Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’ve certainly heard about the latest and greatest from Traxxas, the giant X-Maxx. The X-Maxx is bigger than any monster truck that Traxxas has ever put out before, plus it comes with features that no other truck can boast about like self-righting. Is the X-Maxx the next big thing to take over the bashing world? Is it fast? Can it take a good hard beating? Is it worth its $800 price point? Keep on reading to get the real scoop…
Review By: Cubby
Photography By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Scale: Ummmm…. big?
Motor: Velineon 1600 brushless
Speed Controller: Velineon VXL-6s
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Traxxas TQi
Stability Control: Yes, TSM
Sound Module: No
Differential: Front & rear gear diffs
Slipper Clutch: Yes
Shocks: Aluminum bodies, plastic caps
Servo Saver: In rack
Screws: Metric, hex
Spur/Pinion Pitch: 1.0-Pitch
Tires: Traxxas monster truck style
Battery: Not included
Part Number: #77076-4
Warranty: 30 days on electronics
Front wheel travel: 4.3″
Rear wheel travel: 4.25″
Wheelie on demand: Yes (with good traction)
Backflip off ramps: Yes
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on 6S 3900): 32 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC on 6S 3900): 12 minutes
Street Price: $799
Primary Competition: Who would have thought such a simple question could be so hard to answer? Ok, so there aren’t any “direct competitors” to the X-Maxx because of its size. It’s much bigger than an 8th scale monster truck, but not as big as a 5th scale MT.
What’s Needed To Complete: You are going to need four AA batteries for the transmitter, a pair of batteries for the truck, and a battery charger.
Build Quality: We took a really close look at the X-Maxx and overall it was well assembled. The only small issue we found was all four of our test unit’s wheel nuts were a bit on the loose side.
Test Drivers: T-Mohr, Iron Mikeee, Robbie Da Gangsta, Sam The Not So Noob, and yours truly.
Test Venues: St Louis Dirtburners 8th scale track, Minnie Ha Ha park in Fenton MO, a city park in Arnold MO, and our friendly local CostCo parking lot.
Set-up Notes: Per the norm, we didn’t go changing or modding anything before our review. We did switch out the battery connectors over to 6.5mm Castle units and used both Reedy and MaxAmps LiPos during the test. Charging duties were taken care of by a Hitec X2 AC Pro.
Turning: Turning went down pretty much like this on the X-Maxx… if there wasn’t much grip, the front stayed planted while the rear would want to spin out. When there was plenty of traction, the rear would catch and it would roll. Yes, the X-Maxx is a true monster truck with lots of weight up high, and Traxxas likes to put plenty of sway into their handling, so it wasn’t unexpected that it would traction roll a lot. The tires don’t offer a lot of side bite, so corner speeds aren’t insane, just plan on taking it easy on sharp inputs to the wheel to help keep the truck on all four tires.
Also of note… while the servo felt like it had good power with enough speed to get the job done, the servo saver is wayyyy too soft, thus making the steering feel mushy and unresponsive when at speed or when on high bite surfaces. The soft servo saver of course helps extend the life of the servo, but it also helps reduce traction rolling. Unfortunately, it also dumbs down the corning ability of the X-Maxx, which is less than optimal for those drivers looking for maximum performance.
Jumping: We were extremely impressed with the aerial maneuvers of the X-Maxx. While most monster trucks without a center diff tend to be over responsive to trigger inputs, that wasn’t so much the case with the X-Maxx. A slight tap of the brake brought down the nose a small amount, while a big stab more quickly rotated the truck. The X-Maxx was great at ignoring rain ruts and bombed out jump faces, no doubt thanks to its large size and tires. Landings were also especially well absorbed, more so than perhaps anything else we’ve tested. It was almost like the suspension was set-up from the factory for 8 foot tall landings. It didn’t bounce when landing from sky shots, the X-Maxx simply absorbed the big landing and soldiered on. If there was a downside, it was the fact that the truck did not like to land sideways at all. Landing even a bit crooked tended to make the truck tumble, which isn’t such a big deal on a smaller truck, but on the X-Maxx you could feel all that weight slamming into the ground.
