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sand Dune Riding Help

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After recently purchasing a trailer, i am now looking to ride on sand dunes near my house. I am completely in the dark about how i need to set up my bike, what gear i need to wear, what i should bring with me in terms of food, water, and gas, ect....

I apologize if my request may sound somewhat demanding, but i have no idea where to start in terms of questions. If any experienced sand dune/desert riders could lend advice and insight, it would be much appreciated.

By the way... I will be riding an '08 yamaha yz250f.

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I have only ridden a few dunes in Mexico so there are others that are more experienced that may give their expertise.

First, you got to keep your front end light. Lower the tire pressures to help stay on top of the sand.

A paddle on the rear would be ideal. A flag could help others see you before cresting the top of dunes.

Keep your chain well oiled.

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I have only ridden a few dunes in Mexico so there are others that are more experienced that may give their expertise.

First, you got to keep your front end light. Lower the tire pressures to help stay on top of the sand.

A paddle on the rear would be ideal. A flag could help others see you before cresting the top of dunes.

Keep your chain well oiled.

What should i wear in terms of riding gear? Should i go light to beat the heat or should i wear all the padding i can get my hands on?

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ATGATT is the standard.

When I rode dunes my attire consisted of a t-shirt, shorts, one tennis shoe and a cast.

I will give a tidbit of advise, If the dune is tall and steep (2-300') do not expect brakes to stop you if going straight downhill. Angles are your friend. Know what is at the bottom of a tall dune before you rail straight down. (there could be a unseen drop off)

Do not try going straight up a steep dune. (you are not going to make it) If you get stuck going up a tall dune, get off the bike, do not try to roll back and turn, the sand will give way and gravity takes over.

Tell a friend where you will be. Tall dunes are exhilarating and Dangerous.

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Not an expert but I remember it takes a while to get used to feeling of the bike moving around while you try to go straight, don't fight it just keep the front light. It's a little bit like riding in the mud.

Lots of funnnn !!

Edited by Gill_kx250f

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Go buy yourself a paddle, well worth the headache of changing a tire. If there will be a lot of people, definitely need a flag/whip. As far as riding technique goes, try to go with someone who knows. Watch out for witches eyes, always crest a dune traveling with the ridgeline at the top, if you aren't going to make a hill, then turn before you lose all your speed and head down. You will fall. You will get sand in places you didn't know you had. You will have more fun than you thought you could!

A big bore bike is your friend, as well as lots of throttle. Keep the front end light and pinch with your knees. The bike will feel crazy squirrely sometimes, just let it do it's thing. Make sure everything is sound mechanically, and bring LOTS of water. I would suggest a GPS if they are big dunes where you can get lost. I would highly suggest riding with people, if for no other reason than this: if your bike breaks down, you're more than likely leaving it out there until it's fixed...not too many vehicles that can haul a bike can make it to where you'll be riding. and forget pushing anything out there...

Have Fun!

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The #1 rule I go by for sand duning is ; horsepower = fun. Keep your revs up, be in gear and full throttle before you hit the dune but be prepared to drop throttle as you near the top (unless you like to get big air). Sit back, a rear paddle tire is highly preferred but with a smaller bike try to find a set with smaller paddle height and fewer of them. Take several sprockets to tune gearing so which ever gear works best for climbing it will stay in the powerband but not bouncing off the rev limiter. You basically want as high of wheel speed you can while keeping the motor from bogging at the top.

Watch for motor overheating , it'll be working pretty hard. A steering dampener works good for keeping the wheel from being jerked around by tire channels in the sand. A dry silicone lube on the chain, not the ones that stay tacky, and spray it every day, best when it's warm after a long ride. Plenty of gas for a full day so you don't have to load up and run get some, but a way to secure them to your trailer/truck

Never go up a dune blind or go full throttle across the sand until you go around and take notice of where any "witches eyes" ( round, deep 10-20ft diameter holes that the wind swirled out), plus take notes on how the lips are, some times the dune face can be fairly hard and then the last 4-8ft on top will be real soft and stop forward momentum before cresting. Watch for dips at the bottom where the dune face transitions to flat. As mentioned going up at an angle can be easier to go up( I like going straight but have a lookout on top) and always be prepared to turn before loosing momentum and just get turned so you are angling down. Have an escape route before hitting the face so you know just which way to turn.

I wear motocross gear, great for keeping abrasions down, you'll be moving around a lot. Small Camelback

Most places require a flag so get one and a button release mount so it's real easy to remove for transporting. My favorite is made by Advance Engineering Technology, anodized aluminum. Take a grinder with a cutoff wheel so you can cut the fiberglass pole, it will split at the end where it flexes after a good day or if you tumble. Don't bother with the flex mounts.

Put an Outerware over your air filter, they do a good job of stopping the sand that will get in the airbox.

Edited by jjktmrider
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The one thing I always remind myself of is NEVER crest a dune blind. Always check from the ridge line. Dune shapes and drop off can change by the hour. Finally, ride it like its stolen..... Apart from cresting the dune bit!!!

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Lots of good advice and I agree a paddle tire would be best. Since you are on a 250f your going to want all the power you have and possibly wish you had more. Your bike is going to suck gas, so understand that your range will be lass than half of what you normally ride. Wit that said, don't run out and if you do, have a water pack!!! I noticed you in the Mid East, its really HOT out there. Watch the coolant in your bike too!

Be ready to have fun!

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Get a paddle, keep the outside peg weighted while turning and side hilling.  Be on the throttle practically all the time, makes it easier.  Lighter you keep the front end the easier it is, when you first get on the sand everything you do will feel squirrely.  You will eventually get used to it, if you are on steep dunes be sure and learn your point of no return.  Learn when you need to bail on a hill climb and turn around, if not that can get you in trouble (more so though if you ride a 4-wheeler or side by side).  You will use gas A LOT faster vs riding dirt.  Use your back brake as much as you can, grabbing the front is aa good way to go over the bars.  It'll be scary at first but the faster you go the easier it is to ride, first and second gear is really difficult to ride in on the sand.

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Good advice above...in the suspension arena, you want a stiff chassis so tighten up the compression and set a quick rebound. You want the forks to reach out to the next whoop rather than packing up on you and stuffing. Also the term steer with the rear applies.

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