Riding on san d

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#1
Well, went on my first ride on a dirtbike EVER saturday morning.

Due to excessive raining in my state, the dirt trail's are covered up by a local lake thats about 15 feet above normal.


But we have an Offroad Vehicle Park next to a nearby river, it consists of deep riverbed sand.

Now, i have a good bit of experiance riding ATV's in sand and various terrain, but i soon realized riding a Dirt Bike and a quad are two completely different animals.

I have a 99 Yzf with a big bore kit and a paddle tire in the back, so i though i was prepared for sand BUT BOY WAS I WRONG !!

Riding a bike on sand is like riding on ice, i found myself wondering all over the place and being pulled to the left and right and struggling to keep the bike upright.

The area on the riverbed has very inconsistant depths of sand, I found myself riding along just fine and then as soon as i became too confident i would hit a patch of deep stuff and the bike kinda did what it wanted to, not to mention i have very little experiance using a twist throttle, every good sized bump/rock i hit, would cause the front tire to lift just enough to make me panic and grip the throttle even tighter which resulted in me holding the throttle too long, while flailing slightly out of control which caused a few close calls causing me to pull the clutch in while the motor reved.

Im sure i looked like a total moron to alot of the guys out there riding their dirbikes.

Which leads me to my next question. Is it possible to put a thumb throttle on a dirtbike ? I'm sure its possible, have you guys ever heard of a thumb throttle on a dirt bike ?

Are there any good tips you guys can give me for sand riding ?

Any tricks or techniqes i should know about ?

I deffinately have a new found respect for dirtbike riders, ATV's are a piece of cake to ride on sand, almost effortless, i must say it takes a good deal of balance and skill to ride a dirt bike.

You guys make it look too easy.
 
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#2
Lets see....

Yes, you can put a thumb throttle on a dirt bike.

When you're in soft soft sand, You need to go fast or else you're going to let the bike do what it wants.

And no, it doesn't take much to rider dirt bikes. Quads are just for wienies, may i suggest you get an ATC?
 
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#3
I would recommend staying a little loose on the bike and let it move around a little under you. Also, stay on the throttle, and ride a little farther back on the bike. Of course, you need to learn to ride more predictable terrain before diving into sand.

Don't worry about the thumb throttle thing, you'll get used to the twist soon enough. If you really want to do it, find a quad with the same (or a very similar) carb to source the parts from.
 
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#4
Ya i did notice the bike stayed upright much easier the more throttle i gave it.


As far as the thumb throttle goes on the bike, im not sure it can be done considering i have an extra cable coming off of my throttle, im assuming its for the throttle position sensor.

I was hoping yamaha had TPS sensors on there quads also, but im not having much luck in my search.
 
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#5
Two cables from the throttle is probably just a push/pull arrangement, and not for a TPS (which should be down on the carb).

What kind of bike is it? There may be somebody here that is familiar with that carb setup.
 
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#6
Its a 99 YZ 400 f.

I've been doing some research on the two throttle cables, and all i could come up with was that the push pull setup is there because 4 strokes have alot of vacum and its possible for the carb to get stuck open . Does this sound right ?

Is it absolutely necissary to have the push part of the throttle ?

Has anyone ever had a problem with there throttle sticking due to vacum presssure ?
 
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#7
I saw that in the profile but I thought it was the quad. My bad, I don't remember a 400F.

Since the thread topic here is sand riding, you will probably get better information about the conversion if you start a new topic in the Gen Repair or Thumper forum.
 
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#8
Ya sorry to vear off of topic. It is a yz 400 . The sand paddle tire deffinately did its job, but boy that thing is irritating to ride around on hard packed dirt .


How do you guys keep from twisting the throttle while hitting bumps, do you hold your right hand loose when anticipating bumps ?

I found myself constantly ripping the throttle back when i would hit a good bump or a rock.
 
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#9
Mr.Selfdestruct said:
The sand paddle tire deffinately did its job, but boy that thing is irritating to ride around on hard packed dirt .
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You shoudln't do that, the paddles won't last long that way.

I wouldn't expect to see a paddle tire being used in a sand wash. They are great in sand dunes where there are no rocks, but any sand wash that I have been in has all sorts of rocks in it. Rocks and paddles don't go together.

Rod
 
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#10
Mr.Selfdestruct said:
How do you guys keep from twisting the throttle while hitting bumps, do you hold your right hand loose when anticipating bumps ?
Hold on with your legs, and maintain body position with your abs. Keep the arms bent slightly (elbows out) so that you can rock back a little without pulling back on the bars. Once you stop trying ot hang on with your arms, this problem, along with most of the associated sore forearms, will almost disappear.
 
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#11
This is great advice, i really appreciate it. Theres not a whole lot of info i can find on the net pertaining to riding techniques.

This info will really help me out, i've never really thought about using my legs to clinch onto the bike, once again this is a result of riding ATV's first, you just kinda sit and go on a Fourwheeler.
 
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#13
I second the comments by FruDaddy and others with respect to riding technique. Stay loose, grip with your legs, ride further back, stay on the gas and you will be alright!

Also, look into getting a good sand tire like the Michelin S-12 or Dunlop 773. They get great traction in the soft stuff and won't kill you on other types of terrain.
 
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#14
Mr.Selfdestruct said:
How do you guys keep from twisting the throttle while hitting bumps, do you hold your right hand loose when anticipating bumps ?
PRACTICE! yes, all these tips will help, but nothing is a good substitute for seat time.
no, i don't hold the grip loose when i see bumps. just keep the bike in fourth... that'll solve the bump problem. ;)
 
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#15
Good stuff, thanks for the DVD and book info, im a pretty avid reader but i never really thought about checking out a dirt bike for beginners book.


I will definately try some of these riding techniques next time im out.