XR10 Takes the Win in Colorado

Team Axial Driver Jason Rioux recently took the win at Colorado’s latest winter series competition with his XR10. With 50 of the best drivers from Colorado in attendance, Jason still managed to pull off the win by over 20 points.

Axial driver Jason Rioux and his XR10

The final scores

Congrats Jason, keep up the good work!!

Novak M2 Dig ESC

Novak recently released their newest ESC and motor combo designed specifically for dual motor applications, like the XR10. It is an electronic speed control and an electric dig unit all in one. Here’s a few highlights of the new combo.

Picture the functionality and utility of two Novak Goat Crawler Speed Controls in brushed mode and Novak’s Dig Unit; now, envision it in one highly programmable, inexpensive speed control and you get the revolutionary M2 Dig 3S ESC / Dual Terra Claw Brush Motor Combo (#1845). This first-of-its-kind, dual-motor compatible speed control – the M2 Dig 3S Dual Brush ESC (#1846) – is combined with two Terra Claw Crawling Brush Motors – 55T (#3556) This patent-pending, new controller combines 6 adjustable parameters with its revolutionary performance including a separated drag brake and dig function.

With only the addition of two brushed crawler motors, the M2 Dig controls both motors and performs dig maneuvers. In addition to the standard Dig Mode, the M2 features a Proportional Dig Mode which allows you to dial-in partial Dig Power on the fly for even finer control and precise maneuverability through tricky terrain. It also features an exceptional control on steep inclines and descents. Plus, the built-in electronic Dig Power is independently adjustable from the Hill/Drag Braking. This truly unique speed control supports both 2S and 3S LiPo!

Specialized dig
The compact M2 Dig ESC is easy to install and operate. There are three fully programmable throttle profiles: Dig Mode, Proportional Dig Mode and Single Output Mode.

The M2 Dig 3S ESC installed in an Axial XR10


# Dig Mode is the default setting, and uses Dig Power (independent of Drag Brake) to lock one motor at a time.This mode requires a proportional switch or a simple three-position switch to operate.
# Proportional Dig Mode. This completely original mode uses a transmitter’s third channel that is proportional (button or dial), allowing drivers to vary the amount of Dig Power being applied to the motor. This innovative feature provides seemingly endless fine tuning of the Dig for the ultimate vehicle control.
# Single Output Mode is for applications with single motors or operation without a 3-channel transmitter. In this mode all four motor power wires can be soldered to one brush motor for higher performance, or connect two motors and control them both at the same time.

In addition to crawling applications, the M2 Dig 3S ESC is ideal for applications that require two motors, such as robots, boats, tanks and submarines.

The M2 Dig 3S ESC can be fine tuned via Novak’s fully adjustable PC interface, the NovaLink™ (#5440). The NovaLink software is purpose-built for crawling.

On-board and PC adjustability
The M2 Dig not only gives racers three separate throttle profiles, but can also be easily adjusted via Novak’s reliable on-board setup. There are four PCB-mounted LEDs to aid in programming and two different colored external LED indicator lights, located at the ends of six inch harnesses that visibly display when a motor is locked and the vehicle is ready to dig.

This new ESC can also be fine-tuned with the optional NovaLink Programming Interface (#5440), Novak’s fully adjustable PC interface. The downloadable software for the M2 Dig is purpose-built for crawling and assists in adjusting the speed control’s programmable features. This software, as well as updates, will be available from Novak’s website to NovaLink owners.

The powerful speed control also comes equipped with instant reverse via Novak’s Zero Reverse Delay, which provides immediate power delivery in both forward and reverse directions.

The M2 Dig 3S ESC includes two different-colored external LED indicator lights that visibly display when a motor is locked.

