Racing a dirt bike for 24-hours is not for the faint-hearted. Nor is it a forgiving testing ground for a motorcycle or a rider with a suspect knee. Jamie Banks from Lee’s Spot On Motorcycles in South Australia proved that with careful motorcycle choice and some racing smarts that you can race against the perceived odds and cross the finish line with a very respectable result.
Banks lined up for his seventh South Australian 24-Hour Reliability Trail with a blown anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and for the first time he was riding a Sherco 300 SEF Factory edition. Banks surprised many, including himself by finishing fourth outright.
“The fourth-place result was a bit of a surprise to be honest,” said Banks. “I’m on a waiting list for a knee reconstruction because I have a blown ACL so I’m pretty happy with the result.”
Despite the knee injury and minimal experience with the Sherco, Banks’ impressive 24-Hour race result has him signing the praises of the 300 SEF.
“I’ve never owned a European bike before and to be honest I was a sceptic,” Banks explained. “I test rode one a while ago and really liked it and thought I would try one in the 24-Hour. The bike was awesome. I’ve done the 24 seven-times, and this was the only time I have never had to touch the bike with the tools. Not even to adjust the chain. The Sherco is so light and nimble and didn’t beat me up. It’s a very easy bike to ride. In the tricky sections I flicked to the soft map and in the open sections I went into the hard map and it worked really well. The suspension was perfect. It’s totally stock, other a set of lights for the night riding, a set of mousse tubes and a B&B aluminium bash plate Now I wouldn’t buy anything other than a Sherco.”
The infamous South Australian 24-Hour Reliability Trial tests rider and their machines covering over 800km that includes 48 competitive stages in a 24-hour period. Starting and finishing in Eudunda, riders face four laps of road, dirt track and unpredictable off-road terrain in the competitive stages. Riders are not allowed any outside assistance and must perform all running repairs themselves with the provisions they carry.