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Old 02-12-2018, 01:32 PM   #1
luckyramu
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Default Sand Sucks

I'm new to trail riding and I live in So Cal mojave desert. Just finished my doo and decided to go for a mini adventure. Turns out i suck at riding in sand. I have to keep it in first gear and go like mega slow. Bike is super swishy. I was on a road with tons of sand and I decided to get off it for firmer ground, only to find a nice sand trap 20 feet away. I guess I have a lot to learn. My tires were freeway pressure, but I wonder how much of a difference low pressure makes in sand.




Trying not too complain, so here's my positive note: Thank GOD I did not buy a 1200 adventure bike, or even a 950. I don't think I could pick those up. This thing is heavy to pick up.

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Old 02-12-2018, 01:40 PM   #2
Chuck B
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Yeah, sand and a klr are not the best of buddies. As your skills increase you'll find getting into at least 2nd better. Get your weight back and 'steer with the rear'. Keep the throttle pinned or near so. If you need to slow for a turn use the rear brake and don't let off the throttle.

If you want a real challenge head up to N Az and ride the sugar sand. You'll either get beaten in submission/defeat or learn to survive and never again complain about regular sand riding lol.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Just two drops?

I went to the private local trails place once here in FL. To maximize trail length in the given area, no long stretches, just turns and tons of switchbacks, etc. Nothing but deep soft sand, nicely sifted by the side by sides tearing thru with their high tread profile tires. I picked my pig up 20 times that day at least. More tired from picking the bike up than from riding. Never got out of first, don't think I even let the clutch out fully. Finally bushwacked to a nearby road just to get off those trails. Probably ruined me for life, but I don't care much for sand either.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

+1 on what Chuck said.

also, yes air pressure makes a difference; I'd air down to about 18psi front and rear.....too much lower than that and you risk ripping out the valve stems from the lack of a rimlock.

....and experience helps but speed is your friend; the slower you go the less momentum and gyro effect you have making it more and more difficult.

Cheers,
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyramu View Post
I'm new to trail riding and I live in So Cal mojave desert. Just finished my doo and decided to go for a mini adventure. Turns out i suck at riding in sand. I have to keep it in first gear and go like mega slow. Bike is super swishy. I was on a road with tons of sand and I decided to get off it for firmer ground, only to find a nice sand trap 20 feet away. I guess I have a lot to learn. My tires were freeway pressure, but I wonder how much of a difference low pressure makes in sand.

Trying not too complain, so here's my positive note: Thank GOD I did not buy a 1200 adventure bike, or even a 950. I don't think I could pick those up. This thing is heavy to pick up.
Oh yeah.. been there done that.. I know I'll never reach the level of confidence Chuck has in sand so I just go with what works for me.

In thick sand I live mostly in 1st or 2nd gear. Super slow seems to invite dirt naps.. Starting out & getting to mid rpm 1st or 2nd gear feels spooky.. Just have to keep doing it & get past that feeling. Getting past 'super slow' improves stability a lot.

I air down to 10 or so.. Some will agree. some will say that is too low.. So far it has worked for me.. & the fatter & flatter I can get the tire against the sand the better..

Sure.. the bike feels squishy.. & that's ok.. I don't try to force the bike to go exactly where I want.. Just try to read the road ahead and point the bike in that general direction.. Don't keep a death grip on the bars... It just tires you out.. gets you more stressed..

Have to also find the best way to pick the bike up based on conditions. Most times I start by trying to lift at one end of the handlebars for the most leverage.. Have to try & see what works best for you...
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Sand sucks. Deep sand really sucks. Lifting a heavy pig all day really, really sucks.

The best advice is to just keep at it until you find what works for you. Keep your weight back, and ride fast enough to maintain a "plane" on top of the sand. Relax your grip and "look where you want to go". When things get a bit squirrly, smoothly accelerate to lighten the front wheel and get straightened out. Try to avoid chopping the throttle and using the front brake - doing so will bury the front wheel.

As far as the bike is concerned, try a knobby-ish front tire with lower pressure (I like 15-18 lbs). Avoid running around with a totally full tank of gas until you get the hang of it. Extra weight high and forward are two things you want to keep to a minimum. Try standing up.

For me, practicing on a big open area or wide river bottom is far better than on a narrow trail since there's more room to recover and fewer deep super-soft berms you typically find in the corners of trails.

Good luck

Last edited by DSchmidt7of7; 02-14-2018 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Yeah, sand, especially deep sugar sand isn't something I seek out for fun but I feel like between doing a few hundred miles of the northern Nevada high desert and the SEAT loop around through the panhandle of Florida that I came to terms with it. My best advice is not the pin it and hold on kind of strategy. I found that the right answer is to go no faster than you want to being going if you go down. Saying that, the technique that works well for me is to always be standing on the pegs (should go without saying), very light grip on the bars, and eyes up and way out in front of me not looking down where all that soft squishy danger is lurking. With my eyes why off looking ahead, and peg weighting the steering, I find that I can keep up a pretty reasonable pace regardless of how deep the sand is.
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Last edited by Chuck B; 02-14-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by PittsDriver View Post
Yeah, sand, especially deep sugar sand isn't something I seek out for fun but I feel like between doing a few hundred miles of the northern Nevada high desert and the SEAT loop around through the panhandle of Florida that I came to terms with it. My best advice is not the pin it and hold on kind of strategy. I found that the right answer is to go no faster than you want to being going if you go down. Saying that, the technique that works well for me is to always be standing on the pegs (should go without saying), very light grip on the bars, and eyes up and way out in front of me not looking down where all that soft squishy danger is lurking. With my eyes why off looking ahead, and peg weighting the steering, I find that I can keep up a pretty reasonable pace regardless of how deep the sand is.

Harumph, this forum won't let me edit a post over 60 minutes old and I got interrupted and just posted the above without speel checkin'. Any who, when we'd get in deep sand my buddies would here me say on the intercom "Eyes up and flap your wings." meaning your grip should be loose enough to flap your elbows while you keep the rear tire churning, not roosting, the sand.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sand Sucks

Thats a common comment when I'm coaching other riders via intercom....'wiggle your elbows!" It really makes the rider realize just how tight they are gripping on the bars. Following you can really see how tense they are in front of you.
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