Here's what we should really be talking about!

I just got my 02 426 about a month ago after about a four year break from of the best riding areas in the Northwest is just three miles from my house......the problem is that we never get any rain here and all of the sand and gravel is starting to get really loose. My problem is in keeping the bike in a straight line when in the sand especially when going down a steep hill. I used to be able to blast down the sand washes in 5th gear no problem....but now I can barely make it in first. I know that most of this will be solved with some more ride time. Also what set of tires would you guys recommend for intermediate to soft terrain....I need some tires that will actually last as well since I am going to college in a month.


your problem could be your speed, try going faster and you should be able to get through it better. also the Dunlop D756 is a great tire for soft stuff, but if all you ride in is sand then the D773 is what you need

try the Michelin S12. It's a great tire in the soft to med stuff and it lasts forever!

I second the S-12 ... Or the MS2 Starcross ...


I third, fourth, and fifth the Michelin S-12. I don't see myself ever running a Dunlop again.



What is your riding experience level?

Riding Sand washes, off cambers, ruts and so on take time to learn and experience. Tires, Suspension and setup play allot into it, but true experience in riding different terrains is the key.

Riding sand especially loose, dry, silt topsoil is tuff, it gets slippery, and lowering the tire pressure will help in getting the tire to hook up. I assume you still have the 739g on the bike, Proper tires are a major factor for the terrain you ride in.

Physics is everything in riding in sand, the moment you shutoff the front tire will dive and plow, push or slid depending on the surface.

Always keep this in mind; Steady acceleration will be your best buddies in sand, mud or loose topsoil. Keeping the front end lite especially on a downhill is key to traversing sandy areas.

You can always muscle the front end around by blipping the throttle and letting the butt end do its horsepower thing. Controlling the rear end by throttle control and keeping the front end pointed in the right direction is a skill and art.

When I go out and putz around I try to feel the bike and how it hooks up by trying differant terrains such as ruts sand and stuff. Practice using the throttle to power the bike through washes, practice riding position, speed and gears this will give you a better incling of how the bike will respond in what gear at what speed in what condition.

[ July 02, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

Hey guys thanks for all the help and I will certainly look into that Michelin tire. I never would have even considered a Michelin without that recommendation.

EGO- I would have to say that my skill level is not all that great right now but it is steadily improving. I used to be a pretty good rider....I could keep up with all the guys I rode with, but then I had a bad wreck and kind of dislocated my back from my pelvis. But after four years I couldn't take it anymore and got another bike just to ride on in the desert and have fun....not to see how fast I could go. But I still want to be a good rider.

I will add my vote for the S-12. I will also say that riding in sand requires a stiffer compression setting. Follow me here for a second, if your suspension is set up too soft, your bike will be wallowing at end of it's travel. This in turn increases your steering rake which is great for turning but lessens the stability of the bike. Try turning up the compression clickers and see if that helps. Also, remember to keep your butt back on the bike and squeeze that rascal with your legs. Good luck...



I meant know disrespect, I have had three back surguries, and I know I will never be back to what I used to be, But staying 19 in the brain is a good way to stay young in the bode.

I understand totally, I putz alot but just watch more of the years gone by :)

I dont need tobe hurt like that again

I used to ride S-12s, but I gave the 773s a try a couple of months ago. Now I'm a confirmed Dunlop rider. But I think the Michelins are a close second in soft conditions.

Carefully read and remember what EGO suggested as tips for the sand. I do more than 90% of my riding in sand dunes or sand washes and can second those suggestions.

I have also heard many people including some pro riders firm up their forks to improve handeling but I do the opposite. I've found what works for me is a more compliant front end that absorbs the chop and tire tracks instead of trying to track them. Running a lower psi will greatly help in the front end washout dept. If you turn and the bike feels like the front end wants to slide out from under you, lower tire pressure will help. Just don't drop it low enough to risk dinking your rim. 10 PSI is a good setting. I run 8 front and rear in the sand dunes.

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