LIKE THE DAKAR ONLY MUD­DIER!

SO YOU WANT TO BE A

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - By Michael Guy MCN SPORTS EDI­TOR

You don’t HAVE to sell your house to do a rally! While do­ing the Dakar may cost around £50,000 a new se­ries in the UK sees com­pet­i­tive rally races for sen­si­ble cash. MCN had a crack.

Chal­lenge may be a long way The UK’S All Ter­rain Rally

but it’s an ever-grow­ing from the South Amer­i­can Dakar,

for se­ri­ous adventure scene and the place to come

he 2016 Dakar is over and while it was another epic af­fair, it wasn’t a good year for the Brits with just two starters and no fin­ish­ers. The stats don’t make for great read­ing and given the ap­par­ent lack of in­ter­est from UK shores it would be easy to think that the ap­petite for Rally rid­ing is at an all time low, but on the con­trary, it’s alive and kick­ing.

While it’s a mil­lion miles away from the in­ten­sity and sever­ity of Dakar, the All Ter­rain Rally Chal­lenge runs events through­out the UK and it’s boom­ing. With en­tries of over 200 rid­ers at some events made up of fu­ture Dakar hope­fuls through to novice trail rid­ers, the scene is buoy­ant and looks set to ex­pand fur­ther with a se­ries of planned full road book nav­i­ga­tional events in 2016.

In 2015, cu­ri­ous as to what ral­ly­ing in the UK was all about, MCN threw them­selves in to the scene com­pet­ing as a rookie in five of these na­tional events.

TWeapon of choice

Like most en­duros and ral­lies, KTM are the pre­dom­i­nant force. Not only are they con­sis­tently win­ning – 15 con­sec­u­tive Dakar crowns to their credit speak for them­selves - they also flood the en­try list in terms of num­bers and re­main the undis­puted weapon of choice.

So I need to ex­plain the de­ci­sion to com­pete on the lesser-spot­ted Por­tuguese AJP PR5 in my ef­fort to ruf­fle a few or­ange feath­ers.

I first came into con­tact with AJP when I was in­vited to test their range­top­ping 250cc four-stroke en­duro, the AJP PR5. I headed into the depths of Wales on a par­tic­u­larly cold, wet and windy day and to be hon­est I wasn’t ex­pect­ing much. But as soon as I ar­rived I dis­cov­ered that this was a far more se­ri­ous project than my blink­ered brain had given it credit for. In front of me was a mini Dakar bike com­plete with big fuel tank and road book tower.

Af­ter a day rid­ing I was se­ri­ously im­pressed by the Rally Moto-pre­pared ma­chine. It was lack­ing in power, but com­pen­sated for it with sweet han­dling and bal­ance. This made it an im­pres­sively quick and ef­fec­tive bike in the real world, es­pe­cially for a rider of my level who would not have the skill or fit­ness to get the most out of a pow­er­ful 450cc en­duro bike for any length of time.

Hav­ing clicked with the bike’s cre­ator, Mark ‘Moly’ Mo­lineux – a former Bri­tish En­duro front-run­ner, I was of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to race the bike in 2015. This is how the sea­son went...

Por­tuguese AJP up­set the KTM or­ange or­der

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