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Trouble in the sand

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Hey i have a crf250r and I'm not used to racing in sand. i went to a mx track the other week and it was all sand. i had trouble controlling my bike and couldn't corner like I'm able to in dirt. i just don't know how to control my bike in the deep sand. could someone give me some pointers on cornering and control in the deep sand. Also when i launch off a jump it feels sketchy compared to jumping dirt, any advice to improve on corners and launching of sand jumps and turns.

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You need a lot of body English, momentum, look ahead to your lines and keep your front end light. You'll want to steer the bike more from the rear wheel. It take s seat time and a good bike set-up helps too. Run your compression settings firmer and use a good soft/intermediate to soft terrain tire. My favorites are the Michellin MS3 or S-12 tire(s). Also controlling the bike with the knees makes all the difference in the world when it comes to jumping in the sand. Squeeze that tank.

Edited by dogfish
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Dogfish is spot on.

Here's the biggest thing that helped me out when i raced in sand a few times.

Look ahead.

Keep momentum, the most important!

Line selection is critical.

Dont worry as much about ruts, they aren't as hard to navigate as dirt unless they're really deep.

Beware other riders

Try to keep wheel spin to a minimum, momentum

Don't lock up that rear wheel unless you have to

Seat time, seat time, seat time. Its the best advice

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I agree with them too....im not fast...ill start with that. But, almost all of our tracks and trails are sand to some degree...so you learn to deal with it. My Achilles heel is fear of going down sometimes....and not charging as hard as I could have. It causes me to slow down for sandy corners as if I needed to try to slow down. If I just charge the corner harder to the apex, and let the sand slow me down, as it naturally will substantially and at the right time....I would probably be faster. However, I slow down too much on entry, and then try to power through the whole thing too early after I enter it too slow. Usually turns into me fighting deep sand on a 250f. While the 250f does an ok job of it....it's a lot more work then was needed. I love the corners where I get aggressive and get that "oh I am coming into this waaay to hot.." feeling, only to end up feeling like I did that corner a lot faster and better then I usually do in the end. Had one of those in practice just recently, where I was behind 3 other bikes, who all went inside on a big sand sweeper....I got tired of being roosted, and bombed the corner....laid it over pretty good, and hammered it...whipped around the outside berm and got around all 3 of em. Was pretty damn fun, lol....

So, just remember, keep the front end light, ignore sand ruts...they mean nothing if you are on the gas, and stay aggressive.

Edited by J_WR2fitty
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Hey i have a crf250r and I'm not used to racing in sand. i went to a mx track the other week and it was all sand. i had trouble controlling my bike and couldn't corner like I'm able to in dirt. i just don't know how to control my bike in the deep sand. could someone give me some pointers on cornering and control in the deep sand. Also when i launch off a jump it feels sketchy compared to jumping dirt, any advice to improve on corners and launching of sand jumps and turns.

In soft sand you can't steer with just the front wheel. As you begin to steer with the front wheel you have to get on the throttle. That will take a lot of the demand off steering with the front wheel and you'll actually be steering with the front and rear wheels. Don't put any unnecessary weight on the front wheel either. You can still sit in the front part of the seat but don't have your upper body position too far forward. Keep the front end light. Many times it helps to lower your forks in the triple clamps which will raise the front end so it won't steel so quickly. Try it in 3mm increments.

Check out the free preview of my Sand and Grass Cornering Techniques DVD and/or order it online at; http://wp.gsmxs.com/motocross-sand-grass-techniques/

Sand & Grass DVD cover GS site copy.jpg

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Gripping the bike with your knees for sure and suspension set up are key. While increasing your compression on your forks helps I found slowing my rebound helped too. I only went two clicks and it did help my bike settle. Mainly you need to find a good starting point you are happy with at you dirt track then write down you settings. Go to the sand track and make small adjustments and write them down. Only change one thing at a time. You will start to notice what is better and what is not. I have settings written down for every local track I ride for each of my bikes. Even though I think I have it pretty good I still do testing on practice days.

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Stand up more...all the way through medium radius and larger corners. Learn to 'surf' the bike...meaning you will constantly be adjusting the bike by weighting inside or outside pegs to move the bike around under you. Also...be concious of keeping the front light....and steering with the rear / throttle. Finally, have faith in the gyroscopic stability of the bike. The faster you are going...the more the bike wants to stay on its current path. Let that bike dance under you...it wont get too out of shape on you if you are going fast.

Edited by Blutarsky
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Sometimes problems in sand are the result of the bikes geometry. I am a longtime Honda fan and often ride friends bikes. Some brands just feel better in the sand than others, regardless of setup. I really don't like ktms but for me they really give confidence in the sandy woods trails I ride.

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all previous posts are spot on, focus on momentum, relax, let the bike move under you, and don't chop the throtle. ride arching gradual radius turns with the throtle on.

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