Improve your sand riding
Improve upon your sand riding today by following these helpful tips.
#1. Choose the right tire
Adventure bike sand riding is one of the most difficult things to do. So, how do you ride an adventure bike in the sand (or any motorcycle for that matter).
Your quest to conquer the sand starts in the garage or at your local dealer. Mount a tire to your bike that has considerable tread depth & spacing.
Don’t show up to the sand with a tire that favors the pavement.
A tire with knobs & spacing will actually help you spin & get on top the sand (as opposed to sinking down in it). We understand that you will sacrifice some performance on paved sections with a tire that is more aggressive. However, would you rather be stuck in the sand or just have to go slower on the slab?
Bonus tip. Our favorite tire for dual sport & adventure riding is the Goldentyre GT723R.
The sand is technical. For inexperienced riders, just knowing you’ll have to deal with the soft stuff on an adventure rider creates stress.
Here’s what you can do.
Before entering the sand section, stop & take a break. Focus on getting your heart rate down and rhythmic breathing.
Visualize yourself conquering the obstacle.
Once you get on the bike, remember to maintain a subtle grip on the bars (don’t fight the machine) & pay attention to your breathing. If you “go with the flow” through the sand and stay loose on the bike, your odds for success radically improve.
#3 Use proper body position
Warning! Do not shift your weight to the rear of the bike.
What do we mean by neutral?
- Balanced or centered
- Relaxed grip
- Elbows & knees slightly bent
- Legs making contact with the chassis
- Toes pointed in
- Eyes up, looking far forward
A neutral position (standing or sitting) is perfect.
Too much weight on the front could send you over the handlebars on deceleration. Shift your weight too far back & you will be digging the rear tire deeper into the sand. Don’t do it! Stay neutral on the bike.
#4 Maintain Momentum
If we don’t maintain enough momentum to keep traveling forward when adventure bike sand riding, 1 of 2 things will happen.
We’ll lose our balance and fall over.
Or…we’ll dig ourselves into the sand and get stuck.
For some, sand on an adv ride can be intimidating and overwhelming. This apprehension leads to problems, injuries and ride cut short. Riders have a tendency to meet adversity with too much throttle. While not applying enough throttle is just as much a problem, we should be searching for that sweet spot.
How fast do we have to go to be in the sweet spot?
It depends. But the sweet spot doesn’t have to be super fast. Nor can it be super slow. Our advice, go just fast enough to maintain forward momentum and control of your machine. Don’t go too fast and ride over you head. Don’t go so slow that you get stuck.
#5 Braking & Turning
Again, momentum is key. Thus, the throttle is your friend.
Use the brakes only when absolutely necessary. Whenever possible, make wide-arcing turns to help brush your speed off.
When braking is necessary, avoid stabbing at the front brake. Too much front could lead to an endo or knifing of the front end. Too much rear will contribute to sinking further into the sand. Remember, we want to do everything we can to get on top of the soft stuff and stay there.
#6 Improve your sand riding with Practice
Not the sexiest of tips but it’s true.
Practice makes perfect. The more time you spend adventure bike sand riding, the easier it will be. We recommend riding sandy areas near home before launching your next big adventure ride or
Not an option?
Consider signing up for one of our off-road motorcycle training courses.
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