Pre and post-ride checklist for ATV sand riding

Pre and post-ride checklist for ATV sand riding


Make sure you have these points checked out and checked off before you start riding your ATV in the sand.


You’ll want paddle tires designed specifically for riding on sand and similar terrain. At the bare minimum, you’ll want your tires to be set to a lower PSI to allow for a greater surface area when riding. Tires configured for riding on hard-packed dirt will dig into the sand and leave you bogged down.


Make sure your chain is properly lubricated for riding on sand. Your normal chain grease may attract sand and end up gritty and clumped up, especially if the coating of grease is thick. It’s better to wipe your chain clean and go without any lubricant than to risk sand tearing up your quad bike. Ideally, you’ll apply a low-viscosity synthetic fuel so you get the benefits of lubrication without the risks of gummed-up grit.


You can’t keep sand from getting in unwanted places, no matter how careful you are, so it’s important to make sure the sprockets on your ATV can handle a bit of grit and grind without being significantly damaged. That means trading in your soft aluminum sprockets for harder steel sprockets.


Even with perfect prep, you should expect to use up more fuel when riding on sand than you would on other terrains. It’s more work to travel the same distance, even under ideal circumstances, so take more fuel than you would for a similar amount of riding on other surfaces.


Sand doesn’t always mean heat, but if you’re quad biking in Dubai or another warm climate you’re going to want to be careful about hydration. It’s easy to dry out and start making mistakes without realizing it if you’re not taking extra care of your water intake on the dunes.


Make sure you’re topped off on coolant before you hit the dunes because your ATV can run through it at an accelerated rate under the extra stresses and heat of sand riding. You don’t want to shear years off the lifespan of your quad bike because you hit the dunes without enough coolant in tow.


A normal air filter simply isn’t designed to deal with large amounts of sand flying everywhere, so make sure your ATV is protected properly against the elements with either a pre-filter or an airbox cover.


Visibility and proper directions when riding on dunes can be a problem, so it’s highly advised that you ride with a safety flag on your ATV—just to make sure people see you coming.


Once you’re done with your ride and ready to cool off and chill out, make sure to check off these post-sand maintenance items:

Hose off

The more sand you leave loose on your bike, the more likely it is to work its way somewhere important. Give your bike a quick hose-off and clear out anything obvious. Don’t use a pressure washer for this unless you know exactly what you’re doing—it’s easy to damage certain components.

Check filters and air box

Even with protection, looking over your filter and air box for any stray invaders is a good idea. Pull the filter and the airbox and give them a thorough check and cleanup.

Wipe down greasy components

Even with low-viscosity lubrication, you may have grit on oily parts. Wipe them down or scrub them if necessary. Sand on your bike will chew up components and wear it down in a hurry.

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