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Mini/Pee-Wee Bikes & sandy turns/corners

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Newbie here, My son borrowed a friends 20yr.old Suzuki 50 this past summer. After a month or so he was itching for more, and I found a good deal on an 05 Cobra jr. Initially it scared him a bit with the power etc., but he quickly overcame that and absolutely loves to ride it. we have 10 acres he rides on , mostly flat and hard packed. He does very well riding around at home (can barely get him off of it) but..... he wants to ride on some tracks. I ve taken him to 2 Pee-Wee tracks and as long as the ground is fairly solid he does fine, but both tracks had a fair amount of sand in the corners and he gets his front wheel in the sand and down he goes. He gets very discouraged and gun shy then.

My son is 6 yr. old, but very small for his age... 38 lbs & real short. He can touch with his tip toes on the Cobra jr. I wonder if I should backtrack a bit to a PW50 where he can get both feet on the ground and be able to control it more ( acceleration etc.) and gain much needed experience, or should I have him practicing sandy tight turns on the Cobra untill he gets it. I feel like a lot of the problem is his lack of size and weight.

The other problem is my lack of experience riding, as well as being able to give him proper instruction.

Any thoughts on sandy turn cornering, size and weight in relation to control, and backing up to a PW50? Sorry so long winded, Thanks!

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Hi 50dad,

Welcome to the pee wee forum.

Let me see if I understand you correctly. You went from a 3hp 20 year old 50cc bike to a 12 hp Cobra? That's quite a leap. Still doable but a leap nonetheless.

The key to riding sand is keeping your weight back and your front light. Meaning NO blipping the throttle, or even releasing it. In sand when you let off the gas, the forks will compress and the front in will dig in. When it digs in, its much harder to control.

It really is a totally different style of riding then on hard pack. I'd suggest taking your boy to ground he is familiar with before putting him on a sand track. Let him adjust to the "hit" and get used to the power delivery. Once he starts shredding, he'll absolutely love sand tracks after a long practice day getting used to it.

Good luck and don't be a stranger :bonk:

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Try Baja MX, the Jr. track is mainly clay and hard packed, as long as it does not rain. I started both of my boys on a PW, and just now upgraded my oldest son to a KTM SX. There are a few hard packed tracks for the little guys in MI. Have not seen a sand track yet, but we stay to the North side of the state mainly.

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maybe try to go on the outside of the corner, and then just keep the rpms up and try to gas it more, not full throttle brake and then fall, just try and take the corners slowly so you would just need a little bit of breaking power but yould still keep on the gas. this is how i dot it, approach the corner fast, brake, keep gasing it in to the corner, then decelerate alil bit, turn, get back hard on the gas. thats wwhat your son should do just maybe slower to start off with

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My son had a bad experience with sand on his CRF50 and 10" tires. He still hates soft terrain even now on his RM65, but he can get through it when he wants.

What I have found with him is that he looks down at the sand ruts thinking he will wreck if he crosses up in them, then the feet come off the pegs, then he looks down harder, now he is sure he will wreck, lets off the throttle, the front tire digs and... Yup, he wrecks. The same scenario with him looking ahead he powers right through the soft stuff without a problem. We were working on it today and he proved to himself that he needs to keep the eyes up, throttle on, weight back, and feet on the pegs.

Hope this helps.

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For sand he will need to gas it, most kids will let off the throttle the front

will tuck and they will flop over.

Take him to a sandy area where he can practice going straight while on the gas, once he can do that practice some turns while on the gas with his but back on the seat to keep the front wheel light.

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I can see the common thought here and it makes a lot of sense, now if the weather here would cooperate a bit, we could check it out. Any thoughts on rider height/weight,(44in./38lb.) as it relates to a newer rider? It seems as though, with an experienced rider, you wouldnt have the same problems.

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the main track is vary sandy at baja. The pee wee track is hard pack but can become slick if wet. As far as riding in the sand, keep on the pipe. It is a tough thing to learn but once he gets used to it, it is the best. A kid that can ride in the sand will be in great shape.

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50 dad, riding the sand is no easy task for a young rider. I have 2 youngsters and they both would rather not ride the sand. You might want to either lower the tire pressure in the front tire (I run mine @ 8psi) or get a front tire that is compliant in soft terrain, I like the Michelin s-12 and the Pirelli Scorpion. Hope this helps.

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weight back and steady throttle.

When you let off the throttle you shift the weight forward on the bike, thus compounding the problem.

See if you can teach him to ride the corners standing up in the sand. No real need to sit down. And larger diameter front tires definately help.

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I can see the common thought here and it makes a lot of sense, now if the weather here would cooperate a bit, we could check it out. Any thoughts on rider height/weight,(44in./38lb.) as it relates to a newer rider? It seems as though, with an experienced rider, you wouldnt have the same problems.

Do what makes the rider comfortable. Height and weight should not be too much of a factor as long as the llittle one is comfortable. (being able to touch the ground is a big factor). I have seen this first hand. If the rider could not touch they did not ride as much.

And you have to remember the kids have more forgiving falls that adults do - kids tend to bounce where we do not. Have fun - hope this helps.

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