Rounds five and six of the 2018 Australian Off-Road Championship saw the inclusion of the 125 Amateur Cup for the very first time. The two-day enduro proved the perfect platform for former multi-time Australian champion Ben Grabham to enjoy the Sherco 125 SE-R who has been a vocal advocate for the new amateur class.
Grabham was a lightning-fast 125cc enduro pilot back in his heyday of enduro racing, having won the 2003 Australian Four Day Enduro outright on a 125. Grabham went on to enjoy an illustrious racing career having notched up two A4DE outright wins, multiple AORC titles and numerous desert racing accolades including the Finke Desert Race, Hattah Desert Race and Australasian Safari.
Grabham retired from full-time racing in 2013 but it was obvious his passion for racing and enjoying the thrills of a 125cc enduro bike has not left him.
“I’m old now and don’t get to race very often. It was 14 years since my last 125cc race but the introduction of the 125 class in the AORC was too enticing to knock back,” Grabham explained. “I think this will be a good class for riders coming through the ranks or for riders who want to compete in a Championship at a lesser level than the main classes. I wanted to support the class plus I knew it would be good fun. The Sherco 125 is a little ripper and had me smiling all weekend.”
Grabham placed second on both days of racing at Dungog, clearly enjoying the Sherco and the event for what will provide him with real-life content for an upcoming feature story in Australasian Dirt Bike (ADB) magazine.
“I’ll write a feature story on the 125 Amateur Cup for ADB because I think it’s a great concept for riders who want to race for fun, more-so than the serious professional classes,” Grabham continued. “Racing a 125 is a relatively low-cost form of racing and as there are just four rounds to the Amateur Cup Championship raced over two weekends it’s not a huge commitment from the competitors.”
Grabham raced the Dungog event as a guest of the Motul Pirelli Sherco Team aboard a Motorcycle Land Ballarat Sherco 125 SE-R.
“I had a ball,” Grabham concluded. “The bike was great, it just took me a while to remember how to ride a 125 properly again. The Sherco Team was unreal to be around and Motorcycle Land Ballarat were generous loaning me their bike for a weekend. You’ll be able to read all about it in an issue of ADB Magazine soon. And maybe you’ll see me race the next 125 Amateur Cup round.”
Photography: John Pearson.