HPI released few months ago a 1/12 electric monster truck, the Wheely King. Huge tires, solid axles, 6 inches of suspension travel, a nice looking paint scheme and built with all the specifications to be an excellent crawler. However, I picked the HPI Wheely King for its monster truck capabilities and not for its crawling potential.
To be honest, I was looking for an electric monster truck that can go everywhere indoor or outdoor. Another reason why I picked the Wheely King, I want my 4 years old son to start into RC and the WK is the best way to make my son’s first RC experience a success.
The Wheely King looks realistic
Since my WK is ARR (Almost-Ready-to-Run) I had to install my own ESC, steering servo and receiver. A 27T electric motor is bolted on a nice looking purple motor plate. For few of us, a 27T motor seems a little bit slow but the Wheely King is not designed for drag racing but more designed for monster truck action and to crush everything on its way and for crawling.
All electronics are located high on the chassis to protect them from water and mud and there is plenty of room to install the ESC and receiver. The steering servo is located high between the chassis’ plates.
The HPI 27T motor provides plenty of torque.
Chassis, body and tires
The Wheely King uses a Twin Vertical Plate (TVP) plastic chassis. This gives to the WK a realistic look. The chassis is rigid and all components are sandwiched between the two plates. The battery pack goes in the rear section of the chassis and it is secured by a nice and quick released battery box’s door.
Like all bodies from HPI, the body looks nice, fits well and is well detailed.
The v-threaded Mud Thrasher tires are huge (5.3″) and are mounted on nice looking chrome wheels. There is no foam insert in the tires for maximum traction.
All the drive train components spin freely on ball bearings and no slop is present. The driveshafts are telescopic and plastic made and they seem to be tough enough to handle all the abuses of off-road action. A 21T pinion is attached to the motor and a 90T spur to the transmission. The gears are well protected by a nylon cover easily removable with 2 clips. There is no slipper clutch but HPI equipped the Wheely King’s transmission with spring-loaded clutch inside the gear box to protect all the drive train. A nice feature considering all the torque and stress the drive train will face.
In both solid axles, diffs are used. They are standard diffs with 2 spider gears, are grease filled for smooth diff action and shimmed. Dog bones are used to transfer the power to the wheels, all those components spins on bearings too!
Suspension and steering
With 6 inches of suspension travel, the Wheel King is made for off-road action and to climb everywhere. This extra long suspension travel lets the WK run over any obstacles on its way. Plastic shocks with red springs provide a plush suspension. Spacers are included to adjust ride height. At first I thought the shock oil was a little bit too thin but after few runs and jumps I found the shock oil to be perfect.
Suspension works perfectly at slow speed and it is always nice to see how the suspension absorbs every imperfection on its way. Even on rough terrain, the Wheely King never get out of shape, I’m pretty impressed!
What I liked
- Great value
- Realistic look
- Solid axles
- Can be converted into a rock crawler easily
- Ton of upgrades
What could be improved
- Antenna tube falls easily, needs to be glued
- I don’t see anything else
It did not take long after I opened the box, my son wanted the Wheely King for him and I had to report the picture session later. I finally been able to take the pictures and to install the ESC, steering servo and the receiver and then I charged an old battery pack from my electric days. Right after I adjusted the radio trims, I gave the transmitter to my son and I sat back to watch him. Just to see my son’s eyes worth the 130$ spent!
Don’t think the WK is for kids. HPI released a great electric monster truck that has excellent characteristics to be converted into a crawling machine or simple to be rided like a real monster truck. A lot of aftermarket parts are available from HPI as well as others companies.
Now I have to go, my son and I are going to spend precious good times together.