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How hard is it to ride in the dunes? Beginner rider!

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We are going to the dunes this weekend and I don't have a quad, but also am VERY new to dirt bikes.. Started learning to ride my bike just last week. Am I going to kill myself out there lol? Is it just going to be miserable for me? I can always ride B- but obviously don't really want to spend most of the trip riding on the back with someone else!

 

I have a little two stroke kx65 with the engine bored to an 85 (I'm 5"2 and 95 pounds) I have paddle tires for it and I've read that helps.

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Sand is different. It'll take a bit to get used to, but the nice thing is that wiping out in sand hurts less than hard pack :-)

In general, you want to keep your weight up 'on the tank', meaning very forward on the bike. This is the first thing I tell a new sand rider.

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Sand is different. It'll take a bit to get used to, but the nice thing is that wiping out in sand hurts less than hard pack :-)

In general, you want to keep your weight up 'on the tank', meaning very forward on the bike. This is the first thing I tell a new sand rider.

That's wrong!  You don't want weight on the front of the bike in sand unless you like to crash, keeping the front of the bike light is the key to staying upright.  

 

For the OP, bring you bike and try it out, you might have fun, you might hate it.  As for technique, stand up, lean back and go in straight lines several times!  Then practice carving a few turns, sit a little back on the seat, not on the tank, then lean the bike, not your body and put the edge of the seat in your butt crack, put your foot up near the front wheel so it's there if you need to dab.  Don't chop the throttle when going into the turn or use the front break, as soon as you apex the turn get on the gas hard and stand the bike back up!

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Yeah, I'm seeing that all over the place in recent years... Getting back to lighten up the front end. That is how I ride once I'm moving, but to get started I'm on the tank. It greatly improves slow speed handling and steering control.

Wanna see a frustrated newb sand rider? Tell him to shift his weight back on the bike always and then watch him eat dirt all day long because he has no steering control, flops back and forth on the steering like a fall down drunk, and can't even get out of first gear :-(

On the tank when slow, then shift weight back once you get rolling. I don't talk outta my ass and tell people they're wrong because the current online trend says to keep your weight back. I've been riding sand since I was 11 (I'm 42 now). I spent every summer of my teen years camping and riding on the dunes, and I had lots of time to figure out what works and what doesn't. I still ride sand very well to this day. This method works :-)

Also, the "dabbing" thing with your foot... Bad. Learn to ride without needing any crutches. Keep your feet firm on the pegs unless you need to put a foot forward in a turn. The reason you put your foot forward is not in case you need to 'dab', it's for greater steering control. Putting a foot down to dab means you've lost control of your bike and need to correct. Bad habit. Learn to use the bike and the throttle to correct for a mistake before it gets to the point where you wind up having to putting a foot down.

I agree with standing up and leaning back... Once you're moving.

Edited by FCR Expert

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Y'all are a little late on giving this OP advice haha. 4 months ago was their trip to the dunes...

In any case, my advice is to just get out there and figure it out! I took my yz250 out a month ago and it was my first time. It took a solid day of riding to really get my sand legs, but once I figured it out, it was easy-peasy.

But, more power = easier time for sure. I wouldn't go out there on anything less than a 250 2-stroke. Modern 250 4-strokes do alright, but a 450 or 300ish 2-stroke would be perfect out on the dunes. Any 125 or smaller engine will be horrible out there unless you're a small child or anorexic woman.

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