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With the 2024 AHEC about to start, we thought we'd look at what you can do to get your Sherco hard enduro ready by testing Perry's hard enduro Sherco.

Just like many other countries in the world, Australia’s hard enduro racing scene has grown significantly during the last few years. So much so, that Sherco Australia often fields three-rider teams on race days. One of the riders is Chris Perry, who for over five years has been a front runner at pretty much every hard enduro race in Australia and we were lucky enough to its Chris Perry’s hard enduro Sherco 300 SE Factory.

He is not afraid to have a crack at some of the world’s toughest, hard enduro races either as he has tackled Erzberg, Romaniacs and Sea to Sky. Even though I have raced a handful of Australian hard enduro races my history and knowledge of Perry is limited. I do know he pretty much is always smiling, his build is perfect for hard enduro, as he is often the tallest guy standing on the podium and the few times we have crossed paths he has always been super friendly and approachable.

As much as Perry is often standing on the outright podium of Aussie hard enduro he is yet to crack the top step for the overall championship, but going off the last few years it is only a matter of time before he does. Either way we got the chance to take his Sherco team bike for a spin.

Before I go into what it was like to ride, here is a good breakdown on everything  Sherco chooses to run on Perry’s bike come race day. Sherco Australia start with their highly regarded 2023 300 SE Factory two-stroke. This example has been meticulously crafted to conquer the most challenging terrain and obstacles the hard enduro calendar throws its way.

One glance at Perry’s hard enduro Sherco 300 and it’s evident that the focus is on fortification. The bike’s development strategy pivots towards protection and prevention, aiming to minimise the risk of race-ending damage. Key to this approach is a selection of premium protective components sourced from the P-Tech catalogue.

The front disc guard, a hybrid marvel with a billet alloy centre and a polycarbonate outer protects the standard front rotor. Radiator braces with a full wrap design accommodating the standard radiator fan and louvres showcase the commitment to safeguarding critical components. The billet four bolt case saver serves a dual purpose by protecting the clutch slave cylinder. Genuine Sherco/AXP ‘Xtreme’ 8mm bash plate and an Enduro Hog 4mm polyethylene clutch cover complete the ensemble, providing an extra layer of defence for the bike’s vulnerable parts.

When it comes to the engine, Perry opts for minimal yet strategic enhancements.  A flywheel weight from JWT Imports, a cutting-edge Akrapovic titanium muffler, and a TSP cylinder head with a remapped ECU designed for hard enduro racing form the core modifications. Internally, the engine maintains its stock configuration, emphasising reliability in the face of extreme challenges.

Fine-tuning the carburetion, Perry selects a slightly leaner N8RH needle on the third clip, complemented by a 40 pilot jet and a 170 main jet. Motul’s premium oils and lubricants flow through the veins of the Sherco ensuring optimal performance. A meticulous blend of 800 2T @ 50:1, 300V 5W40 in the transmission, and RBF 700 in the hydraulic lines for both brakes and clutch reflects a commitment to peak efficiency under the toughest conditions.

The power is harnessed through a genuine Sherco diaphragm clutch kit, a product of the technical partnership with STM. The engine package is delivered by Perry’s unique choice of 13/52 gearing combo, two teeth more on the rear than the AORC setting and four more than the stock setup. This formidable configuration is complemented by a robust 520EXW heavy-duty RK chain.

To navigate the unpredictable terrain with finesse, Perry opts for a taller seat. In the later part of the season, he opted for a Strike Seats ‘Desert’ seat to assist with posterior grip and pivot turn manoeuvrability in steep hill climbs. Sherco lift straps adorn both ends and add a practical touch to managing the bike in challenging situations.

The standard KYB suspension is expertly fine-tuned by Chad’s Offroad Setups and is a marvel in itself. Kashima-coated outer tubes, DLC inner tubes, and Merge rising-rate pressure springs, combined with Chad’s secret sauce, result in a phenomenal hard enduro setting offering the perfect blend of responsiveness and forgiveness.

The finishing touches on Perry’s hard enduro Sherco are a testament to meticulous customisation. Sherco Racing X-Trig clamps, PHDS bar mounts, Renthal 827 FatBars, half-waffle grips, and S3 footpegs define the ergos. Traction is maximised with Metzler’s ‘Super Soft’ 6 Days Extreme compound, paired with a Nitromousse ‘Plushie’ rear mousse for unrivalled grip in the most extreme conditions.

Jumping onto Perry’s hard enduro Sherco does not give me the sensation that I am heading into hard enduro terrain as the tall seat and taller bend Renthal bars make me feel like I should be heading into the Desert. It does make sense for Perry’s setup to feel like this though as he is significantly taller than myself. Even though the ergonomics on this bike are set up for a much taller rider I still found all the lever positions and handlebar setup to be in quite a neutral and comfortable position. The S3 foot pegs felt like a big improvement over the standard units as they sit on a better angle and provide added grip.

Heading off into any technical terrain on another person’s pride and joy is always worrying and even though this bike has all the necessary hard enduro protection the last thing I wanted to do was to damage it. So to test out the suspension without putting myself into too much of a technical situation I headed to the first dry rocky riverbed I could see.

Straight up I could feel how smooth the action of the fork is and to be honest, I have never ridden on a set of forks that have Kashima coated tubes and DLC coated lower tubes that have felt sticky. On top of the silky smooth action the fork held up in the stroke very well and followed the messy stony terrain very well. It also handled launching off a drop off without bottoming and considering the set-up is for Perry who is a good deal heavier than myself, I really like the way the fork works.

Out the back I found the shock had a very controlled feel. At first it felt like it was not moving much at all but as soon as I started hitting the rocks and edges with more speed I could feel it starting to move a lot more. The plus to this shock was the way it held up and gave me good ground clearance over larger obstacles. I was more than happy with the suspensions overall action in the dry and dusty conditions, I just feel if traction was limited from slippery and muddy conditions, I would have to soften up the shock a bit for my size and weight.

Pulling up Perry’s bike is pretty effortless, thanks to the Brembo brakes, these things are amazing straight out of the box so it’s no surprise how well they work on this bike. Easily the standout on Perry’s Sherco is the engine, in every way this power plant is impressive. The carburettor settings have this thing running silky smooth and the majority of the time I never used more than a quarter throttle. The few times that I did, it revved up so clean the whole way through.

The mods that Perry has gone with on this engine definitely give it more power from right off the bottom to mid-range. Considering this is where you ride the bike most of the time for hard enduro it is perfect. The power gains they have made with this engine make riding at low revs feel very safe and when you need to launch up or over an obstacle there is always plenty of power. It is also a great engine to find traction with as it builds power in a very controlled way.

Overall, Perry and Sherco have built a very nice hard enduro bike. Yes, the ergonomics are tailored to suit a much taller rider than myself but in general I would be more than confident to head into some nasty terrain on this bike just with a lower seat.


To begin with these bikes are super reliable so we had an awesome base to start from and the overall direction we went with setup is quite simple. Chad from Chad’s Off-road Setups takes care of our suspension and has nailed a setting that I like in all kinds of hard enduro terrain. Then with the engine I did not want any more peak horsepower instead we chased a bit more low-end power, seeing this is the part of the power we use the most for hard enduro.

To achieve this, we went with a TSP cylinder head, ignition tune and flywheel weight. It’s pretty impressive the torque and smooth power that we gained from these mods. If I could recommend any of these mods it would probably be the TSP tune as it made a big difference for specific hard enduro riding.