When Traxxas first launched the Traxxas X-Maxx monster truck, many people felt it was too slow at 35mph. Traxxas then released a conversion for the Traxxas X-Maxx 6S, which included an upgrade ESC, drive line and some other components to handle the power upgrade.
Is the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S faster, stronger, and an overall better bash machine? Here’s the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S review.
Traxxas X-Maxx 8S Features Summary
|Motor||Brushless, #3491 Velineon 1200XL|
|Speed Controller||Velineon VXL-8S|
|Radio||Traxxas TQi 2.4GHz w/ TSM|
|Differential||Gear type, hardened steel bevel gears|
|Slipper Clutch||Cush drive|
|Shocks||GTX aluminum bodied, plastic caps, oil filled|
The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S is simply one of the best RC trucks ever made. It is big, fast, and extremely fun to drive.
The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S has the same body as the Traxxas X-Maxx 6S but with better graphics and it also now comes with plastic reinforcement on the back of the body.
The electronics of the truck is where most of the changes have been made. There are twin motor fans to keep the speed-tuned 1200XL Big Block motor cool, the Velineon VXL-8S ESC is capable of max 30+ volts of power and can take 2 x 3S or 2 x $s LiPo batteries, and a shock-absorbing cush drive has replaced the slipper clutch.
There is also no more diffing out with the front wheels spinning uncontrollably in the air with the new torque biasing center drive. The torque biasing center drive absorbs all the shocks and distributes to all the wheels, thus improving front and rear power distribution for amazing 4WD acceleration.
The drive shafts of the new Traxxas X-Maxx 8S has seen an increased in diameter for the drive shafts, so there should no longer be any twisting or breaking due to the power. More importantly, with all that power of the 8S, there is a wheelie bar to keep the front end down to a reasonable level and not flip over itself all the time.
The controller is factory setup on 50% forward and 50% backward, but there is also a 70/30 option. I left it as 50/50 as the reverse gear is very sensitive on the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S. There is a steering trim, a multi-function knob that adjusts the Traxxas Stability Module (TSM) which prevents rollover when trying to turn in high speed by adjusting the power accordingly, a set button which helps the truck get back up onto its wheels when it is on its back, and a menu button.
Traxxas X-Maxx 8S Review
Overall, the build quality of the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S feels great. You would want to check and tighten the wheels before taking them out for your first drive.
If you are planning on bashing your Traxxas X-Maxx 8S in grass or off-road, you will love this truck. The 8S drives through tall grasses easily, and its build makes it a beast on off-road conditions.
However, it does not perform as well on pavement. While the stock tires were great in soft dirt and in rough conditions, it does not have a lot of grip on pavement or on-road. The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S does traction roll in the corners and can be hard to control because of its off-road biased suspension settings.
The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S has a good amount of lean when cornering, although the lean did cause it to traction roll from time to time. That said, the amount of lean also gave the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S more traction when turning on loose/slick surfaces.
The rear had a lot of rotation when cornering, whereas the front end of the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S would stick in corners. For a huge monster truck, you would want to keep the entry speeds conservative and roll into the throttle just after the apex in order for it to corner well.
The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S was made for epic jumps and its suspension would just soak up the impact even from great heights. This truck takes off well, while the Traxxas X-Maxx ignored ruts and bumps when hitting jump faces due to its huge wheels.
It flies relatively flat in the air, and you want to be soft on the trigger when making mid-air corrections in order to get the desired change.
With its combination of large tires, weight, suspension geometry, and suspension settings, the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S performs very well on rough ground. It drives faster and remains in control on rough terrains better than other trucks tested.
The front suspension has amazing damping, although the rear rebound damping could be improved as it is a little stiff or slow. Nonetheless, I was impressed with how close the stock settings are to perfection right out of the box and needed almost no tuning.
With the new 1200XL motor, the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S has the power to pull wheelies and enough top end speed to get the tires expanding. The higher voltage of 8S does yield more efficiency, less heat, and more power.
The stock servo felt good enough for general bashing with 365 oz/in of torque. However, its transit speed is quite slow. I would recommend upgrading the servo with slightly more power but more faster transit speed.
I liked the torque on the 6S version, but it always felt like it fell flat when it came to top speed. On the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S version, the torque maintains its power and it is definitely an improvement from the last version.
While not the best overall jumping vehicle ever tested, it soaked up landings the best. It may not be as fast as an E-Revo on 6S, however, it is a lot faster than the original 6S version and drives in a very controllable manner even with this new found power.
The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S was definitely a great buy and I would recommend it for anyone who would love to bash around grass, off-road, or do lots of jumps.