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More sand riding.....

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In looking through some of the sand techniques, I find that almost all of them indicate that weight back is the way to go. I've found that I feel much more stable with weight far forward.

The sand is very rutted up. Many ATVs and trucks use these arroyos, and the ruts are not across the trail, rather wandering along inside it instead.

Also.. before anyone tries this and kills themselves, keep in mind I am new at this.

I ride in the sand arroyos behind my house, and sometimes the sand is so soft that it feels more like talcum powder. I was keeping my weight back, but my front wheel was drifting all over the place getting distracted by deep ruts... it felt like it was going to spoon out at any moment. On one occasion I started to climb up a large dune, got my weight forward, and voila... noticed that things became very stable. Started to ride forward on the flats, and found that the back wheel would now drift around a bit, but that the front was sticking and tracking much better.

Also figured out to really weight hard on the outside peg for turns. Lean the bike, not the body. That really helped out a bunch too. Not sure what I am doing wrong with the weight thing. Probably should go out tomorrow for a really long ride :-)

-f-

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Well it sounds like your on the right track already. In general having your weight back helps, especially when beginning to ride in sand. Once you become more comfortable your going to acquire your own style and will know when to shift weight backwards or to keep a centralized weight bias. It's all about practice and getting the right feel for the bike which seems like your acquiring already. I would just keep at it....practice...practice...practice... :cry:

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I've found that I have to move around quite a bit depending on what I'm doing. For instance on hill climbs I move my weight forward or backward to keep the wheel spinning and the engine near it's peak hp. Sometimes I literally sit on the rear fender because there isn't much traction and other times I'm all the way up on the gas cap because I chose too high a gear or the traction that day is good and I need to generate some wheelspin. I've also found that going into corners if I slide forward and weight the front wheel it feels more stable and easier to turn but on the exit of the corner when I'm on the gas the rear end tends to slide out a lot and I don't accelerate very fast unless I slide my weight back as I exit the corner. Going down the long straights where there are ruts I prefer a neutral position. If I'm too far forward it feels like my arms are getting yanked around as the bike wanders through the ruts but if I'm too far back it feels like the front end is just dancing over the top of them and isn't very stable.

I guess the bottom line is you'll eventually figure out what you feel comfortable with. I would definitely explore different riding positions for the different situations and see what works and what makes you crash then pick the style that works :cry:

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I am planning a sand trip and have read that it is best to stand in the sand, BUT, when I stand, I weight my front tire and this has not been so good in the past as it digs in and turns and down I go. When I lean way back and stand I have to hold on tight with my hands and get fatiged. Thus I sit way back to lighten the front end. What am I doing wrong that standing weights the front tire so much? :cry: :cry: :cry: Or better yet, can I just not stand at all in the sand? :cry:

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You can hit the throttle much sooner in sand. You need to stay on the gas in the turn otherwise the bike wallows all over the place. I do all my braking before the corner and nail it as soon as I start to turn. You don't need as much throttle control as you do on harder ground.

Sand can be lots of fun.

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I ride in the sand arroyos behind my house, and sometimes the sand is so soft that it feels more like talcum powder. I was keeping my weight back, but my front wheel was drifting all over the place getting distracted by deep ruts... it felt like it was going to spoon out at any moment. On one occasion I started to climb up a large dune, got my weight forward, and voila... noticed that things became very stable. Started to ride forward on the flats, and found that the back wheel would now drift around a bit, but that the front was sticking and tracking much better.

Yoiks Shooter. I've never heard of a sucessful front-weighter in the sand before. And every time I didn't consistently weight the back, I crashed. Ever try doing a stoppie in the sand? :cry: Whatever.

At least when I ride Pismo, I focus on unweighting the front to keep it from washing out. The front is basically useless for steering in sand or mud, so you need to learn to lock your heels and legs in and steer by swinging the back end of the bike side-to-side with your legs and using the throttle. Like, to steer left, you swing the back end of your bike to the right and apply more throttle. If the bike fishtails to the left, you ease off the throttle until it fishtails with your leg help to the right, and add more throttle.

IMHO, in the sand, the front end is irrelevant, and the back end and throttle are your friend. -Mike-

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In looking through some of the sand techniques, I find that almost all of them indicate that weight back is the way to go. I've found that I feel much more stable with weight far forward.

Keep in mind the context of some of this advice is for otherwise capable riders dealing with sand relative to, well, anything that is not sand. A lot of posts are also about dealing with well-traveled, sandy trails which always develop a lot of braking bumps, whoops, acceleration bumps, etc., all of which are better attacked w/ a rear-biased stance and lots of throttle.

Sand, mud, rocks, dirt, whatever, you can't turn w/out some feedback from the front end, but in general, for most riders, the danger in soft sand is overloading the brakes, overwhelming the front end, and tucking it right into the turn.

But if you ride mostly in the sand anyway, like I do, most of this advice doesn't apply. Concentrate on what works for you in your natural environment, good skills in sand translate well to other areas. :cry:

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