 17mm hexes using a double lock wheel hex design; the hex spins on and uses a serrated face to grip the wheel while a 5mm bolt screws into the center of the axle to keep the hex in place. This is a bulletproof system; however, before you start blazing around with the Hyper MT, you might want to put some threadlocker on the bolts. Mine didn’t have any and two of the four screws were already loose.
ON THE TRACK
II started off with a 4S LiPo – I figured I should take it easy before going big in the battery department. It’s actually well-mannered on 4S, allowing a lot more control around the makeshift track. I ripped around a bit, throwing up dirt and rocks in the berms and sending it flying over some of the smaller jumps. It was quite fun and handled the area easily, so I decided it to give it a shot up some steep embankments that bordered the area. This incline was all about massaging the power to keep all four wheels clawing; excessive wheelspin would not be my friend. My first attempt resulted in some wiggling and squirming about half way up, where the front tires locked into a groove and became stuck. Thankfully the Hyper MT has reverse, so backing out and down the hill was quite easy. The second attempt ended in a similar situation with me aiming nose first down the hill. This was going to be much more challenging than I thought. On my fifth attempt, I decided to give it a full head of steam up to about the half-way point, then back down on the throttle and let the tires claw my way up. That seemed to work much better, but it still took an additional three or four attempts to make it to the top. It was all about power management and picking the right line additional attempts to the top of the hill were as smooth as butter.
The final test would be more of the same, however this time in full 6S battle mode. Everything is stimulated with 6S; higher speeds, more dirt flying and, of course, longer (and higher) jumps! One thing you’ll need to look out for (with 4S or 6S) is jumping; when you get the Hyper MT in the air, it does jump with a little nose-up attitude. This is easily corrected with a slight tap of the brakes – but here’s the rub. Monster Trucks have huge tires that create a lot of inertia. On the ground, you don’t notice it as much but once in the air, that inertia is highly exaggerated. A light tap of the brakes will stop all four tires from rotating and send the Hyper MT into a fast front somersault. This can result in some pretty horrific landings but, in my experience, this truck can handle it. I beat this truck up (not on purpose )and it just kept going and going. I’m very impressed with the durability.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 22 in. (559mm)
Width: 17 in. (432mm)
Height: 10 in. (254mm)
Weight: 10.3 lbs. (4582g)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
Body: Pre-painted Monster Truck
Wheels: Multi-spoke plastic
Wheel adapter type: 17mm hex
Tires: Multi-block Monster Truck
Type: 4-wheel independent
Shock positions: (F) 3-tower, 1-arm, (R) 3-tower, 1-arm
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Roll: Multiple tower locations
Ride height: Threaded shocks
Type: Dual bellcrank
Transmission: Centrally mounted,
Differential: Gear differential
Clutch Type: None
Gear ratio: Optional pinion gears
Bearings: Full shielded
Feature Breakdown: 8
Overall Value: 8
If you’re a Monster Truck lover and want something a little different, check out Hobao’s Hyper MT Sport Plus. It’s got a lot going for it looks, speed, durability and if you can accept that parts availability might be a bit thin at the moment, it’s a great purchase for some serious backyard bashing. Your experiences may vary, but I’ve been a bit brutal on mine and it’s been great. Time to go charge up some more packs and get back to the fun!