Axial’s RR10 Bomber – 1/10-scale Radio-controlled, Ready-to-Run (RTR) Rock Racer
The Short Story:
The Axial RR10 Bomber (AX90048 – $399.99) is a fantastic ready-to-run R/C vehicle that is versatile enough to handle multiple terrain types and challenges. Out of the box, it is geared toward low-speed crawling and maneuvering, but allows plenty of “upgrade” room for those who have dreams of high-speed endeavours. Having no shortage of fun, at any speed, this has been a highly enjoyable radio-controlled vehicle to shake down and put through it’s paces.
The Long Story:
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of rock racing and/or ultra off-road events. I enjoy them, as I enjoy just about every form of motor sport, but those types of events, and vehicles don’t give me the same amount of adrenaline rush as others do. I lead-off by saying this, because I’m often hesitant to add a vehicle to my R/C garage that I’m not invested in, in one way or another. Over the past year, I’ve seen my Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR near “completion” As a project vehicle. I have put just about everything that I can think of, upgrade-wise, into it, and love the overall look that it has taken on. The itch was kicking in to get another radio-controlled rig to play with.
Since it’s release, I have always had my eye on Axial’s Yeti, although I was also entertaining the idea of picking up another Axial product, the Wraith. While it’s not the newest vehicle on the lot, by any stretch of the imagination, it has been tried and tested and has years of add-on and upgrade support behind it. Either of those two vehicles would have been tremendous “adds” to my collection, but there was a new entrant that, surprisingly, caught my attention.
In late 2015, Axial was on a tear, releasing two new vehicles to their lineup. The first, was an extension to their Yeti lineup, which featured their 1/10-scale Yeti Rock Racer and their larger, 1/8 Yeti XL Monster Buggy. The new addition was the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck, a slightly modified 1/10 Yeti chassis covered by a realistic off-road, trophy truck-style body. The second release was the RR10 Bomber. Based on the rock racing/crawling vehicle that was built and driven by Randy Slawson (owner of Bomber Fabrication), and used in competition at the King of the Hammers race. With scale appearance features and an overall design that was both menacing and unique, I found myself drawn to this new vehicle. After a few more rounds of research and review, I put my money on the machine that I felt would give me the most enjoyment, not to mention the latest-and-greatest in vehicle tech and engineering.
What you get in the box:
- Tactic 3-channel 2.4 GHz receiver
- 35-turn brushed motor
- Tactic TSX45 metal-gear servo
- 2.2” Walker Evans Racing wheels
- 2.2” BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR2 tires (S30 compound)
- King adjustable aluminum shocks
- AE-5 electronic speed control (ESC)
- 1 Tactic TTX 3-channel radio/transmitter
- 1 Parts bag with assorted plastic replacement components
The Best of Both Worlds?
Between the Wraith and the Yeti, you have two off-road radio-controlled vehicles that have a proven track record as trail-runners, bashers, and competitive racers. What if you could marry aspects of the two together, creating a solid-axle RC rig that could be capable of taking on just about any challenge you could dream up? That’s where my mind settled after reading and researching the RR10 Bomber.
Personally, I’d categorize the RR10 Bomber as an “in-between” vehicle. It has the low-end torque and handling finesse that is needed for rock crawling and navigating tough, tricky terrain. On the other hand, it has the chassis structure of a higher-speed vehicle. While I wouldn’t blast my Axial SCX10 over jumps and off of embankments, the RR10 Bomber seems right at home doing these types of activities. However you choose to look at it, it has the possibility to drive just about anywhere you’d want it to and perform admirably at the same time.
Under the Body Panels
Looking at the stripped-down chassis, you’ll quickly notice that the lower suspension components give off a split-personality appearance. The front of thIs vehicle has Shades of Axial Wraith with it’s beefy front suspension and lower suspension linkage. Moving toward the rear of the vehicle, you notice solid (appearing) ample trailing arms like those found on Yeti. The solid-tube frame is plastic, but held together with enough screws to make it sturdy and stable. Driven at any speed over just about any terrain or obstacle, this rig hangs together through it all.
