Originally Posted by bross
So, how do you guys who are better at this do it?
I've used a TKC 80 on my DR650 in Baja ... lots of deep sand. It worked very well. Also ridden my buddies Wee Strom with TKC's mounted up. Not bad but the Wee is not easy in sand.
There may be better knobbies for sand but they may not work great on highway ... and for sure won't wear as tough or as long as the TKC's do.
On real light weight dirt bikes (two stroke 250's) sand never bothered me much. When I got more into dual sport riding on 600 class 4 strokes in the late 80's I discovered I SUCKED at sand riding. But over the years ... with lots of practice, crashes and advice from "experts" I've got better at it. I even rode my DL1000 in some mild sand on several Baja and Mexico rides.
I don't believe there is a hard and fast method for sand riding to guarantee success riding a heavy bike. I've a buddy who is amazing in deep sand ... and he sits down through all of it. (XR600R)
For me ... I do better standing up. One of the most important technique, IMO, is LOOKING WELL OUT AHEAD. Ignore whats right in front of you ... fix your gaze far out ahead. Things just get easier. No idea why. It works.
Standing and keeping a very loose grip on the bars works well for me. Steering with your feet works too ... for me. But most important is looking ahead.
I keep my speed moderate and steady ... then when the bike starts to dig in or go squirrely ... I gas it a bit ... but as soon as I'm back under control I slow back down. In long stretches of very deep sand you must STAY on the gas and steadily increase speeds until your past the worst. NEVER slow down suddenly ... you will crash.
Some will say just gas it until the bike "planes out" . Sometimes hard to do on a very heavy, loaded up bike. In my early days in Baja I tried "gassing it" and ended up going 70 mph in deep Baja sand. If and when you crash at these speeds ... you are in trouble.
I like to go about 25 to 30 mph and then gas it just a bit to pull out of deeper sand, then slow back down. But everyone has a different approach. Seat time is what really helps. Work out what techniques work best for you.