Skip to content

2020 Sherco Enduro Range TESTED | Bike Reviews | Features

ADB Tech Editor Mat Boyd was in Italy to test the new range of 2020 Sherco Racing and Factory enduro models and he wasn't disappointed.

WORD: MAT BOYD – PHOTOS: SHERCO | THIS FEATURE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ADB ISSUE #479

WHAT’S NEW?

From the outside it would be easy to think that there has been no changes to the bikes. This is because, instead of going for a cheap last-minute colour change or a fancy new graphics kit, the Sherco guys have gone for more important updates and done little things that make more difference. The company has been maintaining steady growth since 2010 and now has over 75 dealers in Australia, proving that they mean business and are building the best products possible.

For 2020, all Sherco models will come with an updated monoshock linkage with lower friction and better bearing seals. The seals last longer and the lower friction enhances performance.

The 250 and 300 two-strokes have a revised intake system with a reshaped inlet boot between the carby and airbox to provide a more progressive and stronger torque curve. The new shape prevents oil retention and provides a better passage for the wiring harness. The two bikes have also received a new petrol tank with a fuel tap that is easier to reach, the same forged clutch hub that the four strokes received for MY19, which saves 196g and reduces inertia in the engine. They also have a better lubrication system for a better feel in the clutch and tweaks to the master and slave cylinders to reduce lever effort by 20%.

The SE engines have all received new castings to the reed block for better flow and increased performance. The reed block and reed valve have been improved. The intake manifold is now one piece, is made from Viton rubber and is lighter.

The 250 and 300SE Racing models have a new, plastic muffler tip for a weight reduction of 150g and the Factory versions have a whole new muffler saving 150g and improving low-rev response. All engines feature a manganese colour on the ignition and clutch covers. The four-strokes also get it on their rocker covers and the two-strokes on their cylinder heads.

The 125SE engine received a new power valve that is height adjustable, a new piston profile to improve reliability and new mapping to improve high-speed performance.
The 250 and 300 four-strokes have a lighter oil pump drive gear and shaft, a lighter starter motor drive which results in a 400g reduction and the gear selector has been improved for more accurate changes.

The 450 and 500 engines have had 600g shaved off them by reducing the weight of the crankshaft, clutch plates, clutch hub, primary shaft, balancing system, seals, needle bearings and other parts. They also have a new timing chain to reduce friction and noise.

GRASSTRACK

The four-strokes ate the grasstrack alive, especially the 450 and 500. The 250 and 300 were much more nimble in ruts but the big-bores just tore the dust berms to pieces and drove much better up the hills. I love the 500, it is such an excellent bike. It has loads of grunt and is every bit what you want a 500 to be.

I did struggle on it in the bush as it was very tight and started to become rutted. A little too much throttle and you would find yourself off the track and hugging a tree. What I found worked best was to try and ride one gear higher and use very little throttle but maintain momentum.

It doesn’t feel like you are moving real fast but, believe me, you notice you are when you try to stop in a hurry. The 500 takes much more time to stop than the 250 or 300, meaning you can get yourself into way more trouble. But if you’re after a butt-puckering ride that will punish you the second your concentration slips then the 500 is your bike.

The 450 is also a good bike but it is very close to the 500. The engine doesn’t carry the same torque as the 500 but they feel very much the same, loads of grunt but a handful in the tight. Out on the open trails or the grasstrack these things dig trenches but, for me, I could ride the 250 or 300 much faster and with much less effort in the bush.

The 300SE-F feels much like a 250 with extra torque, it is light and nimble and handles just the same as a 250 but it has some extra torque that comes in handy when you get into some soft terrain or when you get out on the grasstrack and get to open it up and let it go. In the bush the extra power wasn’t such a big factor as it was too tight to use it.

The fact that the bike was well balanced and easy to ride, easy to change direction on quickly and easy to stop and turn on the spot was the biggest advantage and made riding in the woods very easy. If you’re a bigger guy but don’t like the idea of a big-bore because your mostly ride in tight forests then I would urge you to check out the 300. It bridges the gap between the 250 and 450 very well.

The 250SE-F is the bike I found the best to ride in the tight. You could push it hard and manoeuvre it through the trees the quickest. There is still plenty of power coming from this engine. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either clueless or just simply has not ridden one.

I was able to turn it the best and stop it the fastest. I actually got in less trouble on this bike than any other. It was forgiving but still exciting enough to get the blood pumping. On the grasstrack I found I could ride it just as fast but I would have to concentrate more on my corner speed and get on the throttle earlier to carry my momentum up the hills.

I know Aussies won’t want to hear that the 250 was the easiest bike to ride because you are all still frothing over the fact that I mentioned the 500SE-F but I’m just putting it how it is. After hours of riding, it’s tough to throw too much criticism at the Sherco four-strokes because they are all top-quality machines. If I’m forced to come up with one thing I don’t like then that would be the fact that because I have a size-12 foot my heal hits the sidestand when I stand on my toes. It’s not a real big issue, nor does it cause me to ride any different but it was just something I noticed and got used to after a few laps.

