950 Super Enduro "snaking in sand"

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by stevh0, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. stevh0

    stevh0 Super Retard.

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    Can anybody give me some pointers with regards to my suspension on the SE? In thick sand she snakes everywhere, especially on the deceleration.

    Safari tank about 1/3 full. Stock springs front and rear.
    #1
  2. Dan950ser

    Dan950ser Two Wheeled Addict

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    Suspension definitely helps but most of it is just riding a heavy pig in deep sand. I don't stop really "snaking" around until I'm on the pipe in third gear. Accelerate as hard and fast as you can to plane and keep your weight back. Often I find my boots hitting my rack mount I'm so far back. Also I noticed when I had 30+ pounds of gear on the back in Baja it was actually easier to ride the deep sand. For suspension setup info contact Alex at Konflict Motorsports he has a lot of tuning and seat time on the SE. Hope this helps.
    #2
  3. stevh0

    stevh0 Super Retard.

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    You think its just the extra weight from the fuel upfront that makes the rear feel lighter?


    Would going harder in the front help much?
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  4. Black Hills

    Black Hills Long timer

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    I don't think you are going to do much with suspension adjustments as long as you have appropriate springs to keep the front up where it is supposed to be?
    #4
  5. dogsslober

    dogsslober No neck tie, Ti neck

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    Ditch the 14 Kg spring and put a 12 Kg and the snake will die
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  6. JRod152

    JRod152 will work for tires

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    + 1... unless you're an uber-big dude.

    but then be prepared for the OEM shock deficiencies to rear its ugly head even more.
    #6
  7. desert sky

    desert sky Adventurer

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    Stand up, grip the bike tight with your knees, put a light touch on the handlebars and accelerate to the a fore mentioned 3rd gear, keep that rear tire spinning, and you'll do fine. Let the bike snake around all it wants to, by weighting the pegs and steering through the knees and hips you will be its master and a smile will come to your face. To set the bike up, I installed the stiffest front fork springs I could find and backed off all rear shock pre-load (013 Adventure). Now I look for the loose stuff. ds
    #7
  8. olddirtguy23

    olddirtguy23 n00b

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    I have been a lurker on here for years, but joined to answer this question. :wink: As a kid growing up in the dirt in South Florida, all we rode in was deep sugar sand. Knee deep powder. I guess it wasn't the best, but it's all we knew.

    Bottom line, you have to steer with the throttle and the rear wheel. Keep the front end light. You have to be wide open, or off power to change direction. If you know what I mean. Think of a flat tracker, There is no cruising in sugar sand. You only have to stand if there are big whoops. Otherwise, get back on the seat and run WFO.

    This is the the only technique that works. I have met guys from out west that moved here and they are completely lost in the sand, I would also be lost in hard pack and rocks. Never seen either. Plus it hurts a lot less falling in the sand. :D
    #8
  9. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    The Kenda 270 3.25" front helps in the sand. I quit using it because it wears out faster than I like but if stability in sand is your main goal, I think it's the best I've used.

    A steering stabilizer helps especially if there are ruts/tracks in the sand. As mentioned, if you don't have a stabilizer (or even if you do, come to think of it), stand as soon as you can and pinch the tank with your knees.

    Lastly, take solace in the fact that your front wheel weight is many pounds lighter than your buddies riding a 950ADV :evil
    #9
  10. desert sky

    desert sky Adventurer

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    One other thing, teach yourself to look at least 100' in front of your front tire at all times scanning the attended route. By doing so, your body will then guide the bike along on an intended, controllable path, mostly. Look at the wheel and you'll find yourself needing to make 1,256 navigational adjustments/100' to stay upright; look far away and you'll only need to make 5 or 6. Conservation of energy. ds
    #10
  11. Sumi

    Sumi Long timer

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    +1 on WOT and speed - think about it like you would want to wheelie the bike all the time*, because the goal is to lighten the front as much as possible - shift weight back, etc.. For me it's a minimum of 40-50mph needed to be confident, revs in the 6k+ range. Still it's scary as f*ck for a long time as your instincts say don't go fast. Also try not to chop the throttle at any time, cause the front will anchor, and worst case you'll be flying over the handlebar.

    Go strict ATTGAT, because I've seen the worst offroad getoffs in sand - neck injuries and so...

    The tires actually do matter a bit IMO when talking about snaking while building the momentum, interestingly the rear more than the front. I've had great results with Michelin S12 Cross Comp. on the 950 in sand. But anything more street worthy is just fooling yourself - thinking of TKC, Karoo and such.. Once you have the momentum it doesn't really matter - I bet slicks would do just as well, if they'd be enough to maintain the momentum.

    Most say that a steering damper also greatly improves the experience, but me myself never had the opportunity ($$$) to validate this theory:))

    *the front washes out easily in sand, but if you have little weight on it and a decent forward momentum, it won't have enough sidewards force to get the bike to fall.. You're doing it right if steering with the handlebar has little to no effect on the forward movement of the bike, as the front wheel is basicly floating on top of the sand. Once up to speed it's easy, the tricky part is to get up to speed, and when decelerating without kissing the ground.

    It's also easier to learn this type of riding with a lighter bike IMO, because the 950 is quite a bit scary to do so. I've had the 950 for 2 years, and couldn't really ride in sand with it. Then I've bought a 640, and learnt how to ride in sand in about a month or so. Since that, I'm fine on the 950 as well.
    #11