Compared to the stock X-Maxx tire, the Badlands tread has much
wider lug spacing and a more “moto” knobby design instead of scale-ish interlocking tread shapes. I had no complaints with the stock tires’
off-road traction, but the Badlands seem to work better—especially
if you measure performance by how well the tires throw roost.
Those big ol’ knobs move a lot of soil, if you like to drive punched. If
you prefer to keep things a little more under control, the Badlands
oblige nicely with good side grip to match their forward thrust, and
they offer a highly predictable feel. I suspect a big part of that is
the tires’ resistance to “ballooning” at high rpm. The stock X-Maxx
tires expand significantly due to centrifugal force at speed, but the
Badlands only grow slightly. The thicker rubber and extra hardware
of the Pro-Loc system does come with a weight penalty of 10 oz. per
wheel/tire combo, and due to the laws of physics, there is an effect on
performance—but not one that I could feel. The X-Maxx still felt like a
cross between a monster truck and a funny car, and the extra rotating
mass didn’t seem to bother the suspension or drivetrain. If anything,
it may have contributed extra “gyro effect” to improve handling. Just a
theory. Not theoretical: The Pro-Loc system works. Nothing is peeling
those tires off, and I bet you could even remove every other screw and
not notice a difference in tire-holding power.
I opted for a set of unmounted Badlands MX43 tires and Impulse rims so
that I could get the full Pro-Loc experience and report back to you guys,
but you can also get the combo tested here assembled for you by Pro-Line. You’ll spend an extra $15 or so, which isn’t bad based on my experience going the DIY route. Mounting the tires on the rims isn’t hard, but it
is time-consuming. Each tire is held in place by forty 3x20mm screws, so
that’s 160 in total to put a full set of these sneakers on your X-Maxx. You
definitely want to get a power driver for this job! The Badlands slip over
the rims like any other tire (albeit with more finger and thumb strength
required), then the tire’s bead is pressed into the rim. Pro-Line’s You Tube
how-to video shows the tires being installed “dry,” but when I did the
same, I wasn’t able to get the bead to fully seat in the rim. “No problem,”
I thought. “I’ll just let the bead-lock ring push the tire into place when I
tighten the screws.” Nope. Instead of squeezing the bead into the rim, the
screw heads distorted the plastic bead-lock ring and passed right through.
The fix was easy: I just sprayed the tire beads and the rim’s mounting
channel with Simple Green to lubricate them, and the beads seated easily
without having to use the bead-lock rings as a press. After seating the
beads with my thumbs, all I had to do was place the bead-lock rings onto
the sidewalls and fire in all the screws. I followed a crisscross pattern to
ensure even tightness and stopped tightening when the screws were
snug. The Pro-Loc design doesn’t rely on squishing force from the rings to
hold the tires, so there’s no benefit to socking the screws down extra tight.
In fact, doing so may cause the rings to distort. Snug is all you need.
2017 Ford F-150 raptor Clear Body
Like all Pro-Line bodies, the big Raptor
shell includes window masks, decals, and
overspray film to help painting go smoothly.
Bonus: Pro-Line also trims the body for you,
so you can go straight to mounting after the
paint dries. I used a single can of Duratrax
paint to do the job, and the X-Maxx’s
quick-release hardware bolts into place
just like factory—with one slight mod: The
holes in the rear window that allow the rear
supports to pass through had to be enlarged a couple of millimeters
for proper fit. No biggie. As you can see, the body looks good even
in just a single color, and the included decals dress it up nicely. I do
wish there were decals for the window moldings though, which go a
long way to making a body look “finished.” That said, it’s hard to ding
Pro-Line for not including them since no one else does either. After
only” photos, I
just dragged a
black paint pen
around the win-
dows to simulate
a molding. It did
The Raptor body is a big, blank “canvas” for custom paint, but we
shot the body in solid red to show what you’ll get with just a single-color paint job and the included decals.
Pro-Line does the trimming for you (fist pump),
and a full set of decals
includes grille, lights, tailgate, and logo details.
Pro-Line’s got another winner with the Impulse
rim and Badlands tire Pro-Loc combo. The quality is top-notch, the setup delivers improved
performance, and the Pro-Loc system is
definitely not going to let go of those tires. And
since there’s no glue involved, you can reuse
the Impulse rims when it’s time for a new set
of shoes (or if you want to try a different tread
style—hopefully, Pro-Line will offer more tires
with the Pro-Loc bead).
And the price? Well, you get what you pay
for, and that means going Pro-Loc ain’t cheap.
The price for one pair of mounted Impulse/
Badlands is a nearly enough to cover a full set
of the stock X-Maxx tires. Is it worth it? If all
that the Pro-Line setup did was look different,
it would be hard to justify the cost. But there’s
a lot more here than looks: The Badlands offer
improved performance with reduced ballooning, there are no glue joints to fail, and you won’t
have to toss your rims when it’s time for new
tires. Worth it.—Peter Vieira
Here’s the Raptor with fancier paint. Sharp truck!