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Is this the perfect stepping stone for junior enduro riders moving on from their 85cc mounts?

There’s no denying that the 2022 Sherco SE 125 Factory looks the part, especially the Factory model. They’ve gone back to their original blue enduro colour scheme and the splashes of bright yellow and black really set the bike off. They just have fast and racey written all over them.

Since being introduced in late 2018, the SE125 has had plenty of success racing in Europe and Sherco continue to develop the bike to make it better and more competitive. For 2022, Sherco are calling it the small bike with the big attitude, lightweight, powerful and fun. Those are some big claims! There are a few other manufacturers out there that make enduro specific 125 race bikes, but the Sherco is unique in the way that it has an electronic power-valve.

Interestingly enough, the 125 is actually built a little different to the rest of the Sherco range with a 15mm shorter wheelbase than the bigger bikes. The idea behind that is that Sherco have ‘expertly adapted’ the chassis around the cylinder size. Put simply, the 125 is the lightest and smallest bike in the range and Sherco believe it doesn’t necessarily need the frame rigidity and strength that is required to house the 500cc motor. Sherco really hammer home that this bike is built to be the most manoeuvrable bike in its segment.

The electronic power valve works differently to a mechanical power valve in the way that it has been programmed to allow perfect valve opening at all engine speeds rather than relying on the throttle opening. It offers a very precise throttle response and makes the bike easier to ride because the ECU is constantly talking to the power-valve ensuring that it is in the perfect rev range for the rider. If there is one bike where it is super important to be in the right rev range, it’s a 125.

Sherco have equipped all the Factory models with 48mm closed cartridge KYB forks and KYB shock. It’s worth noting as well that Sherco have steered away from WP in 2022 for the standard models and they now come with KYB open chamber forks and the same KYB shock as the factory’s. Other updates for 22 include new graphics with in-mould technology which keeps the bike looking sharp, a new Selle Dalla Valle gripper seat and a few other minor updates. All up, the 22 models are more race ready than ever before, the quality of the finish of the bikes is pretty awesome too and it is priced at $13,299 RRP.


Now, I don’t know what’s going on with the weather here in NSW but we have been getting hammered all summer by a lot of rain and the day we rode this bike, it was the start of another long and huge deluge of rain. Somehow though, we managed to get a few solid hours of riding in before the heavens opened up and gave the SE125 the ride it deserved. We had a really good mixture of techo, rocky trails and flowy tests plus a few fire road sections to wind the little bike out.


Not going to lie, it’s been a while since I rode a bike with electric start and I was reaching for the kickstarter almost every time I went to start the bike. I’m getting old and I forgot that the good folks at Sherco have fitted the 125 with electric start which even on a 125 that is super easy to kick, is awesome! The exhaust note is nice and very 125ish – if that’s even a thing – and brings a smile to everyone around you. After cutting some laps on our wet test track, I discovered the motor on the SE 125 to be very linear and easy to manage.

Thanks to the electronic power valve, it doesn’t have the ‘powerband’ hit that most 125’s have and that can be a big plus for young riders or someone who is new to the sport. The motor produces a different kind of power compared to other bikes I’ve ridden in the class. My YZ125X, for example, was very different as we worked really hard to create a super aggressive powerband that was almost unrideable at slow speeds.

Exhaust note is “very 125ish” according to Braico

I had many people ride the bike and say that it had to be ridden flat out or not at all. I also had people say that it was a little ridiculous but I was all about it. The SE 125, however, is not like that. It has a much broader range of power and rideability where anyone from a newbie to a pro can enjoy the bike.

It’s also worth noting that we were riding at 1000m above sea level so the bike was a tad rich off the bottom but once I got up and got it moving, it was very nice to ride. I noticed that 1st gear is very low on the SE 125 which is great for the techo stuff, however, the gap between that and 2nd is a bit much. I found myself chopping and changing between 1st and 2nd a lot in the tighter stuff which can be a little painful for some, but changing a tooth or two bigger on the rear sprocket would help with that.

Where this bike really shines to me is the faster flowing trail where you can maintain good speed. If you can ride this bike in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear while maintaining the revs, the bike eats up whatever is in front of it. Some of the trails we steered the SE 125 at had some long flowing corners with a few ups and downs and I found myself carrying good speed and really enjoying the ride.

It’s got great throttle response and the strength of the motor is in the mid-range. Once you get into some really open stuff, you have 6 gears to play with and I managed to top it out at over 100km/h which is pretty solid for a little 125.

Selle Dalla Valle gripper seat

I was very impressed with the stability and handling of the SE 125. The KYB forks are firm but they are very predictable. The shock is also on the firm side but it partners up nicely to the forks and the bike feels balanced and as Sherco advertise in their 2022 model intro, it is very easy to move around on the trails.

The bike is planted whilst sitting high in the stroke and handles the small chop well. You don’t really have any big moments or uncomfortable feelings on the 125 and I’ve found that to be a common feeling amongst the smaller bore bikes. Because they are so light and nimble, they don’t seem to deflect and kind of ‘float’ over the smaller chop and that gives the rider plenty of confidence.

Now, who is this bike is built for? Well, I think it is perfect stepping stone for junior riders who have outgrown their 85. I reckon that there is a huge gap in the progression of junior kids these days. They jump straight from an 85 to a 250F and I just don’t see that being a positive thing, especially if the kid is a smaller build.

I’ve seen kids riding a 250F that aren’t even close to touching the ground and in enduro, especially, that is a recipe for disaster. In motocross there is less of a risk to be small on a 250F because if they crash, there’s always someone there watching to help out. In off-road, the riders are on their own and a 250F is very heavy for a young rider to pick up if there is no help around.

So, with that in mind, the Sherco SE 125 is a fantastic bike for a junior offroad rider to step up onto bigger bikes. Electric start, easy to ride, low maintenance and light weight. Plus, a 125 teaches a rider a lot about corner speed and keeping good momentum through the tracks.

Overall, the Sherco SE 125 Factory is very much a fun bike to ride. Then again, all 125s are fun! There isn’t much more to be said than that. Smooth, easy to manage motor, great sound, and electric start is a huge plus.

Also the awesome KYB suspension package, the bikes good looks and let’s not forget about the giant 10L fuel tank. That will keep you cutting laps with a smile on your face for hours. The SE125 Factory is a unique little weapon that is a really good time. Long live the 2 strokes.


Sherco SE 125 Factory


Type: Electric start two-stroke single-cylinder with electronically controlled valve and booster
Displacement: 124.81cc
Bore & Stroke:  54mm x 54.5mm
Cooling: Liquid system with forced circulation
Fuel metering: Keihin PWK 36 carburetor
Tank capacity: 10.4 litres
Transmission: Six-speed sequential gearbox, primary gears and chain secondary
Clutch: Hydraulic multi-disc in oil bath


Wheelbase: 1465mm
Seat height: 950mm
Ground clearance: 355mm


Front: 48mm KYB closed-cartridge fork with compression, rebound and preload adjustment, 300mm travel
Rear: KYB monoshock with compression, rebound and preload adjustment, 330mm travel


Front: Brembo hydraulically activated with 260mm disc
Rear: Brembo hydraulically activated with 220mm disc


Front tyre: 1.60 x 21-inch Michelin Enduro Medium
Rear tyre: 2.15 x 18- Michelin Enduro Medium


RRP: $13,299 (Excludes freight and on road costs)
Warranty: six months parts and labour