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Kershaw Leopard X-Maxx Brushless Review

Kershaw Leopard 150A ESC/5874 Brushless Combo For X-Maxx Review

The folks over at Kershaw Designs are hardcore about their monster trucks and large scalers. A couple months ago we reviewed one of their 1/5th scale Leopard systems on 8S, you can read that review HERE, but to boil it down, it put out wayyyy more power than the X-Maxx was capable of putting to the ground, or its drivetrain of handling (which is about perfect for us, but not for some people). Being broke down all the time isn’t fun, so Kershaw sent us another system that was said to still be crazy fast, but was a bit smaller and more affordable. We’ve been driving Kershaw’s Leopard 150A ESC/5874 Brushless Combo for weeks now, keep on reading to find out how much faster it is than stock and if it is indeed up to the job of powering an X-Maxx.

Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Cubby

Parts Tested:

Kershaw Leopard Ground Waterproof 150A ESC

Kershaw Leopard 5874 1550kV Brushless Motor

Quick Specs:

Leopard 150A ESC

Brushless, sensorless
150 amp continuous, 950 amp burst
Input Voltage: Up to 6S Lithium
BEC Output: 5.75 volts, 3 amps
Fan: Yes
Data Logging: No
Waterproof: Yes
Battery Connector: No
Reverse: Yes
On-The-Fly Adjustment: No
Weight: 105 grams
Dimension: 53.5 x 36 x 36mm
Price: $109

Leopard 5874 1550kV Motor

1550kV sensorless
Power: Up to 3200 watts
Max cell count: 6S
Size: 58 x 74mm
Output Shaft: 8mm
Price: $99

Set-Up Notes: We put the system in our review X-Maxx that is all stock except for electronics. Castle 6.5mm connectors were used for maximum current flow from 6S worth of MaxAmps LiPo power. A Futaba 4PX transmitter was used to control the beast while a Kershaw X-Maxx motor mount and pinion were used to complete the install.

Ease Of Use: You will need to use the Kershaw motor mount for the install in addition to a Kershaw pinion to ensure proper gearing (we used a 24). You’ll also need to do a bit of soldering. The ESC will need the battery connector of your choice installed, plus you’ll need to solder on the larger bullet connectors to fit the motor wires. The larger bullets are supplied, but not installed. If you are a hobbyist, the install and ESC set-up will be a breeze. If you are noob it will certainly be a good learning experience, one that might leave you asking a few question on the forums to complete correctly.

Power: Compared to the last Kershaw system that we reviewed, the smaller 150A/5874 combo was not as burly. However, it was still a LOT faster than the stock Traxxas system. Power off the bottom was intense, it had solid pull through the mid-range, and it had more top speed than the stock Traxxas tires could handle (we measured 46 mph before the truck was undrivable). While the previous Kershaw system we reviewed had more “put it on the lid” torque at any speed, the 150A/5874 system was a bit softer, but still a big step up on raw power over stock. Btw, we found that this system still had more than enough power to wheelie the truck over on its lid at any speed. Overall, if you are looking to blow your buddies away that drive stock X-Maxxs, yes, this system can easily do it, and do it on just 6S.

How It Drives: The ESC programming was perhaps not quite the best that we’ve felt from a dead stop, but we experienced no cogging and it was quite smooth. We found the brakes a bit on the soft side with the box stock settings, but we easily changed them with the Leopard programming card. Once the brakes were turned up we were very satisfied with how the power system drove. There weren’t any huge hits of power, just a nice surge off the bottom with a constant intense pull until the tires were about to explode.

Downsides: Not a whole lot. During our test period temperatures ranged from 65 degrees to 80 degrees, pretty common temps for the Midwest this time of year. The power system ran at reasonable temps when driven on pavement and on dirt. We did find that it ran somewhat hot when driven on grass, and appreciably warmer than some of the other aftermarket systems we have tested. Our test ESC never went into thermal protection and we never shot the motor at over 160 F, but if you run in grass we would definitely recommend starting with a 22 tooth pinion and checking temps from there.

Durability: We experienced no issues with our review system and put a good solid beating on it. We found that the truck liked to break before the power system. So there ya have it, zero problems even after our Bash Crew attempted to fry/break the system.

Final Verdict: Bang-for-the-buck, the Kershaw Leopard 150A/5874 combo is the best brushless system we’ve tried in the Traxxas X-Maxx. No, it doesn’t have the raw wattage of some of the larger 8S capable systems on the market, but it still has more than enough to overpower the truck. We experienced no problems with the system, just pack after pack of wheelie/high-flying fun. If your X-Maxx needs a big increase in power, we can highly recommend this system to you.

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Posted by in brushless, Hop-Ups Reviews on Friday, June 17th, 2016 at 10:15 pm