Ride Your Bike In The Sand

Tip #128 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

sand riding, total motorcycling manual

Before you even begin, lower your bike’s tire pressure, especially on the rear tire. Depending on your specific bike and tire, this may even be as low as 12 psi (0.83 bar). Remove excess weight on the bike if you can—it makes riding easier, and picking the bike up easier still.

THROTTLE Sand respects confidence, aggression, and speed. Stop and you'll dig in. Don't fear wheelspin as long as you're making forward progress. It's tempting to let off the throttle, but sudden transitions are a bad idea here. Keep your revs up. As for brakes, you won't need them at all in deep sand. If you do brake, do it early, and gently. Get back on the gas as soon as you can.

BODY POSITIONING Unweight the front end as much as you can. That means lean back and keep your butt down, like you're trying to sit on the bike's taillight; you want to keep the front from digging in and to let it skim over the top of the sand.

YOUR LINE Front end starting to wander? Let it. With enough engine speed and bike speed, you can control the machine's direction with the weight of your feet on the pegs. The wagging handlebar can be unnerving at first, but you'll be fine.

Most important? Don’t give up. If you’re still moving, you’re not stuck. When in doubt, and especially if you’re getting tired, react with more assertiveness. If you do have to stop, wait for a patch of solid ground or a section with only light sand—getting restarted from here will be easier.