Sherco To Release 500cc Model?
Over the past few years, Sherco has carved out a reputation for building top-shelf two- and four-stroke enduro bikes, and wins in EnduroGP, ISDE and various national off-road series around the world have all helped accelerate the French brand’s gains in market share. All of which has left consumers asking why Sherco hasn’t yet released a big-bore four-stroke weapon – especially here in horsepower-mad Australia, where 500cc models tend to outsell their 450cc counterparts by a significant margin.
Well, it appears that Sherco is set to answer those calls, with an announcement today that, in a world first, the Motul Pirelli Sherco Team’s Andy Wilksch will debut an all-new 500SEF this weekend under the intense pressure of competition, when he lines up on a Sherco big-bore at the Broken Hill round of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC).
“The 500SEF is a new model from Sherco, developed specifically for the Australian market,” explained Sherco Australia’s Stephen Tuff. “Sherco sent us a machine they wanted us to test, so we’ll do that with Andy this weekend. There’s no shying away from the fact this is a test in extreme racing conditions. The Broken Hill round of the AORC is scheduled to be a desert-style cross-country format, much like the Hattah Desert Race, so we figured it was the perfect proving ground for the 500SEF.”
Wilksch currently holds down fifth position in the E3 Class for big-bore two-strokes and big-bore four-stroke machines. Despite racing a 300SE two-stroke to date in 2018, Wilksch is excited to be able to test the 500SEF in race conditions. After a short practice ride on Thursday to familiarise himself with the new bike, Wilksch said,” It has really usable power. You’re definitely moving once you twist the throttle. It has good punch off the bottom and in the mid-range she really gets going. It’s definitely fast with plenty of power on tap, but at the same time it’s very usable. I’m pretty excited to race it. It’s one thing to have a ride on it, but when I am racing, it will really give us a good idea of how it will go. And to be the first rider in the world to do this is pretty cool.”
Wilksch will be joined at Broken by desert specialist teammate, Nathan Trigg, who’ll race a Sherco 450SEF-R – the same machine Trigg took the 450cc class win at the Finke Desert Race earlier this year. Despite not having raced an AORC event before, Trigg expects to be competitive on the Broken Hill track.
“I’ll give it a go,” said Trigg. “I won’t be setting any records, but I think I can be competitive against the regular top-10 boys at the AORC. The conditions should suit me and even though I am known for desert racing, I also like motocross, so I can hold my own in fast company.”