2024 Sherco Off-Roaders Review – Cycle News

Kit Palmer | September 9, 2023

The French manufacturer Sherco recently pulled the covers off its latest fleet of enduro bikes bound for U.S. soil. This includes four SEF Factory four-stroke models (250, 300, 450 and 500cc), three SE Factory two-strokes (125, 250 and 300cc) and two new HRD SE Factory RS four-stroke dual sport models (125 and 500cc). Two new HRD SM Factory RS four-stroke supermoto models (125 and 500cc) are also coming our way.

Cycle News just returned from the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, where we got to sample them all.

The 2024 Sherco 300 SEF Factory four-stroke has more power but is just as tractable.

Photography by Andrew Nguyen/WinPic Photography

Mesquite Madness

Sherco factory racers Cody Webb, Cooper Abbott and 14-time U.S. Trials Champion Pat Smage were on hand for our visit and laid out a short but tight and twisty single-track loop for the media to play on. The course weaved its way through the endless sea of thorn-rich Mesquite trees, and despite the ultra-dry and dusty conditions, the trail was great fun that still demanded your attention and provided a good initial testing ground for the bikes. The only catch (besides the thorns) was having only a few hours to work with because the folks from Sherco were trying to squeeze us in during their annual dealer meeting. Hey, little is better than nothing. With the small window of opportunity, my goal was to get at least one lap on each of the seven enduro and two dual sport bikes—it was tight, but mission accomplished. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get in the two supermoto bikes. Those will have to wait.

Here are a few takeaways from each bike.

2024 Sherco 125 dual-sport motorcycle
Welcome one of Sherco’s two new dual-sport models, the 125 HRD SE Factory RS. It’s got to be the coolest-looking entry-level motorcycle out there.

SE Factory 125

The Sherco SE Factory 125 is unchanged for 2024. Like its bigger two-stroke siblings, the SE 250 and 300, it features a steel frame, KYB suspension, Brembo brakes and an electronic powervalve. You also have a couple of maps from which to choose via a switch on the right handlebar. It’s carbureted via a 36mm Keihin PWK, and there is no kickstarter. Instead, it carries a battery to power the 125’s e-button.

2024 Sherco 125 dual sport motorcycle
The 125cc dual sport is EPA friendly and a fun cruiser on the trail.


  • It’s fast with decent low-end and smooth power delivery—for a 125, of course. The clutch is your best friend, and it gets used a lot. Luckily, clutch pull is light, has excellent modulation and feels durable.
  • The bike handles quickly and feels light despite its claimed 220-plus pounds, which is somewhat up there for a 1-2-5. Excess weight comes from its starter motor and battery, strategically placed low in the chassis.
  • The 125 SE is great fun but takes some getting used to if you haven’t ridden a 125cc, or even a two-stroke, for that matter, in the woods in a while.
2024 Sherco 300 SEF right side
The 250 and 300 (shown) SEF Factory models feature new engines and several other updates.

125 HRD SE Factory RS

The 125cc dual sport is powered by a 124.81cc, OHC four-valve, liquid-cooled Motori Minarelli motor. It’s fuel-injected with an electric starter. The engine is carried in a steel frame with an upside-down 41mm front fork and a single rear shock mounted solidly to the swingarm. It rolls on 21-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels with 12.4 inches of ground clearance. Seat height is 36.34 inches and holds 2.1 gallons.

It has linked front and rear disc brakes, a European requirement for certain small-bore motorcycles without ABS. Expect the MSRP to be right around $4999.


  • The 125cc dual sport is designed for entry-level riders and those looking for a fun around-towner.
  • Beginners will like its unintimidating and forgiving power, but experienced riders will clearly want more from its little motor. It’s not “fast” by any means. Electric starting and hand guards are nice touches. It’s very comfortable but could be a little on the tall side for any under six feet or so. Footpegs are perfectly sized for infants; adults will want bigger pegs immediately.
  • Suspension is soft yet quite good, but the linked brakes feel a little odd in the dirt.
  • For an entry-level motorcycle, it looks super cool. Overall, we see a lot of potential for serious fun here.
2024 Sherco two-stroke off road motorcycle
The 2024 Sherco 250 and 300cc two-strokes return with only visual changes.

250 & 300 SE Factory Two-Strokes

Like the 125 SE Factory, the 250 and 300 SEs are unchanged. They are the company’s premier hard enduro, or extreme enduro, weapons. The nastier the trail, the more you want to be on one of these bikes versus their four-stroke cousins. Unlike their Austrian two-stroke rivals, the Shercos SEs are still carbureted. They also have closed-cartridge KYB suspension, FMF exhaust, AXP skid plate, Polisport handguards, Selle Dalla Valle seat, radiator fan, Brembo brakes and hydraulic clutch.


