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Today i was out riding and found a what looked like a nice trail. Not to far up the trail it turned in to deep sugar sand. I found my self having to fight the front end just to stay up. The front wheel was hard to control at any speed. It was so bad i turned around and rode back. What do you all think caused this problem?
 

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Today i was out riding and found a what looked like a nice trail. Not to far up the trail it turned in to deep sugar sand. I found my self having to fight the front end just to stay up. The front wheel was hard to control at any speed. It was so bad i turned around and rode back. What do you all think caused this problem?
I'll try to provide a little advice while acknowledging that sand is my and many other people's nemesis.

Heres a few pointers:

GET Rid of the stock front tire!

1. Do not let fear dictate your technique.
2. Lower your tires air pressure.
3. Sit back on the seat, get your weight off the front tire.
3. Don't hold on so tight, let the bike "float around a bit" in the front (get past the fear).. it's the hardest parts.
4. Find the right speed for the sand your in. It's usually faster than your going or think you should be going.
5. When you feel your going to lose it.. goose the throttle the self correction that it causes is amazing.
6. Don't look down, look out front as far as reasonable and pick a target, it helps big time.
7. Practice practice practice. The most helpful thing is getting past the fear and holding on the bars way too tightly.
8. Keep your weight on the pegs more than the seat. Lower center of gravity is much better.
9. If your in a vehicles single track and start to drift out use the weight on the pegs to help correct your direction.

Thats my method but if I don't ride in a while I have to stop and think... sand riding takes experience, technique and a fearless rider.
 

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Thanks for the info. This is a new bike with the stock tires. I am new to this off road riding and don't know that much about it. Also i am not as young as i once was now 75. I think i will avoid the sugar sand for now. Thanks again for the help. A lot to think about.

I have to congratulate you for getting out there. I didn't like sand when I was 11. I'm over 50 now and I still don't like it, and I'm sure I won't like it when I'm 75 if I'm still kicking. Take it easy, plenty of trails without sand, well In Florida it's probably as bad as it is in the pine barrrens where I'm at but I find them often enough.
 

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I'll try to provide a little advice while acknowledging that sand is my and many other people's nemesis.

Heres a few pointers:

GET Rid of the stock front tire!

1. Do not let fear dictate your technique.
2. Lower your tires air pressure.
3. Sit back on the seat, get your weight off the front tire.
3. Don't hold on so tight, let the bike "float around a bit" in the front (get past the fear).. it's the hardest parts.
4. Find the right speed for the sand your in. It's usually faster than your going or think you should be going.
5. When you feel your going to lose it.. goose the throttle the self correction that it causes is amazing.
6. Don't look down, look out front as far as reasonable and pick a target, it helps big time.
7. Practice practice practice. The most helpful thing is getting past the fear and holding on the bars way too tightly.
8. Keep your weight on the pegs more than the seat. Lower center of gravity is much better.
9. If your in a vehicles single track and start to drift out use the weight on the pegs to help correct your direction.

Thats my method but if I don't ride in a while I have to stop and think... sand riding takes experience, technique and a fearless rider.
Excellent advice! I need to remember this ahead of time... I usually think about it after it's too late...:rolleyes:
 

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TWs seem to prefer a bit slower pace in the sand than most two wheeled off road bikes. In the past, I have used the throttle fo keep the front end light. TW seems to like to get to a neutral float, as mentioned before, find what the bike wants.
 

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Today i was out riding and found a what looked like a nice trail. Not to far up the trail it turned in to deep sugar sand. I found my self having to fight the front end just to stay up. The front wheel was hard to control at any speed. It was so bad i turned around and rode back. What do you all think caused this problem?
The sand. But why exactly does deep sand cause the front to want to tuck left or right? It has to do with how trail works on motorcycles. Trail is defined as the distance between where the extended centerline of the forks would touch the ground and where the center of the tire contact patch is on the ground. Normally, the extended centerline of the forks is about 2 inches ahead of the contact patch. It acts like the castoring wheels on a grocery cart. If you want to turn the cart, you have to apply a force to the handle. If you let go, the cart tends to straighten out.
In deep sand, a berm builds up in front of the front tire until the contact patch is actually in front of the extended centerline of the forks. Now the front wheel wants to turn even further, and if not muscled back straight, will go all the way to lock and dump you in the sand! There are two ways to deal with this: On more powerful bikes, aggressive throttle application and sitting back will loft the front tire up on top of the sand so only a little berm forms. On less powerful bikes like ours, you can actually steer left and right very rapidly around that berm, minimizing its effect on your steering. At about at the 1:36 point in this video, you can see the technique:

