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Unbelievable RC

Tamiya Mad Bull

tamiya mad bull

Summary

  • Model #:58205
  • Gallery: View
  • Released: 1997
  • Prebuilt: No
  • Category: Buggies
  • Chassis: DT-01
  • Scale: 1/10
  • Use: Offroad
  • Style: 2WD buggy
  • Config: RR
  • Driveline: Gearbox
  • Body: ABS
  • Finished body: No
  • Susp. front: Single swingarm
  • Susp. rear: Solid transaxle

Photo gallery samples

Visit the full Tamiya Mad Bull gallery for more photos.

JANG's Impressions

I wanted a Tamiya Mad Bull from the first time I saw one in a Tower Hobbies catalog when I was very new to the hobby. It has that uniquely Tamiya appeal to it that just grabs your attention and attempts to hypnotize you into buying it. It's not just any old buggy with disproportionately large tires, no. There's something else about it. Something indescribable. It's je ne sais quoi in the purest form!

The slightly modified Grasshopper II body, with the front trimmed to clear the shock tower and the body mounts moved a bit, keeps the center of the Mad Bull looking slim and sleek. The moderately long front arms with laid-down shocks and the clean lines of the transaxle tubes, unencumbered by vertical shock mounts, set the Lunchbox wheels & tires off far from the core business section. To me it looks like a high-speed lunar rover as envisaged by LEGO or maybe Playmobil.

Once you get past the amazing goodness of the Mad Bull, though, you start to realize that it's a dreadfully awful piece of kit, in its own way. The big, thick, heavy tires and the almost completely offset wheels they ride on provide all manner of leverage on the suspension, placing more strain on parts than they're really designed to handle. The steering setup, which comes partially pre-assembled, looks like it has pretty good geometry, with the links parallel to the arms at rest and very similar in length. Then you compress the suspension and realize an ungodly amount of bump-steer toe-in, thanks to the front arms being of the single-jointed swing-arm style with full camber gain/loss through the range of motion like the rear end of an old VW Beetle. When driving over bumps & small jumps, the two front tires basically do whatever they please, whenever they please. You can guide them, sure, but you can't really control them.

I love the Mad bull, and despise it. More so the former, though. What else can I say?

Video

Note that you can click the video a second time to view it full-size on YouTube.

Build

Unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of building this particular kit -- I purchased it from the original owner, who built it, but never drove it.