MJX RC Hyper Go: Pocket Rocket!

MJX RC Hyper Go: Pocket Rocket!

Big Speed, Tiny Package

Meet the MJX RC Hyper Go 1/14 Brushless RC Car, a compact yet hefty RC car that packs a surprising amount of discrete tech into a small package. No all-in-one modules here, this is a true hobby-grade vehicle. I’ll try to give you an understanding of the car’s features, performance, and value for money. On paper, it’s impressive. Let’s see if that apparent value is all it appears!

MJX Hyper Go Dimensions

MJX Hyper Go Unboxing

The MJX RC Hyper Go comes in a well-packed box that includes the car itself, a set of off-road tires, a set of drift tires, a 1.5A USB charger, some spare body pins, and a set of stiffer springs. There’s a manual with exploded-parts diagrams, too.

Depending on the configuration you buy, there may also be one or two LiIon 2S 2000mAh batteries included, too. (More on batteries below, but it takes 2S and 3S and there’s a standard Dean’s / T-connector on the ESC). It’s a solid package of goodies!

MJX Hyper Go Box Contents

Radio Transmitter

The radio that comes with the MJX Hyper Go is identical to the one provided with the Bezgar HP 161 (review coming soon). It features a Function button that controls the car’s lights, cycling through three different modes including off. The functions are all on with flashing red and blues in the grill and red brake/reverse lights; and all flashing up front and solid plus braking in rear. I didn’t like the red and blue flashing lights in the grill at first, but after driving it around a bit, I found it growing on me – and that’s saying something, if you know my usual reserved tastes on ‘loud’ things!

Note, the transmitter has a slight delay on the throttle inputs, which might take some getting used to. Once you’re driving, you don’t feel it, but from stopped, there’s a few hundred millisecond delay before you get a response. Thankfully, the components are all discrete (or standalone), and are thus replaceable. Even a cheap upgrade like a DumboRC 4-channel system (such as this X4 system here) will solve this delay issue and also give you better radio range, both without losing the light control. A FlySky GT5 would also be worth considering – probably my favourite premium-budget radio system.


The 6061 aluminum alloy chassis of the Hyper Go is robust and well-designed. I observed a lot of triangles in the frame supports for added strength. It’s attractive and quite rigid, but doesn’t feel fragile. There’s some weight to it!

There’s space for the separate receiver, a 2845 3700kv brushless motor, servo, and a 45 amp brushless ESC. The car also comes with a clear, polycarbonate cover that allows the car to breathe while keeping (most) debris out. It’s a good layout that leaves room for upgrades and still fits the shorter-style 2S and 3S batteries that are readily available. You might consider these.

Battery & Motor

The Hyper Go comes with a lithium-ion battery. It’s a 2x 18650 2000mAh 3.7v pack that delivers 7.4v and is probably 10-15C. This will serve, but LiPO batteries will be better. We tested with both a 2S and a 3S Angry Snail pack, which were supplied by the company for review, and while cheaper cells they were ample for this car. You can find both of those variants here, if you need a few.  

The brushless motor is a peppy unit and is beautifully paired with this car’s size and weight. While the box says 3900kv, ours came with a 3700kv unit. This lower KV means better acceleration and is easier on the battery, at the cost of top speed. For a car this size, it’s a good trade-off and I’d think 3500kv to 3800kv would be about perfect. They’ve got it right for this one.

The car is 2s and 3s compatible, and it’s great to see fans on both the motor and the 45A ESC for ample cooling.

MJX Hyper Go ESC & Receiver

Drivetrain & Suspension

The drivetrain of the Hyper Go is simple but effective, with a motor, pinion and spur gear supported securely in bearings and mounts. There’s no slipper, no central diff, just an open diff at each end. It’s well suited to drift and bashing, though you might consider adding some stiff silicone oil or putty to the front diff for less understeer.

On asphalt, the car had a tendency to squat in the rear, lifting the inside front wheel on many corners and subsequently spinning out, despite the gyro being set to the recommended 75%. Out of the box, the suspension felt stiffer in the front than the rear, so I added gradual preload to the rear all the way up to 80% before giving up and fitting stiffer rear springs. Thankfully, those springs were included in the box with the car, so this helped – but did not completely fix – the squat and spin-out issue.

