If you are into motocross then you already know who Troy Lee is. If not, he is the helmet painter of the stars, known for impeccable custom helmet paint jobs and for very trick motocross apparel. Horizon Hobby teamed up with the Troy Lee Designs motocross/supercross team several years ago, now their collaboration has brought about a special edition Troy Lee Designs Ten-SCTE RTR short course truck. So what’s the scoop, is the TLD SCTE a great basher? How fast is it? Does it have the legendary durability and handling of previous versions? You know the drill, keep reading to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Photography By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Weight: 6.3 lb
Motor: Dynamite 4 pole 540 3900kV
Speed Controller: Dynamite 130 amp brushless
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Spektrum DX2E V3 2.4GHz
Stability Control: Yes, Spektrum AVC
On-board Audio: No
Differential: 3 gear diffs
Slipper Clutch: No
Driveshafts: CVD style
Gear Ratio: 3.89:1
Shocks: Aluminum bodies, oil filled
Servo Saver: In steering rack
Screws: Hex, metric
Spur/Pinion Pitch: Mod1
Tires: Losi Eclipse SCT
Battery: Not included with this model. (Losi has a LiPo battery and charger version part number LOS03005)
Part Number: #LOS03001
Warranty: “free from defects in materials and workmanship at the date of purchase”
Front wheel travel: 2 3/8″
Rear wheel travel: 2 3/4″
Wheelie on demand: No because of center diff.
Backflip off ramps: Yes on 3S.
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on 3S LiPo): 46 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC on 3S 5450): 12 minutes
Street Price: $539 (LOS03005 w/battery and charger $599.99)
Primary Competition: Lots. ARRMA Senton, Associated ProSC 4×4, Traxxas Slash 4×4, etc.
What’s Needed To Complete: Not much, you’ll need a battery for the truck and a charger.
Build Quality: After letting the crew look it over we only found one thing amiss. The servo saver on our truck was set far too soft out the box. Two full turns later it worked when needed without constantly flexing.
Test Drivers: T-Money, Iron Mike, Robbie G, Sam Da’ Noobie, and yours truly.
Test Venues: George Winter park in Fenton Missouri, RC Outlaws 8th scale outdoor track, and a CostCo parking lot.
Set-up Notes: We ended up ditching the stock EC3 connector in favor of a Traxxas unit for compatibility reasons. For juice we went with a MaxAmps 3S 5450mAh LiPo, for a charger we used a Hitec X1 Pro.
Turning: Lets keep it simple here shall we, it is the best in class hands down. The TLD SCTE uses the newer 2.0 SCTE geometry and it works incredibly well in corners. It is super planted and carries incredible speed the entire way through a corner. If you want to know what an uber corning short course truck feels like, test drive one of these.
Jumping: It is hard to find fault with the way the truck jumps. It generally flies quite flat, it does a good job of ignoring ruts on jump faces, and its suspension soaks up landings with the best of them. Also, because of its center diff, making mid air corrections with the trigger generally yields plenty of nose up or nose down, without being overly sensitive. On particularly windy days, you can still notice a bit of parachute effect, but overall the TLD SCTE is one of the best jumping short course trucks money can buy.
Bumps/Whoops: Rough terrain handling is absolutely top notch on the TLD SCTE. In fact, there probably isn’t another 4wd SCT that can blast through a rough section as fast the SCTE can. The suspension simply soaks up bumps, even fairly large ones, without the truck getting wildly out of shape.
On-Road: Nope, the SCTE was never designed for pavement, but it sure works well there. It turns like champ, although it can be traction rolled at speed, but is generally a blast to drive around on pavement.
Grass: The 4wd system and brushless powerplant help the SCTE get around just fine in grass. From freshly mowed to several inches tall, the SCTE loves to chew right on through.
Tires: While the Eclipse tires are best suited to hard packed dirt, they work ok just about everywhere. They wear fast on pavement and don’t have a ton of side-bite, but overall they do a fine job for bashing.
Power: On 2S the TLD SCTE has solid power, but 3S is where it truly shines. With a 3S LiPo installed the low end is solid but not overwhelming, then comes a massive surge at the mid-range leading into a tire expanding top-end. The 3900 540 has more power than most people could ever use and is a blast to drive.
Radio: We didn’t experience any glitching with the included DX2E and it is one of the newer units with improved range. Ergos are ok, but boy would we like to see them put foam on the wheel as we are not fans of the hard plastic wheel.
Broken Parts: Previous versions of the SCTE were know to be tough customers and the TLD version can also take a hard beating. The truck was designed to take a serious hit and that’s exactly what we did to our test truck. We launched the truck over and over again from various wood ramps to pavement without any breakage, then did numerous other acts of stupidity and the truck proved extremely tough. Of course we had to push it to its limit, its not like we were gonna take it home in one piece, so Iron Mike sized up a concrete curb and clipped it around 40 mph. After all was said and one we managed to break a front hub, broke the bracing on the rear bumper, and stripped out a wheel when an axle nut came loose, but overall the SCTE is as tough as ever.
We did not experience any cogging, but reverse can be a bit hard to find at times. You can’t just slam the truck into reverse, you have to push the trigger slowly.
The truck comes with AVC but it handles so well that we never really turned it up. The only time we dialed up the AVC was when blasting straight through extremely rough areas. With the AVC turned up the SCTE stayed amazingly straight with very little steering input.
We aren’t big fans of the new battery tray. You see, hardcore bashers destroy battery packs that are used in small/low battery trays and the new 2.0 tray isn’t very supportive. No, we didn’t destroy any battery packs, but the old tray had a lot more surface area to spread out the g-forces during bit hits/landings.
Losi did a great job on the stock suspension settings. Damping is right in the ballpark on both the front and rear for bashing.
We weren’t big fans of the included steering servo. It is both slow and a tad bit on the weak side.
The huge front/rear/side bumpers did a great job of soaking up ugly, helping to make the truck a tank.
The included spur is plastic, which is not only quiet running but also durable as we were not able to blow it out.
We ran mostly with a 3S LiPo pack which was a bit heavier than the ride height had been set for out of the box. We cranked down the pre-load adjusters a few turns to set the bones level front and rear.
While running on 3S we measured motor temps right at 160 degrees on a 70 degree ambient day. 160 is right in check, but on days with hotter temps that number will rise. If you run in hotter temps you may need to gear down.
Best Mod: This one is a freebie, cut out the two vents on the front of the body. This doesn’t change the looks of the body but sure helps fight off parachute effect.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B Quick and easy to get bashing, the Losi lands a B in this category.
Workability: B The Losi uses a standard 3 diff layout that is easy to spin wrenches on.
Car Show Rating: B The TLD SCTE comes with the coolest looking body graphics of all time. However, its race style tires keep it from getting an “A” in this category. Had the truck come with scale inspired tires and perhaps a couple of scale details, it would have crushed this category.
Bash-A-Bility: B While you can break the SCTE, it takes some serious hits to do so.
Fun Factor: A The Losi is a super fast short course truck, that handles better than anything else on the market, that also has loads of power. So heck yes it was a lot of fun to bash with.
Handling: A The TLD SCTE is the best handling truck in its class. It is extremely confidence inspiring, making you feel (and look) like a better driver than you actually are.
Value: B While $539 isn’t a “cheap” price point, we feel you get one heck of a bang-for-the-buck with the TLD SCTE.
Parts Availability: C While many of the parts on the Losi have been in production for close to 4 years now, you won’t find them on the shelf at every hobby shop in town. Thankfully, parts support on-line is solid.
BigSquid Rating: B The Troy Lee Designs Ten-SCTE is the best overall truck in its class, cut the check.