First test riding impressions of Sherco’s 2020 enduro model range from the press launch – it’s evolution not revolution with engine changes and new rear shock for the Factory models improve performance and handling.
Sherco have been quietly going about their business building enduro and trials bikes for over 20 years now. Since 2004, the French-based company has been manufacturing bikes for enduro and all the time building a reputation as a competition-focused manufacturer.
After a bigger revamp last year, the 2020 model updates are more about evolution not revolution. The new graphics are the obvious external change but under the covers changes to the engines is where the majority of work has taken place in essence to reduce weight and, in the case of the big capacity four strokes, reduce engine noise. A new KYB rear shock absorber on the Factory models is notable chassis change also.
Sherco MY2020 model changes in a nutshell:
- All enduro models have reduced friction in the suspension linkage and improved build quality to increase servicing.
- Two stroke 250/300 model air intake funnel is adjusted to improve low and mid-range power and suit extreme riding better.
- 250/300 2T engines 15mm shorter intake pipe from carb to cylinder to improve low speed response. It is now also one part instead of two saving weight.
- 250/300 models have a modified reed valve to improve sealing, increase air flow and performance. New construction is plastic charged with fibreglass/carbon/viton.
- Following on from that the central engine casting is modified to increase flow and boost mid-range plus widen the powerband.
- Lighter clutch hub on 250/300 2T engines to reduce inertia and lever weight for extreme riding.
- Reduced size master cylinder piston and clutch cylinder piston also reduce lever effort.
- Clutch lubrication flow is increased.
- 250/300 models have easier access fuel tap and now 1.5litres when you switch to reserve.
- Blue frame protectors on the Factory models.
- Factory and XC models run the 48mm KYB forks and a new 50mm KYB shock to increase stability at high speeds and improve bump absorption.
- New drilled front final drive sprocket/gear.
- The SC models are basically the Factory model without lights or a racing wiring harness and with stiffer suspension settings.
- Factory and XC models get an AFAM steel rear sprocket.
- All Racing models get a 150g lighter plastic muffler end cap.
- 250/300 four stroke bikes have a lighter starter system sprocket assembly to improve starting – improves performance for dead engine race starts.
- 250/300 4T improved gear selector for a claimed 60% improved accuracy.
- Bigger 450/500 4T engines are 600g lighter thanks to lighter crank, clutch disc material, clutch hub, primary transmission, balancing shaft, freewheel sprocket, oil pump sprockets.
- 450 4T has a new cam chain for reduced friction and noise to meet Euro4 engine noise regulations.
- The 125 two-stroke has an adjustable height power valve giving more options for settings.
- New piston profile on the 125 2T to improve the wear uniformity and stability.
- New engine map on the 125 for improved high-speed performance.
Sherco sticking with carburettors on two-strokes
Sherco’s point of view on the fuel injected two-stroke engine remains as it has for the last couple of years: simply they have it in development but they are not ready to use it.
Basically it costs more to produce a fuel injected 2T and that would naturally reflect in the price to the customer. The other major factor is the performance, in their view, is not as good as the carburetted two-stroke so it makes no sense to deliver a bike which doesn’t work as well and costs more.
While manufacturers don’t have to make that jump for European emissions regulations (Euro 4 is still current until 2024) then they will stick with carburettors on the two stroke models.