Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail Honcho

Review: Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho

Axial Racing has placed itself as one of the leading companies in rock crawling. Just recently they released the SCX10 Trail Truck kit, a crawler aimed at the scale rock crawling audience. The immediate success of that truck was all that was needed to push forward to the next iteration of the SCX10, the TR, or Trail Ready.

The SCX10-TR is a Ready-To-Run version that includes everything you need to ‘Blaze Your Own Trails’ (except for a 6-cell battery and AA’s). Two versions of this truck exist, one with a silver Dingo body and one with a green Trail Honcho body. I think the Dingo is a little to urban for my tastes, so I’m glad to be able to test out the Honcho. Plus, the name sounds way more manly. So join me as I give the ol’ Honcho a work out on several different terrains to see how she fares.

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail HonchoAT A GLANCE
WHO IT’S FOR Anyone who wants to get into scale crawling
PART NO. AX90016

• Its scale looks, of course
• Compatible with the slew of Axial upgrades
• Lighting system
• Big bag of replacement & optional goodies
• Beadlocks & Pro-Line Flat Iron tires

• Rear body clips are a pain if you have sausage fingers like mine
• The molded roll cage and spare tire look cool, but they add a lot of weight to the tail end

Though it isn’t a serious competition crawler, the Axial SCX10-TR will make short work of most terrain. It’s at home riding the trails and looking good while doing it! And it’s certainly capable of dealing with most rocks, sand & dirt.

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail HonchoWHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• The SCX10-TR Trail Honcho comes fully assembled. Install your battery, plug it in and you’re ready to rock, umm, so to speak.

• The body is gorgeous! I totally dig the molded diamond-plate bed with fuel tank and the spare tire holder. The molded cage makes the body feel tough as nails!

• While the front bumper may only be molded plastic tubing, the skid plates are all aluminum. A cool set of offroad lights light the way up front, and a set of brake lights shine out the rear. Optional light buckets are also included should you want to customize your Honcho right from the start.

• The steel C-channel frame provides the Honcho with a rigid platform, and multiple cross-bracing makes sure there is no twisting while out on the rocks. Plastic rock sliders on both sides of the truck reduce body damage and help the Honcho slide over obstacles.

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail Honcho• The sealed electronics box has been relocated further forward than it was on previous SCX10-TR models. This helps move weight forward for better crawling characteristics. In addition, the box helps keep dirt and debris out of the electronics, however it is not waterproof. Watch the depth of those ‘scale-rivers’ before trying to cross them.

• The transmission is centrally placed as low in the chassis as possible to keep a low Center of Gravity. This same transmission is used in some of their higher-end competition vehicles so you know it’s durable. The attached motor plate accepts brushed or brushless motors and allows for a wide range of gearing options. A slipper clutch has been added to help save the transmission and gears should you get yourself into a bad predicament.

• Axial has included hardened steel shafts and a hi-tolerance sintered diff lock in both the front and rear axles. This should help prevent any durability issues while out on the trails.

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail Honcho• Oil-filled coil-over threaded shocks are included and are wrapped with a dual-stage spring setup. Axial sells a complete line of option springs that allow you to fine tune the suspension for any type of terrain.

• Proline Flat Iron tires are mounted on Axial’s tried-and true 8-hole bead lock wheels. These wheels look great and have a realistic center hub that covers the wheelnut. Optional bead lock rings (in different colors) are available from Axial.

• The Honcho comes with a 27-turn brushed motor and ESC with forward and reverse action. The 2-channel transmitter uses 27mhz and includes throttle reversing and trims.

• The Axial Honcho comes with a bag of spare parts and a pair of gate markers. You can set up the gate markers to practice some difficult maneuvers before competition time.

• 6-cell battery, charger, AAs for the transmitter

• Reedy LiPo 5000mAh 20C pack—704, $85

TEST VENUE The rocks, the trails & the beaches of Southern California CONDITIONS Rocks, sand & dirt

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail HonchoSTEERING Understeer
Most competition crawlers feature a front and rear locked differential. This is mandatory in the crawling world as it keeps both front and rear wheels turning to help pull the truck up and over huge obstacles. The downside is that it takes away some steering. That’s the nature of the beast, so I really can’t hold this against the Honcho. It does have a decent turning radius for any type of trail driving and will probably work fine for your application.

The included 27-turn brushed motor is snappy and moves the Honcho around on flat surfaces without a problem, but when you try to climb, I think it loses its edge. A lower-turn motor would really help in the torque department. Most of the hardcore crawlers I’ve talked to suggested using a motor in the 55-turn area. Or you could upgrade to any of the crawler-specific brushless systems.

BRAKING Excellent
Brakes are a rock crawler’s best friend. It’s easy to go up, but getting down is a different story! Brakes must be smooth, strong and linear for you to retain control of your crawler on the way down a hill. The stock ESC and motor did a good job of keeping the Honcho straight and under control on my more vertical descents.

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail HonchoSUSPENSION Excellent
As you’d expect from a leader in the field, the stock suspension works flawlessly. I like that it seems realistic; it shouldn’t be able to articulate like a full-blown crawler. It shouldn’t be able to make it up every obstacle it encounters, and it doesn’t. But that’s what I like about it. It’s a trail truck. Instead of jamming up the side of a monster rock to get to the top of the hill, you actually have to find a trail up there. It does a great job over smaller rocks and crevices, and the soft Pro-Line Flat Irons can claw their way over quite a bit of ground.

There isn’t much exposed on the Honcho when it tips and tumbles from higher ground. The front tube bumper and rear cage do a superb job of keeping all the internals safe. The beadlock wheels did an excellent job of keeping the tires pinned, and the center skid and rock sliders helped to protect the bottom of the truck. I did lose the front fog-light grilles a couple of times, but when I found them, they snapped back on without a problem. My lower links are also a bit battered, so I may try to upgrade these as soon as I can.

LENGTH 18 in. (457mm)
WIDTH 9 in. (227mm)
WHEELBASE 12.3 in. (313mm)
WEIGHT 4 lb. (1,814g)

• Four-way wrench NEEDED None HARDWARE Metric

2 61-90mm aluminum shock sets, 2 7mm piston— AX30090, $40 each

• Battery tray—multiple mounting positions for adjusting weight bias
• Shock position (F&R)—3 upper locations
• Shock oil—use oil in a variety of viscosities

Review: Axial SCX10-TR Trail HonchoTHE LAST WORD
The SCX10-TR is a great allaround scale crawler. It can climb up and over most rocky terrain, it rides like a champ on any dirt trail, and it can throw up some serious roosts in the sand. And it does all this while looking like something out of a magazine! In addition, there is already huge aftermarket support for all the Axial rides. So throw on a few custom hop-ups, swap out the motor for something with a little more torque and attack the trails!

Reedy, Distributed by Team Associated,

About Tony Phalen

Tony Phalen - As an avid RC enthusiast, Tony has been building, bashing and racing RC Cars for over 25 years. He has raced everything from 1:18th scale trucks to 1:5 scale motorcycles and everything in-between. He's also worked on both sides of the industry fence; working at and with many major manufacturers (as well as being a sponsored driver) to working for a high-profile industry magazine. During this time he has learned many tricks, tips and techniques and has transferred that knowledge to CompetitionX - the most informative RC website on the internet! More articles by Tony Phalen

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