Thick Sand Motorcycling

How to survive thick sand


Riding a motorbike is often an exercise in defeating ones own instincts. Riding a bike in thick sand is a good example of this. Instinct says go slowly when approaching anything threatening; however, going slowly on a bike is a sure way of having an accident, more so when riding in a threatening situation.

When approaching an area of thick sand it is best to slow down while approaching, then gently accelerate upon reaching the sandy patch. Motion is what gives stability to any bike, be it a bicycle or a motorbike.

With a motorbike, this stability is especially linked to the back tire's grip on the ground. Applying too much power will cause the back wheel to spin, thus losing grip, causing the bike to either fall over or dig its back wheel into the sand.

If the sand is particularly thick, fine, or both, and the back wheel has dug itself in, the best thing to do in this situation is to get off, use the "clutch and accelerator" combined to gently apply forward motion; then run with the bike past the worst bit, and finally leap back on.

Instinct causes panic when it feels as if things are out of your control. Often, when in a situation like thick sand, the bike will throw itself about a bit; this is normal, and often a hint that one is going too slowly. The worst thing you can do on a bike is to stiffen up. Rather, sit upright, lean slightly forward, and relax your arms. If the going is really bad, stand up on the pegs, and lean forward. The main thing is relax and give the bike the power it needs to get out.