The Team Associated MT10 Rival is a budget option in big-name bashing. It’s a 1/10 scale 4×4 brushless monster truck that’s ready to go out of the box. We’ve heard good things about it and decided we should really test it out!
Out With the Old
Story time! Back in 2012 we ordered a Traxxas Stampede VXL 4X4 RTR. It had similar specifications and overall dimensions to the MT10 Rival and accounting for inflation, was about 20% more expensive. It had a number of issues that needed sorting before it could be bashed with any level of severity beyond yard running. The truck flipped over a lot and the tires were not great. We put over $1000 into strength and handling upgrades (build log archived here) and eventually it was reasonably reliable and a lot of fun.
Credit: sandman77, AusRC forums
In With the New
What a difference a decade makes! Many of the things we changed on the Stampede are included out of the box with the MT10 Rival. The tires are excellent, there are front and rear anti-roll (or sway) bars and there are even lights, both front and rear. There is a mesh cover to keep stones and dust out of the bucket chassis and there is a hard cover over the drive-shaft so wires don’t get twisted and ripped off – and it keeps the stones out from grinding through the shaft, too!
A Paradigm Shift
Probably the biggest improvement in the MT10 Rival over the Stampede VXL is something that we were not ever able to mod into ours: a center differential. This extra level of tuning and performance is what takes the MT10 Rival to the level of bigger, more expensive jump and bash trucks. Combine this with the low weight and flexible plastics used throughout the vehicle and you have an exceptionally durable, low-maintenance and high-performance monster truck.
We can’t really over-emphasise how big this is in RC: there are not many vehicles in any category of the hobby that give you all three of Cheap, Durable and Fast. The MT10 Rival may just be that elusive unicorn!
MT10 Rival Features
- 2.4GHz 2-channel radio system
- High-Torque digital servo with spring-style servo saver
- Powerful Reedy 3300kV 4-pole brushless motor
- Water-resistant high-power Reedy brushless speed control with T-plug connector and LiPo low-voltage cutoff
- Three sealed gear differentials
- 12mm hex wheels inspired by Method Race Wheels
- Threaded, oil-filled, coil-over shock absorbers
- 4mm heavy-duty adjustable steel turnbuckles
- Durable slider-type drive shafts
- Factory-finished RIVAL monster-truck-inspired style body
- High-traction, all-terrain tires
- Steel center drive shaft
- Rugged, adjustable wheelie bar with LEDs
- Four-wheel independent suspension
- Durable, impact-absorbing front bumper with LEDs
MT10 Rival Specs
- Length: 507mm (19.96in)
- Width: 325mm (12.8in)
- Wheelbase: 285mm (11.22in)
- Weight: 2850g (6.28lbs)
- Internal Gear Ratio: 2.85:1
Our Test Drive
We cracked ours out of the box and got it immediately onto the skate park. The MT10 Rival never had a chance to do any tame driving; we had ours headed for the clouds straight away! The radio is comfy to use and getting the truck set up is easy. There is a T-connector on the ESC and it takes 2S and 3S power. We used 2S in our testing but will return to the skate park with 3S soon.
The vehicle was plenty fast and the suspension perfectly tuned to handle big air. It’s a lightweight truck and jumps well. The turning circle is rather massive – one of just two things we’d like to change on this machine. It’s forgivable given the price and otherwise stellar performance, but it would have been nice to have a tighter turning circle.
The other shortcoming concerns flight! That is, when the vehicle is not on the ground at all. When your truck is in the air, you can brake to drop the nose or accelerate to raise it. You can not only ensure you land on the wheels most of the time, but with practice, you can pull off various forward- and back-flips, all with the use of your throttle input. This is what we call ‘air authority’ in relation to controlling the vehicle in the air after a big jump.
The MT10 Rival is 4WD and has big monster truck wheels and tires. This should be a recipe for decent air authority – but this seems to be the one area the MT10 doesn’t quite deliver. Braking to drop the nose was reliably good, but we often found we couldn’t bring the nose up. It just didn’t have the power to generate the sudden wheel speed needed to raise the nose on many jumps.
There are two ways to address this: one is to put heavier wheels and tires on, such as the Pro-Line Trenchers we used on our old Stampede. Those tires weigh a lot more and it gives you ALL the air authority! But with such heavy wheels you then start breaking drive shafts. The better and simpler way will be to go to 3S (12V) instead of 2S (8V). This should have the desired effect. We’ll post the follow-up video here when it’s done.
The 3300kv motor is a perfect size for this size and weight of vehicle. There’s plenty of punch on tap and battery life is quite reasonable too. The MT10 Rival is easy to drive, takes bad landings and other abuse very well and looks great doing it. We heartily recommend this as a budget, big-name, durable basher. Go grab one, you won’t be disappointed!
Manufacturer’s page: https://www.associatedelectrics.com/teamassociated/cars_and_trucks/RIVAL_MT10/RTR/
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 🙂