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We get to try out the 2022 Sherco 500 SEF in the outback.

During our recent Finke tour in NT, we had the chance to throw a leg over the new 2022 Sherco SEF 500, actually there were eighteen of them! The bikes all performed brilliantly, and all of them have several thousand KM on them (each) already with nothing more than regular servicing and zero faults. This is a great indicator of the reliability of the brand with big efforts at a factory level to make these bikes solid and ready for the weekend warriors.

At first glance the Sherco SEF 500 presents very well. A deep metallic blue frame looks fantastic and it’s adorned by blue plastics and flouro yellow stickers. They look sharp and ready for action even when stationary.

Selle Dalla Valle Italian seat covers, full Akrapovic exhaust and KYB suspension front and rear for the Factory model means these bikes need only minor tweaks to be race ready. Stock Michelin knobbies work really well for most applications and the digital speedo unit is standard fare to most dirtbikes today. Also an O ring chain, quality bars and sprockets, solid rear disc and Brembo brakes front and rear. The plastics all held up well to abuse and included frame guards and bashplate, great additional protection and the clear tank meant you could keep an eye on fuel level.

Ergonomics felt great with a great bar bend and comfortable seat to peg ratio. I could not say the Sherco SEF 500 felt like a different riding position to other brands, hence jumping on these bikes you feel instantly at home.

She started up easily cold and settle into a regular idle. The full Akrapovic exhaust has a nice burble and a real crack when revving. Make no mistake, this bike means business and comes with all the fruit. Pricing is comparative to the other Euro models, or cheaper when compared to the “Six Days or Rockstar” editions.

sherco 500 sef

Rider feedback generally was fantastic. Everyone that had a chance to ride them in the desert loved them. The motor is strong, very strong. A great top end and midrange, and its linear delivery is hard to fault.

We rode these bikes at the Finke Track, hence we were revving hard for hundreds of km in 5th and 6th gear. They would wheelie easily in top gear over whoops and had great bottom end to pull through the deep sand carrying a higher gear. The Sherco factory designed these bikes specifically for the Finke track, and it clearly shows as these bikes were perfect for the application. The 500s had a great top end (it really loved to rev with the Akro exhaust), but even when you lugged the bike in 6th in the sand, a winding on of the throttle was rewarded with great forward momentum, building revs quickly.

sherco 500 sef

The KYB suspension was top level and great for the desert whoops. Generally, KYB are firm for general weekend trailriders being more race focussed, these were awesome on the Finke track.  I understand the valving was slightly softened at the front and left alone on the rear. Despite the high speeds and unrelenting bumps, they were planted and compliant. The forks are the closed cartridge type which assists greatly with minimising cavitation of fork oil.

Excel rims as standard are top shelf and the black looked great. Some of the bikes were running the Motoz Tractionator Enduro S/T tyres (which mine had) which I thought were fantastic. Great hookup and drive, and held up well despite the big kilometres.

Handling and turning were great, it felt light and tipped in or railed berms brilliantly. The front end feels light and the Shercos generally feel easy to loft the front wheel at low speeds and wheelie at high speeds which is a very nice trait. While they feel light to ride, they are typical of most four strokes and have a bit of mass there to manhandle when you have to physically pickup the bike.

Stock seat is low and firm, a few were running the higher seats which I preferred. The bike felt best when standing up, particularly on the sand, feeling stable at high speeds and stopped on a penny.

Sherco have really lifted their bar with these new models, and dealers are having trouble keeping them in stock as they are selling so fast. The 500 is a big motor and a definite upgrade to the 450s. It has plenty of oomph from down low that eats up big terrain and should definitely be on your shopping list if you want a mega fire road blaster or plan on riding the Finke and well deserving of a closer look or test ride. I was very impressed, top marks Sherco.

sherco 500 sef