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Need help riding in Sand

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Just got back from riding in Gorman on my Wr250f. Love the bike, but I come from 10 years of Quad riding and the sand areas are giving me trouble. The front end really wanders, I was told to accelerate to get more stable, which does help, except when I have to decelerate for a turn or I'm going faster than I think I can handle, especially coming down hill. Any tips on body position, speed, how much I should grip the bars or letting them wander or any other general thoughts. Thanks.

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put more weight on the back of the bike when riding sand. If you are riding standing just grip the bike hard with your knees and have more weight back then normal. You want the front wheel to float over the sand more and almost push in turns instead of the front digging.

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well it is a pricey buy of about $350 to $500 but you can always try a steering stabalizer. I use a GPR on my husky and it works great in the deep mud, snow and sand in michigan

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well it is a pricey buy of about $350 to $500 but you can always try a steering stabalizer. I use a GPR on my husky and it works great in the deep mud, snow and sand in michigan

i agree a stabilizer is ideal. I have even run one on an MX track, you would be supprised how much it helps in the whoops.. :applause:

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i agree a stabilizer is ideal. I have even run one on an MX track, you would be supprised how much it helps in the whoops.. :applause:

a steering damper can be helpful in certain high-speed situations, but if it allows you to ride a little faster in sand w/o learning proper technique, it is only hurting your skill development.

while sand is probably my weakest area (as an expert dezert/enduro racer) i've gotten alot better in the last few years. i'm not 100% convinced about the weight back thing, except in certain situations to get the rear wheel to dig in and find traction, or when decelerating. one of the keys to sand is steady throttle through the corners. on hardpack terrain you want to be pretty hard on the front brake all the way up to the apex of the corner, whereas in sand you want to do all your slowing down on the straightaway and then be on the gas the whole way through. if you chop the throttle in a corner, the front end will usually push.

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Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try them this weekend. I read in some other posts about keeping the bike more upright in turns. Any thoughts on that.

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I like the clutch in till I hit the apex then explode out,on a 4stroke anyway.I found running into deep sand hard with clutch engaged leads to the front burying,slowing to much and falling.

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i only started riding sand 6 months ago, and it spooked me at first. everyone said just go faster, and i felt like i was riding above my head.

i am MUCH more comfortable (and faster!) now. speed is in fact a good thing. sitting or standing, hang on with the knees and don't grip the bars too tight. for cornering, look for a rut or mound to bank off of, but don't carry too much speed and over-shoot.

anyway, that's what has worked for me. i still have alotta work to do, but it's a start!

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i ride probably about 50% dunes/washes. On all the bikes i have riden, 2 stroke, 4 stroke, 450, 250, 250f, 125, the thing that has always worked best for me, is in sitting/tight corners, you gotta hump the tank. Get as far forward as possible. As you exit the corner, and you have a strait, i some times slide back a little for traction, but usially not. In sitting smooth strait, i still usially hug the tank. When i do stand up, you have to really grip the bike with your legs, but still relax. The trick is to keep pointed where you want to go with the front, and "float" over the rear of the bike, letting it do what it wants. It sort of gets a mind of its own.

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I'm no sand expert... actualy, this weekend was my first time riding in the sand. A few friends and I went over to Moses Lake.

Now I spent my time about 1/4 jumping, 1/4 scaring the ass outa myself in the whoops(hehe) and the other 1/2 of the time I was turning. I'm fascinated by how totaly diferent turning in the sand is, how fast you can go and how far you can lean the bike over.

I figured out pretty quick that, the brakes do nothing and the front wheel does almost nothing, so just about everything is done with the throttle, weight distribution and leaning the bike(peg weighting).

I found the sweet spot way up on the tank, with my elbows very high, in a high gear and the throttle wrung to the point just before the rear end passes you. Any less throttle and the front would push, any more and the rear would pass..... I fell down a lot.... a lot.

But when I found the sweet spot I could pull irresponsibly tight turns pretty much wide open in 4th.

I don't know if this helps, I'm just stoked from the weekends riding. If you can just get to an open sandy area, practice turning and it'll come.

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Getting back is not going to get you through the corner... Glamis sand and wash sand is also different... In Glamis sit on the fender... In Gorman get your balls on the tank and get the front tire in the corner... A stabilizer has nothing to do with turning in sand... It's for speed control... for people that clamp up on the bars... helpful but gonna kill you riding curvy wash sand... Get on the tank... hit the gas... and don't freak if the front floats a litte... if you are pushing too hard straighten the bars and then get back into the turn... wash sand in Gorman is usually just small rock... very different than true sand. I love the washes in Gorman... It's where I learned sand and now it's where I can lose people... Get to love sand and it will be your friend !

I just got back from riding in AZ and we got into some deep sand washes and I was so happy I had that down... Made my riding so much better overall.

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Riding in sand is a piece of cake.

If you remember a few things it will be easy.

I usually stand when riding, in sand just like anywhere else I like to keep my weight centered or over the tank.

The only time you need to weight back is when you let off the throttle.

Slowly roll off throttle or the front will dive.

