Guides

Ride Up Sand Dunes

John Griffiths of adventure touring firm Moto Aventures is a dune-riding guru. Here’s how to conquer mountains of sand

When you hit the sand try to get your weight back - you want the bike to plane over it like a speedboat. Change direction by moving your weight forward on the seat, pushing the bike down into the turn and gassing it. Look ahead and plan your route through the terrain, avoiding tricky cambers, tufts of camel grass and the tracks of other bikes – they can all upset your bike.

Choose where you stop with care. Go for a downward slope or a hard patch of ground. At the very least, stop on the flat.

Riding big dunes is a bit of an art. As you begin your ascent you want speed; third, fourth or even fifth gear. Drop the speed and the gears as you near the top and aim to arrive on the ridge in second gear, driving the bike all the way to the top.

If you get it right there should be no need to apply the brakes – cut the throttle and stop with the bike straddling the crest. Never go straight over. Once your skills improve you can start traversing dunes on the way up and running along the ridge, checking the other side before you commit yourself to crossing over, without stopping at the top.

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