2016 Oregon Dunes Mega Thread!


Hey, I don't know about ya'll, but I'm watching the weather closely, looking for a great opportunity to hit the Oregon beaches this Spring/Summer/Fall


Let's discuss the all important details!


  • What's required?
  • Where to stay?
  • How to set up your bike for best performance?
  • The great sand tire debate!
  • Protecting your air box...
  • Best camp grounds
  • Places to get parts and equipment
  • Post up pics and vids of your awesome adventures
  • Find new friends and riding buddies


I was lucky enough to visit the area in mid september last year, I got 3 out of the 4 locations in, missing only the southernmost location in Coos Bay. We had 70 degrees and pure blue skies, and it was my best riding experience of my life. 


I'll post up some of my pics from that trip and suggestions a bit later. 

What's required - 9 ft flag - OHV card - Lots of power!


Where to stay - Depends on where you go, for coos bay (My go to place for sand) I prefer horfal staging area and sand camp, box car is nice as well if you need full hookups.


Performance - Jet for sea level, possibly gear up or down depending on your bike. Adjust clickers for riding style in sand


Tires - Knobbies do just fine, that Michelin StarCross 5 Sand Tire looks pretty good though. Paddles like to stand you up so it depends on how you like to ride IMO.


Air box - Never done anything here, just keep extra clean filters and change them out when needed. Could run a pre-filter if one felt it necessary.


Places for parts - I love Florence Yamaha also the quick stop shop in reedsport. Both have pretty much whatever you'd need and both carry 110 race fuel. (My trike runs on 100% race gas so it's a must for me)


You can check out my youtube channel if you want for videos, has lots of sand riding from Florence and coos bay. Look up "Spaulding offroad"...


I ride the sand quite a bit so i'll most likely see you out there!! Braaappp!!!

Edited by TillamookTrailJunkie

Ok, so this thread inspired me to make a movie about my last trip to the dunes....


We're going to die like this you know, miserable and old!!


Edited by TigerTanker

Agreed on the kudos to Florence Yamaha, and I put them in my video. Open 7 days a week, have everything you need, convenient hours.


So, make sure you have a flag or get them, they break pretty easy so have a back up. You must get an ORV permit online for Oregon, taking safety classes, you can print it out online too. In Oregon, buy your ORV permit somewhere....we got ours at Yamaha in Florence along with the flags. In the vid you'll see a cool bracket on the Husky, as compared to the axle mount. There is an outfit that sells a flag holder where you can remount a broken flag....I'm getting one of those....


We did get stopped by the USFS for a decibel check in Florence. They were overly apologetic for the inconvenience, and they were not going to issue fines....just a courtesy... We did see one LEO while riding Florence. Accidents and fatalities happen, so it's a good thing. 


We stayed at the Driftwood campground outside of Florence, and had direct access to the dunes with our bikes. The facilities there are TOP notch, with coin op showers that were really nice. Folks were very well behaved and this time of the year, mid sept, we had zero problem getting a nice spot with no reservation needed. 


We did not do any restaurants, cooked and bbq our own....curious what awesome food places there are?


We had 8 paddle rears and they worked great. Probably got used to the sand in about an hour, it's an adjustment...need throttle, lean back..... We fell a ton the first day, probably 20 times, so bring some pain killers. 


Be very careful on the dunes, and pay attention to the ridge patterns. It was safe at Florence to drive east/west, but going north/south was dangerous due to wind sweep. If you are cruising along, the ground vanishes below you....and people DIE from that. You don't need to be paranoid, but learn the lay of the land. Find a fun area, then scope it out, then ride it until rutted out....find next area.


People can be crazy from what I've heard, find a little corner for yourself and be wary of reckless idiots. 


Next time, I'm bringing a wet suit, the water is cold but looks like fun with the waves! It never gets warm...


I will be bringing a paddle AND a mx sand tire next time, as I want to try a knobby out as well as the paddle. I have no clue about PSI so I'd love advice on that for any tire situation.


I'm curious how people adjust their suspension in the sand, so the front tire doesn't get stuck in the sand....do you speed up the rebound?????

