There’s no denying Sherco’s prowess in enduro and trail markets and now Sherco is breaking ground on the big stage of desert racing in Australia. Recent achievements at the Finke and Hattah Desert Races have proven Sherco is up to the task of taking on the biggest and the best.
Victorian racer Sam Davie’s assault on the Tatt’s Finke Desert Race was prematurely cut short due to injury but prior to that, Davie was putting his Sherco 450SEF-R in the thick of the action. Davie qualified 11th in a field of 410 riders and comfortably held down 8th place with just 20km to go on day one of the race until disaster struck.
“Sam Davie proved the 450SEF-R is capable in the desert,” said Dave Suter, mechanic for the Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team. “Sam’s bike ran a stock engine. He altered the gearing from 14/50 to 15/46 for the higher speeds of Finke. The bike was fitted with the Sherco long-range fuel tank which holds 12-litres. He used around 10-litres every 80km.
“Suspension is a big factor in the way your bikes handles on any ride but at Finke it’s vital to have a good setup,” Suter continued. “Sam is a big Lad so we fitted heavier fork and shock springs supplied from Chad’s Off-Road Setups and we dialled in the clickers to suit. We didn’t re-valve at all.”
Davie fitted a number of components for comfort including a custom seat, MSC Moto steering damper and foam grips to help with the harsh desert conditions.
More recently Wil Ruprecht raced a Motul Pirelli Sherco 450SEF-R to the Under-19 Class victory and 20th place Outright at the Hattah Desert Race. Ruprecht’s bike is the same machine he races in the Australian Off-Road Championship.
“We ran the large tank on Wil’s bike at Hattah which provided excellent fuel range,” Suter explained. “We were able to cover two laps of the 38km track between fuel stops, using around 10.5-litres. We ran a TopLine seat cover, StegPegz and altered the gearing to 15/50. We used a UiFilter ProComp2 air filter, Akrapovic exhaust system and Acerbis hand guards along with an MSC Moto steering damper. The bike was fast and solid.”
While some say the desert is the domain of large capacity bikes, Sherco Australia’s Stephen Tuff raced a Sherco 300SEF-R in the Seniors class for riders aged 40-44 years at the 2016 Finke Desert Race. Tuff placed 18th from 38 in class and enjoyed the 303.7cc capacity machine.
“The 300SEF-R is an easy bike to ride and that is why I chose it,” Tuff explained. “There was plenty of power to ride as fast as I dared. The compact size of this bike allowed me to enjoy every part of the ride. I battled with a CR500, TE501 and plenty of 450s. Horsepower isn’t always a factor but a great all-round bike is something special.”
Tuff’s 300SEF-R was setup by Powerhouse Motorcycles in Pakenham with an FMF Powercore4 slip-on muffler, a taller Selle Dalla Velle seat, MSC Moto Steering Damper and StegPegz. The standard 8.5-litre fuel tank was enough to provide 80km of racing with around 1.5-litres to spare. The gearing was altered from 13/48 to 14/46 for faster top speeds.