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Sunday, April 21, 2024
rally

Boost Bullet Performance – HPI’s Bullet St and Mt Hop-Up

A few select upgrade parts makes the Bullet that much more capable

Now that the dust has settled on the purchase of HPI Racing by Ripmax it’s nice to know spare parts and upgrade bits are coming back into stock to keep our favorite HPI models going. As fans of HPI we have several of their popular offerings in our workshop, including the Savage monster truck, RS4 touring cars, Sprint2 touring cars, and more. One of our latest editions is a pair of HPI’s Bullet 1/10-scale off-road trucks. Available as a monster truck or stadium truck and in nitro and brushless power plants, we picked up one of each; a Bullet MT 3.0 and a Bullet ST Flux to have a little backyard bash session with. They’re both great fun and use the same chassis, suspension, and other bits with the main differences being the power source, steering servo location, and body mounts. HPI even utilizes many of these same components for its WR8 series of vehicles, such as the Ken Block Fiesta, so you know it is a popular setup with a lot going for it.

 

PARTS USED
• Aluminum Front Brace (Hard Anodized) –HPI PN 108023
• Aluminum Rear Brace (Hard Anodized) –HPI PN 108024
• Aluminum Knuckle Set (Hard Anodized) –HPI PN 108078
• Bullet 3.0 CVD Shaft Set–HPI PN 101270
• Bullet MT Clear Body for Nitro/Flux –HPI PN 115515
• Bullet ST Clear Body for Nitro/Flux –HPI PN 115516

After a few bashing sessions with both vehicles we took a hard look at where we felt we could make some improvement with HPI option parts. While the main chassis is a nice 6061 aluminum, aluminum can still flex on jumps and landings, causing irregular handling. The factory plastic chassis bracing found fore and aft doesn’t help matters either. Upgrading to HPI’s hard anodized aluminum chassis braces will certainly make the chassis more stable for jumping. The HPI braces come in a super sexy titanium hard anodized coating that goes well with the black plastic and orange aluminum bits, not to mention that it’s a near direct match for the anodized coating on the chassis itself. They’re easy to install and come with all needed hardware.

The second area where we felt the Bullet line could use a little help was in the steering. The stock steering knuckles, like all of HPI’s models, are made from flexible plastic. While this does help save new drivers from breakage, for those of us experienced behind the wheel it is another place where the flexing of the plastic means our steering input isn’t getting all the way to the front tires. Combine that with the standard dogbone axle system and you’ve got flexing and binding at full steering lock. The easy answer here is a pair of HPI’s hard anodized steering knuckles and HPI’s CVD axles front and rear. Again, HPI makes things easy with all mounting hardware included.

Lastly, while the familiar orange and black HPI bodies get the job done, when we hit the park for a bash session we like to be seen and there’s no better way to do that then with a custom painted body. We grabbed a pair of HPI clear replacement MT and ST bodies and shipped them off to Larry at Kustom RC Graphics for the full airbrush mastery he is so well known for. Now, when we hit the park we’re guaranteed to not only have a great handling, jumping, and turning Bullet, but one that doesn’t look like anyone else’s either! Check it out!
By Mark Houlahan

LINKS
HPI Racing hpiracing.com
Kustom RC Graphics kustomrcgraphics.net

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