Sand Riding Preparation

I ride almost all trails and some small practice tracks, but one of my friends bought one of the "Q" things with two too many wheels and wants me to roll around in the sand dunes with him. I have never been in the sand with my bike and was wondering if there are any measures I should take. I figure since a lot of you guys ride desert you should know. For instance what kind of chain oil and other things you do to keep your sprockets and chain from getting screwed up? I have heard some horror stories about sand destroying bikes and don't want to have that happen to me.


Taking of the shock guard is good advice, but it needs to come with a bit of a warning. The sand can damage your shock strut (that shiny thing in the middle) and cause the shock to blow. I ride with a shock cover. One of the fabric & velcro Q things. Oh yea, make sure your filter is clean and WELL oiled as well as greased around the rim. Take my word on it, you don't want any sand entering the engine!!! Stay on the gas, and you'll love it! If the sand is damp, you may not even need a paddle. My best days in the sand have been with new mx tires in damp sand. Good luck and have fun!

I have gone so far as to have a front sand tire from Kings Tire, only $40 and worth it. I run a K&N filter with a prefilter on it(less cleaning needed). For the chain, I use WD40 every time I go back to get gas, the other chain lubes seem to attract the sand. I have had to switch to a steel rear sprocket, after rounding off the stock one.

Try and avoid the wet sand on the beach and the saltwater...duh. Wash you bike as soon as you get home or before you leave is even better.

What part of the Oregon dunes are you going to ride in? I am going to the Florence section this weekend...Winchester Bay is my favorite though.

I have a '98 WR400 and I have been sand dune riding a few times. One thing I had to do was buy a chain that was 2 links longer to clear the paddle tire. So, you may want to look at your linkage with the swingarm fully extended because it will hit there first. The mud flap has plenty room between it and the tire on my bilke.

I always have the pre-filter on my K+N air filter. I have heard that K+N's alone let more sand in than a regular foam air filter. I also run a breather filter at the end of the breather hose to keep sand out from there.

When you go to the sand,be ready to regrease your bearings.In the spring and summer is when we usually go to Pismo Beach for big air and squid watching,so this is usually when I go through my bike anyways.Get a paddle tire and take off your mud guard for your shock because your paddle might hit it under acceleration.Once you are in the sand, give it throttle to get going.After a while you will figure out that being on the pipe is the key!Have patience and hopefully you will pick it up because the sand is a blast!

I haven't been out yet, but we will probably go to Sandlake. I use to live down in Coos Bay and one of my friends had a sandrail. There are miles and miles of places to go down there. I would like to take some trips down to that area later in the summer when I get some more gear for sand like a tire.


I am going to Sand Lake this weekend. I usually hit the dunes quite often in the summer and love it. With a paddle, there is not much out there you can't beat. It is kind of tough at first, especially on a 125, but on a 426, the learning curve is fast.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now