Sway bars would help here too, but I can’t see that they’re available for this model. You might have more luck – I searched MJX’s upgrades and spares page, but possibly sway bars have since been added. If you’re considering this car, assume you can’t get sway bars for now and set expectations accordingly.

MJX Hyper Go Drivetrain

Suspension Tuning

The suspension of the Hyper Go can be tuned to your liking, within limits. Here’s what you can change:

  • Springs, either soft or medium. Soft come mounted on the car, while medium firmness can be replaced on all corners in a few minutes with just a few screw turns.
  • Preload adjustment for ride height, which I’d suggest loading in the rear and keeping unloaded up front. Test on your terrain and see how you go with it.
  • Shock oil – less, more, thicker, thinner. It’s good out of the box, but you can slow them down or speed them up (slow in rear, faster in front, for example) if you wanted to fiddle some more with tuning.
  • And lastly, toe on the front wheels – there’s minimal tuning with an internal grub screw in the turnbuckles. There’s 1.5 to 2mm toe you can vary, and they come fairly aggressively wide out of the box, which is good for rough terrain and drifting. Speed runners will want to true the toe to a parallel setting.

Body & Lighting

The body of the Hyper Go is attractive and well-constructed, with a lead strip on the back and focused headlights at the front. The car also features flashing police-style lights, which can be controlled via the Function button on the transmitter.

Light control module and wiring is tucked up inside the body with attractive covers and white tape. Our tape was peeling off a little, but pressing back down was enough to keep things in place. The lights are bright, attractive and add to the fun. I’m a fan.

MJX Hyper Go Under Shell

Speed & Range Test

The Hyper Go is a speedy little goer, reaching a top speed of 61 km/h on 3s. This gives a likely top speed on 2s of 40 to 45 km/h. The car’s gyro helps with stability, especially at higher speeds.

Be aware that the radio range topped out at about 50m, or about 164ft. Not huge, though thankfully the car is small too, so this won’t be a problem unless you’re trying to do a speed run. (You can see how this went in our testing in the video review, at the end of this article).

MJX Hyper Go Car & Radio

Vehicle Detail

The Hyper Go is a solid car, made to a price but without compromising on quality. It’s robust where it needs to be, and the tight body post holes ensure the body doesn’t rattle around during high-speed runs.

There’s an attractive frame stiffener that runs from shock tower to shock tower. The servo is a full-sized 17g unit. There’s minimal adjustment of the geometry but the turnbuckles to allow minimal toe adjustment up front. Spare parts are available here.

MJX Hyper Go Top-Down

Drift Tires

The Hyper Go comes with a set of hard plastic drift tires. While they might not appeal to everyone, they do offer a unique driving experience, especially on a small, tight track. I wasn’t sure what I’d think of them but after running them on a 3S battery, oh boy – they are fun! I felt a bit silly at first, just spinning this thing and trying to drive as if on ice, but it grew on me and I keep wanting to drive it more now!

You’ll get bored of them eventually, but then you’ll be ready to try the Off-Road Tires for the next level up in drifting. Yeah, you heard me right – read on!

MJX Hyper Go Drift Wheels

Off-Road Tires

The off-road tires that come with the Hyper Go are fairly stiff. The rubber is firm and the lugs are widely spaced. While you can run this car on small gravel and short grass, it really isn’t meant for such treatment.

Where the off-road tires shine for the MJX Hyper Go is on asphalt. Yes! They’re surprisingly good at drifting! They wear fast on asphalt, but their large lugs provide just the right balance of reduced grip and forward traction for an exhilarating drift drive. Who knew!?

MJX Hyper Go Off-Road Tires

Road Tires

For me, these are the important ones to get right. Drifting is fun and you should be able to do it to a limited amount even with the normal road tires, but I want to see grip, good braking and acceleration and overall good handling characteristics. The lugs on these tires are still quite large, for road tires, so they’ll have their work cut out for them. How did they go?

Well, the road tires that come with the MJX Hyper Go are fairly aggressive, providing good grip on the road. Better than I expected. When combined with the stiffer rear springs and a little pre-load to help keep the front from lifting so much, they make for a fun driving experience. Acceleration is tight and if you’re careful with your turns, they’ll deliver a rewarding drive.

