The AJS Regal Raptor motor is old hat, no two ways about it. The 250cc Regal is OK in modern traffic but soon runs out of steam near 60mph and the smaller motorcycles are simply too slow for anything but short trips around town. The gearboxes are fairly crude as well. On the upside, they’re all based on proven Honda motors from back in the day.Believe it or not, Japanese motorcycles were once like Chinese bikes; good in parts, cheap to buy, but frequently lost all their chrome in three heavy rain showers. The AJS Regal Raptor models are at the upper end of the scale in Chinese budget motorcycles, and look decently made, but you still have to wonder if these will stand the test of time, or the grind of daily commuting.
Now here’s a surprise, the AJS Regal Raptor 250 actually handles quite respectably, with soft-ish suspension but no different from what you might expect on a mainstream 250cc cruiser motorcycle. The frame appears strong, the motorcycle steers nicely, especially at low speeds and the dinky 15-inch rear wheel doesn’t cause any wobbly moments on the open road. The smaller 125 and 50cc variants are also novice-friendly.
For two grand, the AJS Regal Raptor 250 makes a decent workhorse and looks the best made Regal badged bike of the range. The AJS Regal Raptor DD125E is reasonable value, but at 1500 quid you could do better in terms of 125cc practical transport if all you want is a commuter motorcycle.Basic switchgear and clocks, wooden brakes, plus what appear to be 70s ‘Comstar’ type wheels, don’t help the AJS Regal Raptor win converts to budget biking. On the other hand, the seating is good and new models like the Harley clone 250 9B model suggest the factory is trying to make their motorcycles look like really good value for money.