Riding your dirt bike through the sand is one of the harder things to do and it can make things pretty frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this post, I’ll be sharing 7 tips I’ve learned about riding dirt bikes through the sand.
I always tried to stay away from sandy areas when I was first got started because I always struggled hard with it. The biggest reason was that my bike wasn’t powerful enough. I had a TTR 125 and it just wasn’t enough to get the job done. I didn’t have any problems when the ground was flat or it was wet and packed but put me on a hill and it wasn’t pretty.
Once I learned a few of these techniques and upgraded to a bigger and faster bike, things were so much easier and riding in the sand is one of my favorite things to do. You have a lot more confidence riding in the sand because you know that if you fall it’ll be like falling into a pile of pillows.
There aren’t many things better than being able to top out the bike in the wide-open spaces, doing wheelies without worrying about falling, and hitting huge jumps you wouldn’t normally hit.
I’m not a professional rider or anything like that but I’ve been learning a lot about sand riding techniques over the past few months and I’ll be sharing all of them in this post. Let’s get started!
What To Know Beforehand
- The first thing you’ll probably want to know is that you should have a powerful bike. If you’re on super packed or wet sand it probably won’t be an issue but for the soft sand areas, having at least a 250cc bike will be necessary. I tried pretty hard with my little 125cc Yamaha and it was always a struggle. Feel free to try it but good luck.
- You’ll also want to drop the pressure in your tires to give yourself the most traction and control. It’s kind of like riding through the snow. It’s very hard to ride properly when your tires are fully inflated but you’ll also want to make sure you don’t hit anything hard while you’re out there.
- It’s always a good idea to bring extra gas as well. Riding in the sand takes quite a bit of power and you’ll burn through gas much quicker than on the trail. Bring an extra tank of gas just to be safe because running out of gas does suck (I’ve learned my lesson with this one).
Dirt Bike Sand Riding Tips
- When you’re riding in the sand you should stand for as much of it as possible. You’ll have more control doing that and you won’t burn out as fast either. It gets some getting used to but it really is more comfortable.
- You’ll want to keep your weight towards the back wheel as much as you can. You want the front wheel to be as light as possible so it doesn’t dig in and slow you down.
- Always keep your momentum! It’s just like when you’re climbing a hill, as soon as you lose the momentum you’re toast. Keep the gas going steady because if you suddenly slow down your front end will dig in and you’ll lose speed. You need to be aggressive in the sand!
- Keep your knees tight to that bike! Riding through the sand can be a bumpy ride and if your legs aren’t tight you’ll end up tossing yourself off the bike. Not only that but your arms and upper body will thank you for it.
- Do a little bit of adjusting on your bike. It’s always a good idea to tighten the suspension if you can and also let some air out of the tires. This will give you more control and give you a smoother ride.
Dirt Bike Suspension Setup For Sand
If you’re going to be riding in the sand it’s probably a good idea to test it out first before you make any adjustments. The most common adjustment people make would be to stiffen the fork. If you have softer forks you’ll be bounced around the entire time and will get worn out quickly.
Doing this and lowering the air pressure in your tires should be enough to make your sand ride much more enjoyable.
How To Corner A Dirt Bike In Sand
- You want to get most of your braking done as early as possible coming into a corner. The sand will also help you slow down but you will want to come in with some speed, so don’t brake too much.
- It’s important that you keep your momentum throughout the turn. If you slow down too much during the turn your front end will dig in and lose a lot of speed.
- You’ll want to move your weight to the back of the bike to keep the front wheel up. As soon as your front end digs in it’ll be really tough maintaining speed and control.
- Once you get into the turn you’ll want to lean your bike and get on the gas. This will also help keep your front end light.
- Coming out of the turn you’ll want to stay on the gas to maintain your momentum. It’s important that you keep your knees tight to the bike and your eyes are looking forward (not down).
Best Dirt Bike For Sand Dunes
In my opinion, the best possible bike for the sand dunes would be a Honda CR500. It’s big and powerful and will tear through just about anything. The second best option would be any other standard 450cc dirt bike. I don’t have either of those bikes but this seems to be the consensus on all of the bike forums out there.
Anything above a 250cc bike would work fine but the 450 or 500 would be the best option for sand riding. I have an FX 350 and it works perfectly fine for what I use it for.
Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!
Looking to get some new dirt bike gear? Click here to check out our recommended gear page to see the stuff we’re actually using and the cheapest place to get them.