Dirt Bike Riding Tips: Riding Dirt Bikes In Sand

Sand can seem like an intimidating surface for some dirt bike riders, but once you learn the art of it it can become one of the most enjoyable. Lack of technique and lack of confidence are the two biggest mistakes in the dunes. Learn the proper technique, practice, and over time your confidence will soar.

Considerations for Sand Riding

The proper sand conditions will make your dirt bike riding experience so much more fun. When you are first learning to ride in the sand, slightly wet sand is ideal. Damp sand will provide better traction and control than dry sand, although cold, wet sand doesn’t necessarily grip well.

You will want to pack plenty of water when you go out to the dunes, but avoid weighing down your bike with unnecessary equipment. Bring a few bottles of water with you, or a hydration pack, but keep everything else minimal.

Preparing Your Bike

Lower tire pressure will help you maintain better control when you are riding in the sand. Aim for 10-12 PSI for optimal traction. You also will want to make sure that your bike is powerful enough to handle sand dunes. Don’t attempt the dunes on anything smaller than a 250cc two-stroke, and don’t be afraid to really use the throttle when you are riding. It’s also smart to bring an extra can of gas– you’ll be eating through it with the power you’ll need to tackle this terrain.


Again, power will be your best friend when you are riding in sand. Acceleration is difficult in sand so you will want to accelerate sooner, and your bike will naturally slow substantially just by letting off the throttle. The most effective way to distribute the weight on your bike is by focusing the weight to the rear of the bike, which helps maintain better traction of the back tire.

It is also important to focus on steering with your lower body as opposed to yanking the handles around. Grip the bike tightly with your knees, and let the front wheel glide. If you find yourself in a sharp corner, shift your weight forward, allowing your back wheel to whip around the turn.

What Not to Do

  • DON’T Shift down if you hit a bog – this will dig you in! You want to maintain throttle at at least 50%
  • DON’T slam on the front break – this causes the front tire to lock, and it may dump you.
  • DON’T be afraid – sand is not an easy surface to ride on, but it is more forgiving when you fall

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