No modifications necessary
Like Novak’s Electronic Dig Unit (#5450), the M2 Dig 3S ESC does not require any vehicle modifications to install or operate. Simply plug it into any three-channel surface receiver, and you’re ready to crawl! This ESC is not only easy to install into a vehicle, but it possesses countless features on its own! Compared with a Dual ESC setup, the M2 allows racers to use top of the line crawling technology with just one speed control. The M2 Dig 3S ESC is easily programmed into most three-channel transmitters, such as the Spektrum® DX3R DSM2 3CH Surface Radio™, Airtronics’® M8 and M11 R/C Radios™, and a Traxxas® (TQ-3) Transmitter™*

Maintenance free motor
Novak’s affordable Terra Claw Crawling Brushed Motor, which is also available individually, provides precise movement control, and exceptional torque and long-run times due to the motor’s high-turn count. Additionally, the Terra Claw is extremely durable, ensuring many smooth and maintenance-free crawling seasons. The M2 Dig is also compatible with Novak’s Fifty-Five (#3555) and Forty-Five Crawler Brushed Motors (#3545).

M2 Dig 3S ESC/Dual Terra Claw brush combo features
Fully programmable, user-friendly interface with five adjustable parameters: Drag Brake (10 settings), Dead Band (5 settings), Minimum Drive (10 settings), Drive Frequency (10 settings) and Battery Type Selection (3 settings – Li-Po, Li-Fe and NiMH)
Three throttle profiles: Dig Mode, Proportional Dig Mode and Single Outpu Mode
Independently powers the front or rear motors in a dual-motor crawler vehicle
Operates on both 2S and 3S applications
Instant reverse via Novak’s Zero Reverse Delay providing immediate power delivery in both forward and reverse.
Compatible with optional NovaLink (#5440) for expanded programming and ability to download firmware updates to the ESC
Internal high-voltage 5-Amp Linear BEC
Universal JST Input Plug for Ch.2 and Ch. 3, which fits all popular brand receivers
Water-resistant case with gasket seal
Thermal Overload Protection
Features a set of power output pins for running cooling fans, auxilary lights, scale winchces, etc.
Meets RoHS compliance and includes 120-Day Warranty
Designed and assembled by Novak in Irvine, Calif., using globally-sourced components

M2 Dig 3S ESC/DUAL Terra Claw Brush combo specs
Input Voltage: 2-3S Li-Po/Li-Fe cells or 4-9 NiMH cells (1.2V/cell)
On-Resistance (dual motor): 0.0016 ohm. at 25 degrees C trans. temp.
On-Resistance (single motor): 0.0008 ohm. at 25 degrees C trans. temp.
ESC Footprint: 1.16” x 1.47” (29.5 x 37.3 mm)
ESC Weight (w/o wires): 1.30 oz. (36.9g)
Motor Limit: 27-turn (2S), 33-turn (3S) 540-sized dual brushed motors
BEC: 6.0 volts DC / 5.0 amps
Status LEDs: 4 on-board; 2 external
Voltage Cut-Off: 6.25V (2S Li-Po), 4.75V (2S Li-Fe), 9.75V (3S Li-Po) & 7.125V (3S Li-Fe) (when Li-Poly Cut-Off Circuitry is enabled)
Power Wires: 14G Super-Flex Copper-Strand Silicone Wire

A few pictures of the new ESC and motor combo


The new ESC

The supplied dual motors

Novak even includes capacitors, heat shrink tubing, zip ties and double stick tape in the combo

Novak also includes a miniature fan to keep the ESC cool when running a 3 cell lipo

Brandon, Brad and Scott’s XR10 Set-Up Sheets

Here’s an inside look at the XR10 set-ups that Brandon, Scott and myself run. These set-up sheets are great for documenting changes to your set-up, and the effects those changes have on your rig’s performance.

Bender’s XR10 set-up sheet

Brandon’s XR10 set-up sheet

Scott’s XR10 set-up sheet

If anyone has any questions let us know. Thanks.

Custom 6×6 SCX10

Here’s a little sneak peek at a project I have been working on in my spare time. I have always wanted to build a custom 6×6, but never really had the time. Recently I decided I was going to make time to get this project going. It is still a build in progress at this point, but it is drivable now. I have run a few battery packs through it so far so I can tune the suspension. I am at the point now where it is working pretty good, I just need to finish a few details. I want to make inner fender wells, add rock rails, waterproof the electronics, finish the cage work, add some scale details and maybe redo the stock Honcho bed in styrene.

