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Old 06-09-2017
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pollock pollock is offline
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Warrnambool Sherco Ride Day

Got a chance to meet up with the Sherco boys and do the ride day that Miller Motosports put on in Warrnambool a couple of weekends ago.

The track was minimalist, just a couple of very short flat tracks with some tight and flowing corners but maybe enough bumps to get an idea of the suspension behaviour. There were no hills, logs, ruts or berms to gauge how well the bikes performed on those obstacles. The conditions were slippery but formed ok as the day went on.

I got to ride all 4 bikes, the 250SER, 300SER, 300SEFR and the 450.

If I had my time again I would have ridden the bikes in different order, I just picked the bikes that were first available for a ride, rather than being a little more tactical and choosing to ride them in an order that would have given me the best understanding of how they performed. I rode the 300SER first, followed by the 450, then the 300SEFR, the 250SER and the 450 again.

A compliment to all bikes, they are all very well built and manufactured, these were "Factory" models, so the top of the line versions but the build quality appeared second to none. There is nothing that you would want, in terms of components, from other bikes.

In the order of what I rode;
300SER; So I'm not much of a 2 stroke guy, we've owned them in the family, mainly my younger brother and I've raced them, maintained them and always sort of wanted one in the garage for myself but never ponied up the cash to buy one. I've always stuck with the 4 banger.

This was definitely a 2 stroke I could own though, it was smooth off the bottom and progressive into the meat of the power band, it didn't have the overrev of my 350 but I didn't expect it to either, the mid range was excellent and seemed to pull quite well without being wild, just needed some accurate shifting to keep it in the meat of the power. The suspension was very comfortable and soaked up the small stuff well and didn't dive under brakes. The brakes were outstanding, I always felt in control, the front was strong and the rear had good feel.

I tried out the map switch and I wouldn't see it as something I would use often, if at all. It made the bike too doughy for me, although the conditions rewarded an aggressive rider, maybe under different circumstances I would use it but the mid range wasn't so strong that I think I would need help controlling it.

The only downside I could see to the bike was that it was quite a bit heavier than I expected it to be, in fact it felt heavier than the 300 four stroke. The weight isn't an issue, but it would be nice if they managed to drop it down a little.

450 SEFR; This bike surprised me, given the outstanding reviews and popularity of the 300 four stroke I thought that the 450 must have been an underwhelming bike and I was going into the day thinking that the 300 was going to be my pick but I really liked this 450.

It has a great feel to it, I think the extra weight complimented the base suspension setup for this bike over the rest of the fleet, it might want to hold the front end up just a touch under heavy braking but it was very plush without using more of the stroke than I thought. It felt a little tip heavy in comparison to the other bikes but again, you would expect that. The power is great, the bottom end is useable, the mid range is fantastic and the top end holds in, okay, it's no KTM top end but I don't think any 450 trail/enduro bike needs to worry too much about overrev. I haven't ridden a new gen KTM 450 but this model Sherco is absolutely on par or above the previous gen 450 (i.e. MY15/16) IMO.

300SEFR; This was the bike I was most looking forward to. Given it's success across the world in the GP's and other classes and it's popularity I thought for sure this is going to be my next bike (currently on a 350 KTM, but miss and love my small bore bikes). I really shouldn't have ridden the 450 before it though, it made the power feel a little too flat, I was hoping for something similar to an SXF250 output with a little more torque, which would be the ultimate bike for me. I was though, understandably ready for that.

The concerns I had with the bike were more unit related and I really want another go at riding one to get a better feel. As soon as I got on the bike and reached the first corner, it was obvious that the front brakes needed bleeding or work, it was noticeably weaker and required 2 fingers, hard, to pull up like the 300 2T and 450. That kind of put me off right away, I wanted to get a good feel on the bike in the corners and it's hard to setup when you're only thinking I wish these brakes worked as well as the other bikes and we didn't really have enough time to get over it. The other issue that I had was getting gear on it, the other bikes seemed to find gears easily under load or not but I missed gears a number of times on the 300SEFR, which again put me off.

The handling on the bike was outrageous though, it's light, flickable and easily controlled as per all of my expectations. I really want to put a hold on my thoughts until I get a change to have a better test of one.

250SER; This was an interesting one, lots of the guys there enjoyed it. The last 250 2 stroke I rode was a 2012 KTM 6 days, so that was my benchmark thinking about this bike and getting ready to test ride it. The bike had a very different personality to the 300 2T; it felt lighter, had more vibration, less bottom end, more hit and what felt like more overrev. Again, suspension, brakes, handling and all of the common characteristics shared across the 300 platform were fantastic and top quality. The bike was a little doughy of idle though and need a bit of clutch work to get going in some of the tighter corners. It had a really good mid range and on the pipe, like the 300 it fell off compared to the 4 strokes up top you there's a little more shifting involved but hey, that part of the fun! It was a good bike but for me I wouldn't bother with it when the 300 just does everything a little better.

I really enjoyed the day, the experience of the bikes was better than I thought, the build quality is up there with Beta, KTM and Husky. I'm not sure about longevity, I will need to buy one for that. I will be keeping an eye out on more opportunities to have a ride of that 300 4T again, maybe in some familiar trails. Well done to the Sherco Importer who's doing a great job organising these test ride days across the country for people to try out the bikes.
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Old 06-09-2017
Kgunner Kgunner is offline
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Thank you very much for posting your review, good reading.

Cheers, Simon.
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Old 06-09-2017
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devans devans is offline
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I definitely recommend getting another ride on the 300 SEF-R when you can. It's a shame the brakes were mushy, obviously that's not normal. I've never had a problem with false neutrals on mine, nor the 2017 model I rode a couple of months ago. I think you were unlucky the demo bike you tried was not to standard. In regard to the power, did you have it on the aggressive map?
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Old 07-09-2017
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pollock pollock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devans View Post
I definitely recommend getting another ride on the 300 SEF-R when you can. It's a shame the brakes were mushy, obviously that's not normal. I've never had a problem with false neutrals on mine, nor the 2017 model I rode a couple of months ago. I think you were unlucky the demo bike you tried was not to standard. In regard to the power, did you have it on the aggressive map?
Yea, always on the aggressive power. It hasn't got a huge amount of power anyway so I couldn't see myself wanting to run it with a lower setting really in any conditions.

I wasn't getting any false neutrals, it just wanted a lot more clutch than the other models to shift under load. The shifter didn't seem to like being loaded before changing gears, learnt to drop my foot position a little and use the clutch a little more and it seemed ok. The other bikes were happy to shift under load with little to no clutch required, which pretty is normal, this one just felt a little fussy, could have been because it's a demo and it's been getting smashed by people week in week out.
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