8 THINGS LEARNED FROM THE 2016 SHERCO INTRO
The 2016 Sherco enduro launch was a busy but educational time. Here’s eight of the most important things learned from the presentation that we ought to tell you…
1. Sherco 125 two-stroke in the pipeline
Yes that’s right, Sherco are working hard to expand their range of enduro bikes and a 125cc two-stroke is one of the next things on their list. Currently with five enduro models the addition of a 125 to the line up will see their annual production of 3,000 enduro bikes to 60 different countries certainly go. Sherco might be a small company but are one with a big vision.
2. Reliability is key
Many of the updates for 2016 focus at making Sherco’s bikes even more reliable. From the Dakar to the Enduropale du Touquet and from the special tests of the EWC to the mountains of Ecuador, Sherco have gone the extra mile to ensure bikes are properly tested. Sherco’s Didier Tirard confirmed that part of testing for the cooling system was done in an altitude of 3.500m in the mountains of Ecuador.
3. Two strokes with dual mapping
With a couple of tweaks for 2016, Sherco’s electronic power valve and dual mapping curve have given us the feeling of two bikes in one for both the 250 and the 300 SE-R. Sherco claim the difference in power delivery can vary by up to 7 hp between the two programmed curves.
The softer curve makes both bikes mellower, predictable and tractable. The 250 SE-R has a faster revving engine and a more playful character. Its bigger brother 300 SE-R feels better for long enduro rides of the weekend. But once you turn the black switch on its right side, you’re introduced to a new world. The 250 SE-R begs to be revved high and reveals its racing character, while the 300 SE-R rewards you with huge amounts of torque from low rpm and lots of power after the mid range.
4. Fuel injection two strokes in 2017
It’s official… After being the first to install fuel injection on its thumpers some years ago, Sherco will possibly be the first to do it on its two strokes as well.
“Since presenting our first fuel-injected two-stroke prototype at the end of last year, we’ve been working a lot in refining some details,” confirmed Teissier. “We want to make sure it’s going to be a perfect result that can take advantage of all the great things about fuel injection. Right now we’re about to test if it’s possible to make it Euro 4 compatible but our basic plan is to bring it into production in 2017.”
5. The evolution of the 450
2016 will actually mark Sherco’s 450 SEF-R second year in production. But it will be the first year that this bike is available to buy. And it’ll also be the fifth year we see this engine being used. Sounds confusing?
Sherco began testing its new 450 DOHC engine four years ago at Dakar. Last year they launched the 450 SEF-R as a new production bike but decided to focus on their two strokes. As a small factory it was hard to sustain production of two different models at the same year, so they decided to postpone mass production of the 450 till, well, now.
Along with relaunching it, Sherco’s mechanics made quite a few changes to the 2016 engine. A new piston and a new balance shaft results in less inertia from the engine. In reality all the changes offer much better traction and give the new 450 a more accessible character for everyone.
6. Hunting EWC success
The current season of the EWC has seen Sherco win in two separate classes – with Matti Seistola in Enduro 3 and Lorenzo Santolino in Enduro 1. It was something that definitely made Mr. Teissier happy…
“It’s been a great year so far. All of our riders and team members are doing a tremendous job in the EWC. It’s a long process that starts from our racing department in the factory and gets down to our riders. Especially this year, a lot of work was done during the winter season leading into the championship.”
7. Building simplicity
Sherco’s contact switch that normally stood at the right side of the handlebars used to create extra fuss. Sometimes you could accidentally hit it with your chest to be left wondering why the engine shut down. Most importantly you could accidentally leave it on and accidentally flatten your battery.
With a new keyless system on all four strokes Sherco actually introduces what all other competitors have already done years ago. But that’s not a bad thing at all. A simple push of the electric starter button will now start the engine. 15 seconds after you’ve turned the engine off the electric power disconnects and the lights shut down.
8. Gearing up for Dakar 2016
During the presentation, Sherco officially announced their 2016 Dakar team of three official riders. Spain’s Joan Pedrero returns to the team. He’s really happy with the new 450 rally bike that the team will shortly spend two weeks training and testing with in Morocco. Frenchmen Alain Duclos and Florent Vayssade complete Sherco’s factory team.