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Problem riding in sandy washes

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I am 50, and have been riding for only about 6 years. YZ250. I find that when I ride in areas in the bottom of canyons (washes???)where it is dry, but pretty deep with sand, that I have trouble keeping my front wheel straight. I don't eat it, but it feels like I will any minute, which greatly affects my riding, as I am too tentantive. I find that if I accelerate, then it offweights my front wheel and is better-problem is I can't keep accelerating. Would I benefit from a steering dampener? My tire is not new, but not bad either. Is it just me??? Well, I'm sure it is, but is there something that would help.

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run a gear higher than you normally would for that speed so your tire is not spinning and it is making traction. Keep your weight back and dont be white knuckles on the bars. PRACTICE!!!!

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Keep your butt on the back and your wrist pinned open. I had one hell of a time riding sand washes when I first moved to AZ and I mean frustrating. Then I learned that I was just frankly going to slow to get up on top and plain on the sand. Once I figured it out it became my preferred off road riding for awhile. Always ride one or two gears higher then you think you should.

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A really good NEW front sand tire,1\2 inch more sag in the rear.

As far as steering dampers, i have a Scotts that i like,but i turn the slow speed dial down,(but not off), in the sand then back up in the hard pack bumps.

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I found the best way to ride in sound is, stay revved high in whatever gear you are in, as long as it isnt 1st or 2nd (because usually those gears will just make the rear tire not hookup when pinned in sand, so this may only apply for 3/4/5/6 gears...)

Stand up, weight the pegs, pull back on the bars, put ur butt out the rear and try to put as much weight on the back tire while lifting the front, thats what worked for me! I'm still working on the part where you slow down for turns because the front tire always wants to dive in haha

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Stay loose, let the bike pretty much do what it wants. It inherently wants to stay upright if you will let it do it's thing. Stay on the back of the bike/front end light. Speed is your friend (in most cases).

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The big issue is the transition from on the gas to turning. I like to brake for a turn in a straight line, find something to berm off of to help initiate the turn, then be back on the gas through the turn to keep the front wheel light and minimize the tendency to dive in. Try to avoid transitioning from on the gas, to off the gas, to back on the gas while you are actually turning. Whenever you are off the gas, weight is transferred to the front wheel, and this is exacerbated by the natural drag of the sand, and then the front wheel wants to pitch if it isn't pointed dead ahead.

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All good things. But bike set up is the key. Michiagn trails are some of the sandiest around. Drop you frok down in the clamps , set your sag from say 100mm to 103 or so , it will help you stay on top of thr sand. You want your front end to stay up higher then the back of thr bike.

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keep your weight back over the rear tire when in sand, and go easy on the front brake. use the rear brake more often. but sand will always feel sketchier than dirt. Just try to be lose, let the bike do what it and wants and don't hold on with a death grip on the bars. You might be riding very rigidly, which is just aggravating the situation even more.

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let the bike do what it wants, all that bouncing around is normal. I like to stand, crouched just slightly over the seat but with the weight back. Stay on the gas. when you turn try to not use the brakes, most of the time the sand provides all the stopping power I need. I also like to gas it all the way through the turn in order to prevent the front end from diving in. If its a sharp/tight turn I slow down before I start the turn to the speed I want to maintain and then give it steady throttle from begining until just before the end. try to time it so that your riding just at the bottome of your midrange hit(right where your starting to churn out hp and check to make sure your using the gold powerband) on that yz250 so that when you're rounding out the last part of the turn you can explode out of it and roost youre buddies!

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Borrow someone's XR650 or DRZ400 to ride in the washes. After 5 or so rides on these, go back to the YZ and you'll never have issues in the sand again.:ride:

Also, you can spend a weekend or two at the dunes. The more seat time you have in the washes/sand the more comfortable you'll be!:thumbsup:

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Consider getting a 90mm wide tire for the front and run no more than 12.5 pounds of air. If you weigh less than 150 pounds you may want to go lower than 12.5

I have found 12.5 to be the magic number! I weigh 165 pounds.

Credit for the magic number goes to Sam at Sams cycle supply in Las Vegas.

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The best advice I got on the subject is too hold on with your legs, keep your knees tight on the tank, sitting or standing. Hang your inside foot off some in the corners, but keep your knees tight. And like other's have said loosen up on the death grip, it'll help with arm pump. The bike will still wander abit but it wont get out from underneath you.. then all that sand will be fun :thumbsup:

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As dumb as it sounds, my old man tought me to steer with one hand in the washes and go fast! Got to say it worked, makes you trust the worble. Want to make sure it's a clean sand without a bunch of underlying rocks before you try it:) Ride out of your comfort zone and relax, get a stabilizer if you got the dough.

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It sounds like you like to square off your turns. this can be accomplished in sand too, even at speed. Simply look for sand that is deeper than the rest Ie: pushed up at the outside of the turn and use that to berm off of. The deeper sand will provide more resistance than the other stuff your riding in and prevent a wash out.

You really just need more seat time. Stay loose, let the bike do what it wants with minimal inputs from you and keep your weight biased towards the rear. If possible ride with someone that is faster than you too and watch their lead.

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