Ultimate Test: Team Losi LST

11/17/2004 by John Howell

Provider Name:  RC Car Action

Issue:  November 2004

Copyright:©2004 Air Age Media

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Page 1: Intro
(continued from previous page)

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.


White 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. We’ve also been told that a special lubrication package protects the internal parts when settings are extremely lean by reducing friction. It’s also worth noting that the fuel comes in opaque jugs to protect it from light. We’ve 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.

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