Review: HPI E-Savage 1/10 Scale ATV Monster Truck
HPI Racing E-Savage #507 RC Monster Truck
We have been wanting to get our hands on one of these HPI E-Savage radio controlled trucks since we heard about it last fall. We finally did just that and have been playing with it for the last month. It sure does attract attention when you break it out at the ATV races.
The HPI E-Savage is a ready-to-run (RTR) electric-powered 1/10 scale RC monster truck. The E Savage is HPI's little brother to the Nitro-powered Savage and can be purchased with your choice of three bodies - a Baja bug, a GT truck, or an ATV and rider. Our testing has been with the #507 E-Savage with ATV body.
So does this monster truck really come ready to run? Well, pretty darn close but a first-timer should plan on about 45 minutes before you can be out playing. The first thing you need to do is get the charger and batteries out and start them charging. The E-Savage comes with two 7.2V 3300mAh Hot Bodies batteries and a GT Escape dual battery charger. The charger works great but it is a DC-only charger and requires a 12 volt battery source. It sure would be nice if it would work on either AC power or DC power. It will take 20-30 minutes to get the batteries charged. These are not top of the line performance RC battery packs, but they are decent packs.
While your batteries are charging, you need to prep the rest of the truck. The transmitter included is a HPI TF-3 which is made by Futaba. Like the batteries, the receiver is not top of the line but it does include all the basics, like trim adjustments. You will need to put eight (8) AA batteries in the transmitter and set the steering reverse switch to "N" and the throttle reverse switch to "R".
Next you need to thread the antenna through the antenna tube. I would recommend a drop of light oil in the tube. It is nearly impossible to get the antenna through the tube without something to help it on its way.
The only thing left is to install the handlebars and prep and install the rider. The rider's feet attach to the side of the body and his hands fit over the handlebars. After your rider is mounted and body hooked on, your batteries should be charged and ready to install. Install one pack in each side and your new E-Savage 1/10 scale ATV monster truck is ready to run
Now for some fun. It has been awhile since I have had a radio control truck to play with and was remembering the days of my first Tamiya Blackfoot. Boy, we had a lot of fun with Blackfoot, but as with everything else, technology has brought huge advancements to the RC monster truck world. With dual motors, full-time AWD and eight long-travel shocks, I was thoroughly impressed. The E-Savage ROCKS!
After nearly a month of bashing the E-Savage around the backyard and at a whole host of off-road races, we have yet to break it - and it's not like we were being careful. We used it like you would. I am very impressed with the durability of this unit.
The batteries last only about 10-15 minutes depending on how hard you run it so you will probably want to pick up at least one extra set. Maybe even some 3800mAh packs and this should increase the run time.
The HPI E-Savage is very fast for an electric monster truck. We did not have anything to clock it with but it seems to achieve speeds of around 25 MPH in stock form. It jumps and lands with ease. As we initially suspected the ATV rider does hurt your handling significantly. While the rider is fairly light, it adds a lot of weight up high that takes away from the center of gravity of the E-Savage. The rider really separates the ATV from the crowd and makes it stand out from the normal monster truck but if you want optimal handling, you will want to remove the rider.
We have found this to be a great monster truck for the beginner or casual enthusiast. It is very simple and easy to maintain, very durable, and most of all, FUN.
Next month we will be testing the CEN Racing CST 7.7 Nitro powered monster truck.
#507 E-SAVAGE WITH BAJA TT BODY - MSRP - $619.00
HPI Racing USA