The HPI Baja 1:5 scale line from HPI Racing is truly a big dog for the big boys – and not just because of its large price tag but because of its physical size and big engine power.
Tail of the Tape:
The HPI Baja 5B is solidly designed and engineered. This large scale vehicle weighs in at around 21 earth pounding pounds. With measurements of 32 inches long (817mm), 19 inches wide (480mm) and 10 inches (255mm) high, this monster towers over 1:10 and 1:8 scale RC vehicles!
The HPI Baja 5B is a Ready to Run (RTR) vehicle. When you get your Baja 5B home and open the box you will find everything you need to run your vehicle (with the exception of batteries for the radio and gasoline of course). What is required of you is that you remove the vehicle from the box, do some very minor assembly, insert the batteries, fill the tank with 2-cycle gasoline and go! Depending on your physical location (altitude, air temperature and humidity) you may need to do some fine “tweaking” of the engine to get top power however; this engine is much like the one on your gas powered line trimmer (weed eater). If you own a gas powered line trimmer, blower or other small engine yard tool, you know you don’t have to spend a lot of time tuning the engine each day – you just pull the starter and go!
Maintenance and Repair:
As with any RC vehicle maintenance WILL be required. The faster they are, the harder they crash. One of the features I really like about the HPI Baja 5B is that many item are mounted with clips. Items like the roll cage, body, gear case and other items are mounted to the vehicle with clips providing easy removal for maintenance, repair and cleanup after a day of hard core running.
The HPI Baja 5B is a 2 wheel drive vehicle and it handled like a 2 wheel drive vehicle. The 5B appears to be well balanced and offers good handling characteristics. For a driver who is use to a 4 wheel drive vehicle, it may seem to over steer (especially on the exit of turns under power) but this is just how a 2 wheel drive vehicle drives. With some practice, drifting around a turn, full throttle and turning right to go left will just become second nature.
The HPI Baja 5B and SS come with a 23cc 2 cycle gasoline engine pre-installed. The drive train includes hardened steel differentials designed to take the abuse of the large 2 cycle engine. While vented brakes are standing by to arrest the forward momentum and bring your Baja to a reliable stop when commanded to do so! The included radio has a built in fail-safe system to help prevent a run-a-way 21 pound rocket while the adjustable suspension allows you to adjust the ride height for low, fast corner hugging rides or high, bump and jump absorbing excitement.
Now that I have pointed out the parts of the Baja that I like, let’s look at some of the things I don’t like.
This is a big, heavy vehicle that needs big heavy suspension parts. Those parts are absent. If you run your Baja off road and hard, you will be replacing broken upper and lower control arms. My suggestion is to buy a set to have on hand because it is not a matter of “if” you will need them but “when”. I also noticed the gear mesh at the spur gear must be watched. If not maintained the spur gear will be consumed! Though I have not personally experienced the following problems, I have been told they exist.
Found this image and had to share. Just demonstrating the durability of the Baja. Thank you to vgracing.com.
Shock shafts become bent. I assume this is caused when the A-arm goes south and the shock is forced into an unnatural angle. I was also told the clutch bell can wear out and the pin holding the pinion gear in place can break.
The mentioned parts are not overly expensive and they are items I tend to keep in my field box along with the tools to replace them at the track. If your luck is like mine, the parts like to come apart early in the day rather than during my last run when I am ready to go home. I don’t want to spend my time securing parts when I could be racing!
Youtube is full of videos of the HPI 5B. Take a look for yourself at a 5B in action!