The out-of-the-box gearing and motor are set up for lower-speeds and high-torque. The larger 2.2” BFGoodrich Baja T/A® tires allow for Incredible leverage when taking on obstacles. My initial outdoor drive was on snow-covered ground. During a 20-minute run, I didn’t encounter many instances that the RR10 Bomber wasn’t able to handle. In fact, I walked away from that initial test very pleased with how the rig tackled what I threw at it. From snow mounds to an icy, snowy path, the RR10 Bomber showed no signs of slowing down or traction slippage.
Another perk to the overall handling of this vehicle are the replica King shocks. These aluminum-bodied, adjustable shocks handle jumps and rough terrain with ease. You can easily adjust the spring tension with a few turns of the adjustment rings to fine-tune the ride performance that you desire.
The stock electronics on the RR10 Bomber perform quite well from my perspective. The receiver box is sealed with water-resistant gaskets, keeping it safe from the elements. The electronic speed control (ESC) is also water-resistant, giving you some peace of mind when blasting through wet, outdoor situations. On top of that, the 35-turn brushed motor Is also resistant to water, but you’ll need to remember to perform a break-in period on it to ensure longevity.
What Makes the RR10 Bomber Tick
At the heart of this RC rock racer and trail trekker is a 35-turn brushed motor. On the surface, that powerplant may not seem impressive, but when you see it in action, you may change your mind. Running my rig on NiMh batteries, the stock motor had plenty of low-end torque to get over and around some tricky obstacles. During one shake-down, I placed it on our indoor, wooden crawling “course” and it sliced over the bumps and uneven terrain like a knife through butter. I was, honestly, floored by how easy it Was able to drive from one end to the other. I ran and re-ran this test a few times and each time was the same result. Smooth-as-silk handling with very little need for me to make any steering corrections or adjustments.
Having had driving my SCX10 and a few other test vehicles over this same contraption only minutes earlier, only made the feat that much more amazing. My SCX10 required more thought, planning, and overall driver input to get it from the beginning of the “course” to the end. By comparison, the RR10 Bomber looked like it was riding on rails. Throttle response for the stock motor is very good. You will notice an abundance of body twist from the torque that it provides. While this isn’t ideal, it hasn’t proven to be much of a hinderance when out on trails or in other driving situations.
As for top-end speed, a 35-turn motor isn’t going to give you what you’re looking for. While I knew what I was in for with this powerplant, I still found myself to be disappointed by the performance of the RR10 Bomber at full throttle. By all accounts, running a 2S or 3S LiPo battery with this rig will “wake it up” quite a bit. Being a creature of habit, I have chosen to stick with NiMn power for my vehicles, and in some cases, have been learning to pay the price/live with that decision. That said, there are ways that you can give this rig more pep without much hassle (or cost). View my 35-turn to 20-turn motor upgrade for the Axial RR10 Bomber.
For those, like me, that prefer to run NiMh batteries, a simple jumper position swap is in order. This is done by moving one of two jumpers on the ESC, as the stock configuration is set up for LiPo power. Additionally, the second jumper that you’ll find on the ESC controls the amount of drag brake that is applied during off-throttle situations. In stock setup, this is set to 100% and is very noticeable during deceleration. Coming off of a full-throttle, straight-line run and suddenly letting off of the transmitter trigger, the drag brake engages, and causes the front wheels to rapidly slow. There were a few instances of back-over-front flips during my shakedown of this setting.
While A 100% setting and quick deceleration is desired on trails and challenging rock crawling courses, this may cause issues if you plan to use the Bomber as a racer. Simply moving the jumper to the second position will reduce the drag brake to 50%, which is a better option for those looking to run the RR10 Bomber in higher-speed situations.
Outside of those minor adjustments, not much tuning or tweaking will be needed out-of-the-box. I will say that reaching the internals of the RR10 Bomber isn’t my favorite task to work on. While Axial does lay out instructions for removing the upper roll cage, I have found other options that appear to take less time and frustration. I have found a few challenges in lining the holes and screws up after removing the top cage. Optional ways to access the ESC and receiver box are to remove the roof panel, remove the front screws from the roof cage, tilt this section back, and remove the scale interior (which is held in with screws).