MJX Hyper Go On-Road Tires

Problems & Fixes

One issue with the Hyper Go is the slight delay on the throttle from the radio transmitter. You can live with it and after a little while it isn’t noticeable, especially for just bashing. However, it may irk some drivers. You can address this by replacing the radio system with a better one – not ideal, but at least it’s doable. The separate components of the car (receiver, ESC, gyro) allows for such an upgrade without needing to change any other parts of the car, so it’s good to at least have that option.

The other issue I had with the car was the inside front wheel lifting on turns, even with the above mentioned tuning already done. Sway bars could be helpful here, but otherwise the only thing I have yet to try is thicker oil in the rear shocks and perhaps a travel-limiting damper in the rears to limit compression by half or so. I want to keep that front pushed down as much as possible. The car is already fairly hefty and nicely balanced, so achieving that limited rear squat might be a viable way forward. I’ll keep testing and will update this section if I find a better answer.

MJX Hyper Go Gyro & Receiver

Final Thoughts

Should you buy this thing? My affiliate link says yes, but my cautionary advice says to first consider what kind of driving you like. If accurate cornering and track-like handling is more your thing, consider the Rlaarlo AK-917 (article here). However, if hooning and big skids and silly fast speed in a tiny package are appealing to you, then yes, the MJX Hyper Go will certainly deliver all of that!

The MJX RC Hyper Go 1/14 Brushless RC Car is a solid, fun-to-drive RC car that offers good value for money. Its robust construction, versatile features, and thrilling performance make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced RC car enthusiasts. While it does have a few minor issues, they are (mostly) easily fixable and do not detract from the overall driving experience.

If you’re interested in purchasing the MJX RC Hyper Go, you can find it here. Please note that this is an affiliate link, and I appreciate your support of RC-TNT if you choose to use this link to buy. Happy hooning!

MJX Hyper Go Chassis
Craig Veness

Craig Veness


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!

Rlaarlo AK-917: a Porsche 917K Love Letter

Rlaarlo AK-917: a Porsche 917K Love Letter


This is a recount of my personal journey so far with the Rlaarlo AK-917. This new release is a remarkable 1/10 scale road car that pays homage to the iconic 1969 Porsche 917K. In this retelling, I will share my experiences, joys, and challenges encountered while exploring the capabilities of this very interesting RC car.

Join me as I recount the unboxing excitement, delve into the radio system, power system, chassis and suspension, wheels and tires, track performance, encountered issues, and future plans. This is not a sales pitch; it’s a genuine tale of my time with the Rlaarlo AK-917.

AK-917 Underside

Unboxing and Included Items

Opening the box of the Rlaarlo AK-917 Metal Version Brushless RTR revealed a very special storage case. This isn’t the first of its kind from Rlaarlo – we’ve seen similar with their buggies in the past. This one was more refined and I don’t recall feeling excited about any other RC car in recent memory as I did with this one!

The box interior revealed a meticulously-arranged assortment of components and accessories; such attention to detail, Rlaarlo! Alongside the car itself, I found a 4000mAh 3S 25C hard-pack LiPO battery pack, a 2.4GHz radio transmitter, an instruction manual and related documentation, an array of spare parts and gears, and basic tools. These items provided a comprehensive package for embarking on an immersive RC experience – you can expect these in your pack too, it wasn’t just a sponsorship special.

AK-917 on Rocks

Radio System

The heart of the AK-917’s radio system is the DumboRC X6-inspired transmitter. This power-efficient radio offers outstanding value with its affordable price tag without compromising on performance. The reputation for excellent longer-range reception adds to its appeal, especially for those planning to push the limits of the AK-917 during speed runs.

The provided receiver, a DumboRC X6F copy, seamlessly integrates with the AK-917 Metal Version Brushless RTR, ensuring reliable and precise control over the car’s movements. Its compatibility with the X6FC receiver, included with the AK-917 Carbon Fiber Brushless RTR variant, extends functionality by incorporating light control features. Rlaarlo’s attention to detail is evident in their decision to include this upgraded receiver, with an added bonus of that flashing orange exhaust LED array on throttle overruns. We’ll hopefully enjoy this on the CF version I’ve purchased after my experience with the Alloy version! Coming soon.

AK-917 Radio

Power System

At the heart of the AK-917 lies a powerful non-sensored brushless motor, specifically the 3650 4200kv variant. This motor, combined with a 3S (12V) power source, delivered an exhilarating burst of speed that surpassed my expectations. The included ESC in the alloy variant is a 60A unit capable of 2S and 3S power. (The Carbon Fiber variant ships with a 120A version that’s 2S to 4S capable).