Here is what the overall stance looks like now with the new Pro-line 2.2 Super Swamper SX’s installed. I love the looks of these new tires, and the G8 compound ensures they will work great in all conditions.


A few detailed shots of the body and suspension.

Here you can see that I linked the rear axle off the center axle, then installed a custom panhard bar to eliminate axle steer.

The extended Honcho body, which is still a work in progress.

I made a custom battery box out of .060 styrene to hold/conceal the MaxAmps 5250 3s lipo battery.



I installed a sway bar on the center axle to help eliminate torque twist.

The custom panhard bar and frame bracket that keep the rear axle in line.

A couple different views of the rear link set-up.


HD Video

6×6 parts list:
Links and Spacers:
• (1) AX30518 98mm grey links (lower links from chassis to 2nd axle)
• (1) AX30524 91mm grey links (lower links from 2nd to 3rd axle)
• (1) AXA1430 65mm grey links (upper links from chassis to 2nd axle)
• (1) AX30516 106mm grey links (upper links from 2nd to 3rd axle)
• (1) AX30519 101×30* grey HC links (panhard bar cut to fit)
• (1) AXA1431 70mm grey links (chassis brace where the two frames meet)
• (2) AXA1421 20mm grey links (sway bar and 4 link spacer on center axle)
• (1) AXA1418 6mm grey spacers
• (1) AXA1416 4mm grey spacers
• (1) AXA1414 2mm grey spacers
Additional parts:
• (3) AX8098 Chrome 2.2 beadlock wheels
• (3) 1166-14 2.2 Pro-Line Super Swamper SX tires
• (1) AX30380 Steel driveshaft yokes
• (2) AX80011 Plastic driveshafts
• (2) AX80043 4 link truss parts tree
• (1) AX30090 Aluminum SCX10 shocks
• (2) AX80003 Axle housings
• (1) AX80020 Plastic lockouts (AX30494 for aluminum lockouts)
• (1) AX30421 Straight axles
• (2) AX30392 Ring and pinion set (AX30395 for HD steel ring and pinions)
• (3) AX30429 Aluminum drive hex pack (2.2 wheels, 1.9 wheel hex AX30427)
• (1) AX30163 2x10mm drive pin
• (1)AX30405 Pinion gear shaft
• (1)AXA1393 E-clip
• (1) AXA180 M3 set screws
• (1) AX30163 Drive pins
• (1) AX30500 HD lockers
• (1) AX80002 Plastic differential case
• (1) AX30385 Differential gasket
• (1) AXA015 Screws for differential case
• (2) AXA1221 5×11 bearings
• (1) AXA1230 10×15 bearings
• (1) AX30525 SCX10 Frame set

That should cover the parts I used on this particular build, but it is possible that I am missing a small detail or two. You will need a fair amount of M3x.5 screws in various lengths, as well as an assortment of rod ends, some basic hand tools to fab the panhard bar bracket and the braces I made to tie the two frames together. You will also need some patience. There will be some trial and error involved if people want to replicate this build even with the parts list I supplied. It’s just a fact of life when it comes to building one off custom rigs. The best advice I can give is take your time, and do it right the first time. You will be a lot happier in the long run.

Xplor Tour

Some of you may or may not know I recently got married. My wife and I went to Cancun for our honeymoon. While there we booked a day to go to a theme park that was advertised all over town called “Xplor”. This park is only about a year old and is set in an ancient cave system loaded with stalactites and stalagmites. There are a number of activities you can do there from zip lines, to cave tours, to amphibious vehicles, to raft tours, etc. Here are a few pictures highlighting the park and the activities you can do while there.

Amphibious vehicles are just one of the activities you can do while visiting the Xplor park. They have 2 different routes you can travel that dart in and out of the caves and jungle. Both routes are about 3 miles long, and you drive the vehicles yourself.




