Pro Riding Tips - How to Tackle Sand Turns with Fred Andrews - Dirt Rider Magazine

There are few things in dirt riding that make you feel more like a spode than trying to change directions while in sand. Either the front end tucks and you hit the deck, or you're so cautious that your turn radius exceeds that of the typical MX team's 18-wheeler. What's the secret to railing through a sand turn?We posed that question to Fred Andrews, figuring he'd probably have some good input after his years on the National MX circuit, followed by a new career in off-road racing that's netted him an AMA National Hare Scrambles championship plus a GNCC title. "You get in the rut, lean it over and flow with the turn," he advises.Watching Andrews perform this maneuver a few times, we realized that commitment is the key to sand turns; you can't be tentative or you'll be dead meat. But there are other tricks that Andrews was willing to share, so follow along.A. On the approach to this fairly fast, sandy left-hander, Andrews is up on the pegs, of course, and in a semi-crouched, centered position on his RM. "I charge into it pretty hard and I use some front brake, but not a whole lot because sand has a tendency to make the front end want to tuck," he points out. "Just a quick hit of the front and back together is enough to slow me down."B. Here, Andrews begins to plop his bottom down onto the seat, near the front, though he won't be as far forward as if this were a hard-packed turn. In sand, it's unnecessary to exaggerate body movements, and since sand provides such a large amount of drag on the bike anyway, simply shutting the throttle is going to result in more deceleration than on hardpack. But you have to use both brakes to maximize braking, thus minimizing the time you spend slowing down.C. "I let off , and I sit down right at the beginning of the turn, lean it over, stay right in the and just flow the whole way around. The key here is not to use too much front and to not to turn out of the sand—you actually have to follow the turn around. On dirt you can turn, whereas in sand, you go to turn and you tuck the front and then fall." Andrews sums up, "It's almost all one motion: You come in hard, charge hard , get on the brakes to scrub off some speed, let off the brakes, sit down and give it gas—but do not dump the clutch; you just roll the power on, and it flows right around."

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