I just stand, relax my grip on the bars and relax my whole body, soon you will come to like the way it feels, yes the bike will wiggle a little under you but it will keep going forward, the gyroscopic motion of the wheels will do that.

GO FAST!!! But always keep an eye out for the big buried rocks as they can really ruin a good ride.

If the turns are sweeping and not so tight I will stand through them as well, no braking, use the throttle and weight the pegs to steer, twist the throttle to make the bike go where you want it to.

If the turn is tight I will sit, get up on the tank, throw your leg out, initiate turn early, have bike a gear high, and go WFO, lightly feather clutch if needed, if your on a proper dirtbike (4 stroke) you may not need to work the clutch.

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Allow the bike work underneath you. It will move around but that's ok. Try to relax and don't be tense. Don't try to force things too much either. Speed helps and try to be on the gas as much as possible. Coasting or chopping the throttle is when things go south.

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Allow the bike work underneath you. It will move around but that's ok. Try to relax and don't be tense. Don't try to force things too much either. Speed helps and try to be on the gas as much as possible. Coasting or chopping the throttle is when things go south.

exactly..I use long sand washes to haul ass and relax.

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wow... some interesting techniques! :applause:

I call it... "riding the fish".

Stay loose, and in a position that allows the bike to whallow a bit. Don't death grip the bars... and don't tense up. Just relax, and realize a little bit of speed will help. When cornering... weight the outside peg with your foot... and use the sand a bit to makeshift into a berm.

But up on the tank, or on the rear fender IS NOT the way to handle sand no matter what grain it is, how soft it is... or where your riding. You'll lose a bit of control at those extreme positions.

:applause:

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wow... some interesting techniques! :applause:

I call it... "riding the fish".

Stay loose, and in a position that allows the bike to whallow a bit. Don't death grip the bars... and don't tense up. Just relax, and realize a little bit of speed will help. When cornering... weight the outside peg with your foot... and use the sand a bit to makeshift into a berm.

But up on the tank, or on the rear fender IS NOT the way to handle sand no matter what grain it is, how soft it is... or where your riding. You'll lose a bit of control at those extreme positions.

:applause:

I only like to slide up to the tank when sitting and cornering.

When standing I think as long as your not weighting the bars, all will be OK.

Just relaxing and letting the bike work under you is IMO whats most important, like I said sand is a great time to make speed AND relax.

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I'm new to sand also, I've rode in a little years ago, but never cared for it. I recently started going to American Falls Idaho with my husband and brother, and our buddies, and I'm starting to get the hang of it...

My brother is a damn good rider :applause: and here is what he told me: "Do everything slower, let the bike do what it wants to, you just roll with it and guide it. The sand is different everytime you ride it out here."

And everytime we go, right before we take off, the last thing he says to me is: "Speed is key out here..." Nods at me, then off he goes!

I listen to the tips, and then just figure out how to make it all work together for me, and I'm getting better, just need more time and more practice!! :applause:

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wow... some interesting techniques! :applause:

I call it... "riding the fish".

Stay loose, and in a position that allows the bike to whallow a bit. Don't death grip the bars... and don't tense up. Just relax, and realize a little bit of speed will help. When cornering... weight the outside peg with your foot... and use the sand a bit to makeshift into a berm.

But up on the tank, or on the rear fender IS NOT the way to handle sand no matter what grain it is, how soft it is... or where your riding. You'll lose a bit of control at those extreme positions.

:cry:

Keep in mind your audience Super Johnny... (said affectionately) You haven't ridden at the speeds most of us are talking since you were 2 years old ! LOL You are almost always in full float. When I tell someone to put their balls on the tank it's cause they usually have the tail light 6 inches up their arse... Though I want them over the pegs, using a more extreme description tends to be what it takes to get them off the fender. :applause:

Personally I've been riding a big Honda thumper forever and don't even use a stabilizer until one showed up on my KTM recently... The KTM seems to need one... Learning that the front end can float under me and still track without panicking was the break through that finally made sand fun for me. Over time I've learned how much room I need going into a corner so I don't run out of track. :lol:

2 years ago I looked at my riding and said what sucks the most ? "SAND !" I said. So I forced myself to ride sand, sand and more sand. Now next to hill climbing it's my favorite. This year I am finally going to get over my dread of whoops... I'm gonna ride them until I love them if that's possible. :cry:

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I hear ya both... But had to interject a bit. Even a newbie doesn't want to get advice that may help but is a bit polluted. I wasn't directing my post to any advice in particular that was wrong, just a bit extreme. Meaning, a newbie to sand isn't going to be 'on the tank' when cornering, nor will he be 'on the rear fender' when tapped wide open. :lol: He'll be fist clenched, ass on the seat at a speed too slow to manuever. And moving him drastically in any one direction will surely end in a get-off. :applause:

With that...

... I've helped on the trail in a sandy wash as I rode behind a guy on our Baja ride. I used the same 'tips' as I typed... he rode SO MUCH better, I was amazed. He had never had any assistance, and once that was suggested (what I posted)... immediately got better and had more fun. He was initially fighting the bike and it led to lots of down time (him in the sand).

I didn't think I posted too arrogantly did I?! :applause:

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