Riding tips for sand

I have always heard that that for riding in sand, shift as much weight as possible to the rear reducing the load on the front tire. Knowing that this 520 EXC likes to be ridden with the weight up front, I went out today and practiced riding thru the sand with my weight as far forward as I could and it seemed to improve my directional stability. Have any of you experienced the same thing? I always have a tough time in the sand, and was always told shift your weight to the rear, so any tips would be appreciated.



Here's a tip I picked up from Paul Krause at a riding clinic. In deep sand, do all your braking while still going in straight line. When you first start to lean the bike for the turn, be back on the gas. This lightens the front end much better than riding on the back of the seat and stops that tendancy of the front wheel to knife. Out here in the SoCal desert, we have plenty of sand to practice in and this tip made deep sand much easier for me.

Hope this helps.

When I was out there in CA, my 520 SX model went into the desert about an hour south/southeast of San Diego. Some sand was so deep, if you stopped, you could forget moving again....we found that out first hand. Buried up to above the axles, and NOT digging a ditch, just from sitting there!

My SX is bone stock, and I found that sitting and leaning front did make the front wheel more stable, but I also found that if I mis-read something, and hit a sand bump, or a really soft spot, or even in a turn, I would start to Jack-Knife....as I had SO MUCH weight up front, it would dig in and auger. My uncle races Fud events out there all the time (www.fudrace.com), and knows how to ride it, so I took a few lessons from him. Stand the WHOLE TIME, even in a sweeping turn if you can. Be neutral, to perhaps SLIGHTLY back. This would allow the front to float OVER soft spots, not dig in. I have never had a bike doing a 80+ mph jig under me for so long, but it WORKS!! If you stay on the gas, you will end up going straight, although you will have a bike dancing between your legs. It felt weird to me at first....I was scared to go out of 2nd gear, but I found the more back you are(within reason, not like locking your arms back...as said earlier, a fairly neutral position is sufficient), and the faster you go, the easier and more awesome it is!!

Gregg, wanna take my place here in Crapsylvania? Palm Springs is GORGEOUS!!!!! Except for that stinking wind....hate to be a bicyclist in that town!

I truly envy anyone living in that area.

[ October 29, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Slade ]

Thanks guys

I'm with Chris,

what he said works great. I ride in DEEP sand sometimes, but I have to go through trails with trees. Don't look at the trees. :)

Sand riding is a matter of giving as much gas as you can. Once you've got it, it's one of the easiest types of riding.... Gaaaasss cut, turn and WOT again.

Not very technical but rather physical.

By the way ...... I don't think I really got it :)

The followings are Steve Hatch's riding tips for sand which I got from www.dirtbikemagazine.com. I do not like to ride on sandy trails as I have to gas almost all the way out but these tips work for me well on deep sand. The points of the tips are "be on the center of bike and be aggressive".

- quote -


• Stay centered on the bike. If you’re too far forward, the front end will knife. Too far to the rear and you’ll never be able to turn. A good sand rider doesn’t use very much energy simply because he doesn’t move around on the bike that much.

• Go light on the rear brake. You don’t have to brake that hard because the sand will do it for you. As soon as you roll off the throttle, the bike will lose speed on its own.

• Steer with the rear wheel. If you wait until you’re in the turn to open the throttle, it’s too late. You actually have to start gassing it before the turn. Just grab a handful and drift the rear end around. Sand is super forgiving of too much gas. If you were that aggressive with the throttle on hardpack or in mud, you would be asking for trouble.

• Don’t worry about the ruts. Riders see sand ruts from other bikes and try to follow them exactly. It can’t be done, so don’t try. Those ruts aren’t that substantial—just plow through them and make your own.

• More throttle cures almost anything. Sand only gets nasty and unforgiving when you aren’t being aggressive.

- unquote -

Number One Tip: If you're going to ride in the sand just buy a quad. Riding your bike oin the sand makes it age in dog years! I have done it a couple of times, but never again, I want to make it last!!!

PS: I'm referring to going to the dunes, not a little sand wash here and there.

The faster you ride and the harder you hit the throttle the easier it is.

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