It works, but it is very tiring in deep sand. The less the sand depth, the less back and forth movement you need. I have found that more than about 1/2 mile in 6 inch deep sugar sand is too much for me, but in 3 inch deep sand I can go on for several miles.
Try it out!
 

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I am no expert riding on or in sugar sand. At least on 2 wheels. One moment you are riding in dirt, leaves or gravel and just around the corner is sand so fine you'd think it was silica.
Your description is exactly my experience the one time I rode in fine sand, even with the air pressure low which did help at bit, It was very difficult to control the bike without it going spastic. That was with the original stock front wheel. I've since changed to the Shinko Trials tire and look forward to trying it out under the same conditions again.


One moment you're Steve McQueen...
IMG_5678.jpg


... the next you're Elmer Fudd. At least no "ouch" into sugar sand.
IMG_5711.JPG
 

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... I've since changed to the Shinko Trials tire and look forward to trying it out under the same conditions again.
I found that the Shinko 241 was a slight improvement, but in really deep sand it didn't matter. Tread design has little effect in 6 inch deep dry sand. Sitting back, pulling back and keeping the engine in the power band with quick jabs to the throttle helps.
I still hate deep (6 inch +) sand and will turn around if it's more than a few dozen yards.
 

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Here in MI we have miles and miles of sand! That video was really interesting and it makes sense why the TW sucks so bad in deep sand at speed! That big wide tire must put up a wall of sand to turn through! Add to that the lack of traction and power and you have why I have changed my approch to a "floatation" vs. throttle up approach. We rode about 40 miles of sugar sand last summer on the way to a spot we were interested in, talk about tired!
 

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Yeah, there is a huge difference between a 5.10/18 on a steel rim with a 225 lb. rider and a 3.25/21 on an alloy rim with 25 Horsepower driving it and a 160 lb. 20 something riding it!!! :eek:
Those bikes just get up and float like they had helium in the tires. But that isn't what I bought the TW for, so I don't care....I like rocks. :p
 

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Good advice from all — here on the Island I have to ready for hard sand, soft sand, sand that will swallow you (and the bike) — and the dreaded “mud and sand” (up to the axles)

So far I’ve found that matching speeds, and the “floating rider, sinking bike” technique will only get you so far — then it’s time to change direction

Hard work — but at least you guys don’t have to worry about the tide coming back in ……

red-wahrf-bay.jpg
 

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Thanks for the info. This is a new bike with the stock tires. I am new to this off road riding and don't know that much about it. Also i am not as young as i once was now 75. I think i will avoid the sugar sand for now. Thanks again for the help. A lot to think about.
Welcome by the way!

If your sugar sand is just 2-3 inches and you get that wiggle-squirmy feel, a better front tire (SR244, SR241) with lower tire pressure (10-12 psi-both tires) will help. You could also try this sand in small doses until you get use to it but could take a while. If the sand is like that golf course sand trap kinda crap 8 inches or deeper (i.e. even hard to walk in), best to avoid if you can.

Just got back from Moab where there is no shortage of sand either. Comes in many depths. Some of us don't mind the sand, perhaps even like it, but many stayed clear of trails with much sand. I once dreaded sand but now embrace it...sort of.

No matter what, have fun with the TW wherever you ride it. That's what it's all about! Good luck!
 

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I've since changed to the Shinko Trials tire and look forward to trying it out under the same conditions again.
I have better control in sand since upgrading to the Shinko 241.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well i think i was trying to go were i should not have tried. It was a area were trucks had be running and the sand was 6 to 8 inches deep . I will not try that again for sure. I ride by myself need to know my limits.
 
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