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Riding in the sand

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Hello, I have a a 2014 XT250 Dualsport and took it offroading for the first time on some actual trails. The trails consisted of sand/dirt/rocks. Right at the beginning of the 2 hour ride, I hit a soft spot in sand and my front tire was going from left to right(scary!), I gave it some throttle and it smoothed it out, but I hit another soft sand spot(deep sand) and the front tire went from left to right again and I flew off the bike. I wasn't standing up either.(1st time falling.) Was this bound to happend or was it poor riding technique?

 

After that, I've been riding sand trails close to the house to get my confidence in the sand. I've been keeping my weight back and standing up on the pegs and giving it throttle and speed to float above the sand. (I only figured this out by looking at how to ride sand after the crash)

Would there be any tips for riding in sand? Any way preventing these death wobbles?

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Hello, I have a a 2014 XT250 Dualsport and took it offroading for the first time on some actual trails. The trails consisted of sand/dirt/rocks. Right at the beginning of the 2 hour ride, I hit a soft spot in sand and my front tire was going from left to right(scary!), I gave it some throttle and it smoothed it out, but I hit another soft sand spot(deep sand) and the front tire went from left to right again and I flew off the bike. I wasn't standing up either.(1st time falling.) Was this bound to happend or was it poor riding technique?

 

After that, I've been riding sand trails close to the house to get my confidence in the sand. I've been keeping my weight back and standing up on the pegs and giving it throttle and speed to float above the sand. (I only figured this out by looking at how to ride sand after the crash)

Would there be any tips for riding in sand? Any way preventing these death wobbles?

 

 

That bike makes 15 horsepower and is 300 lbs.

 

Time for a new bike.

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Lean way back and pin it.  When you lose momentum, you plow sand. I generally run like 10psi tire pressure as well. Some guys even lower.

 

Riding sand trails can be tricky for even experienced guys that ride well everywhere else.  

 

Youre about to learn a lot about momentum.

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Lean way back and pin it.  When you lose momentum, you plow sand. I generally run like 10psi tire pressure as well. Some guys even lower.

 

Riding sand trails can be tricky for even experienced guys that ride well everywhere else.  

 

Youre about to learn a lot about momentum.

 

I agree with Jeff. Most of our trails here...and a lot of tracks too...are mostly sand. So you either learn to like it or complain bout them all. I like sand, and maybe I was forced into it, but as soon as you learn the rules of sand riding it is actually pretty fun. Momentum is #1....the second you are off the throttle you are slowing down rapidly, and the problem is the front end then wants to dig in and that is followed by going this way and that as you experienced. Standing does help to do so, but keeping the front end light by being on the gas is ultimately the best solution. If you are coming into a sandy corner....you can enter it a lot faster then you think because it is going to slow you down fast. I know I used to slow down too early and then i'd get all out of balance, etc. By staying on the gas later into the corner, it made for a much smoother and controlled transition if I DO brake. Not going to pretend I am an A class rider, lol, but I do have quite a bit of experience in deep dune style sand that is often bone dry...since we have a lot of it. Few other things are experimenting with tire pressure, but also suspension. Generally stiffer set ups help with deep sand over softer...and not allowing yourself to get far too slow for the gear you are in....gotta be able to get that thing moving, bogging down in it only makes matters worse.

 

One example, if I am in an area of harder pack stuff on a trail, and i see a huge stretch of sand ahead of me. I USED to slow down being nervous, and it killed me, I was all over the place and losing the battle vs. the sand. NOW, I see that sand, I stand up, keep the weight favored to the rear a bit, squeeze with my knees, and stay on it....once you do that and realize how much easier sand is, you won't go back to slow going it. Especially on a heavier bike.

Edited by J_YZ2fittyF

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That bike makes 15 horsepower and is 300 lbs.

 

Time for a new bike.

 

Don't listen to this guy.

 

It's all about skill. The more you ride in sand, the better you will become riding in sand. Even on your 15 hp, 300 lb bike.

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I see that you live in Washington. Bring that bike down here to my sandbox here in Coos Bay for the weekend, and I promise you will no longer have any problems in the sand. Really though the more time you spend in the sand the better you will get.

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Tires are everything in sand. Few tires truly work well in it. Hard-pack and DOT-approved tires may as well be skis when riding in sand. Some intermediates are OK, but in general a sort-terrain tire will always be your best bet. The drawback to that is, soft-terrain tires get eaten up very quickly on hard terrain.

 

The best tires I've ever used here in the deep powdery Florida sand are Moto-Z Traculas. I love these tires.

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One of the keys to sand is to be a gear higher than you think you should be in and pin it enough to keep the back tire broke loose and lean back in to it. Keep the front light and steer more with the rear wheel by leaning your torso.

