duratrax raze.qxd
NITRO OFF-ROAD BUGGY
!
DRIVEN REVIEW
Text by Greg Vogel
Photos by Walter Sidas
FAST FACTS
MANUFACTURER: Duratrax
VEHICLE: Raze
PART NO,: DTXD76
CLASS: 1/8 Off-road buggy
DRIVER: Entry level 1/8 driver
KIT TYPE: Ready-to-run
AVERAGE PRICE: $285.99
SPEED: 39.61 mph
DURATRAX
B
ig nitro-burning 1/8-scale buggies tend to be intimidating; not so much because these eight-pound machines can
reach speeds of well over 35mph, launch high off big jumps, and scare small children with the sound of a screaming big block engine. The intimidation factor has often been centered on getting the crow bar into your back
pocket so you can hoist out a load of change to purchase one. What if I told you that there's a new buggy that will allow you
to enjoy all of the exciting elements, but with a price that the average RC enthusiast could afford? Got your attention, right?
Put a pillow on the floor in front of you, because your jaw is about to hit the ground. DuraTrax developers have created an
entry-level, ready-to-run buggy that needs only fuel and batteries—all for around $280. Let's see how they made it possible.
Eight
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RC DRIVER
to
the
bar
RC DRIVER SEPTEMBER 2006 101
!
DURATRAX RAZE
PERFORMANCE
JUMPING AND HANDLING—Bench testing
should be considered evaluation, because way before
the Raze hit the track, the suspension got a big workout on our work table. When Bob, Frank and I gave
the buggy the time-honored squish test, we all thought
the Raze had a nice plush and reactive feel. This translated to the same feel on the BMX track where we took
the buggy for a beating.
The Raze felt at home launching off the big tabletop
jumps, and took only a few test runs to feel out the
attitude of the jumping style—not before some harsh
tumbles that the Raze survived unscathed. The buggy
likes to hit a jump at full throttle, and as it meets the
face of the jump, let off the trigger, which will net a
level attitude as it leaves for some hang time.
Up next for the Raze was running it through some
harsh dirt terrain out behind the BMX course. The suspension got a good workout and kept the buggy stable and under control. However, while we cornering through the
rough, the Raze's lack of sway bars became apparent. It had a tendency to roll, as the bars weren't there to keep the chassis level. If you
want to take the Raze racing, you might want to pick up sway bars.
For bashing around the backyard, the suspension system is up for the
job.
RATING- 8.5
ON AND OFF POWER STEERING—The setup in this department is very good for the entry-level driver, as it exhibits a little offpower push, and even more when on power. This allows new drivers
to learn to brake and reel the car in rather than have it hook or hit
boards at the entry of a corner. Don't expect to dart from corner to
corner; the Raze needs some finesse and brake to get around a track,
and it wants to push entering corners fast and when transitioning
through the tighter sections of the course. An upgraded battery pack
for the stock servos is the best place to start to get more steering
before upgrading the servo. For stock out of the box, the backyard
basher will have more than enough turning ability to get the buggy
around makeshift tracks and obstacles.
RATING- 8.5
TIP
Upgrading the four-cell battery to a
five-cell rechargeable hump pack
will help boost the performance of
the stock servos.
ACCELERATION AND BRAKING—SuperTigre's G-27CX
engine, coupled with the composite three-shoe clutch, accelerates the
Raze hard and has enough power behind the trigger to give the car
the grunt it needs to come out of corners hard and launch off of jumps
with ease. On the Raze's glory run, the buggy pulled off a 39 mph
pass on a very hot, humid day; under pleasant conditions, expect
your buggy to rip some passes at over 40 mph.
Braking, on the other hand, is not the Raze's strongest suit. With the
braking set as best we could tweak it, we could only get the buggy to
slow marginally, and even at that, we noticed some fade over long
periods of running. The braking is suitable for backyard use, but if
you try to hit the track, you'll want to upgrade the servo for some
stronger pull.