The AK-917 eagerly responded to throttle inputs, surging forward with raw acceleration. The non-sensored brushless motor proved its efficiency and durability, enabling extended run times without sacrificing performance. While the stock power system provided ample excitement, I did find a little hesitation on applying throttle after progressively braking from higher speeds. This was a minor issue and not one I experienced with an after-market ESC. Something worth keeping in mind if you’re shopping the alloy RTR variant.

Rlaarlo AK-917 Specs

Chassis and Suspension

The AK-917’s meticulously designed chassis captivated me with its attention to detail and resilience. Constructed with durability in mind, the metal frame provided a solid foundation capable of enduring the rigors of intense driving sessions. Flexible but solid plastic sides and ends made for a very stiff chassis that didn’t pack on extra unnecessary weight. It’s quite a balanced machine.

Inspired by the iconic Porsche 917K, the AK-917’s chassis design beautifully captured the essence of the original racing legend, igniting a sense of nostalgia and admiration. (Customers won’t enjoy the surprise I had of finding ‘RC-TNT’ etched on the underside of the chassis – WOW!! Thanks Rlaarlo!)

Complementing the robust chassis, the AK-917 boasted an adjustable suspension system. Fine-tuning the suspension components allowed me to tailor the car’s performance to suit various track conditions and my preferred driving style. This suspension setup facilitated responsive handling, enhanced stability, and reasonable cornering abilities, though the front sway bar setup does seem overly soft and I’m not sure how much function it really adds to the car. More testing needed on that front.

AK-917 CF Chassis
AK-917 Diff Cover

Wheels and Tires

Rlaarlo’s attention to detail extended to the selection of wheels and tires for the AK-917. These high-quality components not only enhanced the car’s performance but also added a touch of visual flair. The wheels are pretty and lightweight. They’re plastic on the Alloy Chassis version and that’s just fine. I do have a set of the Alloy wheels that come with the CF version too – they weigh a little more than the plastic units and I’m not convinced they’re a better choice. We’ll report back in future testing.

The thoughtfully chosen tire compounds provided optimal grip on diverse surfaces, ensuring maximum traction and control. The scale-inspired wheels perfectly complemented the overall aesthetic of the AK-917, further immersing me in the nostalgia of the legendary Porsche 917K. Note, there was significant wear on the insides of the rear tires especially after about 15 minutes of track use. There was evidence of heat and hardening along the inside edges and also the tire carcasses showed early signs of deterioration after this first drive. I may be imagining it, but grip levels seemed a little lower on our second track day.

AK-917 Tire Options

Track Performance

Taking the AK-917 to the racetrack was an exhilarating experience that truly showcased the car’s capabilities. Remember, we’re dealing with a reasonably cheap car that already delivers a large amount of power. It didn’t have to be perfect on the track to win everyone’s attention, but it really is quite good!

With its powerful brushless motor and well-tuned suspension, the car demonstrated impressive speed, agility, and handling. I pushed the AK-917 to its limits, navigating tight corners and exhilarating straightaways mostly with ease. We did have some upset leaving corners under power, with an inside front wheel consistently lifting in lieu of a stiff enough sway bar system. But overall, the car’s balance and stability instilled confidence, allowing me to push further and explore the full potential of this RC racer.

AK-917 Tires

Issues and Fixes

During my testing, I encountered a couple of issues that required attention. Firstly, the servo failure experienced within seconds of use was an unexpected setback. To ensure the continuity of our review and tests, I promptly replaced the servo myself – any standard digital servo is fine, though faster is obviously better. Rlaarlo would have replaced this for me, had I approached them about it.

Additionally, intermittent ESC cut-outs were encountered during the first video’s track performance. This is best viewed in the video, linked further down in this article. Upon further investigation, Rlaarlo identified that the radio system’s antenna installation was creating interference. They promptly advised on a better placement of the antenna, and noted they were rectifying the issue for all AK-917 models sold to customers. This responsive approach demonstrated Rlaarlo’s commitment to addressing potential concerns and improving the overall user experience.

AK-917 Alloy Chassis

(My) Future Plans

As I continue my journey with the Rlaarlo AK-917, my future plans involve exploring the capabilities of both the Brushless Metal Version they supplied and the Carbon Fiber Roller Version I have purchased. I am excited to experiment with larger motors, pushing the boundaries of speed and performance even further.

