Sherco 4,5i – Cycle Torque Magazine

10 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Sherco 4,5i – Cycle Torque Magazine
Sherco 4.5i Enduro

Boutique Thumper

Test by Ray Macarthur. Pics by Chris Pickett

SHERCO’S 2006 4.5i is an enduro bike built to compete at an elite level but with the philosophy that it’s also fine for the amateur enduro rider. That’s not a bad philosophy to have when a large portion of people that buy this bike will probably be trail riders or clubman rather than expert level.

For a Spanish manufacturer that started out building Trials bikes in 1998 progressing to its first production enduro machine in a new purpose-built French factory in 2005, they have come a long way in a very short time. For a manufacturer so young it’s obvious the company has employed people with the right experience and knowledge. Our first ride on this bike had us impressed with the bike’s flexibility, handling and build quality.

And that’s something that doesn’t come just by luck.

A major feature of this bike is the fuel injection. Made by Magneti Marelli, as is the system Gas Gas use on their FSE, it’s a totally enclosed and pressurised circuit which eliminates the fuel tap and choke. Fuel is pressurised directly from the tank to the electronically controlled injector on the throttle body.

Being computer controlled, using sensors, it adjusts to suit simple breathing modifications to exhaust and intake as well as weather conditions and altitude. Any modifications deeper than this to the engine such as cams etc. may require remapping the fuel curve.

Fuel injection has made a big difference to our cars and road bikes and shows a lot of promise for dirt bikes with its ease of operation and low maintenance. The water cooled 448cc engine uses a single overhead cam and four valves transferring power through a wet clutch and six-speed gearbox. Neutral was a little hard to find with the engine running though the gearbox feels smooth to use with revised 2nd and 3rd gear ratios from last year.

Valves, guides and springs have also been revised, using a new pinion gear for the electric starter which fires the engine into life easily with a kick-starter for backup.

Exhaust gases exit through a large diameter single header to a quiet alloy muffler that looks light and neat. Unfortunately there is no guard on the header pipe and no bashplate under the engine for those that value their nylons and engine casings. The air filter is accessed by removing the seat with a single-cam lock release, similar to a Husky, that looks like a small Pogo stick that holds the foam element in place and then pull the filter out the top. No tools, simple, easy and fast!

The battery sits in the bottom of the air box under the filter. It gets covered in filter oil, yet it’s out of the way and keeps the weight low, and is easy to get to if needed once you remove the air filter. Spark plug access looks a little awkward where the tank comes down over it, but drain plug and filter access makes oil changes look like they’d be a breeze.

The engine fires into life easily with fuel injection eliminating chokes and hot start buttons etc. The bike pulls away with a nice smooth clutch action into a good bottom-end blending seamlessly into a powerful mid-range. The engine really is designed for a broad mid-range, traction and control rather than an outright power monster.

Fuel range is good being competitive within its class and using an 8.5 litre tank.

The frame is a chrome-moly double cradle with an aluminium sub-frame and uses a cast aluminium swing arm. At the pointy end the Paioli /Kayaba USD 46mm forks have 295mm of travel with compression and rebound damping adjustment. At the rear 300mm of travel through the progressive spring and aluminium bodied Paioli shock absorber is actuated through a linkage system, and is fully adjustable with compression and rebound damping and high- and low-speed adjustment.

During the test we thought we had blown the rear shock seal but on closer inspection it appears it was only excess air filter oil leaking from the bottom of the air box.

The suspension felt nice and plush with a slight amount of compression shock transfer on the front forks – on big hits with our 75 to 85kg weight – but overall suspension and adjustment were great. Steering felt precise with no sign of headshake. Brakes are both hydraulic AJP Disc units that are both strong and have excellent feel.

Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro

The only problems we had with the brakes was 10 minutes into our first ride, the rear brake lever fell off completely and was lost, so I had no rear brake for the rest of the day.

At the end of the ride I went back along the first section of the track and found it! The culprit was the lever pivot bolt that came loose and fell out. The bolt head is out of sight under the frame and easy to miss.

Just goes to show it pays to check and Locktite your bolts. A Brake-Snake or zip tie between the lever and frame may have kept it from being lost, not to mention keeping us out of the greenery. The radiator shrouds curve in at the front to keep width down on what we would describe as a handsome, well finished motorcycle in its blue and yellow livery.

A tidy plastic rear guard extension to mount the number plate incorporates a sleek tail light and a lightweight headlight up front has the horn sensibly mounted behind it to keep it out of the mud.

There are controls mounted next to the left handgrip for easy operation of the reasonably large multifunction display unit. The unit is backlit in red for night vision and an unusual feature is the electronic sensor which calculates speed mounted under the swingarm reading off the rear disc. The sensor looks a little vulnerable there but probably no more so than if it was mounted on the front, with the advantage that the wires don’t get flexed all over the place like they do when mounted on the front brake cable or forks.

Moving around is easy with a slim feel and nice flat seat that gets you right up on the tank. Handle bars are tapered alloy units on rubber mounted perches that offer forward adjustment and a comfortable position. There are no brush guards and I would recommend fitting a good set of Barkbusters or similar to protect both clutch and front brake master cylinders.

Claimed weight of 109kg is pretty good and it feels reasonably light to ride with nice seat height that doesn’t feel overly tall. One thing we found a little annoying and, to be careful of, was the nice lightweight alloy sidestand which liked to shoot into the up position a little too well as soon as a bit of weight was lifted from it, allowing the bike to fall over easily when fiddling around.

Our overall impression was it’s hard to believe this manufacturer has been around for such a short time and produced such a nice motorcycle. If you’ve got a dealer nearby it’s a bike you would have to consider. We loved its great manners, handling and very usable power. The RRP is $12,490 and warranty is three months parts only.

Call Moto Central in the ACT on 02 6248 0229 or visit www.sherco.com.au for details on your local dealer.

Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro
Sherco 4.5i Enduro


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