So what turns a trail bike into a rally weapon?
“You need fuel range, and the standard seven-litre tank isn’t doing that. The AJP has its fuel tank under the seat so we fabricated a new sub-frame, using box section alloy and with sheet alloy, gusseted for strength, infilled it to create a 15 litre tank, although we could make that up to 19 litres if we wanted. But with a 250cc motor we’ve already achieved a massive range.”
Fabrications such as rear tanks applied to enduro bikes typically require a rerouting of the exhaust and that’s been the case here. So now the AJP has a hand-fabricated under-slung rally type exhaust with massive Doma rally muffler – massive but still louder than stock. But as Moly explained, being able to use a bigger diameter pipe and making that pipe longer helped boost the AJP’s power. Which is needed, as with about 27bhp (claimed) it’s a fair few horses short of the likes of a KTM 250EXC-F.
Next comes the panel of navigation aids, known in the business as the ‘rally tree’. It looks big and bulky but Moly assures us it weighs little more than a kilo or two so has almost no effect on the handling. The bracketry attaches to a couple of lugs welded onto the headstock and holds the road book, an ICO (electronic computer, speedo, trip meter etc) and a CAP repeater (an electronic compass, as we understand). Despite all the extra electronics the AJP needs no upgrade on its electrical output; the lights are LED and so draw very little and the rest of the kit draws barely much more – the wonders of modern technology. We must admit, we’re kind of ‘at sea’ with all that tech, but we understand the concept of switches, and the AJP has a switch for the ignition, another for the navigational equipment and a third for the lighting.
After that comes only a minor tweak to the suspension – a Wilbers spring fitted to the standard Sachs shock to deal with the extra weight of the fuel tank. The Marzocchi USD forks are completely standard.
“That’s all it needs, everything else is more than up to scratch.”
“And I love riding it,” says Moly. “With only around 27 horsepower yes, you rev it – pin it, really – but it goes, more than enough to surprise quite a few riders. And it handles so well, it’s stunning. The bike is quite short so it can steer really quick, yet it’s stable enough to go full speed without the need for a steering damper. I think the extra weight of the rally kit holds it down better.
“As you see it, it’s not finished. I was going to run like it is with just a screen, but now it’s done I’m not satisfied, so I’ll have a full rally fairing fitted on it soon.”