Additionally, I intend to participate in Rlaarlo’s 2023 Speed Run event in June this year. We’ll be chasing 200km/h and I look forward to sharing the thrill of the AK-917 with fellow RC enthusiasts and showcasing the enduring spirit of the legendary Porsche 917K.


The Rlaarlo AK-917 has captivated me with its homage to the iconic Porsche 917K and its exceptional performance on the racetrack. Through the unboxing experience, high attention to vehicle detail, track performance, and exceptional power system, I have discovered a car that embodies the passion and excitement of RC racing.

While not without its hiccups, the AK-917’s ability to adapt, coupled with Rlaarlo’s dedication to addressing concerns, ensures a fulfilling RC experience. The AK-917 promises many more thrilling moments on the horizon. See you next month for the speed run!

AK-917 Front Chassis View

Where to Buy

Visit Rlaarlo and buy directly from the manufacturer. Use code RC-TNT for a discount on your vehicle purchase. Thank you for your support – we get a small commission for every vehicle sold, though would be recommending this vehicle even if we didn’t. It’s a ripper!

Craig Veness

Craig Veness


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 🙂

LiPo Batteries: A Quick Primer

LiPo Batteries: A Quick Primer

What Are LiPo Batteries?

LiPo is short for Lithium Polymer. It’s a type of rechargeable battery that is commonly used in radio-controlled (RC) vehicles and other electronic devices, likely including the phone or laptop you may be using to read this article. LiPo batteries are popular due to this battery chemistry’s high energy density, which means they can store a large amount of energy in a small package. LiPo is basically lightweight, packs a punch and is cheap to produce.

There are some downsides to the battery type, which we’ll get to below. The short version is that LiPo is usually the best battery type to use for RC models.


Why Are LiPo Batteries Good?

LiPo batteries have several advantages over other types of batteries that are commonly used in RC vehicles, such as nickel-cadmium (NiCad – not so common anymore) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. They are lightweight, have a higher energy density, and can be shaped to fit into tight spaces. They also have a low self-discharge rate, which means they will retain a charge for a longer period of time when not in use.

LiPo batteries are largely fabulous. I have over 100 of them in my battery storage safe and they’ve transformed the hobby for me, personally. So much portable power in just the right size and capacity? Yes, please! They’re light, power-dense, and flexible in design possibilities. What’s the catch?

Zetros 6x6 with T247

Why Are LiPo Batteries Bad?

Well, I’ve dumbed it down a little, here. LiPo isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but consequences of mistreatment certainly can be bad. There’s inconvenience and then there’s danger.

Inconvenience first: any kind of lithium cell is best stored at its nominal voltage. For LiPo batteries, that means storing the battery at 3.8v per cell. For a 2-cell battery, that means storing at 7.4v (2x 3.8v). We’ll cover more below, but don’t overlook the question of storage. Many articles and videos do overlook it, and even the quick USB chargers that come with so many models don’t even have a storage charge feature, but it does matter. LiPo batteries don’t like being stored at full or empty charge. They want to be stored at about half charge.

Danger should maybe get its own section, but in short, if a LiPo is damaged or severely overcharged, fire is a possibility. More in the next section…

RGT RC4 with NiMH Battery

Safety and LiPo Batteries

LiPo batteries require special care and handling to ensure their safe and proper use. They can be damaged if overcharged, over-discharged, or exposed to high temperatures. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use a proper charger to ensure the safe and long-lasting use of these batteries.

Generally speaking, this means you want to store your LiPo batteries using the Storage function of your charger (and get a Storage capable charger as a top priority if you don’t have one already!)

If you need a charger, these are two of my favorites:

Always charge under supervision and use LiPO Safe Bags for charging and storage (pictured below). These fiberglass reinforced bags help contain fire, in the very unlikely event one may occur.

Crawl Course Testing

Charging Safely

The safest way to charge LiPo batteries is to:

  • Use a special charger made for LiPo batteries;
  • Connect the balance lead of the battery to the charger;
  • Use the balance program on the charger;
  • Charge at 1C (at 5A if its a 5000mAh, for example);
  • Use a fire-proof container or surface to charge the battery;
  • Never leave the battery charging unattended. No, really. Be nearby!