Bumps/Whoops: Yes indeed, the X-Maxx is a freak’n animal in rough terrain. Once again its large size, big tires, and well damped suspension helped it pound through gnarly terrain that would have an 8th scale monster truck flipping end over end. We have a standard set of rollers that we run every test truck through (and have for several years) and the X-Maxx blasted through them better than anything else we’ve tested. Now, the X-Maxx didn’t have the power to hit them at the speeds we’ve hit them with other vehicles, but still, going through them at 30 without any sort of hiccup handling wise was truly outstanding.
On-Road: So what’s the scoop when you drive the X-Maxx on-road? Well, we had a good time with it- it pops mad wheelies, makes short work of curbs, and has enough yank to make it interesting. However, it does have the one big downside of liking to traction roll. If on-road is all you do, there are certainly much better choices on the market, but if you just dabble here or there, yes, you can have a good time with the X-Maxx.
Grass: Here is another category where the X-Maxx just might be the best truck we’ve ever tested. The X-Maxx absolutely loved driving in grass. It easily got through taller patches of grass that would stop a typical 8th scale MT, and once you got it up to speed, it would literally float on top of the grass at 30 mph. If you have a big back yard covered in grass, and that is about the only place you drive, you’ll love the X-Maxx.
Tires: While the stock tires are molded from a soft rubber compound, we found they didn’t give that much traction on-road. We also noticed a significant amount of wear after only a short time of driving them on pavement. Off-road was a much different story, we really liked how much grip they provided in grass and loamy dirt. They have a unique tread pattern that still has a bit of a monster truck chevron look, but with a bunch more edges that come in handy for getting mechanical grip on hard packed dirt. Overall, not bad, but there is more traction to be had once aftermarket companies like Pro-Line get on the case.
Power: Is the X-Maxx fast? It is quick, but it isn’t fast. We only ran our X-Maxx on 6S. On that cell count it could easily spin all four tires and/or pop long wheelies (when enough traction was available). However, the fun came to an end early as the truck topped out at only 32 mph. Getting to 32 didn’t take long, but sadly the power/gearing ran out a bit earlier than we expected. Right off the bottom from a dead stop the X-Maxx had some slight cogging, once past that the truck would typically give a nice explosion of power off the bottom, with some serious rip in the mid-range. And just when you were getting ready for it to really kick in, it topped out. We also noticed that the esc seemed to have some quicky programming. Sometimes it felt like the truck hit like a freight train during the early mid-range, while other times that kick never seemed to appeared. To boil it down, yes, the X-Maxx gives a nice dose of what brushless power can do, but it doesn’t give that massive rush of power than a bunch of other trucks on the market can provide.
Radio: Mated to the X-Maxx is the standard issue Traxxas TQi. The TQi is the best RTR radio that Traxxas has ever put out, and it works fine, but none of our reviewers were really big fans of it. Its ergonomics are much better than previous Traxxas offerings, but they just aren’t on the same level as some of the other RTR radios on the market (let alone higher-end aftermarket units). We did find the range to be more than sufficient for all the testing that we did and we didn’t experience any glitching. Btw, we rarely ran TSM on the X-Maxx as it tended to dumb down the handling, but it might come in handy if all you drive on is ice.
Broken Parts: Overall, our test truck took some fairly gnarly hits without breaking any plastic parts. However, the rear diff on our test truck had a short life. It started complaining (read- making nasty noises) early in testing from a heavy landing, then it wasn’t long for this world.
While very sturdy and making a great grab handle for lugging the truck around, the rear bumper really sticks out. It sticks out in such a way that during wheelies, it catches, making the truck tumble end-over-end in an uncontrollable manner. Those tumbles at speed are hard on such a heavy truck and wouldn’t happen with a proper bumper. Attention RPM and T-Bone Racing- please make a rear bumper for the X-Maxx that is smoother and doesn’t make the truck go flipping forward every time you hit a bump while pulling a wheelie.
Oh thank goodness! There are none, as in zero, body clips on the X-Maxx. The body mounts with an innovative single latch system, while both battery boxes use snap in pieces to keep your batteries in place. We must say that we wish every truck came this way, very nice.
