It took no time to install the necessary batteries and to break in the
Mach .26. After only a few tanks, the engine idled like a champ. We tested
the LST in a variety of areas: backyard bashing, rock crawling and full-on
racing. Here's what we learned.
ACCELERATION AND TOP SPEED. After the engine had been broken-in
and warmed up, we took the LST to the athletic field behind RC Car Action's
office for a backyard-bashing session. You would assume that because of
its hefty size, the truck might take its time when it starts from a dead
stop, but that assumption is dead wrong! The LST launches with ridiculous
authority for a truck that's this heavy! As a matter of fact, it's one
of the very few trucks we've seen that can wheelie off the line. More
than once, we found ourselves looping out the LST (in high gear!) after
getting a little grab-happy with the throttle. It's as if the truck needs
a wheelie bar!
A few of the other editors stopped to give the LST a try, and we all
ripped up the grassy area like men possessed. You could tell how stoked
they were as each tried to master the art of the LST wheelie When hit
with the radar gun, the LST clocked in at 39mph in high gear and 26mph
in low gear.
BRAKES. Ah, yes-the brakes; much needs to be said about these
wonder stoppers. The first time we grabbed the binders at speed, we were
more than shocked at the results. As we went to full push on the trigger,
the truck rapidly slowed from its mid-30mph run and went into a full-vert
stoppie (or "reverse wheelie" for those who aren't in the know).
We then quickly released the trigger just in time for the rear tires to
react to gravity and plop back down to earth. If the brakes are too strong
for your liking, you can dial them out a bit with your radio.
CLIMBING. We headed for some nearby hills to see how the truck
reacted to climbing and can confidently report that the LST has no problem
tackling hills. The truck was kept in high gear (more on low-gear testing
later), and when we nailed the throttle while it was at the base of the
hill, it climbed and clawed its way to the top with minimal wheelspin.
ROCK CRAWLING. Team Losi had told us all about the LST's low gearing -how
the truck crawls like mad. It's one thing to have a manufacturer tell
you about it, but it's another thing to experience it for yourself. There's
a section of rocks outside the office that range from softball size to
cinderblock size. In addition, steep concrete stairs lead up through a
split in the rocks. We switched the tranny into low gear and headed in
for some fun. The LST's low gearing is exceptionally low, and you could
see how effective it was while in action over the rocks. With just a blip
of the throttle, the truck easily squirted up and over rocks of all sizes.
It only occasionally got the center skid hung up on really jagged edges,
but that is when reverse came in especially handy. We just hit the switch
on the radio and engaged reverse, and nine times out of 10, the LST would
free itself for another run up the rocks. It was fun testing the durability
of the front, center, and rear skids on the rocks; they got pounded pretty
hard. The body also got a workout, too. A few times we managed to grab
that little extra throttle that pushed us over the edge, and the truck
would flip. The body held up quite well though; a few minor scratches
barely showed through. The last trick was to see if it could climb the
concrete stairs. A few of the editors scoffed as we approached the steps.
We angled the truck slightly to get up and over the first step, but from
there on, the LST just motored up and over the remaining ones. Most nitro-powered
monster trucks wouldn't be able to hang, but the LST climbed them like
a champ. JUMPING. When you also factor in the LST's ultrastrong brakes,
its crazy-fast engine, and those 7- inch-tall tires, the truck reacts
very fast when it's airborne! Stay on the gas, and the rear end wants
to swing toward the ground in a hurry. Chop the throttle off the jump
or jam on the brakes, and the nose will dive right in.
Lightning 20-% nitro According to White Lightning, the oil content
in its castor-enhanced Pro Race Formula has been refined to provide
unmatched throttle response and quicker acceleration. Weve
also been told that a special lubrication package protects the internal
parts when settings are extremely lean by reducing friction. Its
also worth noting that the fuel comes in opaque jugs to protect
it from light. Weve been using this fuel quite a bit lately
and have had great results.
RACING. We tested the LST at two tracks: Extreme RC, in New Milford,
CT, and RC Madness, in Enfield, CT. After trying the truck in stock trim,
it was evident that we had to swap out the stock tires to make the truck
more competitive. The stockers are great for bashing and rock crawling,
but they are too tall and heavy for racing. When going over jumps, the
truck felt inconsistent and was often a handful to drive with the large
tires, especially when we were heavy on the throttle going over a jump.
After we swapped out the Losi Claws for a set of low-profile Pro-Line
40 Series Bow Ties, we noticed a big difference. With the low-profile
tires, we could see Team Losi's racing influence. The stock tires wanted
to roll over in the corners, but the lower-profile Pro-Lines allowed the
truck to carve through the turns in a much more stable manner, and it
never had a "tippy" feeling. With the race tires, the LST handled
extremely well, and the two Z590 servos pointed it in the direction in
which we wanted it to go and held the line confidently without a trace
of oversteer. We also dialed out some of the brake; it is just so strong
that we didn't need all that grab. Low-end grunt was amazing and was amplified
by the low-profile tires: nail the throttle, and the truck takes advantage
of every bit of traction thrown its way. One thing that helped greatly
was tuning with the slipper. If the truck wants to wheelie too much while
running on on high-bite surfaces, loosen the slipper. Just be careful
not to loosen it too much; a truck this big will eat up a loose slipper
in no time!
The shocks are superplush. Team Losi claimed the larger shocks would
provide a smoother ride and would react more like a "true" shock.
The LST's suspension is ultrasmooth and very confidence inspiring. Although
the truck is a little heavy for racing, its girth aids in the stability
department. The best word to describe the LST on the track is "sure-footed."
Obviously, some light trucks will have an advantage over it (mostly truggies),
but none will be as all-around capable.
DURABILITY. During our test session, we managed to crash our brains
out with the LST pretty spectacularly more than once, but each time, it
came back for more. One crash during our hill-climbing session had us
convinced that we had broken the LST into two. The hill had a relatively
smooth downslope, and we turned the truck around at the top and then punched
the throttle. The truck crested the hill and then looped out as it wheelied
down it. Somehow, it got a bit sideways and started to tumble end over
end. Even after two dozen or so cartwheels nothing was broken! We thought
for sure that at least an arm or a hub would have snapped-something
anything. But the truck withstood the beating like a champ. We just fired
it back up and spent more time bashing around.
When driving the LST on pavement, over rocks and at the track, nothing
broke or loosened up. The only time it needed to be tweaked at all was
during the race session, when the slipper needed to be tightened.
THE VERDICT. The LST is simply an amazing monster. It may cost
more than the average truck, but it isn't an average truck by any means!
When you factor in the level of engineering and the high quality of the
included running gear, you'll quickly running gear, you'll quickly see
that it offers quite a bit of bang for the buck. It truly is the "do-all"
truck that Team Losi intended it to be. The LST is equally at home in
the backyard and the track. Team Losi took its time and did its homework
before entering this candidate in the monster-truck wars. It's safe to
say that it may have just dropped a big bomb on the competition.