Needs further development
The biggest issue on the rally build, in racing conditions, were the AS clamps. I was very apprehensive of over-tightening the handlebar clamps as the base material is plastic, and it’s very easy to strip the threads. I tightened them as much as I dared, but the clamps would still move during racing. The upside was that they would for the most pare rest on the light cowl of the 500. Without the support, they would definitely have been on the fender next. However, hitting something bigger would regularly fling them up, off the edge of the cowl, so I needed to push them back down every now and then. Having said that, I love the AS clamps and with a bit of modification in the form of something to add friction between the aluminium of the handle bar and the plastic of the clamps should do the trick. An even better solution would be to drill out the threads and install a set of threaded steel sleeves on the clamps for a higher torque on the clamp bolts.
I was running a 13:50 final drive, which yields a 150 kmh fully open on the top gear on the 500 EXC which is more than enough for my rally endeavors. Having said that, I’d probably switch to a taller final drive next time, as the first gear is pretty much useless. Maybe a 14:50 at minimum. In the mountains I’d say the 13:50 is my favourite.
It probably comes as no surprise, that rally is much faster than enduro. Although cruising speeds during expeditions regularly go up to 120-130 kmh, there is rarely a need to alternate between fully open and full braking. I found that during racing conditions braking into corners is done later and harder, which calls for more braking power. In my case, the bike will be fitted with a Moto-Master 270 mm floating brake disc and adaptor for the OEM callipers.
From a general functionality perspective, I will add a F2R Rally Power Box under the headlight cowl, with connectors and blind plugs for all accessories required in rally, m enduro and expedition use. It will make switching between configurations much quicker and without soldering or having a large number of unprotected connectors.
Finally, the aluminium wing, holding the Garmin Montana was vibrating more than I’d like, so I think a brace of sorts would be a good idea in the next version of Jon’s AS rally plate. Having said that, the plate works really well, especially considering that it is just bent, and holds no welding seams.