By using the balance lead and the balance program on the charger, you can ensure that all the cells in the battery have the same level of charge throughout the charge cycle, preventing dangerous situations due to individual cell overcharging or imbalance. Additionally, only use a charger specifically designed for LiPo batteries like the ones linked above.

Here’s one of the first videos I ever made about LiPos and charging. It’s an older one now, but might be useful for context. The process hasn’t changed!

What Makes a LiPo Battery?

LiPo batteries are typically available in several different configurations, including single cell (1S), two-cell (2S), three-cell (3S), and so on. The voltage of a LiPo battery is determined by the number of cells it has. For example, a single cell LiPo battery has a voltage of 3.7V, while a two-cell (2S) LiPo battery has a voltage of 7.4V, and so on.

As well as cell count (the ‘S’ number), there’s also the discharge potential (or, the ‘C’ number). Discharge is relevant insofar as you need to know the battery can give enough power to your model in any given moment. Consider how little power a phone with a LiPo battery might draw, remembering that this one battery will power the handset all day. The phone will never pull more than maybe a tenth of the total battery capacity in any instant, even under heavy load.

Some RC models have beefy motors and significant overall mass. This can result in the vehicle needing to pull a significant amount of power in an instant, such as under heavy acceleration. Maybe you’re trying to see how fast a car can go? That’s a drag-strip worth of heavy discharge, potentially. The ‘C’ rating helps you determine whether your battery is up to such a task – higher C number means more discharge potential, which is good.

Batteries with XT90 Plugs

C Rating in More Detail

A battery with a C rating of 1C means that it can discharge its entire capacity in one hour, while a battery with a C rating of 2C can discharge its entire capacity in half an hour. Take this further – a C rating of 60 is a theoretical claim that a battery can deliver its entire capacity in a single minute!

LiPo battery cells max out at about 75C. There are ways to get a higher C rating than 75 or so. Some batteries, like the Ovonic we reviewed here, use two parallel cells in the battery for each cell, which is how they can claim 100C, for example. A higher C rating means that the battery can discharge its energy more quickly, which is important for high-performance applications such as RC racing.

Arrma Infraction 6S

What Next?

Here’s a recent article I wrote about one general-purpose LiPo battery which also has more detail about battery history and usage. Check it out!

Craig Veness

Craig Veness


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 🙂

Rlaarlo’s 2022 Speed Run a Flying Success

Rlaarlo’s 2022 Speed Run a Flying Success

Sweet Loot

Speed run is a fun event even when it’s just for bragging rights. But how does a cash prize of USD$2000 sound? Perhaps an Anniversary Edition version of Rlaarlo’s best buggy? Or maybe just one of every vehicle in the 2022 catalog? If this grabs your attention, wait until you hear what had to be achieved to secure one of these shiny rewards!

2022 Speed Run Challenge

Need for Speed

You may have seen Rlaarlo offering this impressive set of prizes for a little competition on their Facebook page in July 2022. For once, this wasn’t just a ‘Like and Share this post’ to have a chance at a random prize. That’s something we’ve all seen from various groups at this point. Much better than that, it was for a good, old-fashioned speed run contest, with some actual sweat-and-tears friendly competition!

The prizes were enticing. So, what was the catch? RC hobbyists had three weeks to modify their Rlaarlo buggies. The goal was to video-record and measure their vehicle’s fastest speed run pass they could manage.

The conditions for that winning high-speed pass were simple enough:

  • any of four Rlaarlo or Amoril 1/14 buggies could be used;
  • entrants could modify the buggy any way they wished, as long as they retained the original body shell and chassis;
  • they must provide a clear GPS speed measure after the run;
  • the vehicle must be functional after the run;
  • it should be wheel-powered only (no EDF for you enterprising rocket scientists!);
  • the pass must be on flat ground; and,
  • the pass must be recorded in a single, un-cut video.
Qualifying Models

Star of the Show

Folks needed a video camera and a GPS unit to measure speed. But the key to this contest was the RC model itself. You could use the Rlaarlo XDKJ-006 1/14 4WD brushless buggy (available here) or one of three other similar Rlaarlo and Amoril models. There are many 1/14 RC buggies available these days and on the whole, they’ve been slowly improving. However, the recently-released Rlaarlo XDKJ-006 grabbed our attention as it looked to have the balance of weight, power and durability. This was a balanced feature set that is so rare in ‘cheaper’ RC models. (See our initial review video and our more detailed article here on rc-tnt.com for more about the buggy).

