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California sand beginner-- Weight vs Power

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Hi. I am setting up for the LAB2V desert ride from California to Nevada. I don't have much experience riding deep sand for 400 miles in the desert.

The dilema: which bike to bring.

1) one with more power but also more weight, or

2) one with little power but also weighs very little.

For example, lets assume you are a small and new rider, which is better...

(*) A heavy DR 200 (280 pounds and 15 horse power), or

(*) A light TTR 125 (198 pounds and 10 horse power)

Edited by Terminatr

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I don't know your ride, but I doubt you will experience any real deep sand on that ride, unless your going to be near st anthonys. Washes and sandy spots/drifts don't constitute deep sand. As far as bikes goes, with the two you have listed, I would take the DR because it looks closer to full sized for bigger rims/tires. With either one, keeping momentum up is going to be more important then the 5hp difference. 

Edited by Die_trying

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I don't know your ride, but I doubt you will experience any real deep sand on that ride, unless your going to be near st anthonys. Washes and sandy spots/drifts don't constitute deep sand. As far as bikes goes, with the two you have listed, I would take the DR because it looks closer to full sized for bigger rims/tires. With either one, keeping momentum up is going to be more important then the 5hp difference.

I read that riders on bigger bikes really struggled and some failed to finish because of the heft of their bikes because last year's route was especially bad with endless sand whoops. And many wuzzed out by jumping on the highway instead. I also read last year, most people elected to ride KTM's. So it sounds pretty intense.

I read there's going to be an alternative "adventure route" for the bigger bikes. I don't want to be a wuzz and ride the adventure route on a small bike. I want to ride the regular route. It's probably going to cost me over $2000 in logistic for this ride; so I am not going to take any easy short cut and cheat myself of this once in a life time experience. No doubt, the adventure route riders will miss out on some awsome scenary.

I do a lot of trail rides with sand, but they are deep patches here and there that I can blow thru. I never rode 400 miles of continuous sand; that's alot. I'm afraid a 280-pound bike with just 15 HP is going to wear me out. I'm not strong. Only 5'7" tall.

Edited by Terminatr

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I read that riders on bigger bikes really struggled and some failed to finish because of the heft of their bikes because last year's route was especially bad with endless sand whoops. And many wuzzed out by jumping on the highway instead. I also read last year, most people elected to ride KTM's. So it sounds pretty intense.

I read there's going to be an alternative "adventure route" for the bigger bikes. I don't want to be a wuzz and ride the adventure route on a small bike. I want to ride the regular route. It's probably going to cost me over $2000 in logistic for this ride; so I am not going to take any easy short cut and cheat myself of this once in a life time experience. No doubt, the adventure route riders will miss out on some awsome scenary.

I do a lot of trail rides with sand, but they are deep patches here and there that I can blow thru. I never rode 400 miles of continuous sand; that's alot. I'm afraid a 280-pound bike with just 15 HP is going to wear me out. I'm not strong. Only 5'7" tall.

can you find any pictures/video/helmet cam from the event? I don't know of any places in california where you can go 400 miles in just sand (we may have different ideas of what 'sand' is). It depends on the terrain, if you have to stop and go a lot, are dropping the bike or having to push it, you will get tired. Speed is your friend in sand. if it's pretty flat and open, you should be fine. Whoops are only as draining as you make them, and depending on the density of the surroundings a lot of the time you can fine lines off them main drag that aren't whooped out.

Edited by Die_trying

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Also that pic you posted....if you weave through bushes and ride about 10 feet off of the "road" youre gonna have firmer dirt not chewed up by everyone. Just keep eyes peeled for hazards.

Edited by 4STK4LIFE

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sell both your bikes. buy an XR400.

The ride is only 3 weeks away. Not enough time to look for a new bike and get it ready.

Edited by Terminatr

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i found this on youtube, it looks like a great ride.

 

None of that is deep sand, you'll be fine. If you get into those canyons, that is what will wear you out. Sand leading into rocks is hard because if you slow down/stop, you'll dig your rear tire down. Just keep moving.

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Most of LAB2V is not deep sand.   Keep your revs up and stay to the back of the seat and you'll be ok.  It's a bit of a learning curve, but trial-by-fire if you've never done it.  With that said - there are "sand sections"... which are rediculously deep sand.   They don't go on for more than 10 miles or so... you'll live.... and they are a BLAST!  

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When it comes to desert riding the weight of your bike is not important due to the fact that a smaller bike usually cant handle it. Any small engine is going to be under a lot of stress and you run a good chance of blowing it up. Along with this, you are going to be miserable because a small bore bike wont push you along very well in the sand. 

 

I think most would agree a 250 2stroke or 350 4stroke is the absolute minimum when riding medium to deep sand. Anything less than that and you are asking for trouble.

 

I have riding a 250f in december on firmly packed dunes (WA state), but its still really under powered.

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who is this new rider? are we talking about you or a friend?

 

if we're talking about just a random dude, i think the bigger issue is getting a newbie to do 400 miles on any bike.

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It's actually only 200 miles per day. It's a two day event.

 

who is this new rider? are we talking about you or a friend?

 

if we're talking about just a random dude, i think the bigger issue is getting a newbie to do 400 miles on any bike.

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The125, hands down over the200, I have had both as wife bikes, we still have the ttr125le. Better bike in every way

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DR 200 (280 pounds and 15 horse power) weight ratio 18.7

TTR 125 (198 pounds and 10 horse power) weight ratio 19.8 to each pound so that makes the lighter bike actually stronger.

that results in lb per hp, you want to minimize lb/hp. The DR200 makes more HP/lb. as you add weight, the HP/lb advantage the DR200 has over the TTR increases.

 

These are probably factory listed specs, and I wouldn't make my decision based on them.

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