RATING- 7.5
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RC DRIVER SEPTEMBER 2006 103
INFO CENTER
CHASSIS— The Raze is a large departure from DuraTrax’s previous buggy, the
Axis. This Raze appears to have soaked up some inspiration from some of the racing
buggies already on the market. Starting from the main deck, the chassis is 3mm
thick blue anodized aluminum with angled edges to increase rigidity. Above the
deck, two long plastic struts act as supports to the chassis to the steering stiffener
plate up front and the gear case in the rear. To chop some cost off the car, DuraTrax
used a composite servo tray, which mates up to the rear-mounted receiver and battery box. A transponder mount is included if you want to go racing. A large 125cc
tank features a flip-top lid for quick refuels. SUSPENSION— Aluminum front and
rear shock towers offer numerous holes to reposition the shocks for tuning. The
shocks are oil-filled aluminum with collar clips to slip in between the blue anodized
cap and spring to alter ride height. The shocks damp wide suspension arms both
front and rear. Rounding out the double wishbone suspension are adjustable upper
tie-rods. DuraTrax includes several pivot blocks to aid in fine tuning the Raze to your
track or driving preference. DRIVETRAIN— The wheels receive power through a
standard dogbone and differential setup. The gear diffs are sealed and grease-filled
from the factory, but could be refilled with silicone fluid for tuning. All the diff drive
gears are hardened steel. Ball bearings support all of the rotating components.
Braking is accomplished by single discs in the front and rear of the center diff. The
discs are vented steel and are clamped by fiber-lined pads. Drive is sent to the center diff via a composite three-shoe racing clutch. STEERING— The steering servo
links up with a servo-saver bellcrank that swings an aluminum drag link that offers
three possible mounting locations for the adjustable tie-rods. The tie-rods mate up to
cast aluminum steering knuckles. WHEELS AND BODY— Topping off the Raze is a
chassis-hugging buggy body, pre-painted from the factory in a single color. Ours
came in red, but purple, orange, blue, green and black bodies are also available. Sixspoke white rims are wrapped in spiked chevron tires and fitted with foam inserts.
Downforce is taken care of by a dual-deck wing extending off of the rear wing risers.
ASSEMBLY—This vehicle is ready to run and requires very little to get it rolling; just
apply the included body graphics, install the batteries, fuel it up and get going.
Beginners should expect to drive the car within a half hour of opening the box, performing the aforementioned steps, and reading the included detailed manual.
An aluminum top plate secures the steering
posts, while a composite strut extends to brace
the front of the chassis. The servo-saver bellcrank features an adjusting nut to add tension to
the crank assembly.
The sealed center diff incorporates a steel spur.
Front and rear vented disc brakes control stopping, and are actuated by cams with ball-and-cup
levers.
SuperTigre's big displacement .27 sits on
heatsink aluminum engine mounts. The mill features a large blue heatsink head, pull start, and
two-needle carb for easy tuning. Exhaust duties
are taken care of by a wrap-around header, silicone coupler and long chamber pipe, which is
great for top-end power.
Six bevel gears make up the differential's internals. Here, light, green grease is used to lubricate
and add friction to the diff's action.
TECH SPECS
1/8
Two DuraTrax SX300 servos are mounted to a
composite servo tray to take care of steering and
throttle duties. A transponder mount is included
in case you want to go racing.
SCALE:
DRIVE: 4WD
LENGTH: 18.5 in. (470mm)
WIDTH: 11.7 in. (298mm)
WEIGHT: 7.7 lbs. (3500g) approx.
WHEELBASE: 12.91 in. (328mm)
TREAD (F/R): 10.63 (270mm)
GROUND CLEARANCE: 1.1 in.
(28mm)
ENGINE: SuperTigre G-27CX
.27 cu. in.
HELPFUL
HINTS
GOT TO
GET: Fuel
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RADAR DATA
PINION/SPUR: 13/ 46
PIPE: Aluminum-tuned pipe
TIRES: Spiked chevron style
WHEELS: White 6-spoke
SUSPENSION TRAVEL (F/R): .87 in.
(22mm)/ 1.36 in. (35mm)
ACCELERATION:
0-10 mph: .30 sec.,
0-20 mph: .89 sec.,
0-30 mph: 2.19sec.; 6.91sec @
39.61 mph in 319.88 ft.