Notably, the 006 features a carbon fibre tub chassis and a compact 2S/3S brushless power system that makes for a lightweight little rocket. This is impressive on its own and our initial review reflected that. However, what later impressed us even further was its sheer durability. We bashed ours far harder than it should ever have been able to handle. Our Durability Test video should be a testament to the rugged nature of the XDKJ-006. It was unbelievably tough and we gave it a rough day at the skate park!

Race Schedule

Competition Time!

And so it was upon this platform that Rlaarlo proposed a little contest of effort and cunning. Who could modify their XDKJ-006 to be the fastest in a straight line? To make it through Round 1 of the speed run, you needed a pass of at least 100kmph/62mph. The fastest would enter Round 2 and then a final round would test the best of the best.

The idea was simple enough – but just how fast could these little machines really go? Those tiny 1/14 wheels mean big gearing and motor speed would be needed for high-speed runs. And that’s to say nothing of limited chassis space and vehicle stability from a short wheelbase. Would 62mph+ passes even be possible?

Comp Rules

Round 1: Warming Up

Round 1 was to close on July 29, just one week into the competition. The entries trickled in as the days counted down. First to make a showing were USA, Canadian and Australian entrants, with buggies running from 12V to 24V systems. Three USA contenders hit hard with impressive speeds even at that early stage:

  • 75mph from Eric Woolsey on 4S with a 3200kv motor;
  • 76mph from Radlee Plott on just 2S with a 7800kv motor; and,
  • 94mph from Michael Koebbe with 3S on a 3200kv motor.

Already, things were getting interesting! The first round concluded on July 30 with 25 entrants clearing the 62mph cut-off speed. At this stage there were hobbyists from USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and the UK with seriously impressive speeds logged on camera.

Round 1 leaders were as follows:

  • tied third place holders Daniel Petrak (AUS, 3S) and Eric Woolsey (USA, 3S) had verified speeds of 87mph (140km/h);
  • Christopher Barnes (USA, 3S) ran a 95mph (152.9km/h) pass; and,
  • with a very safe lead was Michael Koebbe with a blistering pass of 121mph (194.7km/h)!

Round 2: Fight!

There were 25 people cleared through to the second round. Rlaarlo announced that only the fastest ten entrants would qualify for the final round. Clearly, competition was going to be close with such a fierce first round!

The second round gave contenders a week to make their attempts and submit their best video. Again, the entries trickled in over the next few days. It was a close thing, even at this stage of competition. The lower 5 entrants were tightly grouped, separated by just a few miles per hour, posting top speeds of between 96mph and 99mph! The top 5 entrants were split over a wider range, from 101mph and up. Anyone could take it at this stage!

Round 2 Qualifiers
Round 1 Qualifiers

Controversy in the Leaderboard

Video clarity and technical gremlins can hit at unexpected times. They’re challenging and often random in when and how they strike. This is especially the case when you’re pushing the limits with equipment vs physics! At this stage of the contest, Chris Barnes posted several impressive runs but encountered a string of issues from a series of crashes that led to him losing a GPS unit. His list-topping runs were disqualified and the leaderboard was adjusted.

It was generally agreed that Rlaarlo made the best call they could with the available information. Unfortunately, some fallout would be unavoidable as other competitors found themselves bumped off the leaderboard during this controversial exchange. Such problems and decisions are tough for all involved and can lead to high emotion in the midst of competition. Cool heads prevailed with the only reasonable ruling from Rlaarlo in order to maintain a level playing field. The show continued.

We wish Chris Barnes and the other affected competitors the very best for next time. All affected have our sympathy for a rough run this time. Good sportsmanship and supportive voices are what sets clubs and groups apart from others and to date we’ve found the Rlaarlo Facebook group to be generally very positive and supportive. This is something we could all use more of!

Round 2 Speed Run Finalists

With Barnes’ 118mph entry (USA, 4S) disqualified, the top three contenders posted their best runs for Round 2:

    • 3rd – Eric Woolsey with 114mph (183.5kmph), on 3S power with a Castle MM X 6S system;
    • 2nd – Michael Koebbe with 121mph (194.7kmph), on 3S power with a Castle MM X 8S system; and
    • 1st – Connor Matthes with 128mph (206km/h), running on 5S power also with a Castle MM.

