Tamiya came out with the Tamiya TRF211XM 1/10 Buggy kit back in 2015. This is a mid motor, high performance 2WD buggy.
Tamiya TRF211XM 1/10 Buggy Kit Review
The kit comes with a detailed instruction manual, a white chassis, arm mounts, shock towers, diff gears, body, wing and more. I ran the Tamiya TRF211XM with a Futaba super shorty servo, a LRP Flow WorksTeam brushless ESC and Pro-Line Electron tires .
This kit was not designed for a shorty battery, so you will need to use a square battery to run the car. There is no option for mounting a shorty with the factory setting. You would need to modify and create some type of mount if you want to run it vertically or grind the ribs down if you want to run it transversely.
The build went really good although there were some issues in the manual of images not corresponding with each other. The metals and the plastics in this kit are manufactured to the highest quality. The fit and finish are amazing and I was impressed by the quality of the materials in the kit.
However, there was some confusion while reading the manual. The manual just states to use a screwdriver and does not mention a specific type of screwdriver. You would actually need to use a JIS (Japanese International Standard) screwdriver to assemble this kit.
The head of a JIS screwdriver is slightly different from the head of a Philips screwdriver, and while a Philips screwdriver will probably get the job done, it will not fit snuggly into any JIS screws.
I was amazed by how good the setup was out of the box. There are many good kits out there, for example, the Kyosho RB6, and the Tamiya TRF211XM is definitely one of them. Right out of the box, all I did was to break the tires in, moved the rear shocks out on the tower 1 hole and I would have been happy to compete with this car.
The Tamiya TRF211XM jumps good and it was easy to keep the nose up or down. It lands well and it has great cornering although I felt that the car had a little bit more of a push than I would want on a full-on race car, but it did keep improving as the tires got broken in.
The acceleration and braking were good, although I did notice that while I was adjusting my brake rate, there was a fine line between having the car easy to drive and fast or having the tires locked too much from having a couple of clicks over the threshold. That said, it was hard to say whether it was due to the surface, the tires or the car.
The Tamiya TRF211XM has pretty good durability. The only thing I ended up breaking was a rear wing mount while performing a backflip. My Tamiya definitely experienced some pretty harsh landings and crashes at high speed, so I would say that it is pretty durable since nothing else broke.
One of the drawbacks of these exotic kits which aren’t super popular where you live is that the local manufacturers that make hop-up or aftermarket parts don’t make parts for these kits. Tamiya does make their own hop-up parts and there are other products designed for other cars but will also fit the Tamiya TRF211XM and many other platforms.
Tamiya parts availability might not be great depending on where you live and the aftermarket might not be huge for this car, there are still alternative options by using hop-ups meant for other platforms that also will fit this car.
One of the things I don’t like about Tamiya is that it uses pins in the rear axles and bearings in the front wheels. While this can be remedied really inexpensively, it does mean extra cost for your Tamiya TRF211XM to run other types of tires by using a hex conversion.
The aftermarket for the Tamiya is where the problem lies, especially in places where the Tamiya does not much of a presence in local hobby stores. There are no real factory team although they do have a small sponsorship network of guys that drive for Tamiya.
The Tamiya TRF211XM is a beautifully crafted, wonderfully made, Japanese kit with a great setup right out of the box. The performance of the Tamiya TRF211XM is very good – it jumps, lands, accelerates, brakes and corners great and I have no complaints about the performance.
The manual does have some flaws and the use of JIS screws makes it a little frustrating, but these flaws are minor flaws. The bigger flaw lies with the fact that the kit did not come with hexes and wheels for the price that they are charging for this kit.
Tamiya does feel like a company out of touch with time by selling a car with pins in the rear axles and bearings in the front wheels, not being setup for a shorty battery and a lack of factory driver network.
Due to the lack of ease of getting replacement parts from local hobby stores, the Tamiya TRF211XM would suit local racers who can wait for parts to be shipped to them, but I wouldn’t recommend the Tamiya TRF211XM to travel racers who will need their replacement parts there and then for competition.