RECOMMENDED UPGRADES: Gandini Mounted Atomic Tire- GMX05A, Front Universal Drive Shaft - DTXC4316, Fr/Re Anti
Roll Bar Set- DTXC4322, Aluminum Servo Tray- DTXC4324, Steering Turnbuckle Set- DTXC4330, Front Turnbuckle- DTXC4331,
Rear Turnbuckle- DTXC4332, Aluminum Fr/Re Center Brace Set- DTXC4307, Aluminum Servo Tray Post- DTXC4302
COMPETITORS INCLUDE: OFNA Violator, Hot Bodies Lightning, Sportwerks Turmoil
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DURATRAX RAZE
Here is a good
look at the
cast aluminum
knuckles that
support the
steel axle and
17mm wheel
hex. Bulky Chubs mate up
to the knuckle
and pivot on
E-clip-retained
hinge pins.
The upper
arms are
adjustable to
alter camber.
Tucked inside of the radio box is DuraTrax's
three-channel RX-300F FM receiver. Next to the
Rx box is the four-cell battery holder box.
The rear hub
offers several
mounting locations for the
rear adjustable
tie-rod to alter
the buggy's
roll. Notice
how the arm
features a
molded support that
wraps around
the hub to
connect the
two sides of
the pivot to
reduce flex.
Inside the front diff, you'll see the red
O-ring that seals the diff. The unit is
filled with a fairly heavy brown grease
to slow the reaction of the diff.
AUTHOR’S OPINIONS AND RATINGS
Ratings: 1 to 10 (poor to excellent)
Rating Category: Entry Level Buggy
■ CHASSIS—The components are basic and
shouldn’t be too intimidating to entry-level drivers. The 3mm chassis is solid,
and braces should keep the buggy sturdy. Low-profile mudguards keep debris
out, and the radio box will accept upgraded electronics if you add them down
the road.
RATING-9
■ DRIVETRAIN—The drive system is hefty and should hold up well over time.
Braking is minimal due to the limited pull of the standard servo, but brake fade
is also evident. A larger splash shield would be nice to protect the front brake.
RATING-7.5
■ STEERING—The steering system works well and is adjustable through the
rods and drag link, and the servo saver can be tightened. The cast steering
knuckles are a pleasant feature on this affordable buggy.
What we liked—
! Bargain for the price
! Powerful and reliable SuperTigre engine
! FM radio system with steering dual-rate adjustment
! Includes support gear such as glow-starter and fuel
bottle
! Nimble handling
What could be improved—
! Thick rear tower, just like the front
! Body could be trimmed to fit better
RATING-8.5
■ SUSPENSION—You’ve got to love the DuraTrax Stress Tech guarantee:
break one of these parts in your first 12 months of owning the car, and
DuraTrax replaces it for free. The shocks work great, but I’d like to see a dust
boot on them, and the rear tower is a little on the thin side.
RATING-8
■ BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES—The meats and hoops on the Raze are a
great all-terrain package. The body looks good with the graphics; however, it
could use some more trimming to get it to fit better.
RATING-8.5
■ DURABILITY—To durability test the Raze, we handed the radio to Bob. Bob
is to breaking things as Mikey is to liking things. Some wild tumbles, cased
jumps and rolls ensued with the crazed driver grabbing gobs of throttle. In the
end, we didn’t have any components dangling to take advantage of the Stress
Tech program.
RATING-9.5
■ EASE OF USE—The simple layout of the chassis makes maintenance easy.
While checking the diffs, we found removing them to be simple. Starting and
tuning the engine was also a breeze; the SuperTigre engine often fired on the
first pull.
RATING-9.5
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RC DRIVER
CONCLUSION
ITEM USED–
Power, speed and excitement
Werks 30%
can all be found through the
Fuel
experience of a 1 / 8 scale
buggy, and there is a new
buggy that fits this bill without costing too much cash. DuraTrax has a hard-to-beat
machine on its hands for the entry-level 1/ 8 crowd. This
buggy is easy to get rolling and runs reliably. Through the
backyard and at the track, the handling was great, and the
setup is right for anyone to take hold of the pistol and wheel
the Raze around with style. !
Links
DuraTrax, www.duratrax.com, (217) 398-8970
Werks Racing, www.werksracing.com, (408) 365-1000
For more information, please see our source guide on pg. 193.
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TEAM LOSI SPORT LST
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