  • Performance from these two bikes is, as expected, the same as before, which is good. Both bikes are (and were) very competitive as is and great alternatives if you want to break away from the more familiar orange (KTM), white (Husqvarna) and red (GasGas) fold, especially if you’re not sold on fuel injection for two-strokes yet.
  • Just like before, the 300 is the torquier of the two, so if you prefer to let the motor do most of the work, the 300 is a great choice. It’s easier to get a flow going on the 300 than the 250, and you don’t have to shift as much.
  • The 250 isn’t massively different from the 300, but the 250 generally performs better if you like to ride with an on-off throttle hand and rev it hard from tree to tree. It’s slightly more antsy or hyper than the 300, so if that’s more your riding style, the 250 is a great choice. Regardless, both are excellent bikes for technical trails. Nothing new here.
2024 Sherco 125 SE motorcycle
Sherco has given its 250 SEF Factory a new engine with more power.

250 & 300 SEF Factory

The 2024 Sherco 250 SEF Factory features what the company says is an all-new motor. The ’23 motor needed more beans for racing than its Austrian rivals, so the French went to town upgrading the ’24’s engine, which, among several changes, has new titanium intake valves. It also has a new Akrapovic exhaust system with a titanium header pipe. Look closely, and you’ll see a new magnesium clutch cover and a new oil-level sight glass.

The 250 SEF also gets a new headlight, front fender, swingarm, wheels and aluminum sprocket.

The 300 SEF Factory gets all the same attention as the 250.


  • The 250 SEF is indeed fast. Faster than the previous version? It’s hard to tell without having a ’23 on site for back-to-back comparisons, but I’m certain of it. The ’24 motor feels snappy and robust and likes to be revved. It feels like a race bike, not a trail bike like last year’s.
  • Its KYB suspension is cushy yet firm enough for aggressive riding, at least for my 165 pounds.
  • The 300 is the 250 with even more power while being delivered via a broader and smoother powerband.
  • Of the 10 bikes I rode on this day, I felt the fastest and most in control aboard the 300 SEF, which somehow managed to find traction on the dry and sometimes silty terrain better than the others. It was the best bike for maintaining consistent momentum at a good clip around the Texas loop we rode. It was my pick of the litter.
2024 Sherco 500 DS off road motorcycle
Pictured is the new street-legal 500cc supermoto, which is also based on the 500 SEF Factory enduro. There will also be a 125 HRD SE Factory RS supermoto version.

450 SEF Factory

The 450 SEF Factory returns as it was in 2023 and we have no problem with that. It’s back with the same components as its siblings, which include KYB suspension, an Akrapovic muffler and Brembo brakes.


  • The Sherco is one of the few big-bore four-strokes out there that I don’t feel completely intimidated by while racing from tree to tree. It’s plenty fast but delivers all its power remarkably smoothly and efficiently. It has tons of torque and a broad powerband, which, combined with some handy clutch work along the way, allowed me to simply leave it in third gear and just focus on the trail ahead of me. It was also flame-out resistant.
  • Suspension was superb for our Texas loop, which, admittedly, wasn’t demanding on either fork or shock. Still, it felt terrific.
2024 Sherco 500 SEF off road motorcycle
Sherco’s other new dual sport is a 500 and is based closely on the 500 SEF Factory enduro platform.

500 SEF Factory/ HRD SE Factory RS (Dual Sport)

The 500 SEF Factory is also unchanged and features all the same goodies as its slightly smaller 450 SEF Factory brother, while the 500 HRD SE Factory RS dual sport is an all-new model. However, the HRD is not really an all-new motorcycle since it’s based so heavily on the 500 SEF platform. Essentially, the 500 HRD (dual sport) is the 500 SEF (enduro) with mirrors and blinkers, which is precisely how we rode it in Texas since Sherco did not have an actual 500 HRD SE Factory RS available for us to ride. They promised, however, that the 500 SEF we rode was close to one, as it would have the same settings, such as mapping and gearing, as the forthcoming 500 HRD. We will see. We expect there will be several small differences when the production version becomes available to the public. Sherco says both its dual sports (the 125 and 500) have already been EPA- and CARB-approved.


  • The 500 SEF Factory is a lot of motorcycle. It felt a lot burlier than the 450 and required a change of strategy to get around the single-track loop quickly. It was one of those go-slow-to-go-fast types of things when riding the 500.
  • Simply, the 500 dual sport needs open space to run and shine, and we expect it to be a viable option in the big-bike, high-performance dual sport market. CN
Cycle News Magazine review 2024 Sherco Off-Roader motorcycle


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