Losi 1/36 Micro Trucks Featuring the Micro-Baja Review - RC Groups

Losi 1/36 Micro Trucks Featuring the Micro-Baja Review

Michael Heer learned about these trucks from a friend and his friend's grandson, and all three became hooked on these trucks. These micro trucks are addicting indoors and out, and they make great gifts!

Splash

Introduction


Vehicle:Micro-Desert Truck RTR
Type:2WD Stadium Truck
Scale:1/36
Length:5.7 in
Width:3.5 in
Wheelbase:3.5 in
Weight:4.0 oz
Chassis:Extended composite tub
Suspension:Independent
Drive Train:3-gear transmission w/ diff and slipper
Tire Type:Micro-Desert Grip tires mounted on black micro bead lock-style wheels
Motor:Micro Electric
ESC:Electronic, Fully Proportional Forward/Reverse
Radio:27 MHZ AM Pistol
Servos:Sub micro
Batteries:4.8 volt 150 mAH NiMH (included)
Charger:Peak (included)
Wheel Size:0.75 in diameter
Shock Type:Coil-Over Friction Dampers
Body:Factory Decorated Desert Truck (3 colors: red, blue & gray)
Ball Bearings:BB-Equipped Transmission
Manufacturer:Losi
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$89.99


Vehicle:Micro-Baja RTR
Type:2WD Baja Bug
Scale:1/36
Length:4.5 in
Width:3.5 in
Wheelbase:3 in
Weight:3.4 oz
Chassis:Composite tub
Suspension:Independent
Drive Train:3-gear transmission with diff and slipper
Tire Type:Micro narrow ribbed front, micro step pins rear
Motor:Micro Electric
ESC:Electronic, Fully Proportional Forward/Reverse
Radio:27 MHZ AM Pistol
Servos:Sub micro
Batteries:4.8 volt 150 mAH NiMH (included)
Charger:Peak (included)
Wheel Size:0.75 in diameter
Shock Type:Coil-Over Friction Dampers
Body:Factory Decorated Baja Bug (2 colors: red & blue)
Ball Bearings:BB-Equipped Transmission
Manufacturer:Losi
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$79.99


Vehicle:Micro-T Stadium Truck RTR
Type:2WD Stadium Truck
Scale:1/36
Length:4.5 in
Width:3.5 in
Wheelbase:3 in
Weight:3.4 oz
Chassis:Composite tub
Suspension:Independent
Drive Train:3-gear transmission with diff and slipper
Tire Type:rubber multi-pin rear, ribbed front
Motor:Micro Electric
ESC:Electronic, Fully Proportional Forward/Reverse
Radio:27 MHZ AM Pistol
Servos:Sub micro
Batteries:4.8 volt 150 mAH NiMH (included)
Charger:Peak (included)
Wheel Size:0.75 in diameter
Shock Type:Coil-Over Friction Dampers
Body:Factory Decorated Stadium Truck (3 colors: blue, red & green)
Ball Bearings:BB-Equipped Transmission
Manufacturer:Losi
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$79.99

The best Christmas present that I received as a child was an Aurora Road Racing set in the 1960s. What made that present so special was that it was an activity that my father and I shared. I spent most of my time racing by myself or with my friends, but I best recall those occasions racing with my dad. I felt pretty special when I got my slot car set as I knew slot cars were something older boys liked to do as well. My dad even took me to a slot car track.

For me, the 2007 equivalent of that experience would be these 1/36 scale trucks by Losi. They come ready to operate and can be run indoors or out. The Losi micro experience allows for growth with upgrades of LiPoly battery packs, a wide variety of hop-ups and new trucks and truck bodies. They are the most fun when the experience is shared with another person, yet they can be enjoyed just by yourself.

My friends and I are not alone in our liking of these micro trucks by Losi; the Micro-T, the first of these trucks to hit the market, won the 2007 RC Car Action Reader's Choice Award. Not only did the readers like the Micro-T, the editors selected it as the 2007 Truck of the Year Editor's Choice Award. Those awards are not for micro trucks, but for RC trucks of any size. These are hobby quality vehicles!

