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XR 650 first time in the dunes

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I've taken my XR650R to the dunes once so far (lots of trips on other equipment). I used a molded-type 8 paddle and it worked fine (Kings Tire Turbo Paddle KT-977: KT-977.gif. Within a reasonable range of something like 8-14 psi I don't think paddle tire pressure is critical. Perhaps I'm mistaken. Front pressure seems much more key to get things handling adequately. I think I ran about 12 psi in the rear and 8 in the front (w/ a heavy-duty tube). Front was a D606; maybe it just sucks in the sand?

I found my XR to be a bit heavy (especially top heavy) in the dunes and the front end never felt very planted. Much harder to confidently move the bike side-to-side under my body compared to my buddy's older CR. Power certainly wasn't an issue but handling left something to be desired. I think a motorcross bike is in order (for me) for very extensive dune riding on two wheels. The XR650R just feels too damn heavy.

Now, bear in mind I'm mostly talking about snaking through the big dunes at Glamis. Out in the more wide-open and flatter stuff the XR showed its true colors. On that terrain, I few times I thought to myself, "Now THIS is what this bike was made for!!"

The paddle did destroy my mudguard. I had to just remove it before it ripped out the mounting holes. I think I'll try a shock cover with no mudguard next time. A "custom" milk jug material mudguard that goes between the shock and the swingarm might also work better. :thumbsup:

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