LIKE THE DAKAR ONLY MUDDIER!
SO YOU WANT TO BE A
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...