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Now reading: Kyosho Outlaw Rampage Retro Trophy Truck Review
We keep on expanding our Kyosho range of cars so its time to take a look at their full size offerings. This retro-styled trophy truck is a throwback to the days where we we driving Tamiya lunchboxes, monster beetles and boomerangs.
Kyosho ship the truck in a big white box, all ready-to-run, only needing four AA batteries for the transmitter, to get driving.
Included in the box is the assembled chassis and electronics, factory finished body, Syncro KT-231P+ transmitter, 7.2V 1800mAh with AC trickle charger (with adapters for worldwide plug types) and the instructions. Its worth noting how in-depth the manual is for this car (perhaps as it was designed for building the kit) a welcome change to some of the models on the market.
Kyosho include a cross wrench for removing the wheels and two allen keys for servicing/repairing/adjusting the model. They have also shipped the car with the alternate grille/light pieces should you wish to change that up. They also include a few spares such as body posts, antenna tube, rear link suspension arms, and some spare shock pistons.
The included 7.2v 'stick pack' style NiMH battery will need charging before your first run and it will take 6 hours to fully charge an empty battery. Regular readers will know we are always disappointed when manufacturers scrimp on the final piece of the puzzle, but offering a 'dumb' trickle charger does limit any potential problems newcomers to the hobby may face.
We got a little under 20 minutes out of the included battery, which is a tad disappointing considering the relaxed initial pace we were running the truck at. As with any car at this price point we'd recommend bringing along a second (or even third) battery to maximise your runtime.
The receiver sits in a splash-proof box behind the battery tray. Mounted to the side is the on-off switch, placed so that you can reach up under the shell and power up the model without removing the body.
The included 45A Vortex WP Brushed ESC can handle both NiMH and LiPo batteries, the later up to a 2S (7.4v) limit. Note that to run a 2S LiPo as we did, you will need to move the lower jumper over to the 'LiPo' setting before connecting the battery. It feeds a brushed 540 sized 15T motor mated to a slipper disc and mounted to a metal plate sat on-top of the solid axle.
The ESC is terminated with a 'deans' style battery connector, slid into a small housing to aid battery connection.
For a 1/10th size model the body is actually quite large. We like the simple retro-look livery, the clear windows and sparing use of decals. The pickup truck silhouette has all the right moldings to carry it off.
The body itself proved resilient, we failed to crack it despite our usual destruction-testing driving style. it fits tightly over the body pins and has recesses for 'ease' of body pin insertion. The front end of the body is protected by a bumper that rides up from the chassis.
Kyosho includes both sets of grille and light parts. These can be swapped over in a matter of minutes, held onto the inside of the nose via two 2mm hex bolts.
The parts are designed to hold LED's should you wish to add headlights to the model but no cluster components are included for the rear of the shell. Kyosho offer a pre-terminated loom as a hop-up that potentially connects to the spare channel on the receiver for powering.
The only thing that we didn't like about the body was the small body pins included, they are frustratingly fiddly and something we will be swapping out.
Up front the bumper is constructed of three pieces and held to the front of the chassis plate with a metal buckle to resist those big nose-heavy landings. A slider system connects to the servo to minimise the system footprint and keep the servo out of the firing line. Double wishbones offer great stability and the truck rides smoothly on its oil-filled shocks.
The center section continues the extensive use of composite plastic. The battery door is a nice touch, rotate the catch to align it vertically and the whole end of the battery tray will swing out, allowing you to slide it out. The battery is mounted transversely across the chassis and slots through it, limiting you to a maximum physical size; chunky 'hardpacks' aren't going to go in here.
At the back the entire motor/transmission/solid axle is one unit, connected to the chassis via long lower suspension arms, stabiliser bars and the rear shocks. You can reconfigure the lower arms chassis mounting points to connect further inwards, altering how they resist the rotation of the rear end. The shocks can also be mounted in one of five holes on the lower arms to adjust their performance. The included shocks are long plastic-bodied oil-filled units.
The wheel and tyre setup is all square and we love the retro 'Weller' style 'steels'. We aren't so fond of the tyres, their period appearance is fine but the stiffness of the sidewalls and the hard compound of the contact patch limits the performance of the truck on loose surfaces; More on that later.
All told the chassis uses the right materials in the right places to offer something strong enough to perform but flexible enough to withstand a beating without breaking.
The Syncro KT 231P+ is one of the nicest transmitters we have used in a 'budget' RC car. It requires 4xAA batteries to power it. The red spine section is rubberised to aid your grip and comfort, the trigger throw isn't too long and the foam on the steering wheel is soft, grippy and doesn't 'come away' should your hands get sweaty. The adjustment dials have an accurate, solid feel to them and they are clearly labelled. The range was fine for us ripping it around a large pump track with no interference or dropouts encountered.
The steering wheel is offset at an angle from the transmitter body which makes it incredibly comfortable in use, with your hands meeting in a 'V' shape in-front of your body when driving it actually makes a lot of sense to have it canted out like this. Oddly our model shipped with the steering 'backwards', something easily remedied by the reverse switch on the adjustment panel of the trans
We took the truck to a brand-new pump track for its initial shakedown. It allowed us to test out its jumping potential whilst get a feel for its steering.
Against the pristine tarmac and fresh green grass the blue body really looked the part, popping up from the background making it easier to drive at a distance.
Out of the box the setup is a bit twitchy. With the dual-rate on the steering dialed right down we could drive the truck through the fast sweeping corners with confidence.
A relatively lightweight truck, it can float with some impressive hang-time, doubling the jumps and making you feel like a hero!
Thankfully when you screw up your entry the suspension travel and damping is there to save you, dealing with some heavy impacts when we miss-timed our launches and ended up coming in nose first!
The next day, following a swap of the front grill and light pods (just to freshen up its face) we headed to a dirt lot to try it on the loose stuff.
This is where the real challenge started as the hard compound tyres offered little traction on the sloppy surface. In the trucks defense we were still running on the punchy 2S LiPo so you might have better luck on the stock cell.
We consider ourselves fairly good RC drivers, yet even we were left reaching for the dual-rate adjustments, cranking down both the steering and the throttle dials to regain some control. A stabilisation gyro would be a worthy upgrade to this model to make it easier to drive fast.
Back on the harder-packed surfaces and short grass we could return to full power and nail some starts. The truck will slide quite nicely once you get the hang on it and will rip along quite quickly for a brushed setup.
So in conclusion would we recommend the Outlaw Rampage?
Overall we think it offers a quality package and a driving challenge at a fair price. This truck makes a solid gift for anyone who was really into RC cars back in the 1980's and would relish such a driving challenge.
A pro-edition of this truck is releasing soon with a host of upgrades for not a great deal more money. These include metal-bodied shocks and a custom spare wheel carrier (complete with two spare wheels with tyres) that should add welcome ballast over the drive-wheels.
However if outright speed is sole 'driving' factor, faster (if uglier) alternatives are available for a little less money.
The Kyosho Outlaw Rampage is available on our webstore in white as well as blue as pictured, both including free next-working-day delivery to mainland UK addresses. We'd recommend picking up a larger capacity battery pack (like this one, compatible with the standard charger) to extend its runtime by around a third.
If you want to see the Outlaw Rampage in action, check out our InstagramTV post from our test day and keep an eye on our Instagram highlights for more. If you have any questions about the truck or want to know more, please do leave us a comment in the section below!