It’s Enduro SE!
I’ve been calling it the Sendero SE, but it wasn’t until I went to write this article that I realised the truck is called the Enduro SE Sendero. Well, that makes sense, as the Enduro platform is the common layout you’ll find under all of Element RC’s current line of epic rock crawlers and trail trucks, current and retired: the Sendro HD, Gatekeeper, Ecto, Knightrunner, Bushido and now, the Enduro SE. (We’ve looked at ALL of these on the channel).
Available from AsiaTees or Amazon, this rig has been an interesting combination of budget and performance oriented decisions by Team Associated. This more budget-oriented release first hit the shelves in November 2022. Being in Australia, I tend to get new releases up to 6 months after that, and in this case, it was even longer. But it’s finally here and we’ve already had it on the rocks, so I am in a good position now to show you through this one. Let’s dig into what makes the Enduro SE (Sport Edition) a little different from all the other Enduro rigs before it!
Same, But a Little Bit Different
The Element RC Enduro SE Sendero is a trail truck that draws inspiration from the truck styling of the 80s and 90s. This isn’t new to this class of RC vehicle, but there’s a trick to this model. You might expect the closest comparison to be to the Sendero HD, given the name is common to both. (You can find our review of the Sendro HD here, and our video series here).
However, the reality is something quite unexpected. As you’ll see in the video at the end of this article, I found the Enduro SE to be most closely similar to the Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt! We’ll have to do a video comparison on those two rigs as they’re similar in price, setup and performance. That’ll be interesting!
Enduro SE Sendero Body
Unlike the Sendero HD before it, the Enduro SE Sendero boasts a one-piece polycarbonate body. The tube frame and tray are replaced with a drop bed and bumper, which is both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, underneath both ends of the body you’ll find adjustable bumper mounts with integrated winch line routing for the front.
Much firmer than the bumper on the Sendero HD, the Enduro SE features high-clearance front and rear bumpers that are still flexible, though clearly tough. The same, adjustable-width rock sliders finish out the sides, including slots for the polycarbone body sills to locate snugly. As with the Sendero HD, it looks like there’s room to lower the body a little, and to bring the bumpers in a bit. Both these things will marginally help the car on rock obstacles.
New to this Enduro family member is the StealthXF gearbox. It’s a front-facing motor design but still centrally mounted on the skid plate. In a break from other Enduro rigs (all of which have run the StealthX transmission, to date), the Enduro SE gets no overdrive out of the box.
Further, whilst all other Enduro RTRs that I’ve looked at in recent years have come with 5.7% overdrive built-in AND an extra 11.83% overdrive gear set you can install yourself, the Enduro SE comes with no additional gears. If you want overdrive in this one, you’ll have to raid your parts box from other Enduro cars if you’re lucky enough to have another already, or else you’ll need to buy the gears separately.
Drive Train Upgrades
In my opinion: if you do decide to shell out for overdrive gears, go for the 11.83% set – the car is lightweight and not fast, so you won’t feel the shortcomings of having overdrive on the trails, and then when you’re crawling, you’ll really appreciate that more positive steering influence.
Pinion and spur are 48-pitch and the system works well. It’ll tolerate brushless power if you don’t go overboard. The HobbyWing Fusion SE 1800kv would be my pick for this rig, while the higher-power Hobbywing Fusion Pro 2300kv will also give the Enduro SE some hustle on the trails!
Links & Suspension
The Enduro SE Sendero is designed with heavy-duty 5mm diameter steel steering links and aluminum steering plates. It also features optimized ball cups and links that allow for more fluid axle articulation. The suspension system includes threaded shock bodies, mini springs, and a 90mm shock length. The adjustable rear shock mount positions provide flexibility for tuning both the wheelbase and shock angles.
The links are the same spaghetti-type, bendy plastic as found under the Axial Deadbolt. As you’ll see me demonstrate in the video below (it’ll post a few days after this article is published), the links allow considerable amount of lateral movement if you force the axles forward or back. This, combined with the bushings (see next section) really speaks to the more budget nature of this rig. Thankfully, I think these are the two most glaring ‘shortfalls’ of this rig – though not every situation will mean soft links and bushings are a bad thing. The truck is certainly light weight, which contributes greatly to its ability on the rocks! More on that in the video below.
Enduro SE Axles
The truck comes with updated axles, including universal front drive axles and a one-piece rear axle design. The front axle is splined and offers adjustable caster. The gearing system of the Enduro SE Sendero is robust, featuring metal ring and pinion gears, a machined steel top shaft, and a steel servo horn. I’m not too hot on the faux plastic disc brakes and calipers but it’s a tidy setup overall.
They’re straight axles, no portals here! The steering config is servo on axle, which is less scale but generally better performing than CMS (Chassis Mounted Servo) config. It’s a solid setup, I like it.
Bushings, Not Bearings
Be aware that the Enduro SE Sendero ships with 24 bushings rather than the ball bearings we’re used to seeing on the Enduro platform. Before you lose your mind on this point, remember this is a slow vehicle and one that’s likely to encounter mud and water.
