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I have loads of street riding experience and dual sport miles but I have rarely had the need to ride in sand until I relocated to San Diego.  I have a DR650 and it works ok but I've had a few front end washouts and butt puckers but no crash.  I found sitting over the back tire more and a loose grip on the bars helps.  More gas maybe too? Can anyone give me some pointers?

I have an Anakee Wild front and a MotoZ Tractionator Desert Hard Terrain rear.  Thanks!

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You guessed it... less weight up front, loose grip (just let the handlebars float), and keep your momentum/speed up.  Less experienced riders will often slow down when they see sand to prepare for the crash....their unintended wish will often come true.  Look through it, not at it to reduce your target fixation.  Keeping your tire pressure around 18-20 helps also.

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2 minutes ago, Bp619 said:

Pointer is buy orange and be done with it

Ah yes, everyone knows the 1290 Super Adventure is the best bike for sand. 

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The DR650 is a great bike but sand is not going to be it’s forte.  It can be done, though.  You’re on the right track, lots of throttle, front end light, steer with the throttle more than with the bars.  Practice, practice, practice.  Buying orange doesn’t solve anything.

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I have been on XR650's for many years and have covered many miles of sand with it.  I now have an orange bike also and have some sand time in with it.  Speed, a light grip on the bars to allow the tire to "float" around and the right tire(s) are the key (as already mentioned), as well as time to get familiar with the feeling of being in sand.  And just so you know: I have had plenty of butt puckers and more than a few crashes!

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Maybe just don't ride in/on the sand? I kid.... I am not experienced in sand at all. So I got nothing useful other than to encourage you to keep trying. You will likely only get better and one day help out someone else that is posting your same question in a few years.

 

I think that riding is much like golf. I don't think it is a sport you can buy. Meaning, it doesn't matter what designer clothes or gear you wear. It doesn't matter (mostly) what bike or clubs you have. Practice, experience, skill, raw talent and some luck will get you through the sand.

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I don't hate sand anymore, but get the Golden Fatty on the front. Also I found at least high speed in second gear at least, no slow-more throttle, twist throttle to get out of trouble. A big thing I had to get over was I would pick a tire track and try to stay in it, don't. Just keep the front end light, guide the bike in a general line and let it do the work. Pick where you stop and do it decisively, no slow 1st gear paddling around unless you like lifting your bike up. Oh yeah tire pressure makes a big difference. 12-14 or so.

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ride moto on sand = ride jetski on water. no fear lots of gas butt back loose arms and let the nose skim, no throttle chops especially on 4T, smooth off the gas, but ok hard on the gas.

hard to relate to their level but watch slo mo of Herlings and or Cairoli riding a MX sand track, for the perfect body position, they are the model of getting the most out of deep sand on a moto, for older model look, watch Stefan Everts , a model for his good example is when he rode the ISDE in Brazil and OA the event, the beach sand was like sugar, Stefan rode it almost effortlessly while other world class guys were having difficult days. 

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JLB

Do you like surfing? Are you one of Those guys that can stretch a wave moving at almost no forward motion?

Me either, But I love sand and it has many similarities. Personally, I have a contrary mentality on feeling comfortable on the sand. I feel in control after practicing walking speed turns and circles. Once you have that, the rest is pork and beans.  

Before you start, be certain the springs are set up to correct sag front and rear. I does change the feel of the bike. 12-14 lbs for sand only riding.

Next,  set up in a flat open area of soft sand.  Rev the motor and drop the clutch so the rear spins up. Stand up and keep the wheel spinning as you slowly drive the bike left and right. 

Once you have slow speeds under control, the higher speeds will not freak you.  

As Kug advises,  "  Drive through the obstacle " ( Down hill, Up hill )  Keep moving. 

Finally, Watch for wet sand.  No better surface to ride.

  Bagstr     :dirol:

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Lower tire pressures

Drop forks in the triple clamps or get proper springs so the front rides at proper height. Stock springs are too soft and exacerbates your steering issues.

So to explain further, when you let up on the gas the forks drop weighting the front changing your trail and that is when the bike will usually turn. Essentially your tire is pushing the sand in front  and is the contact point instead of riding on top of it. That is what creates the sand wallowing etc.

Faster you go the front tire will ride on top of the sand and you will have the trail the manufacturer intended.

Also a big help when you are at higher speeds and on the gas if the back end is moving around, apply a bit of back brake.

Tried it recently and immediately the rear stabilizes.

 

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Great info, thanks!  The softest sand I have encountered so far is along the border wall at Campo.  I saw Border Patrol driving around with tires behind their vehicle to smooth it out.  Nice of them to groom it for me! 😁

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I used to dread sand. 

Got over it by going to the desert every weekend for 6 months straight. 

And having Suspension 101 setup my bike properly. 

I now love sand

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On 6/28/2019 at 11:35 AM, Suspenders said:

 

Also a big help when you are at higher speeds and on the gas if the back end is moving around, apply a bit of back brake.

Tried it recently and immediately the rear stabilizes.

 

I'm ridiculously unqualified to chime in here . . . . but will anyway.  😁

600 lb. Big Bike Thoughts - When she starts to buck, duck and dive,  and you start envisioning your poor wife and children standing over your grave saying "at least he died doing what he loved". . . just relax your arms and give her the juice.  It helps if before you get to the sand box if you quickly grab the crucifix hanging from your neck with your clutch hand and whisper empty promises to your lord and savior.  But the juice, it has a wonderful side effect of straightening the bike out, so give her all she can drink.

Sadly, we now find ourselves traveling beyond hospital speeds and zooming along at Mortuary speeds.  What to do?  Rear brake.  And don't let off that throttle for gosh sakes.  Keep twisting and goosing and cranking on the right side like your ringing some poor chickens neck.  Simultaneously mashing on the rear brake to help reduce land speed back to hospital only levels.  And at that millisecond you feel her start to auger into the deep,  just yank those bars left to right to left like your slapping someone in the face back and forth and back and forth.

Then . . . . and only then . . . .prepare you're exit strategy.  Because you know it's coming.  I prefer to auger the front end in to the left.  This gives me clear space to fly over the right handlebar much like a 9 year old would dive off a diving board.  Upon contact with nature it's easiest usually to tuck the right shoulder in and make like a potato bug.  Eventually you will stop rolling and can then run over to hit the kill button so your bike doesn't blow up.

Works for me.

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Love it Zubb. 

One of the best qualities of sand is it makes for a softer landing. 

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  • Haha 1

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