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That bike makes 15 horsepower and is 300 lbs.

 

Time for a new bike.

I got it as a gift, I'm not complaining.

 

As for everyone else, thank you! I've been practicing, and kept in high revs in the sand and have been doing better.

Waiting for new gear to come in, and I will be riding more in the sand.

Edited by 250XT

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Bike set-up also matters for sand. You'll find that you need a little more sag in the rear suspension than for harder terrain, and sliding the forks down in the clamps will help with stability.

 

Damping settings also matter, but as that bike probably doesn't have any...

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Just checked my tire pressure. Front tire was at 16 psi, and back tire was at 20 psi. Haven't touched the tires with putting air in them. Could this be a problem as well? Should I lower it down?

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Tires are everything in sand. Few tires truly work well in it. Hard-pack and DOT-approved tires may as well be skis when riding in sand. Some intermediates are OK, but in general a sort-terrain tire will always be your best bet. The drawback to that is, soft-terrain tires get eaten up very quickly on hard terrain.

 

The best tires I've ever used here in the deep powdery Florida sand are Moto-Z Traculas. I love these tires.

 

I generally run S12's, and they work for me. BUT I went to a gravel pit one time with them, and there wont be a second time. Noticeable gain in wear. So i agree on both parts of that, lol. Though, if you only hit rocks now and then or a lil clay, they hold up ok.

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One of the keys to sand is to be a gear higher than you think you should be in and pin it enough to keep the back tire broke loose and lean back in to it. Keep the front light and steer more with the rear wheel by leaning your torso.

 

I agree with that so long as you do the second part.....because if you're a gear higher then you think you need to be and you DONT keep it pinned to keep it spinning on a less powerful bike, you will find yourself downshifting in a hurry and trying to find power in DEEP sand in a hurry.

Edited by J_YZ2fittyF

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Bike set-up also matters for sand. You'll find that you need a little more sag in the rear suspension than for harder terrain, and sliding the forks down in the clamps will help with stability.

 

Damping settings also matter, but as that bike probably doesn't have any...

Listen to the Florida riders, we'll steer you straight since thats basically all we ride in!

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Tires are everything in sand. Few tires truly work well in it. Hard-pack and DOT-approved tires may as well be skis when riding in sand. Some intermediates are OK, but in general a sort-terrain tire will always be your best bet. The drawback to that is, soft-terrain tires get eaten up very quickly on hard terrain.

 

The best tires I've ever used here in the deep powdery Florida sand are Moto-Z Traculas. I love these tires.

 

wow, I had the hardest time with those tires. Exploded the sidewall out of two tires, rode back to camp with tubes sticking out the sides. I think the key to sand riding is more about staying neutral on the bike, throttle hard, getting on top of the sand, rear wheel spinning and sliding through corners. I get the back wheel floating and just sling it around, as long as you're hard on the gas the front end stays light.  If you get out of it, the front end knifes....gotta be ready to shift weight back.  It's an aggressive riding style.

 

I've made trials tires work just fine out in the dunes

Edited by Slackkinhard

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Bike set-up also matters for sand. You'll find that you need a little more sag in the rear suspension than for harder terrain, and sliding the forks down in the clamps will help with stability.

 

Damping settings also matter, but as that bike probably doesn't have any...

Just looked up how to change the sag (first dirtbike so new to all this) it looks like its a good thing to do. To have the suspension in it's sweet spot.

 

I won't be riding the sand dunes with this bike, but some of the trails I've rode got pretty sandy, so maybe adjusting the rear suspension to my weight will help with riding in the sand.

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Bike set-up also matters for sand. You'll find that you need a little more sag in the rear suspension than for harder terrain, and sliding the forks down in the clamps will help with stability.

 

Damping settings also matter, but as that bike probably doesn't have any...

Just looked up how to change the sag (first dirtbike so new to all this) it looks like its a good thing to do. To have the suspension in it's sweet spot.

 

I won't be riding the sand dunes with this bike, but some of the trails I've rode got pretty sandy, so maybe adjusting the rear suspension to my weight will help with riding in the sand.

Chokey has made some excellent points, I might add adjust speed with light trail braking with rear brake, yes slighty drag it, directional change in sand is weight transfer side/side as well as increase attack radius to turn, yes open up turn radius, maintain weight loading of rear tire. front braking , tight turn radius, and throttle chop will kill you.

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The faster you ride, the more control you will have. Don't over think it.

 

This is spot on!  In sand if you feel you are going to fall, nail it...if you start to wobble, nail it, if you are sliding out, nail it.  The only time you want to be off the gas is when you come to a complete stop.  There is no crawling around in sand, your either on the gas hard or your stopped.

 

I find sand extremely easy and hard dirt scary.  When I run into concrete hard dirt now my knuckles whiten. 

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