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Axial Yeti XL review Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Let's talk about the Axial Yeti XL.


What is it?
According to Axial, the Yeti XL is part of a new category called "Monster Buggy". Here is what Axial says:

The Axial Yeti XL™ Monster Buggy - a new category, a new frontier, a new dimension. From the beginning of the concept through the design phase, we drew upon our brand philosophy to develop and deliver something different to the R/C monster truck arena. Monster trucks are known for bashability, so we jumped head first into the segment by creating a vehicle with insane brushless power along with features that would allow it to withstand the abuse that comes with the territory. From the outset, the goal of maintaining brand heritage was a priority. Our research and development team took those traits and attributes, mixed them with the Axial design ethos which is heavily rooted in full size rock racing, and developed what could be considered the next level in R/C monster truck design.

My take is that it is a combination of an 1/8-1/6 scale buggy crossed with a monster truck. Let's face it, this is a whole new beast to contend with for the R/C world. As far as I know it's the first large IFS and SRA vehicle available. In our scale terms think of it as an XC on crack, meth, and a personality disorder all in one! It's a hell of a thing!!!

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What does it do?
Well, that's a good question. It does whatever the hell it wants! With a rig of this size with the screaming banshee power that it has, there isn't much that it can't do. Obviously with both front and rear open diffs it's not going to be the best crawler. And with the Castle Creations 2200KV 4-pole Vanguard XL brushless motor with the Vanguard AE-4 XL ESC providing the all that power I have noticed that it's a little twitchy with the low speed minor throttle inputs. That could be either all the banshee's just trying to escape or the fact that I'm used to far slower crawlers where the full throttle range is used for moving at a walking pace to moving at a slower walking pace. So, what does it do? It's goes like hell, that's what it do!!!

What's new?
Well, the simple answer is...everything! The Yeti XL is a completely new from the ground up. New chassis, new driveline, new category, it's all new.

But what's new that's worth noting?
Ah, well there are a few things that I think are worth noting. First is the abundance of CVJ's or Continuously Variable Joints. Normally you see CVJ's on the front of large rigs due to their efficiency and durability but axial has thrown an extra set in on the Yeti XL. The rear driveshaft is now a CVJ rather than what we're used to seeing with an output shaft to which the driveshaft is bolted. According to Axial this set up results in less slop, increased surface area connection at the joint, and Captured cross pin design eliminates older set screw design for more durability and easy maintenance.

They also use a CVJ on propshaft to the front axle! So by my count that is 5 CVJ's on the Yeti XL

Axial has also introduced a new 2 speed transmission with high and low gears. The truck comes equipped as a single speed with the high gear installed. The two speed component can be purchased separately. I could see this trickling down into other vehicles in the future.

Axial also provides harden steel CNC cut metal gears in both front and rear diffs for extra strength and durability.


What's it like to drive?
That really depends on what you're used to driving. If you're used to slow high torque crawlers then the Yeti XL is going to be like stepping out of your Yugo and into a McLaren P1. You're going to have to learn how to handle all that power and control the throttle. But if you're used to fast brushless setups then you won't have much of a learning curve. You'll just have to find terrain the fully exploits all the capability of the Yeti XL. The Yeti XL will be excellent fun at your local track as well as being a blast on any trail you find.

Any issues?
Nothing significant at this moment, but if you've watched my videos you'll note that I mentioned two things that I've noticed after two runs. The battery/esc leads could possibly get caught by the front wheels. For this I think a well placed zip-tie will solve this issue so I'm not so concerned with this. The other being that slight twisting I've seen in the rear driveshaft. At this point it is extremely slight and could possibly just be a manufacturing defect but it's something I'll have to monitor as I run.

Should you buy it?
That is between you and your wallet or significant other. At $699.99 MSRP the Axial Yeti XL ain't cheap. But you do get a lot for your money if you factor in the brushless set up, all metal gear servo, 2.4ghz 3-ch receiver, 2-ch transmitter, and the high end parts that come installed.

Final thoughts?
It's still early in my life with a Yeti XL living in my house so right now it's been civil and obedient although it has exhibited some wild personality traits that may make my live more...ah...interesting. We'll just have to see as time goes on, but if the Yeti XL starts trying to eat my kids or hump my cat I may have to do something drastic. But until that happens I'm going to simply drive the hell out of it and have fun! :happybounce:

Specs:
Length:____________25.75in (654mm)

Width:_____________16.3in (414mm)

Height:_____________11.10in (282mm)

Wheelbase:__________18.5in (470mm)

Ground Clearance:_____2.48in (63mm)

Weight:______________12.75lbs (5.78kg)

Motor:________________Brushless 2200KV 4 Pole Electric Motor

Radio:_________________AX-3 2.4GHz transmitter

Servos:________________Tactic TSX45, 151 oz-in

ESC:___________________Vanguard AE-4 XL

 
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