Story by JAKE STAPLETON & Photography by JEFF CROW at ADB
The Sherco is in a class of its own in terms of the riding style required to make it work. At first I found the Sherco down on power and with nervous handling capabilities. After putting in a little more seat time, I realised the reason I’d judged it so harshly was that I thought it should feel and handle like a 350cc.
The 300cc Sherco feels much more like a beefed up 250cc than a 350cc and the style required to make the bike work is in tune with this characteristic.
Once I started riding with more aggression and begun revving the engine higher, the 300 really started to perform. I soon realised that my corner speed had increased and that I was able to take a different, and often tighter, line than on any other machine. This really comes down to its incredibly agile handling.
Even though it’s a similar model of suspension, the WP kit has a completely different action to that of the Husqvarna. The shock sits very high in the stroke, which accounts for its ability to hold tight lines and really knife the front wheel through turns.
The fact that the Sherco turns on a dime means it inevitably feels a little skittish at speed. When we consider the ergos, the elephant in the Sherco closet is that this bike feels so small. Not necessarily in height but most definitely in length. The wheelbase feels shorter than anything else out there.
When trail riding through tight and technical sections the bike has an almost mountain bike like feel, which is a great attribute in tight terrain. The rest of the time it felt like the front wheel was almost below the engine. Besides the sharp handling and nervous feel at speed, this also gives the cockpit a very crowded and cramped feel.
The adjustable handlebar clamps came in handy here and the furthest position forward made things a little roomier.
The top-end of the Sherco was impressive and gave a feel similar to that of a tricked-up 250 motocrosser. I really had to remind myself to stay in a lower gear and just let the thing have its legs with a southern twist of the throttle.
Mitch also liked the top-end but found he struggled on hillclimbs due to a lack of bottom-end power.
“I just found that I wasn’t getting up the steep hills as well as I could because it just doesn’t quite have that lugging capability,” he said.
Of course this is where the 50cc less in the pot really comes into play. I think a slight change in approach to hillclimbs is required on this bike but when you consider the added benefit of a lighter and precise feel it all pretty much evens out.
The dual map ignition is an amazing feature that allows you to tone things down or leave it in fast mode.
Cam said: “I found the map switch made a big difference in the power delivery and this would be a real positive for both trail riders and racers.”
The WP 48mm fork, with matching WP shock at the rear, is quality standard kit.
Extra punch from the 303cc over its 250cc rivals without extra weight.
European build quality with attention to detail and Brembo brakes front and rear.
The Synerject fuel injection system has been specially designed for the Sherco engine.
The four-valve dual overhead cam engine features a compact block.
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