Multiple zip lines are spread out all over the park. This one brings you through the waterfall and drops you inside the cave system.




Inside the caves. A little info on the stalactites that hang from the roof of the cave, it takes 100 years for them to grow 1 centimeter in length. There are some in the cave system upwards of 10 feet tall.






The raft tour allows you to navigate your own raft through the cave system.


The swim tour allows you to swim through a specified route inside the caves. They say the water is 72 degrees, but it felt colder then that to the wife and I.

If you ever find yourself in Cancun, and want to do something different. I recommend taking time out to visit the Xplor park, it is pretty amazing.

2010 Utah State Championships

I’m finally recovering from a fun-filled weekend in St. George Utah!

We arrived late Thursday night and couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to explore, drive SCX10′s, and ride our mountain bikes.

Waking up Friday morning at the campsite was quite a sight. The surrounding terrain was jaw dropping in every direction. We finished setting up camp and got right to work on getting the SCX10′s up and running.

With the SCX10′s up and running we got on the mountain bikes to do some exploring (SCX10′s came along of course!) Ran into this little guy on the trail, luckily I missed him and Scott spotted him as we passed by. I believe this is a male? I remember hearing you can tell them apart by their size. This guy was pretty small compared to others I have seen.

Break time!

Saturday morning we woke up, loaded up the crawlers and headed to the comp site about 10 minutes away from the camp ground. The terrain seemed to be endless, the 801RCC guys are really lucky to have this terrain to drive on.

Brian Parker “Doing Work”

801RCC’s own Mike Thompson… Umm, nice hat?

Scott Hughes at the start gate

Thanks Scott for taking these pics of my rig!

Nice XR10!

Squeezed in some SCX10 trail riding after the comp.

Don Hughes driving his amazingly scale SCX10 with the Pro-Line Jeep Cherokee body.

Thanks for stopping by! The terrain and scenery was just amazing, definitely cant wait to head back again. Thanks to everyone from 801RCC, you made us all feel right at home.

Also, a huge thanks goes out to the Hughes family for letting me tag along this weekend.

Wheelers for the Wounded

Written by: Matt Kearney

Day 1:
We left about 6am to head up near where the event would be held. Jeff left a little ahead of us in the RV and we assumed we would catch up to him as he was towing his rig and we were able to make better time in Randall’s rig. We played phone tag most of the day and finally caught up to Jeff around 4:30pm in Placerville. We then headed up to where we would be camping that night, it is a little RV campground called Sly Park Campgrounds located in Pollock Pines Near Jenkinson Lake. After setting up camp we decided to wander down to check out the lake. After skipping a few rocks into the lake and admiring the scenery we headed back up to the restaurant in the campgrounds and ate dinner then called it an early night.

Our camping spot at Sly Park


The path to Jenkinson Lake

Jenkinson Lake – there were several wakeboarders and boaters out on the lake even at 5:00 in the afternoon


Day 2: The drive to the event campgrounds
We were one the road by 10am the next day and headed towards the SouthFork Campground near Wentworth Springs. The USFS reserved the entire campground for this event and it was the perfect setting for the 2010 WFTW Rubicon event.

Jeff in the RV towing his Jeep


We arrived around noon and set up camp. Shortly after that we headed out on a trail run to take the old Wentworth Springs trail into the start of the Rubicon trail. This was my first trip to the Rubicon and have to say that I was not disappointed in the trails and scenery that we had seen up to that point and it was just getting better and better the further we got in. We were introduced to several experienced offroad enthusiasts including Del Albright who runs the Blue Ribbon Coalition (http://www.sharetrails.org/) which puts in a lot of work helping to keep land open for enthusiasts. The trail into Wentworth springs was full of large boulders and took a fair amount of time to get through with all the rigs we had with us. Once we got past the boulders the trail opened up into a gigantic granite bowl that stretches over a mile across. You didn’t get the full effect until you saw the rigs on the other side and saw how small they appeared. After making it across we headed back to the campground to make dinner and greet the rest of the arriving veterans and volunteers.

