There are some things you just have to do when you’re in Dubai for New Year 2019: catch the spectacular New Year’s Eve firework display at the Burj Khalifa, ride a camel, spend a day at the souks so you can go home laden with spices and gold, and take a day tour of the city.
But if you’re a die-hard dirt biker, you’ll want to spend most of your time exploring the different ways you can explore the sand. Here, we introduce you to the joys of motorbiking, quad biking and riding a dune buggy in the desert of Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates.
Preparing to Ride a Dirt Bike in Desert Sand
Damp or wet sand will give you better traction and control for the best ride. Finding a suitable dirt bike rental in Dubai that is absolutely crucial to your success. You’re not remotely interested in anything smaller than a 250cc two-stroke; you’ll appreciate as much power as you can afford and handle. Keep your tire pressure down to between 10 and 12 psi, again to optimize control and traction.
If you’re riding with a group, you might want to arrange for a sturdy, desert-ready backup vehicle to carry refreshments (sand biking is thirsty work) and extra gas/petrol. Desert sand is brutal on your bike, so have on hand a few spare parts, air filters, CRC spray for chains, etc.
If you don’t have the luxury of a support team, there are a number of ways you can carry extra fuel on your bike. These include: having a high-capacity fuel tank, to begin with; carrying additional fuel bottles strapped to the bike via a holster, or storing bottles of fuel in a saddle bag on the plastic tail section. Beverages, tools, etc., you can put in a backpack.
Tips and Techniques for Desert Riding
You will need to modify your riding technique for desert sand, but learning new stuff is what you came here for, right? It may take some getting used to at first, but by incorporating these tweaks to your natural style, you will soon get the hang of it.
- Pretend you’re Superman. This means shifting your butt further back on the seat than you do when you’re riding on normal dirt and leaning forward over the fuel tank. Adopting this posture will help keep the bike gliding effortlessly over the sand. Failure to do this will result in the wheels digging in and you are performing a perfect impersonation of Superman, right over the handlebars.
- Against your instincts, do your best to keep the throttle open! This, too, keeps the wheels making the right amount of contact with the sand and helps you control the bike’s direction.
- Whenever you’re making a tight, hard corner, hug the fuel tank for all you’re worth to take the weight off the rear wheel. As usual, lean into the curve for comfort, and control, and to look cool to anybody who might be looking in your direction.
- If you’ve ever ridden a horse, then you know that using your legs to grip the animal takes some of the pressure off your arms. Using this posture on a desert bike also gives you extra stability when you’re riding over rough terrain.
While riding a bike in the desert is one of the most challenging environments on earth, it is also one of the most thrilling and satisfying. Not only is it smoother and faster than you may be accustomed to, but you’ll also have plenty of opportunities for power slides, wheelies, natural jumps, and kickers!
Another desert activity you won’t want to miss while in Dubai for New Year 2019 is quad biking. A quad bike has three, four, or even six wheels. Also known as an all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, a quad bike has oversize, underinflated tires, a seat that the rider straddles as on a two-wheeled bike, and a set of handlebars for steering.
While low-pressure tires make for a more comfortable ride, they also tend to lull the rider into a false sense of ability, often leading to daring and dangerous behavior. Quad bike accidents can be serious and even lethal. Keep your wits about you and ride well within your competence to ensure a safe and pleasant occasion.
Advantages of a Guided Dune Buggy Tour
Even if you’ve experienced riding in a dune buggy at home, the surface in the desert is different. For this reason, guided dune buggy tours are perfect for the beginner. Everything you need in terms of safety equipment is provided for you, such as helmets, gloves, and any other gear that may be recommended by your expert guide.
Another benefit of riding with a professional tour guide is they know where all the best views are to be found, and where the ride is going to be more thrilling. Left to your own devices, one sand dune looks pretty much like the next. Finally, a local professional has the knowledge to share local folklore and history, something you definitely won’t get if you strike out on your own!
When the fireworks are finished and your bags are stuffed with souvenirs, Dubai at New Year 2019 offers numerous ways to enjoy the desert terrain. We have covered three of them: dirt bikes, quad bikes, and dune buggies. If you get the chance, try all three.