Kit Contents

All Three Kits Include

  • Losi 1/36 scale Truck RTR
  • 4.8 volt 150mAH NiMH battery pack for truck installed
  • Losi 27 MHz AM pistol grip radio system
  • Portable Charger (powered by Alkaline batteries)
  • 8 AA alkaline batteries for charger
  • 8 AA heavy duty batteries for transmitter
  • Instruction Manual

Additional Items Needed

  • Knife or scissors to cut plastic trims securing truck to cardboard

Features

  • Fully independent suspension with friction dampers
  • Digital proportional electronic speed control with reverse
  • Differential-equipped transmission with adjustable slipper
  • Rapid acceleration
  • Good Top Speed

Assembly

1) Screw the antenna into the transmitter. 2) Install the included AA batteries into the charger and the transmitter. 3) Charge the truck and enjoy. It is that easy! The Micro-T requires placing the rear spoiler onto the truck body (double sided tape used, peel and stick).

What Makes These Trucks So Special?

Electronics

The trucks use a combined receiver/electronic speed controller that cuts down on size and weight. Up to six different crystals are available so up to six trucks can be run and raced together. The battery pack and a charger are included. It only takes about 20 minutes to completely charge the truck when the 8-AA batteries in the charger are fresh. The transmitter is user friendly and felt comfortable in my hand. The transmitter has trims for steering and throttle and steering adjustment throw.

MN-21.jpg:My Micro-Baja is on channel 6.

Power: Motor and Transmission

Power to pop a wheelie off the line for a foot or more when you "floor" the throttle is easy to do. The 3-gear transmission works with a slipper clutch that is adjustable. For the most part, I could control the amount of wheel spin on the truck. With good traction and grip the slipper can be tightened. With low traction, the slipper can be loosened to prevent damage to the parts. I was surprised to find this control on these little trucks. I can adjust for running on wood and tile indoors or dirt outdoors, quickly and easily. If you want a higher top end speed, use the 14 tooth pinion gear. If you want to pop better wheelies, use the smallest pinion gear. I used the middle sized gear with a nice balance between the two extremes for most of my running (all three gears included with the truck).

The Frame/Chassis

The Micro-T and the Micro-Baja share a molded tub chassis while the Desert Truck has an extended chassis and a longer wheel base. The design of the Chassis allows easy access to parts, but is firmly assembled to handle the jumps and bumps. There is easy access to the On/Off switch on the bottom of the chassis.

The Suspension and Wheels

When I popped a wheelie, I had no steering control as long as the front wheels were in the air. But once they settled down and came back to the ground, the independent 4-wheel suspension kicked in, and I was in control over the bumps, jumps and slides on the sides of hills. You can even change the suspension by changing the bottom mounting location on the rear shocks. All three trucks have their own individual tires and hubs, and all are available as replacement parts so you can pick and choose if you want to customize. My Micro-T and Micro-Baja's tires had very good grip when I ran them on hard dirt. I could get some short intentional slides when there was a slight layer of dust covering the dirt or some sand on the pavement. Running indoors on tile, I expected to get some major slides but I had surprisingly good control unless I oversteered the truck at speed and induced a spin. Managing speed for the conditions was an obviously important to properly running any course we created.

Speed & Duration

The top speed is about 10-12 miles per hour on level ground and more running downhill, making the scale speed well over 300 MPH. Duration of operation on one charge depends on throttle management. I have no idea how long the trucks will run on a charge if driven slowly, and I probably never will. I run mine for about 5-6 minutes of actual run time and then put it back on the charger.

Operation Accessories

Horizon Hobby has several accessories that aren't car parts but can add to the enjoyment of the trucksí operation. These include a small 4 jump set and some small discs to help lay out a race course. They also have a charging conversion plug to connect a Tamaya connector to the battery pack for charging off of a different charger. Obviously you can build your own jumps and make turn markers, but I liked the looks of these accessories.

Driving.

