We sent out pioneers several times into rural Yorkshire armed with hot flasks and survival blankets – and they couldn’t even reach the potential test venue, never mind ride bikes. So the plan was reluctantly put on hold until after Christmas. With the advent of better weather we got back on track and WOODY HOLE got out into deepest Yorkshire at a brand new ‘secret’ venue which is exclusive to importers MRS and was able to give all three models supplied a thorough workout...

2010 saw Sherco weigh-in with a brand new design that bristled with new concepts and ideas based on a rear-mounted fuel tank, alongside the exhaust rear-box which then allowed for a high-mounted air filter where the tank previously resided.

The problem was that the bike arrived very late on the scene, compared to its rivals and somewhat missed the boat from a sales point of view. Which is why 2011 is an important year for the Barcelona concern.

The basic concept worked fine so the really big news for 2011 is the all-new Sherco engine. The basic design remains the same but all the cases are now pressure die-cast - just like Japanese bikes and are machined in one continuous operation with Japanese-sourced machinery. The whole operation allows for total accuracy and the latest engines really are watch-like in their build-quality and Sherco took the opportunity to totally redesign the whole cooling system utilising internal waterways.

Sherco has included several updates for 2011 (see separate panel) and the look of the bike, with white-painted chassis and bright blue plastics is very bright. The tubular steel chassis is simple and sturdy and the fuel tank is now fitted with a central filler which mean that the bike no longer has to be laid down to re-fill. Much better. It retains its very slim frontal area (where the tank used to live) but it is still wide-enough across the footpeg area for perfect control.

For 2011 Sherco are now right back in the mix with their rivals and looking to go from strength to strength with their models which comprise 125, 250 and 290 models.

LAST year, writes Woody Hole, I never really got to test the Shercos properly as they arrived very late and I only got to try the one bike so I was definitely looking forward to riding them all this time around and as ever it made sense to start with the 125. I didn’t try the 2010 little ‘un but had plenty experience of the ‘old’ model. Pre 2010 the Sherco 125 used to ‘sit’ in between the Beta and Gas Gas with Beta having more bottom-end urge and Gas Gas owning all the top-end go. The Sherco fitted somewhere in between - and was very popular because of this as it was something of a Jack of All Trades.

For 2011 though I found that they have shifted position and I reckon that Sherco are after the more experienced and ambitious rider as the power has definitely moved upstairs. Richard Sadler found it worked pretty well - having won the 2010 British Youth A class champs and you can’t argue with that!
The 125 market is just so important these days with Youths having to stay with them until they are 17 and I instantly found that the Sherco was set-up very lively in the suspension and that the engine really liked to be buzzed. This is exactly what the kids expect, so that they can attempt to copy their World Championship heroes - and they won’t be disappointed.

Obviously bottom gear gets a lot of stick on a 125 but second and third are close enough to be employed but with a five-speed box, the same as the 250/290, there’s then a jump to fourth and another to top.

The venue wasn’t very forgiving to a 125 with the ground being soggy and soft and while I did find the motor a bit fluffy right at the bottom end  it was simple to get it singing with a bit of clutch. And the clutch is pretty near perfect with a very light feel, no drag and a positive, controllable biting point. And gear engagement is as positive as you’ll get on a trials bike.

Overall it is difficult to find real fault, it ticks all the boxes for your Youth rider, it has good balance, lively suspension, light controls and is up there with its rivals Beta and Gas Gas. And yes, there is a 125 Scorpa but we haven’t tried that yet!

2011shercost2.jpg

FOR FULL REPORT AND PICTURES SEE T+MX JANUARY 21 SPECIFICATIONS

2011 model Sherco ST 1.25/ 2.5/ 2.9 Trials

ENGINE
Type: Sherco proprietary design liquid-cooled, two-stroke with crankcase reed valve induction
Capacity: 124.7 cc/ 249.7 cc/ 272 cc
Bore x Stroke: 56 x 50.7 mm/ 72.8 x 60 mm/ 76 x 60 mm
Cylinder: Nikasil coated cylinder
Lubrication: 2% oil pre-mix
Fuel System: 26mm Carburetor Dell’Orto PHBL (1.25 & 2.5)/ 28mm Carburetor Dell’Orto VHST (2.9)
Starting: Gear system with folding lever
Exhaust: Stainless steel header pipe with integrated aluminum muffler
Transmission: 5 speed sequential gearbox with security selector system to prevent false shifts. Primary gear drive chain secondary drive
Clutch: Hydraulic, multidisc in oil bath
Ignition: Leonelli Dual Map (1.25)/ Leonelli progressive electronic ignition with a balanced magnetic flywheel (2.5 & 2.9)

CHASSIS

Type: Tubular section design in chrome-moly
Fuel Tank: Ergal aluminium with integrated fuel pump

BRAKES

Front: Hydraulically activated AJP caliper & 185 mm disc
Brakes: Hydraulically activated AJP caliper & 145 mm disc

SUSPENSION
Front: 38 mm Ceriani hydraulic telescopic fork, fully adjustable for preload & damping, micro chrome treatment on fork tubes
Travel: 185 mm
Rear: Progressive link system with single Olle adjustable shock absorber
Travel: 175 mm

WHEELS
Front: Morad 21” gold anodized aluminum rim & aluminum hub. Michelin tube-type tyre
Rear: Morad 18” gold anodized aluminum rim & aluminum hub. Michelin tube-type tyre

DIMENSIONS
Weight: 66 kg (1.25)/ 68 kg (2.5 & 2.9)
Wheelbase: 1,322 mm
Ground clearance: 310 mm
Seat height: 645 mm