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Kyosho Mad Bug Review

Review – Kyosho Mad Bug ReadySet

THE Kyosho Mad Bug ReadySet Review

Kyosho Mad Bug Review

You might know Kyosho for their world championship winning buggies or perhaps from one of their classics back in the day. Today Kyosho still has high end race machines, but they also offer a plethora of bash mobiles. We’ve been bashing on their Mad Bug ReadySet for a few weeks now to find out what kind of bash machine it is. Does it have good power? Can you slam it hard without breakage? Is the Mad Bug a solid bash machine? Click the “Read More” to find out…

From: Kyosho
Direct Link: Mad Bug ReadySet
Unboxing Pictures: BSRC Unboxes the Mad Bug

Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr


RTR or Kit: RTR
Age: 14+
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Waterproof: Yes
Scale: 1/10
Length: 395mm
Width: 287mm
Wheelbase: 272mm
Motor: Orion brushless 2400kV
Speed Controller: Orion R10 One
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Syncro 2.4GHz
Differential: Front & rear gear type
Gear Ratio: 9.62:1
Slipper Clutch: Yes
Driveshafts: Bones
Shocks: Aluminum body and caps, oil filled
Servo Saver: In rack
Screws: Phillps
Tires: Kyosho all terrain
Battery: Orion 6 cell 1800mAh
Part Number: #30994T1B
Top Speed (measured by BSRC): 28 mph on included pack
Runtime: 8 minutes on included battery
Street Price: $299

Primary Competition: Other 4wd bash vehicles like the ECX 4wd line-up.

What’s Needed To Complete: Not much, just four AA batteries for the transmitter.

Build Quality: Our Mad Bug looked well assembled. Bolts were tight but not stripped, the shocks felt good, the pinion/spur mesh was well set, and we didn’t find any excessive binding.

Test Drivers: The Legendary Iron Mike, Sam The Noobie, Bobby G, Tim M, and yours truly.

Test Venues: RC Outlaws 8th scale outdoor track in Collinsville IL, St. Joe State Park in Park Hills MO, a Belleville Illinois city park, and a CostCo parking lot.

Set-up Notes: We ran the Mad Bug bone stock even leaving on the stock Tamiya connector. For batteries we used the included NiMH about 50% of the time, the rest of the time we used a Peak Powermax 2S 4200 LiPo. For charging duties we ditched the wall unit and used a Hitec X1 Pro.

Turning: We found the Mad Bug to have mild oversteer at corner entry then tracked well through the apex, with a bit of understeer at corner exit. The lower the traction, the less oversteer it had at corner entry. To turn on a dime you’ll have to give the brakes a tap.

Jumping: While the Mad Bug tended to jump fairly level, it was quite sensitive to trigger input while in the air. A mild tap of the brake really brought the front down, while pinning it on 2S did a good job of bringing up the nose. The Mad Bug was suspended a bit lightly for big hucks, but overall it jumped fine.

Bumps/Whoops: Blasting through the whoops showed the Mad Bug did an ok job, however its light damping and low ride height didn’t do it any favors when the going got really rough. It didn’t really swap side to side, but it did tend to bounce a bit too much for serious whoop speed.

On-Road: The Kyosho was fun and easy to drive on-road. It had decent speed, never traction rolled, and the steering was friendly for noobs. The Mad Bug is a solid on-roader.

Grass: Thanks to brushless power, 4wd, and good tires, the Mad Bug was a blast to drive in grass. It handled short grass extremely well and even kept going when it reached medium height. However, there was a downside, we found the power system got hot when continuously driven in deeper grass.

Tires: The tires were not made from the softest compound out there, thus limiting their hard pack mechanical grip, but we found they gave very good traction in grass and shallow loam. Thanks to the harder compound we found wear to be minimal.

Power: While it does come with a brushless powerplant, the Mad Bug isn’t that fast out of the box. The speedo/motor combo is very soft on the low end with a snappy mid-range punch, followed by a moderate top end pull. When we would drive the buggy with a LiPo it instantly had better power top to bottom, but it still had lackluster pull from a dead stop.

Radio: The included Syncro 2.4GHz radio system is pretty standard fair for a RTR. While we didn’t have any glitching issues, we would occasionally run it out of range, which seemed shorter than other RTR units. The ergonomics are ok, although the wheel to grip distance is at the far end of our comfortable range.

Broken Parts: We found the Mad Bug to be quite tough. We put it through plenty of slamming with no breakage. After a bunch of abuse it finally popped a front knuckle after tagging a curb WFO on LiPo.

Misc Notes:

We are not fans of the included body pins, lose them ASAP and your fingers will thank you.

The Mad Bug uses a plastic center driveshaft but we didn’t experience any issues because of it.

There is a fair amount of slop in the front end, more that we see on most new products, but that didn’t seem to affect the Mad Bug driving in a straight line.

Our noob driver was a huge fan of the Mad Bug. It seemed to have the steady handling and easy to drive power that was absolutely perfect for him. Rarely does our noob speak up and say he really likes a car, that has to say something.

Best Mod Under $5: Ditch the Tamiya and go with a quality connector like a Deans or Traxxas.

Best Mod Over $5: Speedo and LiPo. By switching these out you’ll gain a ton of yank across the board.


A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific

Time To Bash: B Set-up is fast and easy with the Mad Bug, but we wish it came with a faster charger.

Workability: C As you already know, we are not fans of Phillips head screws. The Mad Bug used a fairly standard layout, but the pinion/spur mesh was a pain to adjust.

Car Show Rating: B It doesn’t offer scale realism, but it does have a unique off-road look that most of our reviewers enjoyed.

Bash-A-Bility: B Our Mad Bug was trouble free and it took some severe abuse to break it.

Fun Factor: B I think every single member of the Bash Crew had a great time with the Mad Bug. Our noob liked driving it more than anything else he has been a part of testing and it had enough performance to keep our experienced drivers entertained.

Handling: C The Mad Bug doesn’t have insane corner speed or do anything flashy, it is average across the board for handling.

Value: B The Mad Bug is a brushless 4wd that gave us a whole lot of fun for its $299 price tag.

Parts Availability: C Nope, you won’t find Kyosho parts on the pegs at every local hobby shop, but they are readily available on-line.

BigSquid Rating: B- We are fans of the Mad Bug. It doesn’t stand out in any one category, it is simply a solid all around basher. If you dig its look and are looking for a hassle free machine, don’t hesitate to pick one up.

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Posted by in Car & Truck Reviews, Kyosho on Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 4:55 pm