Jeff driving the trail.


Del Albright – keep your eyes open he and his Jeep can be found all over the country participating in events and trail runs.


Rubicon trail marker at the top of the granite bowl.


View from one side of the granite bowl to the other, you can see the small red jeep on the other side to really get a perspective on how large it actually is.


Day 3: The trail run with the veterans
We were up and fed as early as possible on Saturday as we had a full day ahead of us. A local offroad club called the Rubicon Rockheads were kind enough to donate their time and equipment to cook all the meals for the veterans and volunteers. They provided all the meals and it was all very good food! We were all on the road and headed to the Gatekeeper trail head near Loon Lake by 8am that morning.

On the trail:
After having a quick drivers meeting to discuss proper protocol and where we were headed we quickly took the reverse drive into the granite bowl that we visited the day before. We all gathered down at the bottom of the bowl for photos and video interviews. The video interviews can be seen on Moses Ludel’s site – http://4wdmechanix.com/, he was able to get a quick interview with all the veterans and volunteers involved in this event. After leaving the granite bowl we started heading further into the Rubicon trail towards. We stopped several times along the way as there were 25 rigs on this trail run. The plan was to make it all the way to Spider Lake and have lunch at a small privately owned cabin up there. We met the owner just past the Little Sluice Box but due to some trail breakdowns and slow progress it was decided that we wouldn’t have enough time to make it back before dark and called it a day and started heading back.

Lining up at the Gatekeeper entrance for the drivers meeting.


Prepping the rigs.


Heading out after the drivers meeting towards the granite bowl.


At the bottom of the granite bowl taking photos of the entire group.


Kevin Carey one of the event organizers.


Pirates of the Rubicon were one of the local offroading clubs that volunteered drivers and rigs to help out at the event.


What trail run isn’t complete with RC cars?


On the trail out of the granite bowl on the way to Ellis Creek.



Kevin Carey one of the event organizers putting in some time behind the wheel of Randall’s Jeep.


Cutting it close.

Various people and rigs.














Passenger Roy and Driver Troy (Troy later took Roy for the drive of his life through the Little Sluice Box).


“The Prospect” (Pirates of the Rubicon prospect) working his way through the Soup Box.


Another driver working through the Soup Box.


“The Prospect” and “the Mexican” attempting to provide a winch point for a driver coming up the Soup Box but not really being much help…


Super clean Toyota about to go up an alternate line on the Soup Box.


Alternate line around the Little Sluice Box.





Driver Troy taking his veteran passenger Roy through the Little Sluice Box.







Troy trying to right his Jeep in the Little Sluice Box.


Removing Roy from the Jeep and getting it upright.





Roys’ reaction to Troy getting back to wheels down, his biggest concern was for Troy and not for himself during the whole thing


Various rigs and participants watching Troy get back into the Little Sluice Box and go at it again.




Troy taking another Veteran for a ride, he ended up breaking down on trail and after a few hours of problem shooting it ended up being a blown fuse and was back on the trail.




The trip back to the campgrounds from the Little Sluice Box.





We arrived back to camp around 6:00PM Saturday evening. Everyone went to their respective camps to clean up and relax some from the long day on the trail. We all gathered around the main campfire to talk about the days drive and spent some time chatting with many different people about why they were there and what it meant to them. During dinner there was a presentation ceremony where the event organizers and sponsors got up and talked about their involvement with the event and their companies. Overall it was really incredible to hear from everyone at the event and to see how passionate they were about not just offroading but giving back to the veteran community. There were many veterans there that had very positive things to say about the support they had received from this event and that it had opened new doors and helped them move on from things they had held onto from their experiences in military service for our country. The first night we were there we had taken out a few of our demo trucks for people to drive around the campfire, most people thought they were really cool, but one person in particular was immediately drawn to them and you could see his eyes light up from the enjoyment, we had planned on passing some out the following day as part of the raffle they were holding but decide we for sure wanted to this particular person to receive one that night! He spent the rest of the evening driving the truck around the campfire. After dinner the Rubicon Rockheads passed out ice cream from their custom 4×4 ice cream truck, this truck has been all over the Rubicon and is often seen at many of the big events held there throughout the year.

