[Sherco]

5 THINGS WE LOVE: 2024 SHERCO 500SEF LONG-TERMER

1 month ago | Words: Matt Bernard | Photos: Katrina Bernard

The Sherco 500SEF Factory made its way into the Transmoto garage just under six months ago. After tackling a range of trails and tracks, we thought it was time to share our top five highlights of this impressive machine.

THE ENGINE

My first ride on this bike filled me with instant regret. After nearly a year without a bike in the garage, a 500cc felt like an illogical choice. However, a few rides in, as I regained bike fitness and comfort, the Sherco’s engine began to impress me more and more. It’s incredibly powerful. On a grass track, it’s an absolute joy, feeling like it was built for Finke, Hattah, grass tracks, and even bloody drag racing. Despite its power, the delivery isn’t intimidating. Compared to my last bike, a 2022 FE501, this one is more aggressive but in a good way. It still has the snap to attack obstacles at slow speeds while offering the torquey bottom-end nature of a 500cc four-stroke.

STANDARD PARTS

With a long-term test bike, adding performance parts is half the fun. Surprisingly, I haven’t added a single thing to the 500 SEF yet – which is both a pro and a con! In its standard form, it has just about everything an average trail rider or enduro racer could want: quality grips, handguards, oversized bars, a gripper seat cover, good-looking graphics, an Akrapovic exhaust, and excellent brakes. While I have a few ideas for modifications in the coming months, the bike isn’t screaming for any immediate upgrades.

VERSATILITY

If you’ve seen any social media posts about this bike, you know it’s incredibly versatile. It’s handled snotty single trails, hill climbs, grass tracks, and adventure rides. I often throw on a backpack and ride into town on the tarmac. It easily maintains 100 km/h on the road and remains manageable when the terrain gets rough. You could add a big tank and a screen for adventure riding, then switch to snotty single trails without a hitch. It’s impressively adaptable.

HOW IT FEELS

I’ll admit, this bike isn’t as flickable or easy to navigate on hard trails as a 300 two-stroke or four-stroke. It can be a lot of motorcycle to muscle around in tricky situations. However, for a big-bore, it’s very impressive. I wouldn’t call it “big” or “cumbersome” on challenging trails. The KYB suspension makes the bike feel planted, and the engine is manageable.

The 48mm KYB fork is simply brilliant in its standard form. Weighing 100kg, I should be pushing it to the limit and bottoming out regularly, but despite its initial plushness, it has the bottoming resistance to handle big and heavy hits. I previously rode a Sherco 450 with WP forks, and the difference is night and day. It’s no wonder Sherco no longer differentiates between racing and factory models. I used to race a lot of grass tracks on the older bike and had to get the suspension tuned to handle the lumpy circuits. I would legitimately race this bike in its standard form on a grass track or a Transmoto circuit without touching a single clicker.

LIFE OFF THE TRAILS

The Sherco is incredibly easy to work on. The ‘European machine attitude’ of weird fasteners and hard-to-find parts is a thing of the past. It features simple, standard-sized bolts, making maintenance straightforward. The air filter access is tool-free, and while the airbox isn’t the largest on the market, it’s more than roomy enough to get the job done easily. A simple bolt and cage system works just fine for me, without over-engineering. The bike has been flawless, requiring only an oil change, chain adjustment, and air filter changes.

Additionally, the dealer network is expanding, with new dealerships popping up across the country. While I live in country NSW and don’t have a dealer nearby, it hasn’t been an issue. The Sherco online store is fantastic. It’s easy to navigate and offers every accessory and part you might need. The site includes a comprehensive breakdown of every part of the bike with exploded parts diagrams to ensure you purchase the correct items. Shipping is fast, pricing is clear and transparent, and they even offer Afterpay.

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