Basics

Give yourself some space! A double wide garage is a good space to start - these trucks zip surprisingly fast as discussed above. The "standard size" kitchen is simply too small. Don't start on a table top or your first move will be a three foot jump to the ground. A large family room with a tile or wood floor is great for indoor driving. Stay away from plush carpeting, but the trucks will operate well on indoor/outdoor carpeting and on industrial (flat) carpeting. Just be sure to clean out any carpeting fuzz that you pickup in operation.

My favorite operating surface was the local levee at the nearby park. I had areas of hard dirt, hard dirt with a slight layer of dust, flat land and a big big hill to climb. There were areas of small rounded rocks pressed into the ground and about a dozen different types of obstacles to overcome or go around. I could also set up jumps in some spots. Driving required a mixture of operating speeds.

Jumps: Taking Off and Landing

My truck can handle small jumps of 1-2 inches all day long. I frequently do some higher jumps up to five inches. These trucks are very durable but I know from others that they can be broken. I am probably too conservative a driver/operator by most standards when it comes to jumps, but it works for me.

Hop-Ups

After operating a truck for a while you may want to hop it up and try to make it faster or handle even better. If you break a part you can simply replace it or improve it. I personally have only tested one of the Hop-up options, and that was on a friends truck. He has moved up to a LiPoly battery pack, and his truck now starts faster and has a higher top speed and runs longer (for about 10 minutes with a charged LiPoly pack). They sold the LiPoly pack with a charger designed to be used with that battery pack. I would recommend this upgrade to any adult who can afford it and who wants to go faster and drive longer between charges.

If a person wanted to go crazy upgrading their truck he could spend hundreds of dollars in upgrading any of the Losi 1/36 trucks. He could switch to a brushless motor, but that also requires changing your ESC. Since the radio and ESC are one unit, that means also changing the receiver. You can change every part on the car to an upgraded part if you want. Just to name a few: front and rear aluminum suspension arms, front and rear shock spring sets, front and rear aluminum pivot blocks. It is up to the individual as to what he wants to do with it.

An example of a hop-up

My Micro-Baja was purchased at HobbyTown USA at 2221 N Tracy Blvd. in Tracy, CA (nice store and nice people). Harry Bellicitti III works there and has converted his Micro-T to a Micro-Baja and has added the LiPoly battery pack, ball bearings and altered the transmission. His little Baja Buggy now goes 21 miles per hour. That by itself sounds pretty impressive at a scale 756 miles per hour if my formula is correct!

Is This For a Beginner?

All three of these trucks are for beginners as well as experienced drivers who want to have fun indoors or in a small space outdoors. Parents can decide if their children are mature enough for these hobby grade trucks. The manufacturer gives a recommendation of age 8, but you can best determine if your child or grandchild is ready. Not only can the fun begin right out of the box, but you can learn about upgrading and improving a vehicle with upgraded batteries and hop-up parts. A really nice way to get started in RC trucks no matter what your age. A super way for a parent or grandparent to bond with the child.

Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Videos from Horizon Hobby

Downloads

Conclusion

These trucks come with everything you need to have fun right out of the box. Put the batteries in, charge for twenty minutes, and you are ready to operate indoors or out. They can be enjoyed day or night, rain or shine, on a variety of surfaces. They are fun to operate immediately, and with practice you get even better. For those that like to upgrade there are many options available from Losi and other companies. I think these trucks are a blast. Whether this is your first RC truck or if you already have a half dozen you will find yourself operating this one time and again.

Pluses:

  • These are hobby quality trucks not "just toys"
  • Easy to operate, and the ability to control increases with experience
  • Can be operated indoors or outside
  • Available in three body designs and a variety of colors
  • Up to 6 trucks can operate together at the same time
  • A multitude of upgrades and replacement parts are available
  • Price is reasonable for all that was included

Minuses

  • Has cut into my TV watching time
Last edited by Angela H; Nov 26, 2007 at 08:15 PM..
Thread Tools
Nov 26, 2007, 09:09 PM
Foam Floats Better
UAVPilot's Avatar
OK, so you can run a 2S lipo on the stock ESC and motor without burning them up?

