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Short Course R/C Trucks Buyer's Guide
RC Trucks > Short Course SCT
Photos, videos and reviews to choosing the best short course truck from Traxxas, Losi, Associated, HPI, Kyosho and more. Price, speed and model comparison makes it easy for you to buy. Data analyzed from forums, manufacturer websites and online hobby shops.
Which RC Short Course Truck Should You Get
Decide first whether you want electric, nitro or gasoline powered. Then whether 2wd or 4wd. And finally what scale size you prefer. Below matrix helps narrow down your choices.
Photo: Popular is the Team Associated SC10 Factory Team 1:10 scale electric 2wd off road race truck kit with sale price of around $259.
Photo: The 1/10 scale ready to run Losi XXX-SCT short course truck can be bought for around $199 inclusive of a radio system. Needs only batteries to complete.
Electric - This is the most popular. Easy to maintain. Simply charge the batteries and run. For 2-wheel drive, typical motors are the 540 size (brushed and brushless). For 4-wheel drive, bigger 550 sized brushless electric motors are the standard.
Photo: The 1/10 HPI Blitz RTR 2wd comes complete with 2.4GHz radio system, waterproof electronics, 15T brushed motor and 7.2v battery pack at a sale price of around $249.
Below are 2wd short course trucks racing inside a mall.
Nitro - For those who love nitro. Very realistic but requires more maintenance and engine tuning skills. These use special nitromethane/methanol rc car fuel designed for nitro engines. Run times of 5 - 8 minutes on a single tank of fuel.
Photo: Associated SC10GT is a 1:10 scale ready to run 2wd nitro powered off road race truck. Sale price is around $369 inclusive of .18X pull start engine, tuned exhaust and 2.4GHz radio controller.
Below is video of the 1/10 Associated SC10GT.
Gasoline - Typically the larger 1/5 scale short course trucks. Uses regular gasoline mixed with 2T oil. Run times of 30 minutes on a single tank are common. Below is the popular HPI 5SC.
Photo above: The 1/5th scale HPI Baja 5SC 2wd comes with a 26cc or 29cc gasoline engine. Speeds up to 40+mph. Kit sells for around $1,199USD.
Above: The 1/5 Losi 5ive-T is 4WD and powered by a 26cc gasoline engine. Does not include a radio controller. Street price of around $1,599USD.
2wd - These are the original short course trucks. Advantage is easy maintenance and less complicated drivetrain. On high grip track these are fun and easy to drive. But on slippery surface they can easily spin out.
Photo: The originator of the short course class. The 1/10 Traxxas Slash Chad Hord Edition is fully assembled and ready-to-race with a street price of around $274USD.
4WD - Fast becoming popular. Four wheel drive have more grip and are easier to drive. Generally faster than 2wd models.
Photo: 1/10 Traxxas Slash 4x4 Mike Jenkins Edition is RTR with a TQi 2.4GHz radio, waterproof VXL esc and brushless Velineon 3500 motor for only $369USD.
Below is a video of 4wd SCT racing in a big off-road track.
Scale Size - By far the most popular are 1:10th scale.
What is the Best 1/10 RC Short Course Truck?
The class originally started with the 1/10 Traxxas Slash 2wd back in 2009. If you are looking to bash around and need high ground clearance, then Traxxas is very good for that.
Photo: What started it all. The 1/10 Traxxas Slash.
But if you are looking to race then the Associated SC10, Losi Strike, HPI Blitz, Kyosho Ultima SCR, Team C TS2, and Durango DESC210R would be a better choice. Comparison of 2wd short course trucks.
Here are the poll results from RCShortcourse.com on the question "What 2WD Short Course Truck do you race?"
Photo: The Kyosho Ultima SC is a 1:10 scale radio controlled electric powered 2wd short course truck which can be bought for around $174USD inclusive of a Perfex radio system, esc and brushed motor. You only need to buy a 7.2v battery pack and 8-AA batteries to complete.
Table above: Estimated price and speeds of 1/10 electric 2WD short course trucks.
And if you are looking for more speed, try the 4wd short course trucks. Best choices are the Associated SC10 4x4, Durango DESC410R, Kyosho DRT, Losi TEN-SCTE, OFNA NEXX 10SC, Jammin SCRT10 and Traxxas Slash 4x4.
Photo: The 1/10 Losi TEN-SCTE 4WD RTR comes with a Spektrum DX3E radio and 550-sized four-pole 2800kv brushless motor. Estimated sale price of $519USD.
Table above: Comparison of popular 1/10th electric 4-wheel drive SCT. Price and speed are estimated.
Short Course R/C Truck Racing
Here are exciting photos and videos of racing events held inside malls and on big outdoor dirt r/c tracks. Plus tips on what bodies, tires and motors to use to help you win races.
Photo: 4x4 short course rc trucks take the grid at the start of a race.
If you are on a budget, start racing with 2wd. If you are looking into 4wd SCT racing, things to consider are that the motor/esc combo are usually expensive and lipo batteries prone to bloating due to huge power consumption.
Associated SC10 vs. Losi TEN-SCTE - 4wd short course radio control truck racing held in Circulo Verde off-road track with guest racer Scotty Ernst.
4x4 RC Trucks Short Course - Photos and video of 4 wheel drive SCTs racing in a big outdoor dirt track.
Short Course 2wd - Racing inside Tiendesitas Mall on a temporary carpet track with jumps. Traxxas Slash, Associated SC10 and HPI Blitz battling it out.
Short Course RC Bodies
The main concern is the "parachute" effect. This is when a short course truck takes a big jump and air trapped underneath the body causes instability. Makes landing inconsistent and often leading to a crash.
Above: The Proline Flow-Tek Chevy 1500 was voted as the best short course truck body on RCTech.net.
To minimize the parachute effect, companies now sell better bodies for racing. Here are Top 5 results of the most durable and best handling short course body on RCTech.net.
Associated SC10 Contender
RC Short Course Tires
When 2wd short course first started, racing was with the kit tires. These were usually very hard. Lasted a long time but grip was bad. It was only a matter of time before companies started selling softer compound tires with various tread patterns for low grip (e.g. dusty) and high grip (e.g. blue groove) surfaces. Temperature is also a factor in tire selection.
Chart: AKA short course tire grip chart to help you choose the right tires for your track surface and temperature.
Chart: Pro-Line tire compound colored chart. They have short course tires for racing, all terrain, sand and street surface.
AKA SC10 4×4
When buying wheels consider the width, depth and offset. Basic recommendation is to buy a wheel designed for your specific short course truck. There are also bead lock wheels that help secure tires more firmly on the rim but are heavier than regular wheels.
Also make sure the wheel is designed for the tire you will be mounting. There are many differences in tire and wheel design making some combinations incompatible.
AKA Cyclone SC wheels
550-sized Brushless Electric Motors
For 1/10 electric 4x4 short course trucks, more powerful and bigger motors are used. These trucks weigh over 6 lbs and need strong motors, batteries and electronic speed controllers for racing.
Photo: The Mamba Max Pro SCT with Neu Castle brushless motor sells for around $229USD.
LRP Vector X12L SC 550
5.0T motor ($149)
Where to Buy Short Course RC Cars and Trucks
At your local hobby shop or try the rc store page.
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Short Course Radio Control Trucks - Table comparing kits by brand, power, scale, drive, speed and price. If you are looking to buy this would be a good reference.
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