You can ride track, you can ride trails and you can also ride the dunes.

In fact, you may discover riding your dirt bike on sand offers an unprecedented experience and one you will long to return time and again. Those who have the good fortune of living near sand dunes often make weekend trips out of the adventure and spend their days riding on an endless sea of sand. It is a wholly different experience than riding track or on the trails and requires a lot more coordination than you think.

Additionally, if you have ever jogged on sand that difficulty translates to your dirt bike. Sand certainly offers a more challenging workout for avid runners therefore expect the same with your dirt bike. In fact, not any dirt bike will do when it comes to riding on sand.

Row of dirt bikes and ATVs on sand dunes

Sand Dirt Bikes

A specific dirt bike made for the sand does not exist. If you plan on riding dunes and only riding dunes don't waste your time looking for the best dirt bike for sand dunes or a straight up sand dirt bike. The dirt bike you have should suffice with some minor modifications.

Best Sand Dune Dirt Bike

That's not to say though, that some dirt bikes operate better on the sand than other dirt bikes. Therefore, if you attempt to bring a pit bike or a smaller bore bike like a 125 on the sand you will probably end up more frustrated than anything else. Any 250 2-stroke dirt bike and better, from any brand, works just fine on sand.

Just don't pull it off the track, place it on the sand and go for a rip.

Riding Dirt Bike in Sand

If you ever spent a day at the beach you know sand gets everywhere. Remember your last trip to soak in the sun or ride waves at the beach? Somehow, someway, despite all your best efforts, you still need to clean out your car from all the sand once you get home. Sand finds its way into every crevice therefore you need to prepare your dirt bike. Before heading out to the dunes, ensure you have done the following sandy pre-ride prep:

Dirt bike with a paddle tire

Dirt Bike Sand Tire or Dirt Bike Paddle Tire

Before you do anything install a sand tire, also known as a paddle tire. You cannot ride in the sand without a dirt bike paddle tire, a tire made specifically for riding in sand. You only need to replace the rear wheel with the paddle tire but for optimum performance, traction and control consider a dirt bike sand tire for the front too.

Shop all sand and paddle tires.

Really Oil the Dirt Bike Air Filter

The air filter provides the best defense against sand getting into the engine. If you get sand in the engine you might have to rebuild the whole thing. Ensure you have fully coated a clean air filter with air filter oil. We also recommend a filter skin which adds a layer of protection and if you don't have the time to get one use panty hose.

Shop air filters and air filter oil. As for panty hose? That's for you to find.

Lubricate the Chain and Sprockets

Lubricate the chain and sprockets thoroughly when riding in the sand. Use a wire brush to remove excessive sand during a riding break and reapply the chain lube to help prevent premature wear and tear on your drive train. We've got wire brushes and chain lubricant if you need it.

Dirt Bike Coolant

It takes more effort for the bike to run in the sand and most riders hit the dunes during the summer months so you can quickly overheat an engine if you don't have fresh coolant. Dump the anti-freeze you might have left over from the winter months and replace with a high quality coolant like Engine Ice, Evans or Red Line WaterWetter.

Dune Whip and Flag

You need a dune flag. Period. Don't ride without one. Part of the fun riding dunes comes with the roving hills and steep drops. Part of the killjoy in riding dunes happens when another rider doesn't hoist a flag and you ride out of a blind spot with little to no reaction time to get out of the way. Check with the dunes state park you plan to ride for specifications. You can find a whip and flag at a dealership or area shops around the dunes.