I have run a single cell lipo but thought going from the stock 4.8 volts to 7.4 volts would fry it.
Nov 26, 2007, 09:14 PM
No Guts, No Glory
flyin C's Avatar
Great Review! I have always wanted one of these to play around with on those days when its to windy to fly. I have seen these drive, they are SO tiny and handle very well.

What kind of 2s lipo battery do you think would fit in the micro t? And I have heard that the stearing arm (the clear plastic thing) brakes easily, has this happened to yours?
Nov 26, 2007, 10:26 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar

I haven't hopped to Lipo yet but...


the battery they are selling is 7.4 volts 180mAh lipoly. I no one person well who has made the switch and he has about 50 charges on his battery and he says his motor is still working well. Hopefully someone with more experience can chime in with their information. Motor life will depend on how much full throttle you use and if you give the motor some time to cool down, especially after use before recharging. Mike
Nov 27, 2007, 08:09 AM
Got Speed?
TooSlow's Avatar
I have the micro Baja

1. the losi lipo works great on stock motor

2. the plastic nut on the slipper is junk. I took my trans and slipper apart to regreese and when I put it together the nut would not tighten. went through three plastic nuts before I ordered a metal one. Now I have to wait for it to arrive brfore I can play some more.
Nov 27, 2007, 08:37 AM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
If you have a fat wallet and some real talent for modification you can really go wild with these cars. Look what one RC Group member has done by visiting his thread below.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=769879
Nov 27, 2007, 10:44 AM
Timelord
Doctor Who's Avatar
Nice job as always Mike.

It looks fairly fast from the video.

Makes me look forward to the Mini Baja.
Nov 27, 2007, 01:03 PM
Registered User
I'm not much into RC cars/trucks but 80$ for each RTR set seems to be very low price.
Nov 27, 2007, 03:54 PM
Got Speed?
TooSlow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Who
Nice job as always Mike.

It looks fairly fast from the video.

Makes me look forward to the Mini Baja.

The stock micro is really fast when your trying to navigate dogs, chairs, wall, ect...

For upgrades integy or atomicmods

For me the worst parts of the micro have been the small c clips for the wheels, the slipper (only if you mess with it) and the antenna (it's not soldered on that well)

But stock parts are very cheap
Dec 10, 2007, 08:06 PM
No thrust...It'll bust...
troynh's Avatar
Great review and video. Just ordered two for my daughters. Hopefully they will let me play with them Christmas morning! Looks like a great tool for terrorizing the cats too.
Dec 11, 2007, 08:36 PM
Registered User
witch one of the micros do you pefere
Dec 12, 2007, 12:38 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
While the Micro-Baja is the one I drive the most and should be the one I drive the best I think I actually handle the Micro-Desert truck the best when I get my hands on it (It belongs to my buddy.). We are looking forward to upgrading all the trucks to Lipos in the near (post Christmas) future. Mike
Dec 12, 2007, 01:53 PM
Registered User
skunkworks2006's Avatar
I just got the lipo for my DT this week and WOW! I just can't believe how quick it is. I saw all the videos on Utube etc... but I just didn't have a good feel for it until I ran it myself. I got the chance to run in a mostly dry parking lot this afternoon and the DT handled the cracks in the blacktop really well. I can see that I'll be needing some new tires soon if I keep running lipo on pavement.
I haven't had any other micro and only ran the T in the LHS on carpet, but I'm guessing the tires and the longer wheel base of the DT help w/handling a great deal.
Dec 13, 2007, 05:16 PM
GIMMIE FOAM!!!
AirNerd's Avatar
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

Whooo Hoooooo!

I JUST came home from the LHS with my Grey Micro Baja.

I havent even opend it yet! I have been reading this.
Dec 15, 2007, 01:24 PM
Registered User
hey airnerd, do you go to Hobby Town in Overland Park by any chance? I just noticed that you are from Mission. I live in midtown and I'm getting a brushless micro desert truck this week.


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