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Novak Havok SC Brushless

Novak Havoc Pro SC Ballistic and Brushless System Review

The Novak Havoc Pro SC Ballistic 540 8.5 #3122 Brushless System Review

Novak Havok

Yes, brushless dominates the market. Yes, short course trucks dominate the market. Yes, RTR’s dominate the market. Yes, most likely your RTR short course truck comes with a sub-par power system. Yes, the first upgrade many consumers do to their SC truck is a new brushless system. Is the Novak Havoc Pro SC system worth the moolah? Read on…

From: Novak
Direct Link: Novak Havoc Pro SC 8.5
Street Price of System: $200

Reviewed by:Cubby.

Specs Speedo-
Footprint- 1.16″ x 1.49″
Weight- 1.36 oz
BEC- 6 volts/3 amps
On Resistance- .0004 per phase
Rated Current- 540 amps per phase
Cell count- 4-6 cell Ni-MH, 2 cell Li-Po
Li-Po Cut-off- 6.25 volts
Programmable- 9 adjustable parameters
Motor Limit- 3.5 turns
Wire- 14 gauge
Status LED’s- 4
Water resistant case- Yes
One touch set-up- Yes
Fan- Yes
On board Hall sensor- Yes
Warranty- 120 days

Motor Specs-

Size- 540, 2.08″ x 1.41″
Sensored- Yes
Turns- 8.5
Output shaft- 3.2 mm
Weight- 6.61 oz
Output wattage- 280
Kv- 5000
Magnet- 12.3 mm, Sintered, Neodymium
Front oversized bearing- Yes
Warranty- 120 days

What’s In The Box– Havoc Pro speedo, Ballistic 540 8.5 motor, zip-ties, double sided tape, instruction manual, stickers, and heat shrink tubing. What it doesn’t come with- battery connector (I recommend Traxxas), solder (for solding up the battery connector and the 3 wires to the motor), motor screws, and pinion gear.

Build Quality– No complaints here, everything in the Novak system appeared top notch quality.

Test Drivers– Cubby, Brian (The Brain), Ryan (Race’n) R.

Test Venues– Outlaw RC in Collinsville Illinois, RiverCity Raceways in Peoria Illinois, Costco parking lot, streets of a local sub-division, grassy backyard

Set-up Notes– We used the Novak in an HPI Blitz ESE. Gearing ranged from the stock spur mated to a 16 tooth pinion up to a 22. We used MaxAmps 2S 6500 mah Race Spec packs on the Novak. We used two different radio systems, a Spektrum DX3R and a Futaba 3 PRKA. A Hitec servo was used with the Novak.

Ease Of Use– The Novak instructions are well written making the radio calibration process very easy. Making changes to the speedo’s adjustable parameters also proved very easy. Even the newest of noobs should not have a problem setting up the Havoc Pro.

Efficiency– Ya know, I set out intending to keep “strict records” of my runtimes. What happened in the real world… was that I totally forgot about the clock while driving (can you blame me for having too much fun?). So… I can’t give precise run times.

Drivability/Feel/Powerband– The Novak Havoc Pro proved very smooth across its entire rpm range. There were no sudden surges of power, just a constant linear pull, a nice flat power curve.

Thermalling– Our test unit never thermalled during any of our testing. Our ambient temps were not extremely high (around 80 F), but we did run after run after run with no heat issues.

Cogging– I did my best to get the Novak to cog but I failed. Even applying throttle at the base of a steep jump from a dead stop I was unable to get the Novak to cog. I tried giving it gas while slowly rolling backwards, still no cogging. If you want to know what cogging is don’t buy a Havoc Pro because you’ll never find out.

Power– Our Novak system had more than enough rip to make all the jumps at the local 8th scale track as well as enough yank to pop wheelies, churn up big rooster tails, etc. For a noob the 8.5 turn system would feel extremely fast but if you are a seasoned driver looking to blow the tires off your truck you might want to look at a lower turn Novak motor.

Brakes– The Novak came with some of the best brakes I’ve driven. Normally applying the brakes hard while driving a 2wd short course truck on a slick dirt track will leave you spinning around backwards, on the Novak you simply get slowed down controllably just like you should. The Novak brakes aren’t too soft, yet not too strong, they are just right.

Fit– Novak’s Havoc Pro speedo has a small footprint allowing it to easily fit in our test HPI Blitz. Because of the tidy footprint the Havoc Pro should fit in any short course application without issues.

As with all of our stuff, if you see us at a bash, stop by and check out the vehicles we have with us. We may let you take a test drive, and at the very least get you some stickers!


Time To Bash – 7.0/10 -Mount the Havoc Pro speedo and the Ballistic 8.5 motor, solder up a Traxxas plug and the 3 wires to the speedo, calibrate to your radio and you are dialed.

Car Show Rating – 7.0/10 – Smart looking design that was well received around the office.

Bash-A-Bility – 10.0/10 -Someone wanted me to huck the speedo and motor off the roof of my house (but I resisted the urge… LOL) and kept the Novak mounted in the truck. We experienced zero issues with our Novak system. No occasional shorts, no broken fans, no issues at all.

Fun Factor – 8/10 – The Novak Havoc Pro SC system provided hours of high fly’n fun. Plenty of smooth power tends to plant big smiles on the face.

Drivability – 9.0/10 – The Novak was noticeably smoother than the majority of brushless speedos I’ve ever driven

Power- 7.0/10 – Power is relative. If we are comparing our Novak Havoc 8.5 system to a 17.5 turn set-up then it puts out incredible power. If we are comparing our Novak system to a 6S powered 550 motor then it comes across as tame. The good news for you is Novak sells their Havoc Pro SC system in a variety of winds (read- power levels).

Value- 8.0/10 – The Novak was very smooth, it put out good power, and proved very reliable at a fair price point.

Big Squid Rating – 8.0/10 – Tentacles.. – Ultra smooth power, easy to use, and reliable, the Novak Havoc Pro SC system makes a great power system for your 2wd short course truck.

Post Info

Posted by in Hop-Ups Reviews, Novak on Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at 10:42 am