Castle Creations made big news a few months ago when they announced their first ever line-up of sensored brushless motors. Sensored motors have long been the norm in racing, but have yet to catch on with the bashing crowd because of reliability and power issues. To find out if the new Castle motors are truly capable of withstanding the daily abuse that basher dish out, we grabbed a Castle 1406 4600kV and put it through the wringer. Did it have the crazy power that bashers crave? Did it run hot when driven on 3S LiPo packs? Can you even tell a difference between it and an old school non-sensored Castle motor? You know how this works, keep on reading to find out…
kV Rating: 4600
Motor Design: 4-pole, 12 slot
Sensored Or Sensorless: Sensored
Input Voltage: 2 or 3S Lithium
Maximum RPM: 100,000
Connectors: 4mm bullets
Size: 49.5mm length, 36mm diameter
Weight: 197 grams
Shaft Size: 1/8″
Mounting Holes: M3 at 25mm
Recommended Vehicle Weight: 2wd SCT trucks up to 5lbs, 1/10th stadium trucks, buggies, and on-road cars up to 4lbs
Part Number: #060-0056-00
Includes- The Castle comes with the motor, female bullets, quick set-up sheet, mounting screws, and a sensor wire.
Test Drivers- The ever reliable Iron Mike, Don The Legend, The RC Kid, and yours truly.
Test Platform- We ran the Castle in 3 different vehicles. We did most of our running in a Pro-Line PRO-MT, but also tested with a Team Durango DEX210V2 buggy and an ECX Torment short course truck. A variety of 2 and 3S MaxAmps, TrakPower, and Dynamite LiPo batteries were used during testing. Castle speedos were used in all three vehicles.
How It Drives- Well, here’s the really important question, right? Over the last 15 years, Castle developed the reputation for producing the fastest brushless motors on the market. After two weeks of driving the 1406, we feel like the new sensored motor was still insanely fast. Was it faster than the older non-sensored Castle motors? That, we did not find out. We were not able to perform any back-to-back tests with identical vehicles using both sensored and non-sensored motors. What we do know is that the 1406 easily over powered all three of our test vehicles.
The easiest load on the Castle motor was when we used it in the 2wd Durango 1/10th buggy. 2S packs were only used in the Durango and it was blazing fast. In the Torment we used both 2 and 3S packs, where once again the 1406 made our truck do crazy things with excess power. Our PRO-MT represented the toughest load and once again the sensored Castle could easily cause the truck to wheelie-out with just a squirt of the throttle. For raw power output, the 1406 never failed to impress, it truly put out the insane power that Castle is known for.
So… what about cogging? Cogging has always been an issue with non-sensored brushless systems, some more than other of course. We found our test unit to be leaps and bounds smoother from a dead stop when the sensor wire was plugged in than when we drove it without. With the sensor kicking, the Castle was as smooth, or smoother, than any sensored motor we have ever driven. In addition, we could also notice it being smoother than a non-sensored set-up while driving. For example, when punching it half way down a parking lot, it simply felt smoother while accelerating to top speed. Even more noticeable was when jumping. Throttle (and brake) both felt more controlled when making mid-air inputs while clearing big double jumps.
To easily see the difference between running the motor in sensored and sensorless mode, we did some blind testing. We would randomly pull our PRO-MT in and sometimes connect the sensor wire, sometimes unhook it, and sometimes not change a thing, all the while not allowing the test driver to know which way it was hooked up (the Castle ESC we were using could automatically sense when the wire was hooked up or not). Then the test driver would try and guess if they were driving the Castle sensored or non-sensored. This particular test turned out to not be much of a test at all. All our drivers could easily, and instantly, tell when the Castle was running sensored, and all of them preferred driving the motor when it had its sensor wire hooked up.
To boil it all down, the new Castle 1406 sensored motor has crazy power, but is now ultra smooth from the very bottom of the rpm range all the way up to top speed.
All of our testing was done with a max ambient temp of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but temps were typically under 40. Our test motor proved to run quite cool in these conditions. We never saw temps over 140, even when run on 3S.
Bashers and motor sensors (and sensor wires) don’t tend to get along very well. We didn’t experience any problems during our test period, only time will tell if the sensor and additional wiring can withstand the day-in-day-out abuse of the average basher.
Wiring. Some motors ship with wiring that is simply too short. This makes installation a huge pain. That was not the case with the Castle. The motor wires had plenty of length, as the did the sensor wire that was provided. Kudos.
Car Show Rating: B Our test crew generally liked the appearance of the Castle motor. All black wires go along well with current fashion trends and the green anodized motor can also looked good.
Bash-A-Bility: A We bashed the Castle like we stole it and had no problems.
Power: A Just like previous Castle motors, the 1406 never failed to impress. Even in a fairly heavy 2wd monster truck the Castle motor could easily make it wheelie over on its roof at any speed.
Fun Factor: A The new sensored Castle brushless motor had more power than 99.9% of drivers will ever use, plus it is remarkably smoother than older non-sensored units. This results in some serious fun, easily earning the Castle an “A” in this category.
Value: A Have you priced motors lately? With high-end 25.5 motors costing well over $100, the Castle is a steal. No, it isn’t the cheapest motor on the market, but it offers elite performance at what we consider a reasonable price.
Big Squid Rating: A- Yes, we think Castle accomplished their goals with their new 1406 sensored motor. Not only does it retain the crazy “over-the-top” power they are known for, but when used with a sensored ESC, can be smooth as silk too.