The benefit of ball bearings over bushings is lowering resistance, giving you that sliver of extra speed on the racetrack or drag strip. In a crawler, your motor will draw marginally (and I mean marginally) more power to overcome the added resistance from bushings, but I double-dog-dare you to notice the difference. Bushings are low maintenance, too – they can get muddy and wet, even salty, and they won’t rust out and seize, so that’s your silver lining!
Wheels & Tires
The wheels of the Enduro SE Sendero have a 12.8″ wheelbase and are equipped with 12mm wheel hexes. The wheels are plastic and a beadlock design. Shiny black and attractive, these 1.9” units are well-suited to the rig.
The tires are new, and very, very Element. They’re narrow, just like those found on the Deadbolt, incidentally, and they have a repeating Element RC logo all around the center of the treads. They’re a 4.7” size, come with internal foams and the rubber compound is pleasingly soft. Under load on the rocks, the side walls are soft enough to deform, but firm enough to help the rig maintain traction and direction. They’re cheap, on a cheaper rig, but I like ‘em so far!
The Enduro SE Sendero is powered by a Reedy 16-turn, 5-slow motor, same as the rest of the Enduro family. The motor is mounted to an aluminum plate, as the backbone of the transmission. As with all the others, it is powered by the same Reedy ESC, too. The electronics are completely adequate for this machine, though they have their limits. Great low-speed control is to be expected from this combo, though it’s low on power, even if you gear it up. It should last a good long time though and it’s a great match to the StealthXF transmission, though there is obvious strain if you run on 3S (12V) power in a heavy crawling scenario – motor and ESC can get properly hot.
The receiver is housed in an enclosed box, while the ESC tray ensures clean wiring. The truck also comes with an additional (wider) battery box. The servo is the same Reedy 1523MG waterproof, metal gear unit found in all the other current Enduro vehicles too. As with the power system, this is quite adequate for this vehicle and should endure even heavy crawling sessions.
Enduro SE Radio
In a departure from the XP130 system that has shipped with all previous Enduro models, Element RC has chosen instead to go with FlySky. The truck comes with a 4-channel FlySky FS-G4P radio system, though it only uses two of the channels. The two unused channels are a three-position switch and a momentary-press button. Nice!
I like FlySky and have many of their radios. Maybe 20 – and that’s just the trasmitters. I’m well familiar with how their AFHDS protocols run (and there are 3 versions of this, plus ANT, in the FlySky range) and all their systems are solid. I have several of this particular radio, which uses the ANT protocol (hackers rejoice). It’s solid, fast enough and comes with numerous adjustments as you’d expect from any modern 2.4G radio. It’s a good pairing with the truck. It takes 4x AA batteries and is comfy in the hand, plastic wheel notwithstanding.
In The Box
There are two versions of the Enduro SE Sendero, but both have the same vehicle and radio. The standard version gives you the truck, radio, body mounts, shock pieces for full coil-overs if you change to that, a spare body cross member and a wider battery tray. There’s a manual, sticker sheet, SCX480X ESC manual and FlySky radio system manual. Lastly, some basic allen keys are included, to fit the rig. The other version is the LiPo Combo, which includes a compact balance charge and LiPo battery.
Both versions give you the now-standard Element RC box which doubles as a parking garage if you reverse the box – and its different for every model from the Enduro range. A bit of fun!
So, How’s It Drive?
The big question! This is best covered in our video review, which incorporates a rock test and copious opinions on the vehicle. It will be posted within a few days of this article being published. Catch you there!
Our Test Course
If you’re not familiar with how we test RC rock crawlers, we have a course that challenges any 4x4 RC crawler in many ways:
- Approach and departure angle: these are challenged on Problems 2 and 3;
- Side-hill ability: tested on Problems 1, 3 and 5;
- Breakover (skid clearance): tested on Problems 4 and 6;
- Suspension articulation and centre of gravity: challenged on problems 2 and 5; and lastly,
- A punishing ascent on problem 6 tests all of balance, break-over, articulation, tire traction and approach and departure angles.
Put together, we have a gnarly, challenging set of problems that challenge all crawlers. If a rig can conquer 3 or more of them, chances are you have a reasonably high-performance rock crawler. There are some machines that can claim all success on all six in stock form – but not many!
As you've seen in the video above, our Remo Hobby 10275 only managed to finish Problem 1. Still, one is better than none, right?
Check the manufacturer page for specific details if you’re after more: https://www.associatedelectrics.com/element/cars_and_trucks/Enduro/SE_Sendero/
Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂
A note on affiliate links: we were provided with this car by the manufacturer for review purposes. The Amazon and AsiaTees links in the above article are affiliate links, which means we may be paid a small commission if you choose to click on them to make a purchase. As always, we make effort to ensure that no review is impacted by this – we still report on bugs and issues encountered during product testing, and our fixes or solutions if found. Thank you for reading and happy RC-ing!