Problems in rear-view mirror, the contest continued to its final round…

Hold My Beer!

The first three entries submitted to the final round were from USA contenders:

  • Radlee Plott (4S, Castle MM X) with 104mph (167.4kmph);
  • Eric Woolsey (4S, Castle MM X 6S) with 122mph (196.3kmph); and,
  • Connor Matthes (5S, Castle MM) with an eye-watering 130mph (209.2kmph)!

Later that day, USA entrant Michael Koebbe disrupted second place with a 126mph (202.8kmph) run on 3S power with an XLX2 system.

By August 15, as the final hour closed out the contest, Eric Woolsey retained his third position on the leaderboard. Michael Koebbe upped the ante with his XLX2 system, jumping from 3S to 4S power. He delivered a 130mph pass (209.2kmph), drawing equal with Matthes’ pass from just a few days prior.

Pulling out all stops, Connor Matthes made a final blazing pass on the same 5S-powered MM X 8S system with the winning entry of 131mph, or 210.8kmph! Here’s his video from that final run:

Speed Run Aftermath

Congratulations and support flowed in from many on the groups Facebook page on Matthes’ well-deserved win. Special mention must go to the next place-holders who managed such impressive speeds. This is a buggy that we have tested ourselves with a top speed of 50mph (81kmph) on 3S power in stock form.

The difference between stock 3S speeds and even the ‘slowest’ finalist was huge. David Grima (AUS) made a 94mph pass (151.3kmph) – that’s already nearly twice as fast as stock speed! One entrant made his personal best of 70.2mph immediately after being partially run over by a truck. That was with a damaged wheel! It was still 20mph faster than a stock 006 that hasn’t been run over. Crazy!

Suggestions were floated about maybe putting an expenditure limit on future speed runs to help level the field some more. Others had ideas around event timing with seasons in different hemispheres and competition time-frames. All said, the contest was an entertaining event that brought people’s skill and perseverance into the limelight and good humour was expressed across the page. What a fun way to spend some time tinkering with such an impressive little buggy!

Rlaarlo released a speed run highlights video you can watch on Facebook here.

Rlaarlo 1/12 Buggy

What’s Next?

Rlaarlo have been building on momentum from this and other fun events hosted over 2022. New models are reportedly in development. (We’re excited about a brushless 1/12 model that’s apparently coming soon. More details on rc-tnt.com as soon as we have them!) Parts availability for current models has been consistent and timely. Future events are in the works, they’ve reported on their Facebook page.

A note on the company as a whole: our XDKJ-006 had a rare electrical issue after some use that was swiftly rectified by Rlaarlo. We’ve been only impressed with dealing with the company, who even prior to our initial review video were accepting of our standard terms that we would not make a draft available to them before publication and that we would publish test outcomes, even if they were unfavorable. It’s this admirable attitude that prompted us to write this speed run contest debrief; the company has been reasonable, fair and simply a pleasure to deal with from our first contact. We’re looking forward to seeing what they do next!

Rlaarlo XDKJ-006 Front

Where to Get One

Rlaarlo’s website is https://rlaarlo.com. The 006 buggy details and purchase page can be found here. Also, Rlaarlo maintains a Facebook group page (here) and an Instagram profile (here).

Lastly, our detailed review article of the XDKJ-006 can be found here on rc-tnt.com and our video series starts with the review. The XDKJ-006 is easy to recommend and we are pleased to so closely follow the company’s journey.

Rlaarlo XDKJ-006 top-down

Affiliate Links and Integrity

We were provided with our XDKJ-006 by Rlaarlo at no cost for purposes of review. As always, we maintain the right to publish our test results without influence or edit from the manufacturer. This competition debrief is entirely the work of rc-tnt.com and has had no affiliation or marketing influence from Rlaarlo or its staff, beyond an initial request to consider writing it. We have not received compensation for writing this article. Having such fair treatment from the company, it’s been a pleasure to produce the videos and articles we’ve done so far and we look forward to seeing what Rlaarlo produces next. Oh yes, we are anticipating what future contests may entail, too! This one has been a hoot!

-Craig Veness, rc-tnt.com

RC-TNT Rlaarlo Review
Craig Veness

Craig Veness


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 🙂