How well does the self-righting system work on the X-Maxx? Well… it worked about 50 percent of the time for us. If the truck wasn’t on a slanted surface, and if it wasn’t on too slick of a surface, it would generally work. To get the self-righting to work you simply hold down a button on the transmitter for 4 seconds. Then the truck hits the steering and throttle/brake to get itself flat on the roof portion of its body. From there it hits the gas and brake to flip the truck onto its wheels. When it works it is amazing, another feature we wish every truck would have. When it doesn’t work, well you know what happens, you have to do the walk of shame. But then, we all have done the walk a million times before and chances are we could use the exercise.
Now another word on the battery trays on the X-Maxx- they are quite large. There is a ton of length and height to fit very large packs in the X-Maxx. The extra room is nice, thus allowing for a bunch of different battery options. The X-Maxx also comes with hard plastic battery spacers to fill up extra space if you use lower profile packs like a normal 2S.
We found that the motor on our test truck ran fairly hot. We shot temps around 160 F on a 50 degree day. That isn’t too hot, but when driven in higher ambient temps that figure is going to be way higher. The moral of the story is to keep an eye on your motor temps and chances are that you won’t be able to gear taller than stock.
The X-Maxx isn’t a crawler, but wow does it make sort work of big rocks that are seriously hard work for a 2.2 machine to get over. We took the X-Maxx on a short trail drive and it made life amazingly easy. Rocks we would normally struggle with were largely ignored by the X-Maxx’s sheer size and small tree limbs were also easily driven over as well. The only downside to the X-Maxx out on the trail was its width. Where a vehicle like the Axial Yeti XL could slip through more narrow sections on the trail, the X-Maxx was a bit too wide for some foot paths.
Best Mod: There aren’t many mods on the market for the X-Maxx yet, and because of its design, it might be a few months before we start to see them. However, we really want three mods as soon as possible. 1. A stiffer servo saver spring. 2. An upgrade power system to make the truck as fast as an $800 truck should be. 3. Better tires that give more overall grip.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B The X-Maxx is pretty standard for getting up and running. You pop 4 AA batteries in its transmitter, then put 2 LiPo packs in the truck. It comes pre-bound and pre-calibrated, just plug in the batteries and start driving.
Workability: B While big and heavy on the workbench, the layout of the X-Maxx is quite open, thus making it easy to spin wrenches.
Car Show Rating: B The graphics on the body were really, really sharp, which our reviewers were big fans of. They also liked the appearance of the wheel/tire combo. What they didn’t like was a big lack of scale detailing. The X-Maxx looks a lot like every other monster truck Traxxas has put out for a decade, even a few small pieces of scale detailing would have gone a long way to adding to its “Wow” factor.
Bash-A-Bility: B While our test truck didn’t break any plastic parts its rear diff didn’t live very long.
Fun Factor: B Had the X-Maxx come with just a bit more top speed, its rating in the fun factor would have been a huge A. As it came stock, it is fun, but it did leave us wanting for more thrill factor.
Handling: A Yes, the X-Maxx does like to traction roll, but on the other hand it is one of the best jumping and best bump handling trucks we’ve ever tested. For the kind of use that a bash truck sees, the X-Maxx is truly top notch.
Value: B Here is the one category that our reviewers argued over the most, value. Some testers argued that $800 is a lot of money, while others argued that in the grand context of things, it really isn’t any more than what the T-Maxx was back in its day. After the shouting was over we gave the X-Maxx a B. Yes, its price tag puts it out of range for a lot of buyers, but it is also a hell of a lot of truck for that amount of money.
Parts Availability: A Ok, so no, you can’t go down and get X-Maxx parts at every hobby shop in America right now, but undoubtedly it won’t be long. Traxxas is king of the hill for parts support, we don’t expect the X-Maxx to be any different.
BigSquid Rating: B+ To boil it all down, yes, the X-Maxx is a big, nasty bash machine. Its huge size helps make bashing more fun. You can run over dirt clods that other trucks can’t, heck, you can run over most of the other trucks at your local bash spot with the X-Maxx. Its brushless power-plant makes it quick and its stock suspension settings were extremely well done. But… the most important question is should you cut the check? The answer is no if you don’t drive in wide open spaces, the X-Maxx is simply too big for smaller venues. However, if you have plenty of room to let it eat you’ll love the X-Maxx. It has innovative features like self-righting, TSM, and a no body clip design, and perhaps more importantly, it does a great job of doing what bashers do- pounding jumps and getting muddy.