If your fingers are agile enough, you may be able to get to what you need to by removing a side body panel and maneuvering a needle-nose pliers, or your own fingers, through the roll cage openings. While the access to the insides of the RR10 Bomber isn’t the easiest, once you’re inside, you have plenty of room to work.
The body of Axial’s RR10 Bomber is rather spartan. Compared to the SCX10 lineup and the Axial Wraith Spawn, the Bomber uses individual Lexan/polycarbonate body panels for its exterior rather than a full-body lexan shell. The stock body panels Pre-painted and decaled to match the appearance of Randy Slawson’s Bomber Fabrication vehicle, so you’re a bit tied to the look (unless you want to remove some of the decals and paint over the exterior of the panels). If a customized look Is what you’re after, you can purchase clear body panels (AX31327 – $29.00) which you can use to create your radio-controlled masterpiece.
Controlling a Bomber
The Tactic 3-channel transmitter that is included with the RR10 Bomber is quite nice. While I would prefer to use my FlySky GT3B transmitter with this vehicle, I haven’t found success in matching a FlySky receiver up with the AE-5 ESC. Regardless, the transmitter/radio that is included with this RTR package is very comfortable and has a number of nice features that allow for adjustability of steering and throttle trim, as well as input buttons for the third receiver channel, should you choose to utilize it.
If you’d prefer to have a little added performance shortly after taking your R/C vehicle out of the box, Axial does have a few optional upgrade components available. The first is a swaybar set (AX31331 – $25.00) that includes soft Sway bars. This addition can help the handling performance of the RR10 Bomber by lessening the amount of body torque you experience on throttle as well as softening up the suspension. This is a nice option for higher-speed applications and usage. An additional firm sway bars are also available for use with this Swaybar Set. A three-piece set (AX31058 – $30.00) of soft, medium, and firm bars can be paired swapped in/out to help you fine-tune the amount of torque twist and handling performance of your RR10 Bomber.
Another optional upgrade part is the 2-speed Hi/Lo Transmission (AX31181 – $110.00). These upgrade components give you Additional speed range and flexibility. Add to that an additional servo, And you can use the third channel on the transmitter and receiver to shift gears on the fly. For a vehicle that can truly take on any environment, this upgrade is a good option to consider.
Additionally, there are a number of upgrade options for motors, wheels, and tires that are avaialble from Axial.
I’ve told a few people this during general hobby discussions, but I am surprised at how much fun I’ve been having with this vehicle. For my personal use, it is hitting all of the sweet spots that I’d expect an off-road radio-controlled rig to target. As a “grab and go” vehicle, I can connect the battery, turn on the transmitter, and have a great time driving around the yard, a trail, or anywhere else I’d like to go. It’s a quasi-basher that can take a bit of abuse, but also has scale details and visual cues that make it fun to look at.
If you’ve been looking at a rock racer/rock bouncer/general trail vehicle That “brings the fun”, the RR10 Bomber might be a good fit for you. Whether you run it bone-stock, just as it is out of the box, or put your own creative spin on the exterior and internal components, you should be able to have an amazing experience each time you power it up. I’ve become a fan of vehicle platforms and the ability to build on and off of what’s been provided. If Axial chooses to turn the RR10 into a full-fledged platform, then There may be no stopping this form of vehicle.
A go-anywhere vehicle that is a true off-road beast that can handle just about anything you can throw at it, right out of the box.
Fans of scale realism will appreciate the small details and visual effects that were put in place on the RR10 Bomber. From the fuel cell, Molded shock reservoirs and other scale components to detailed and decaled interior, there are touches of eye-candy throughout this vehicle.
The durable chassis and suspension components can take a bit of abuse without many side-effects
Getting to the heart of this vehicle takes some work. If you need to adjust the jumpers on the ESC or want to make any gearing or motor adjustments, you will need to remove either the top cage/chassis or loosen up or completely remove, other sections of cage.
Top-end speed is not the main goal of this vehicle, but if you’re looking for the same amount of pep and full-throttle performance that you may see from Axial’s Wraith, then the Bomber’s 35-turn motor may leave you wanting.
Priced at $399, the Axial RR10 Bomber is available for purchase on Axial’s website as well as at many hobby shops and online retailers.