A few things that you can tweak for sand riding that won't cost you any money are, make sure your forks are pushed down in your triple clamps to where the bottom of the fork cap is flush with the top of the clamp. This will make your bike ride higher in the front end and give you a little more stability.

After you get your fork hight adjusted you should recheck your race sag because the adjustments you made to your forks could have effected it. Not sure what's the best sag to be running on those bikes. But I'm sure Google knows. If it gives you a range like 95-105 I would go 105.

After that you can play with your clickers. All I usually do is slow down the rebound on the shock just a little bit. some times I will adjust the high speed compression a little bit as well, depending on how gnarly the whoops are. On the forks, all I do is stiffen up the compression a little bit to try to make them stay higher in the stroke. I think all of this just comes down to personal preferences.

If you make these small adjustments, hang your ass over the back fender, and keep old girls throttle twisted to the stop all the time. You shouldn't have a lot less front end tuck, and tire knifing incidents.

I think above all, speed and momentum is key.

Tire pressures. With the knobby tire. I think less is probably better. I run 10psi in mine. I know that's not "TUBliss" low, but I just run standard tubes in my sand bike.

With a paddle. I run the max pressure that the tire recommends. When I first started riding (and running a paddle) I would set my pressure at 10-12psi just like I would with a regular dirt tire. And every time I rode my paddle would destroy the little mud flap that protects the shock. At first I couldn't figure it out because I had a chain with an extra link in it to keep the paddle away from the flap and the swing arm. Then I realized that when the wheel speed came up the weight of the paddles and the centrifugal force was causing my tire to get taller like a drag cars tires do. So I maxed out the air pressure and that's solved the issue.

buy a CR500 :D

buy a CR500 :D

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1461249299.570953.jpg

This one. LOL!

I have a four stroke enduro 350. My bike is fun to ride in the sand, but it's the 300-500 two strokes that shine in the sand.


The 3 properties that are to the South, down by Florence and farther down truly are superior to Sand Lake ORV area. No question at all about that. But, Sand Lake does have a super nice camping facility, and probably the nicest beach of the 4. As noted in my video above, where the beach riding was taped, it's really scenic and on that day we were pretty much the only people there. 


From Tacoma to Florence is 5 hours of fairly easy driving. From Tacoma to Sand Lake is about 4 hours. The trip from Portland to Sand Lake is pretty short so it's pretty popular I have heard with the weekend warriors that don't want to head all the way down south. 


I am curious to see a written review of all 4 areas by someone that is regularly riding these areas?

I have a question for the regulars of Tillamook and the dunes...

How do you adjust your suspension from wooded single track, to the dunes? If you have a scotts damper, do you change settings?

Lower the rear end (to improve front wheel stability) by increasing Race Sag (reduce spring preload.)

Example: - Turn the compression damping adjuster and, especially, rebound damping adjuster to a stiffer setting.

                - Increase standard Race Sag (+0.2 to 0.4 in/5 to 10mm).


This is straight out of my manual


I dropped the rear on mine a bit to try and keep weight off the front, it helps a bit.

Thinking of dropping it down a little further and stiffen the rebound a little before I head out this weekend.

Question on ages, I'm going to sand lake for a short weekend, and just noticed the Oregon atv rules states that the minimum age for a dirt bike is 7 years old...is that just for the actual dunes? Just bought my some a TTR50, and he is 4, wasn't sure if that will keep him from riding around at camp/parking lot?

Probably the most dangerous place to have a little new rider kid ride, is in an orv parking area! It's an accident disaster waiting to happen. Nobody should do anything but exit and enter. But wild idiot hot doggers love to ride stupid, fast, popping wheelies, alcohol and drug consumption.....

At sand lake, go down to the beach, then go up north. A nice quiet spot there, scenic, and out of the way. The sand lake area can get very busy and crazy. There are law enforcement agents that patrol the area.

Have fun, be safe!

Question on ages, I'm going to sand lake for a short weekend, and just noticed the Oregon atv rules states that the minimum age for a dirt bike is 7 years old...is that just for the actual dunes? Just bought my some a TTR50, and he is 4, wasn't sure if that will keep him from riding around at camp/parking lot?

State law and applies to all public lands. It's dirt bike specific.

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