Riding a bike in the sand dunes

I have been riding for a while at hollister hills here in california and I thinking about going to oceano dunes. When ever I ride through sand I always get loose and loose traction. I will put paddle tires on. Can you guys give me any riding tips?

I have a xr80r with fmf and pro taper bars. Besides riding skills is there anything I have to do to the bike to prepare it for the dunes? Will the xr80 work ok on the dunes or is it not powerful enough?

Paddle tire and twist the throttle! The bike will always feel loose in sand dunes, let the rear end move around and do its thing. Keeping the front end light is the best thing, stay on the power!

If you have an xr80 dont bother with a paddle tire, it will make it bog down to much. Your xr80 should have enough power to move through the sand although i wouldnt try and climb to many hills

Sand sucks power majorly.. so don't get a paddle tire until you bump up to at least a 100 cc two stroke I would think. 


To effectively ride sand, you have to carry a lot of speed to "stay on top" of it.. otherwise your front wheel digs a mini sized trench, and your rear wheel sinks further into the sand which robs you of much needed power. 


How old are you??  What year is your XR80?

I'm 14 and its a 2002 I have been looking at some 125s and 100s. I used to have a kx100 but I blew up the motor and sold it. I have only had the 80 for a couple of months.

A sand knobby at 8PSI is going to be your best bet. Bike handle good in the sand on the power and over about 20mph. Slowing down and getting up past that speed where the bike stops moving like a fish is the hardest part.

Pin it!!!


Get a paddle tire that has the proper number of paddles for an 80. Clean your airfilter really good before and plan on cleaning it again in between riding to get the most power out of your bike.

Have fun!! I wish I was going to Pismo!

Should have kept the KX100 and rebuilt it ... great bike for the dunes and a light rider... paddled it will go good.


Pin it! hang off the rear fender and to keep the front end light

Tire speed is critical in sand, you want to shift up a gear higher than you would think and open her up to keep the rear tire on top and lean back so you can steer more with the rear than the front. If you feel the front dropping give it more throttle.

I've never been to the dunes but, I love virgin sand washes where thetes been enough rain or wind to delete all previous tracks :). It's still great when people have ridden it and there's tracks in it but its not as great.

In either case just keep the throttle pinned... The bike will squirm around but that's just part of it.

Also you could tighten up your rebound dampening a few clicks for sand.

Last xmas I did my first real trip to the dunes.....Dumont Dunes.  The first few times I went up comp hill, going up was no problem but I was trying to go down way too slow.  As I first headed down the bike was way squirly so I was afraid to go fast.  This turned out to be a lot of work and completely the wrong way to do it.  I watched another bike do it and he went fast down and looked completely in control.  I tried going fast down and it felt so much better and way less work.


The point is that in the sand....go fast.  It's kind of like wake boarding or skiing.  If you are going slow you mush around and it's difficult.  You want to go fast enough to where you are floating on top of the sand.


Not sure if your bike will have enough power do that that effectively or not.  My 13yo son rides a CR85RB and had no issues but that bike has way more power than your XR80.


Another cool thing about the sand is that the sand hurts way less than dirt when you crash....unless you hit another vehicle!


A huge safety thing is to NEVER blindly go straight over the top of a dune without a spotter on top watching the far side.  Always approach the top at an angle so you can see the other side.  Check out this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A30JI4xC3sg

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