A slightly harsh fork action was fixed in seconds.
Long Term Test Bike | SHERCO 300 SEF FACTORY
On a recent ride with ADB test guru Ben Grabham, we went back-to-back with our long termers. Grabbo is currently punting a GASGAS EC350F and I’m on a stunning Sherco 300SEF Factory. It was interesting swapping between the two and seeing how we setup our bikes.
If you’re ever in a position where you can do that with your mates and their bikes, we highly recommend it because sometimes it can highlight an issue that you didn’t know was there. That was the case for me.
In all the craziness of the last four months my mind has been distracted. While I’ve been maintaining the Sherco with great attention to detail and, as a result, it’s running like dream, I didn’t notice the fork progressively getting harsher. It was very gradual and, because the riding I’ve been doing has been all over the shop in all sorts of conditions, the harsh fork went unnoticed. That was until I jumped on Grabbo’s bike then back onto mine.
I immediately started racking my brain as to what it could be then I remembered. I hadn’t bled the fork at all! What an idiot! I pointed this out to Grabbo and he agreed. “That would be it!” he said. Grabbo then went on to explain how a fork with air build-up can feel like one or two spring rates higher than it should be. That would explain the harsh feeling.
So, in the middle of the trail, we parked the Sherco up with the front wheel unweighted and whipped out the flatblade screwdriver. The bleed screw is just above the compression adjusters on each fork leg. If you’ve never bled your fork before, you are in for a real treat when you hop back on the bike.
Undo the bleed screw all the way until you can hear the air hissing out. My fork had so much air build-up it almost sounded like a flat tyre. Once all the air had been released we nipped the bleed screws back up and gave the fork a few pumps. Even stationary we could feel the difference.
Grabbo and I spent the next half hour swapping back and forth and the difference was incredible. The KYB front end returned to being plush over all the loose rocks (but still not like some of the other forks on the market.
Don’t forget, this is a race fork) and much less harsh than it was when it was full of air. It was much easier to ride and Garbo, “Mr Polite”, was happy because the expletives coming out of my helmet every time we stopped had gone. So, don’t forget to bleed your fork, especially if it feels a tad harsher than it was when you first rode it. It will make a massive difference.
SHERCO 300SEF FACTORY
WARRANTY: Six months parts and labour
DISTRIBUTOR: Sherco Australia
TOTAL HOURS: 22
MODS THIS MONTH: Bleeding fork