Aprilia – Madmax enduro

After I rode two years rich in events and kilometres with my Jawa, the time has come to a change it for a bigger one. Actually there was nothing wrong with the Czechoslovakian miracle, it took me everywhere and never had to put on a trailer, but I wanted a motorbike, which perhaps goes better, can go on longer journeys and does not release a thick white smoke as the smoke generator of T-72 assault tank.

So I started to look around. What kind of bike should be bought, the question arose … I knew that a inline 4 bike is out of question, because I think their sound of is hateful and all that … I don’t like sportbikes… but then what? I wanted a chopper of course, but I didn’t even have the chance to save money to buy a little chopper, because I was a full-time student at that time in the Technical University. Thus came the idea: enduro. Not too obvious at first, but is very much like a chopper bike: strong, good voice, horribly heavy-duty. Of course, a slightly different form, but at least I don’t have to worry about the “good” Hungarian roads, because of the offroad suspension.

I read a lot of ads, but in the end, a close solution presented itself. Feri, my buddy, just wanted to give up his great Aprilia Tuareg. I decided that I need that one…  Even though it was ugly white and lots of plastic items concealed the motorbike’s metal parts, but I saw in it the bike, I’ve finally managed to build.

I started at the beginning of the course, like I did all the time… I kicked everything off from it which is not necessary to go with… so the plastic body parts and all that stuff was removed. The frame, suspension and block formed a great unit together, therefore had nothing to do with it. However, I needed a new tank, something on the bike’s side and a few little things, such as first light, rear fender and all that…

So, how I have managed to get from a beautiful and fully complete Dakar motor to the homeless cross machine? With awfully lot of work and even more beer, just like before…
After the Jawa, now, I did not want to hurt the frame and the main components so I won’t have a problem on the MOT. Of course, before it was taken apart, I took care of the exam just to be safe. The base of the bike was thankfully all right. The block is a Rotax, just like what contemporary KTM and BMW bikes have had put into, a true miracle…  with belt-driven valve-train . Otherwise, it is really a very nice engine and has a terrific force despite the fact that is only 560 cc. The suspension has also been chosen quite well: reversed telescopes at the front and articulated, central spring-loaded solution on the back. The frame is strong one, the spine is the oil tank itself, so I didn’t have anything to do with them.

The kicked off plastic items had to be replaced at some levels. The old tank looked very lame without the front body part, so as the first step, I began to draw up a new tank. Of course, made of fiberglass reinforced plastic. Well, this is not that simple, because the first step is to make sample piece. For this, I carved the tank from hard polyurethane foam. I laboured with it pretty much, to have the new form of my tank. When I finally finished it, the negative form had to be made, of course, in that way that the components of the ready tank can be taken out of it easily. When I finally finished the components (actually, had to be divided into four parts, because of the production), they still had to glued together, the filling cap and taps stuck into it and it was almost done.

I kept the rear fender and the original lights, because I couldn’t figure out any better solution and it really did not looked too bad. However, needed something instead of plastic parts in the side, which hides that part under the seat, where the battery and air filter is placed. I didn’t work with it too much: I cut two triangular shaped plate, which fit there, welded a couple of nuts to the frame and it was ready.

Of course, I removed the original air filter, and replaced it with a  sport air filter, because of this, the engine sound became really brutal. Of course, performance also matters, and if I’ve had  the sport exhaust pipe, it would have been a shame to miss out.

Another critical component was missing: the head light! I think the first lamp is largely determine the character of a motorbike. I take it very seriously, only classic drop-shaped lamp can be considered. Luckily, I managed to find the right one at a salvage yard. It could have been the lamp of some Izs or some similar Soviet wonder, anyway I was satisfied with it. Only a strong bracket had to be made for it. For the first time, it wasn’t enough, because it quickly broke because of the hideous vibration caused by the engine. Well, next time I did from a thicker material: the bracket weighs two pounds itself, but endures it now!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to deal with the painting, both because springtime has come meanwhile, and I did the last semester at college, so it got the Matt Black primer layer, as usual. However, I still loved it … and that’s the point!

