It’s pretty clear that AJ Jones is following his father Jesse Jones’ footsteps of being competitive winners in off road racing. As you can imagine, AJ spent a good portion of his childhood watching his father race and naturally found himself racing UTVs. In 2017 AJ started his phase as a co-driver for his dad while absorbing the fundamentals of off-road racing. In just a year AJ transitioned from being co-driver to pilot and added rally raid to his lineup of motorsports. Many successful races later and now in 2021 marks AJ’s second year at Dakar. He returns with the perfect vehicle for a race like Dakar— a Monster Energy Can-Am Maverick X3.
During the 12-stage rally raid of Dakar, the Monster Energy Can-Am team have been using two key UTV Series wheels: the quintessential 401 beadlock wheels and the ultra-lightweight 409 wheels with Method Race Wheels’ proprietary Bead Grip® technology. AJ’S Can-Am Maverick X3 utilizes a 900cc Rotax engine. The cockpit has been stripped and only left with the essentials to race such as the OMP steering wheel and bucket seats combo as well as the AiM digital cluster complete with a homemade wiring harness and PDM panel. When it comes to suspension it has Maxi Ohlins shocks with 24 inches of travel in the front and 25 in the rear. Following the ASO rule it has stock pick up points with modified arms and stock uprights. A special equipment survival pack is also required by ASO that includes water, blankets, a manual compass, flares, a flare gun, and tow straps.
At the time of writing this article, AJ should be finished with Stage 6 of the Dakar Rally and sitting in third place in the general ranking. You can learn more about the 409 wheels and also catch up with all of our 2021 Dakar coverage by clicking the banners below.
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