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To try out the X-5 I went along to the National Indoor Finals, held at the Batley Buggy Club indoor venue.  The surface consisted of polished floor, carpet, mats and a large double jump.

In the morning I finished off the car, and mounted the receiver ariel at the rear of the car using an alloy mount.  I missed the first practice, in the second practice session I went out for the first drive of the car, It was pretty clear that the car was under-geared  (12 turn on a 17 pinion) so top speed was a bit lacking, I was also finding it very hard to do the large double, there was a small bump before the take off which was unsettling the car and the car wasn't able to get up enough speed to clear the jump.  I had plenty of crashes in this first practice but but the car held up well.

I changed the gearing by going to a 19 pinion, probably still slightly under geared but a lot better speed.  I also raised the car a little to cope with the bumps better.
The first run out was a lot better, after a few laps I got into the feel of the X-5 but it was still slow compared to other cars, it just felt sluggish like there was loads of friction (which there wasn't). I discovered the rear diff had loosened off so set that right.

run 2 was my best run, I changed to worn old mini spike tyres which gave more grip than the shiney new ones from the practice and first round.  the car was really good, I was able to throw it around the track nicely and it took the bumps and jumps perfectly, the car was still not as punchy as I like but it the handling was great.

Run 3, I changed the shocks to inside on the wishbones all round, for more grip, and put softer pink springs in place of red on the rear to try and balance the front and rear grip. Again was really good, I got up to 1st for a short while until I heard that fact over the speakers and lost my cool. I was really impressed by the car at this point, for my first race, indeed first drive of the car, it was going really well.

In the last qualifier I set off and was on great pace for about a lap before the rear diff gave way and I had barely any acceleration at all, I just played round for a few minutes thinking it was the slipper too loose.

I qualified 3rd in the E final, which isn't bad for a first go with the car and along side similar ability drivers, If i'd had more time to sort the diff and slipper settings then im sure I would have been in the final above.
 From the start I got straight into 2nd and was quite confident in being on pace to win but after a few corners I realised something wasn't right and the back end was just too loose, I think the rear diff was set a little too tight (just to be sure) and the back end was loose because of this and breaking away too much when I pushed it.
I was quite gutted as I kept slipping places when I got out of shape on the corners, the diff change (and tighten) had unbalanced the car.

Overall, I have to say despite the small problems with the rear diff (not X Factorys fault), I was really very impressed by the car.  John price is racing the car during the upcoming national series and we'll be long term testing the cars performance, and I have to say after racing the car for the first time I wish I were racing it instead of him, It really is a good car on the track, it seemed a little more direct than the XX4 from which it takes the suspension, but still very forgiving.  It handled the bumps well and flew the jumps very well indeed.
Dan Greenwood at the indoor finals


X Factory have done an awesome job with the X5, creating a top level car in their first attempt. It retains a lot of the favourable traits of the XX4 and improves things like reliability and maintenance. Its a serious racer and requires a bit of work to build but results in a free and smooth transmission.

Handling is superb, I have never driven a car with better balance in the air, it seems to go over bumps very well also with quick but predictable steering. The X-5, whilst it shares suspension components with the XX4, seems to feel a little more reactive to the driver where the XX4 felt slightly distant, hard to describe but its a personal feeling of the two cars. There is not much to put down about the X-5, I liked the build, the manual and the quality was good. The loss of a one way (centre, like the xx4) is a shame but adding a front one way to the X-5 makes up for it and X Factory have even teamed up with their UK distributor , Lesro, to offer a heavy duty one way specific for the X-5 which is a direct drop-in and saves a lot of work and time.

The quality of most components is high and a credit to the hard work X Factory have put in, the manual goes almost too far in the detail and extra tips are well documented on the website, with photos and long explanations. There is permenant access via the companys forum to the designers and experienced X-5 racers- something a lot of other companys could learn from - support is top notch and most of all friendly.

There are limits to its appeal of course, the cell arrangement, though optimal, wont be to everyones liking. The modifications required to XX4 parts are quite straight forward but take time, and again, will likely put some people off. It would be great if some or all of these 'mods' were done for you but would add to the cost. Some small details could use improvement, the rubber cell strap could look better, the fit of some parts like the rear diff cover could be slightly better also.

Overall I was dying to have another race of the X5.

Discuss the X-5 in the Forum!

Needless to say, i put a lot of effort into this review, so if you like it, let me know, thanks.

John Price race updates with the oOple review XFactory X-5

Long Term Test: John Price - Kidderminster -

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Thanks to the following for their help with the review.

This test, to this depth, would not have been possible if not for the help and support of Chazz Sinclair and the X Factory team. That said, I have tried to be fair and honest with the review, otherwise there would be no point doing it. So thanks to X Factory for the support, visit

Atomic Carbon for the much appreciated great support and the rear brace-

Chris Long for his support in supplying the Outdrive Savers, Contact chris on -

Many Thanks to the following for their help with the review: Mrs.oOple, John Price, Dan Greenwood, Chris Long, Craig Harris, Paul Rotheram, Emily Shields, Jonathan Clarke.

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