Event organizers and sponsors talking about the event.



Roy receiving his SCX10 Trail Honcho – he was really excited about the RTR because it was something he could do from his wheelchair.



Jeff doing his best ice cream truck driver impersonation.


Axial campsite.


Rubicon Express was another sponsor that made the trip out to show their support.


Randall and Matt from Rubicon Express hanging out talking shop after the trail run.


The next morning we were up around 7am for breakfast and to hold the raffle. Breakfast was again cooked up by the Rubicon Rockheads and did not disappoint! After Breakfast it was time for the prizes! Axial donated 4 total SCX10 Trail Honcho TR’s, CRAWL Magazine donated several subscriptions to their magazine. All in all there were lots of giveaway items that were well received. Overall the event was a huge success and it was great to see the effect it had on everyone there. Axial was honored to be asked to participate and equally honored to take part. We all left there with such a great feeling and look forward to supporting this event in the future.

Breakfast around the campfire.




Roy cleaning one an AX10 RTC demo rig.


Various shots from the raffle.





The four TR winners with the Axial crew.


All five of the CRAWL magazine winners

All the veterans from Vietnam era that attended the event.


All the veterans from the Desert Storm era that attended the event.


All the veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan and Haiti conflict that attended the event.


All the veterans and Matt from Rubicon Express.


All the veterans that attended the event.


That wraps up this year’s event, see you next year!

Wheelers for the Wounded (WFTW) History

Wheelers for the Wounded (WFTW) is an organization with the primary mission of providing a weekend of off-roading, camping, and in some cases fishing, to our country’s wounded military members all over the United States. This will provide them with much deserved fun and excitement as they traverse the most extreme terrain our great country has to offer in a variety of the best off-road capable vehicles ever built.
Founder Jason Havlik started WFTW in Florida in April 2009, for a Marine on his PTT (Police Transition Team) in Fallujah, Iraq lost both of his legs to an IED. Jason wanted to take his friend out for a weekend of fun. Others in the off –roading community heard of this and the program grew from there. Off-road clubs all across the United States are now hosting WFTW events in their areas. Riding with the groups gives the wounded service members an opportunity to ride along in a variety of modified off-road vehicles, which will surely bring smiles to the faces of the esteemed passengers. At nightfall, they will camp out in the most beautiful parks and forests in the country.
The secondary mission of the WFTW program is to increase awareness about our country’s men and women in uniform in the hopes others will do something to show their appreciation.

Wheelers for the Wounded Rubicon Super Event
Date: 9/17 – 9/19

Camp Location: Eldorado National Forest, South Fork Camp Ground

Event Organizers: Kevin Carey, Dan Hiney
Pirate 4×4 event video promotion at the 15:10 mark http://www.pirate4x4.com/tv/live11.php

Selected 4×4 Clubs participating: Rubicon Rockheads, Pirates of the Rubicon, Norcal Crawlers.

Sponsors: Axial, Crawl Magazine, CAL 4Wheel, Rubicon Express, TLCA/Rubithon, 4WD Mechanix, Method Motorsports, Northstar Engineering, Nor –Cal Mobility

4 x 4 Trail: The Rubicon Trail

Rubicon Trail History
The Rubicon/McKinney Road in Northern California crosses the Rubicon River at one point close to Lake Tahoe. Early settlers named the Rubicon River after its counterpart in Italy – a small river 150 miles north of Rome. The Rubicon/McKinney Road was established in the 1800′s as a stage coach road between Georgetown and Lake Tahoe mainly to serve two resort hotels at Wentworth Springs and Rubicon Springs. After the hotels went out of business and the road deteriorated it was picked as home for the first Jeepers Jamboree in 1953. Since then it has gained international recognition and is considered the Mecca for fourwheelers.