TWO BANGERS

I started the day out by saying “great, I’m stuck on the 125” because all the Euro journalists seem to run and hide and treat you like you have the plague when you try to swap them for another bike. Much to my surprise though, I really enjoyed it and actually kept going back to it throughout the day just to try and get my opinion clear and make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.

Once you get used to working the clutch and shifting gears every 15-20 seconds then the 125SE is a whole lot of fun and can be ridden fast. It only comes in a Racing version so I wasn’t the greatest fan of the soft, bouncy WP Xplor suspension but the motor is a whole lot of fun. You really get to work that engine and feel like you are hauling arse.

The 250 and 300 are very similar bikes to ride. They handle very much the same, they both turn very well and handle tough terrain perfectly. They stop quickly, they are light and nimble and the power is very broad and user-friendly. The 300 has more torque and handles low revs better but it also does have more vibration than the 250SE.
One thing I noticed about these two bikes is that they had a rather heavy clutch despite being hydraulically-operated.

The clutch was made lighter for MY20 but they still felt heavy and this was more noticeable after spending all day in the saddle. While both capcities felt close my pick from the two would be the 300T but I actually really did enjoy the 250 in the woods. I’m just a sucker for power and the added torque of the 300 won me over.

RACING V FACTORY

Sherco offers the 250 and 300 two-strokes and the 250, 300, 450 and 500 four-strokes in both Factory and Racing models.

The major difference between the two is that the Racing range comes with WP Xplor suspension which has adjustable spring preload on both fork legs but has the compression damping adjustment on the left and the rebound damping adjustment on the right. The WP shock has fully adjustable spring preload as well as adjustable high- and low-speed compression damping and rebound damping.

The Factory models come with the highly praised KYB 48mm closed-cartridge fork that has adjustable compression and rebound damping but does not have preload adjustment on the outside of the fork. The KYB shock has fully adjustable spring preload, adjustable high- and low-speed compression damping as well as adjustable rebound.

Plus the Factory models come with their own white and blue colour scheme as well as an Akrapovic exhaust system and an AFAM steel rear sprocket for better durability.
I much preferred the Factory versions, the power was stronger on all models and I far preferred the firmer KYB suspension.

But here is my advice, if you are an average trailrider who likes to sit down a lot and just cruise then the KYB suspension and more abrupt power of the Factory models may beat you up and you would be best suited to a Racing model with the plusher suspension and linear power curve.

If you are racing or trying to push your bike then the Xplor suspension will most likely get on your nerves. The front can dive and if you jump the bike or ride it at fast speeds through whoops or bumps then the suspension has a tendency to bottom out. If you’re a racer and you want to ride hard and fast then you can’t go past the Factory model, it will do everything you ask of it with ease. If you are just a casual trailrider and want an easy bike to sit in the saddle of all day long then the Racing model is going to be your answer.

Sherco 125/250/300SE-R

Engine
Type Piston-port, reed valve
Displacement 124.8/249.3/293..1cc
Bore & STROKE 54×54.5/66.4×72/72x72mm
Cooling Liquid
Compression ratios N/A
Fuel metering Keihin PWK36
Tank capacity 10.4L
Transmission Six-speed, constant-mesh
Clutch Brembo hydraulic, wet multiplate

Dimensions
Wheelbase 1465/1480/1480mm
Seat height 950mm
Ground clearance 355mm
Weight N/A

Suspension
Front WP Xplor 48mm USD, 300mm travel
rear WP gas-oil monoshock, 330mm travel

Brakes
Front Brembo twin-piston caliper, 260mm wave
Rear Brembo single-piston caliper, 220mm wave

Running Gear
Handlebar Oxia tapered alloy
Front tyre Michelin Enduro Comp. 90/90-21
Rear tyre Michelin Enduro Comp. 120/100-18

PriceS & Contacts
Rrp $11,490, $12,290, $12,590
web sherco.com.au
PHONE (03) 8363 1600
Warranty Six months parts and labour

Sherco 250/300/450/500SEF-R

Engine
Type DOHC, four-valve
Displacement 248.4/303.7/449.4/478.2cc
Bore & STROKE 78×52.2/84×54.8/95×63.4/98×63.4mm
Cooling Liquid
Compression ratios N/A
Fuel metering Synerject 42mm EFI
Tank capacity 9.7L
Transmission Six-speed, constant-mesh
Clutch Brembo hydraulic, wet multiplate

Dimensions
Wheelbase 1480/1480/1490/1490mm
Seat height 950mm
Ground clearance 355mm
Weight N/A

Suspension
Front WP Xplor 48mm USD, 300mm travel
rear WP gas-oil monoshock, 330mm travel

Brakes
Front Brembo twin-piston caliper, 260mm wave
Rear Brembo single-piston caliper, 220mm wave

Running Gear
Handlebar Oxia tapered alloy
Front tyre Michelin Enduro Comp. 90/90-21
Rear tyre Michelin Enduro Comp. 120/100-18

Prices & Contacts
rrp N/A, $13,590, $13,990, $14, 190
web sherco.com.au
PHONE (03) 8363 1600
Warranty Six months parts and labour