Loose Sand - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-04-2014, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Loose Sand

A couple of times I have either hit loose sand at medium speed or from a standing start and found my Wee to be a little squirrely in those situations. Believe me when I say there is a lot of loose sand here in the Coachella Valley of California. Those incidents have put a little fear for me of riding through sand. I had planned on riding some of the local packed sand roads, but am not sure about that now. Any advice would be appreciated. Not stay away from sand.
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-05-2014, 12:43 AM
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Practice, practice and practice. Find a sand patch and cross it several times. Once you get used to the sand feeling, it will be easier.

Enter the sand patch at a steady pace and try to keep the same pace. Don't worry if the bike tails a little. It should recover on its own unless you panic brake or hit the gas.

---
Basically, the strom is a heavy bike, and will not do great on deep sand. Maybe upgrading to more off-road oriented tires would help, but your best bet is to practice and understand how the bike handles on that situation.

And, then again, practice and practice one more time. You may watch videos and read recommendations, but practice makes perfect.

I is poor doge... I no know bikes!
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-05-2014, 09:37 AM
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Starting from a stand on sand is quite tricky too. Normally you should use a little throttle and release the clutch slowly, so you make a controlled start.

When the rear tire spins, press the clutch and start releasing it again. There is a point of no return: when the bike starts advancing, lift your feet and there you go.

I is poor doge... I no know bikes!
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-05-2014, 09:59 AM
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Stand on the pegs and let the bike squirm. I was riding around the metal Sculptures in Borrego Springs and there is lots of loose crap there. I tried looking well ahead of me and keep a decent pace without accelerating too much.
Like the man said, practice! The more knobby the tire the better it will work too. My street tires were shit down at the Glamis dunes when I made a little off pavement excursion. I didn't fall but looked like a duck furiously paddling my way back to the pavement.
Actually a little 250cc bike would be mo bettah for the sandy stuff...with new knobby tires!
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-05-2014, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by notacop View Post
Actually a little 250cc bike would be mo bettah for the sandy stuff...with new knobby tires!


You don't need tons of horse power in a slippery surface.

I is poor doge... I no know bikes!
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-05-2014, 01:01 PM
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I have found getting weight off the front wheel helps so shift your weight as far back as you can, relax and let the bike do its thing.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-05-2014, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys thanks a lot. I have ridden a lot on packed gravel, but this stuff is a new ballgame for me. Appreciate the advice and plan on doing a lot of practice before heading up to Joshua Tree National Park on Berdoo Canyon Road.
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-06-2014, 10:06 AM
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I keep getting reminder ads from a couple off-road training courses held at places like The Hungry Valley off road park and the BMW training ground near by.
The cost is abut 100 bucks for the day. I haven't convinced myself I want to dirt that much. I'd probably be a lot more relaxed after attending though.
I haven't ridden a 'dirt' bike in ages.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-21-2015, 11:46 PM
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IMHO the v strom is not the bike to take into loose/deep sand unless you have a bunch of experience in that stuff. The idea is to have fun. Safest way to get that experience is on something lighter and then it can actually be fun. Different bike and ride with experienced riders in the dirt/sand and you will pick up skills.

14 tooth for me
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-22-2015, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wildfire View Post
Hey guys thanks a lot. I have ridden a lot on packed gravel, but this stuff is a new ballgame for me. Appreciate the advice and plan on doing a lot of practice before heading up to Joshua Tree National Park on Berdoo Canyon Road.
Steering damper is a *BIG* help on loose soft sand. It's useful elsewhere, but a lifesaver on that.

Real knobs on the tires.

My experience on the DL has been 'more throttle' is only the answer if you aren't going fast to start with. On a small light bike, it's always the right answer, on a DL, well, speeding up another 40kph in a hurry with marginal control just leads to really big crashes.

Being balanced on the bike, smooth and gentle on the throttle works for me. Basically steering with small weight shifts and the throttle.

Pete
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