The bike’s character is so minimal that at my first slipping on a wet road, only the mirror broke off. Then there was no longer any excess on the machine. I managed to crash into a car on time. I crashed into to car sideways, and I have to say that the bike virtually did not had any damage. I only bent the foot-peg a little bit. Compared to that I caused a 1000 EUR property damage in the car, it was almost nothing to bend it back at home with a piece of pipe. :)

Many people said that now, it looks like I jumped straight our from the movie, MadMax, which is otherwise an excellent one… the joke is that, while this wasn’t told a thousand times, I’ve never even seen that movie. After I checked it out, I realized that it really looks like those bikes, but it doesn’t matter. Because this is a real MadMax motorbike, has no other aim than to go, but mercilessly, everywhere. It’s ugly, perhaps the painting is unassuming, no one’s willing to steal, but I love it … it has character and nothing superfluous on it, really, and that was exactly  my intention with it…

I managed to rode over two seasons with the “Mad Max”styled motorcycle, more than 15 thousand kilometers, a lot of these miles with a  passenger in the city. I went to the woods, mud and rain. It received everything, what a bike can get only from the usage.

But then in the winter of 2008-2009, it had to be taken apart anyway, to fix it a bit. Not like I had a lot of trouble with it, but there were some things to be improved on it. And of course, I experienced some defects by the usage, what I wanted to fix. Of course, now not the complete rebuilding was my aim, although I must admit, I wanted to change more things, than what was ultimately achieved, but that’s largely because I started a bit late and spring arrived.

I began the work and taken apart to the last screw. Because I love it in this way. I believe that you can spot every little mistake, if you really break down the whole bike. Then appears what seems to be broken, worn out, and then it is possible to improve the tiniest mistakes as well. The stripping is of course always easy going. I could completely dismantle a bike during three days, without any strain, so that I can even classify the parts.

Well, maybe not even have to say, but I found a couple of badly worn parts. The disc brakes deteriorated pretty roughly, just like the chain sprockets. I left a couple of screws and of course everything was covered with inches of mud and oil. The cleansing cost quite a lot of time, and only the very dirt was cleaned off. But the bottom line point is, firstly all the new parts were needed. Except the disc brake, had no problem with anything, but they’ve said over 200 EUR for it, of course, if they can even get it. Well, I thought I won’t pay that much! I nicely took off the proportions of the original, I made a nice drawing, walked to a nearby machine shop and cut it off on a water-jet cutter. Thus, it cost only the half and they did made it from stainless steel. The disc brake will no longer trouble me, I think! :)

Aside from the bike’s general renewal and rehabilitation, more than a couple of things had to be developed.

Now, not so much the look, but rather the usability was in my mind. The one thing that I never really liked and was not in use, was the original luggage rack, along with the bike’s entire rear fender. I decided not to labour more with the brackets and screws, which held the back together, but rather to extend the projection of the rear frame. At the same time I made a rear component from steel plate, which was designed to replace the back of the rear fender and holds the lamp and the license plate. This was simply welded to the stretched frame. I got a very massive back, that I could put anything on it, but do not look like something screwed additional post. Lengthening the frame gave the opportunity to solve another problem: now I can extend the seat with a couple of inches. This is important, and only because if someone sits behind me, then their ass will exactly swag off the seat, which does not bother me so much, but the passengers are trying to solve this with moving closer to me, which would be very uncomfortable for my manhood on a long term. The seat has not been completed yet, in the lack of time, but till then, I try to deliver only very thin girls!

The rear fender was actually completely transformed, changed all the plastic to steel that was welded to the frame, so no need to bother with the repairing. In addition, the bin of the accumulator under the seat could be fastened to this, so it looks a bit more ordered, and the rear suspension is now can be installed quickly, because there’s nothing in its way.

In fact, nothing’s been converted into anything, but this wasn’t the goal. Functionality formed it all. All this because I realized, though I really like a nice motorcycles, this machine will never look like the way I want, but is a lot of fun while using. I’ve never sat on a bike, that’s more fun to go with, and this would be a pity to sacrifice for only the appearance. So did it even more usable! Nevertheless, I think it’s extremely unique and is there a kind of simple brutality in its appearance. Mad Max, the road warrior.