Initial Impressions: Bezgar’s HP161S 4WD Brushless RC Truck Seems Like a Solid Deal
For those more interested in air time than lap times, this budget brand has hobby shops worried
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I started in the radio-controlled hobby during the golden age, the mid-80s, and it seemed like Santa’s elves were cranking out nothing but Tamiya Frogs and Hornets to fill the boredom-gap between the waning Atari 2600 and the debut of the NES. In those days, there was a chasm between cars sold in specialty hobby shops and in your average toy store. That trend continued until very recently with a huge selection of cars on Amazon that look to upset the market by offering big performance at a fraction of the price.
And one of those companies, Bezgar, sent me a brushless basher truck to see how it measures up to the hobby-quality brands I already own.
What Is It?
The HP161S is a 1:16 scale 4WD stadium truck, which is also called a basher. Most trucks in this category are either 1:10 or even 1:8 scales, meaning they are substantially bigger. The Bezgar is 11 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 5 inches high. A 1:10 is roughly the same ratio but 18 inches long and 1:8 scale models are nearly 2 feet bumper-to-bumper.
Just looking at the spec sheet, it seems like a bargain. A brushless motor, 3S lithium-polymer battery, completely metal drivetrain including CVD axles, cooling fan, LED lights, ball bearings, oil-filled shocks, and all the stuff you expect from a car you’d buy from a hobby shop for twice the price.
It all comes packed in a box small enough it wouldn’t hold my shoes, but it has everything you need to get running. The controller looks just like what you get from Traxxas or HPI, but once you get it in your hands it feels like it’s built to just a slightly smaller scale. My hands are on the larger side, and while it feels a little strange, it still feels like it’ll work. That’s something I’ll let you know in the longer review a little further down the road.
My Expectations May Have Been Wrong
I’ll admit, after years of buying cars at hobby shops, I didn’t have high expectations going into this, but I am legitimately surprised. The plastic quality might be a little bit less than I’m used to, but seems up to the task. The suspension is smooth and there’s plenty of travel. It feels a little oversprung, but I have to remember this is meant for big air at skate parks, not setting lap times. The springs themselves feel like they’re too thin of a gauge and they’re uncoated, but that’s a quibble that can be remedied for a couple of bucks. Also, there’s no camber adjustment, but again, that’s the racer in me talking.
So overall, this is a nice package, not it’s good for the price, but legit nice.
There are a few concerns that long-time RCers will be concerned with, but not so much amateurs. One, you’re looking at that weird hump-back hardcase battery pack and wondering if Bezgar has somehow managed to make it proprietary. And that is a Dean’s connector coming off the ESC, so that’s good. The size seems a bit off, and I don’t have a 3S 1100mah battery around to see if it fits, but if you’re the kind of person that wants to use your own batteries, you just need to find a different way to strap a different battery down.
Second, in the past, the biggest downfall of cars sold through regular retailers was a lack of repairability and parts. Bezgar, however, offers a full selection of parts on its website and a few selected parts on Amazon, which is a good move.
I drove this enough to make it work and first impression? It’s crazy-fast. I will be doing a longer review in a few weeks after I’ve put some frequent flier miles on it. But I don’t foresee having to buy any replacement parts, though I may order something just to see what kind of downtime you can expect ordering directly from Bezgar.
I might also see how tunable it is because that’s all part of the hobby. More is coming.