What's the XR650R like at [I]the[/I] Dunes?

I'm mostly talking about the Imperial Sand Dunes located in south-eastern CA (i.e. Glamis :ride:, Gordon's Well, etc.) but please share your 650R experience in any kind of dunes or sand. Who's got a paddle tire for their 650R??

The background for why I want to know:

I'm strongly considering the purchase of a (used) R for general purpose use. A lot of use will just be getting around town, I'm sure. But there are plenty of dualsport opportunities in my area I'd love to explore. I like the L for it's easy-to-live-with-ness but it's a little ho-hum for my tastes. And I don't think an L would stand a chance of snaking through the dunes (with me riding it). But if the R isn't a whole lot better in dune terrain then the L starts looking more attractive.

I ride a 400EX (piston, cam) through the dunes at everything from moderate (i.e. tired, cold, at night) to aggressive (i.e. 9.5+/10ths and exploring the limits of the quad while trying to follow wicked fast duners). I'm a streetrider at heart (although I've been off the street for a few years) and have done some armature road racing.

I see XR650Rs out at the dunes but mostly at the sand drags, Oldsmobile, or other easy to get to places. Would I stand a chance at ever being able to snake through the big dunes at Glamis on an XR650R. :applause: It wouldn't be my primary dune vehicle but I'd take it along when room permitted.


When I was at Glamis last year, we had a few guys with bikes as well as quads. I just had my banshee with me at the time. All and I mean ALL of the guys with bikes hated them in the Glamis sand. Compared to what we have here in Oregon, it's super soft and fine, several of the guys simply dug the bike in when coming off jumps and went over the bars. They all ended up parking the bikes and riding quads for the rest of the trip. I mention this because although the 650R is the best bike I have ever owned for the dunes (compared with numerous 250s and two CR500s), the fine, powdery sand at Glamis is gonna work you no matter what you're on.

Edit: I use a King's 8 paddle for the Pig, but I'm thinking of going to a Skat-Trak 10 paddle. I tried a POS Cheng Shin, and the 650r has so much power, it would literally fold the paddles over. The King's is super stiff with very rigid paddles, but again, the Pig has enough power that it can 'churn' the tire (rather than making it hook up) if you gas it too hard on hillclimbs.

I have used the 10 paddle 560 and the AMS Sand Snake 10 paddle (much better for turning) and have had none of the problems said below. Glamis, Dumont, Pismo The XR650R rocks! Smokes Everything up Compation hill but, a CR/KX500 and my 680cc XR can out run them on the strip and will be seeing if I can take them with up comp hill as well. There is so much extra power we all do second gear starts. We have a large group that run the XR650R at the Dunes and will be at Dumont the week between Christmas and New Years.

Video of a stock XR650R at comp hill:

--- http://www.zippyvideos.com/1143856332251336/dumontquadrace/



Its the poop in the sand...450 stays at home for glamis and the 650 gets loaded up...I think its the best bike ive ever ridden at glamis...and ive ridden 60s, 80s, 125s, 250s, 450s and 500s...650 is more fun then all those.

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