Hot Bodies Lightning 2 RR (RTR) Review
(1/8 scale)

October 20th, 2004 - Brian
Direct Link: Lightning 2 RR

As everyone that is a visitor of Big Squid RC knows, we like bashing, and abusing vehicles. There is no such thing as Ďtoo highí or Ďtoo farí or Ďtoo muchí in our world. Rarely do we see a vehicle that can measure up to these types of standards. Well ladies and gentleman, we found one today! The Hot Bodies Lightning 2 RR (1/8 scale buggy RTR) can literally say it survived a Big Squid RC bashing. Iíll talk more about itís survival later, lets get the standard stuff out of the way.

It comes stock with some pretty nice features. A full ball bearings set, low profile receiver/battery box, and lay down steering servo configuration. (All the rage these days to keep a low center of gravity) It also comes with one of the coolest fuel line setupís I have ever seen out of the box! Other awesome goodies are the standard .26 Hot Bodies engine, and the Jump-Start system. Iím really getting spoiled by the jump starts! One of the only noticeable options missing is threaded shocks. For the type of abuse we do to our vehicles, the suspension was a little soft, and was pretty easy for us to bottom out. I guess with 30 foot drops, most vehicles will. The suspension is definitely better suited for racing, but can be adjusted without much trouble

The break-in went pretty smooth, and the buggy fired right up the first try. It puts a grin on my face when things start off easy. There was only 1 time when I had trouble getting it started, and of course the plug was the last thing I checked! Besides there being a few typos in the manual that caused me to re-read a few paragraphs and figure out what they really meant, I didnít really have any problems over the break-in period. Once I was able to get the buggy of the stand, and driving around the parking lot, it was tough for me to keep off the throttle. I could feel the power of the engine, and I was really aching to open it up.

The day after break-in, we were off to the Berwyn Bash with the Chicago Style RC guys. Itís an amazing bash site, with huge jumps, open fields, and a nice parking lot for tuning and testing. Our only problem here, was that it hadnít rained in about 3 weeks, so there was some extreme dust happening. Even though the radio box seems pretty sealed, I ended up with a very large amount of dirt in it. Dirt, battery packs, and receivers donít mix well, so I recommend either getting some type of sponge filter to put on top of everything before you close the box, or if possible, the old 'balloon everything' trick. Anyway, we ran for several hours, and had some gret fun. I tried doing some back flips by running up a tree with little success. I landed bad enough to cause me to cringe several times, but the buggy was un-effected.

We then pulled out our portable/adjustable ramp (check our projects section for details) and I launched it a few times, when suddenly the buggy just took off! ACK! Chasing it into the forest, it was mowing down bushes like an angry weed whacker! It turns out, all that dust I got in the battery box earlier, seemed to work itís way in between the contacts enough to cause me to loose signal/power. (Remember kids, if your going to pay several hundred dollars for a vehicle, pay the extra $30 for a fail safe!) I was amazed at all the abuse the buggy took that day, and nothing broke!

The following weekend, was Monster Jam 2004 II! There was a shortage of buggies at the event this time, so I was only able to race once. (Which I won btw) Then we pulled out the big ramp! This is definitely a highlight of the event, since just about everyone gets maybe 1 or 2 jumps in before they break something, and they are done. The basic motto is ĎGo Big, then Go Home!í This is where the buggy really showed us who the boss was! My farthest jump (with a landed back flip mind you) was 56 feet! It was the second longest jump of the whole day! I was only doing 33mph when I hit the ramp. Far short of the buggy's top speed, so I know I could of won if I had a few more chances to get the tune right. The run up to the ramp is a bit on the short side, so it wasnít easy to get top speed. I would tune the engine a little, and jump, tune and jump. I landed 3 consecutive back flips to cheers of the crowd. Now after 3 jumps, most people counted themselves lucky if they were still running, and packed it up. I kept jumping! I told the guy running the event that I was still testing the vehicle, and I was going to jump it till I broke something if he didnít mind. Figuring my luck would run out soon, he let me jump it for a total of 10 times! Each jump around 50 feet long, and probably 30+ feet high! I never broke a thing! At least 3 of the landings were HARD landings! Iím talking straight down on one wheel, on itís tail, or on the fin. Didnít break a thing! More then a few people were impressed, and asked me more details about the buggy after the event.

Hot Bodies is really starting to impress us with their newer vehicles! The Lightning Street was an amazing car (check out our review) and the Lightning 2 RR has been the toughest vehicle we have seen to date. Believe me, I was trying to go home with something to fix! If your looking to get into 1/8 scale buggies, and you donít have the $1000 laying around to get the top of the line, I strongly suggest you look at the Lightning 2 RR! If youíre a basher, looking to get big air, and abuse your vehicle, this is the vehicle for you!

Iím interested in seeing what kind of speeds I can get out of the buggy with some of the hop-ups and different gearing. Make sure to come back soon for updates and results of some modification testing!

 Time to Bash  9/10 Add Fuel, Stickers, break-in and GO! Break-in was about 4 tanks of gas. Approx. 1 hour.
 Workability  9/10 Everything looks easy to get to. I can't seem to break anything to get a chance to fix it!
 Car Show Rating  8/10 Lots of purple aluminum, with yellow highlights, but nothing amazing. There are a good amount of hop-ups available though.
 Bash-A-Bility  10/10 Several events worth of abuse. 56 foot jumps 30 feet high, and we didnít break a thing!
Big Squid Rating  9.7/10 Tentacles. . There wasnít much we could complain about, and for us, itís the ultimate basher buggy!