Story by MITCH LEES at ADB
THE FRENCH MARAUDER
A new era for Sherco has arrived, but just how will it go as a reliable bush steed?
The aim with any long-term test bike is to assess the longevity of that particular model. Testing a machine for more than six months gives ADB a chance to live with bikes like any paying customer, and experience the joys and frustrations associated with ownership. It also lets us uncover any gremlins we do not pick up on a two-day launch ride.
This year I’ll be swinging off the Sherco 300 SEF-R until about June, when I’ll be trading up for a 450 SEF-R fresh off the boat from France.
If I’m being honest, spending a year charging through the bush on the more familiar brands has not tickled my fancy as much as the opportunity to ride a Sherco has.
This is not because I don’t like those brands, I love ’em, but because they have already established themselves as super reliable, and excellent performers.
I loved my FE501 ’Berg last year and found it hard to fault, while the Kawasaki KX250F I had before that also never let me down. The Sherco 300 SEF-R, on the other hand, will be a relatively foreign experience for me.
In the five years I’ve been working at ADB I’ve never been given the opportunity to test a Sherco over a long period of time. The closest I’ve come was the Golden Beach Six-Hour (ADB #422) when we put the two 300s (2T and 4T) through one of the most gruelling races on the Vico calendar. So I’m keen to see what breaks, what wears out quicker than normal, if anything needs modifying or replacing and, of course, what I really love about the Sherco 300 SEF-R.
My first ride was about 45 minutes away from ADB HQ in Oakleigh, Vic. This is the closest riding we can find to Melbourne so I’m not going to tell you exactly where, but if you want to know send me an email and I’ll be happy to oblige.
It is mainly tight singletrack with a few techo rock climbs and log hops (as can be seen in the pic). It is not a secret spot by any means, but it seems relatively unknown as the trail is often overgrown.
There were no surprises in its first outing. It still felt like one of the best handling machines in its class, as it did at Golden Beach, and the power was impressive for a 300cc four-stroke. The one thing that did grab my attention was the map switch, located on the handlebar.
As I was getting tired towards the end of the ride I decided to switch to the dull map, which made it a little less responsive and consequently easier to ride.
On the aggressive map it was too lively for my tiring body. I’ll be interested to see if the two maps end up really feeling that different once I get used to it.
That’s it for now.
Sherco has undertaken a major overhaul of its enduro range so I’m excited to see if it will be able to cement its name alongside the more established brands. I’ve got a bunch of riding lined up at Kinglake, Vic with Isle of Man winner Cam Donald, so I’ll make sure to give him a go and let you know what he thinks!Click here for the full article