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Riding in sand

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Am I missing something, but how the hell do you ride in soft sand. As soon as I let off the throttle, and/or turn, the front end just washes out.

When I see other people riding in the exact same sand, they seem to be much smoother, not having any front end wash outs etc. This is starting to piss me off now

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i have the same prob with old bike not a chance to ride with new bike but my friend just locked his elbows straight and made it on my old bike hope it helps

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In sand I just gas it in the straight lines, slow down skid the back out to turn and speed up again, it beats falling over, is heaps o' fun and looks like you know what your doing.

JOhnB

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If you are sitting down, sit on the back of your seat. This will plant your rear wheel and let the front come up a bit. Yay no more wash outs! :cry:

Standing is harder for me to explain, as I do it by feel... hmm. Still lean back, and keep on the gas. Less gas = more falling.

To turn, try leaning more instead of using the front wheel.

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Just remember, sand is the opposite of dirt. Always have throttle open to keep front end light. Never Never never touch front brake. And on corners, weight outside peg, grip with knee, and lean bike into corner a little more. Float bike, in the sand you will not hold your line as well. You will follow the momentum of your bike a little. Trust it and stay relaxed! I live in Oregon and do a lot of dunes riding. Oh yeah, when letting off the throttle, stay back a little. Don't get up on the tank like in the dirt! Good Luck!

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I ride in it all the time and don't ride any differently in or out of it, except you don't want to loose your momentum. You're not going to get rid of the wandering feeling of the bike, you just learn to flow with it.Make it a point to ride in it alot and pretty soon it won't bother you at all. I'm trying to do the same with rocks and rock waterfalls.

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Okay... here's one that folks might flame. But what the heck.. it works for me.

If your bike is underpowered (like my KLR250), then I find that I am much more stable in sand if I keep my weight _forward_.

On my DRZ400, I keep my weight back.

The sand that I ride in is exceptionally soft, with very little clay content. Seems to me that the big trick is to be able to squirt the throttle to spin the back tire to bring the bike back into balance if things get a little squirrely. Deceleration is never the answer :cry: . I usually run third gear, about 35mph. If you are looking to go faster, then you'll have to keep your weight back.

I suspect that the reason it is easier for me to stay forward on the KLR is that by moving forward, I lighten the rear wheel, making it easier to spin just a bit. Counter intutitive, but it works for me on that bike.

Smooth sand is easier, as you can pick your own line. Rutted up sand is quite a bit trickier. If you can get into a long rut in your intended direction, use it. Be careful of ruts that cross your line at a shallow angle. Those are looking to whomp you.

For turns, exaggerate your peg weighting, and really roll the bike under you while yor body stays upright.

Good luck!

-f-

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You guys are not realizing one thing about what what he stated. His bike is a DRZ400. When I get on my Dad's XR400 (Stock) in the sand, the bike is almost impossible to ride fast compared to my bike. It is the weight that makes the front end knife, not the rider. My advise to you is to stay on the gas and when you do have to let off the gas, pull in the clutch so the engine braking doesn't go into effect. Dab you feet when you get unbalanced. I hope this helps.

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You guys are not realizing one thing about what what he stated. His bike is a DRZ400. When I get on my Dad's XR400 (Stock) in the sand, the bike is almost impossible to ride fast compared to my bike. It is the weight that makes the front end knife, not the rider. My advise to you is to stay on the gas and when you do have to let off the gas, pull in the clutch so the engine braking doesn't go into effect. Dab you feet when you get unbalanced. I hope this helps.

:cry: It depends on what kind of sand you are riding in! Deep loose sand? Gas on and hold on. Pull in clutch and you will come to a stop and sink. Turning-don't use clutch unless bike bog's down. Momentum is everything!

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pulling in clutch when slowing helps as engine compression ,like a yz450f,will be a killer in the deep rutted stuff

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Riding deep sand reqiures a very aggressive riding style. It's alittle easier with a bike with some serious power but the basic method is to get up on the pegs and attack keep your wieght back, drive deep into the turns & get back on the gas ASAP coming out of turns, keep the bike in the meat of the power band, it's kinda a paradox!!, but you need to stay loose on the bike & still be in attack mode!!. Keep trying!, work yourself in slow speed deep sand conditions first, It'l teach you balance,throttle,clutch,balance & brake control, then move up to the faster stuff. Practice,Practice,Practice!!!!. Only time on the bike & the conditions will give you the confidence you need.:cry:

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i dont ride much different in sand. i ride at pismo and glamis, both are pretty different sand types. i just lean back, stay on the gas a little in the turns and as soon as im straightening out i pull in the clutch enough to rev it then dump the clutch. i like doing this because it rockets me out of the corner. oh, and thats usually for slow turns and i always feather the clutch because my bike just likes to do wheelies. out of fast turns, i just gas it and hold it. faster is definately better than slower in sand. takes some practice but you'll get used to it.

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I was actually describing what its like when riding my KMX200 - yes you could say its underpowered - it either spins the back or bogs and when it bogs all the momentum is lost and the front just digs in or washes out. I'll try it on the DRZ400 The sand is in effect building sand, the orange brown stuff you use to make mortar with to build houses (I'm riding in a disused sand pit that they use to excavate from)

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1. Lean back

2. Steer more with your body weight, not the front wheel

3. GIVE HER GAS! (I have have a WR so it is a little front-heavy, I give it gas even coming down hills so the front end doesnt plow.)

Good luck, and giver 'er hell!:cry:

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Steer with the rear wheel in the sand, feather/pop the clutch a tad to start the turn, grab some throttle,get the rear spinning , lean, then up on top and back when it lines up with where you want to go.

Practice This is a lot of fun to learn how to do

Race

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Great Thread!

I thought maybe some front suspension mods were in order as I have a very hard time in sand on my 02 XR650?

After reading this I think it's more my inexperience in the sand than the bike. I have been told to stay on the gas and it works! I have been told to lean back and it works. I have been told to stay in a higher gear and it works. I have also been told to feather the clutch in turns and that seems to work too. Even after all of those tips I still feel like I could crash at any moment when riding in deep sand. So I think it boils down to what sonorawfo said...Aggresive, Keep Trying, Practice.

But, I'll be happy to entertain any other tips specific to the XR650...

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