Gearing my WR for the sand (pic from yesterdays ride)

14 replies to this topic
  • jwashburn

Posted August 09, 2004 - 10:29 AM


I've got a '99 WR400 and I just started riding in the sand (2nd time yesterday). The problem is that my first gear seems to be pretty worthless and I'm not sure if that's a product of how a 4-stroke makes power or my gearing. I rode my buddies CR500 and that sucker snaps out of the sand when you crack the throttle. I'd like to have that same sensation when I twist my WR. What I experience instead is a slow dig out of the sand. Once I'm in second gear the bike does great. I've got a 14 tooth (13 on my first ride) front sprocket and a 50 rear. I was considering going to a 15. Am I being foolish in comparing how these two bikes compare in the sand?

Thanks for any suggestions. Here is a picture from yesterday.

- Jim

Posted Image

  • jwriott

Posted August 09, 2004 - 12:02 PM


Well, your WR400 is no CR500. If anything, it's more like a CR250 so it's not going to snap out of sand or roost like a 500cc 2-stroke.

What's been done to the bike? You should make sure all the free mods are done and if you want it to snap to attention better, do the YZ timing as well.

The other thing is the WR gearing is super low in 1st gear. If you are drag racing someone or want to get out of the hole quick, try a 2nd gear start. Gearing it too high is going to make larger gaps in the gear box so it will be harder to accelerate quickly in the upper gears.

  • Jethrro

Posted August 09, 2004 - 12:34 PM


When riding my wr 450 on the sand I very rarely use first gear. Your right I found that there is a little to much torque and not enough wheel speed to get what I want. Sand takes a lot to get used to. But what works for me is just start out in second and hammer it. You might find out it works for you to. I'm sure this speeds up wear on the clutch and related components but so does hitting the revlimiter taking off in first.

  • Oasis_Flame

Posted August 09, 2004 - 07:34 PM


Try a 14-48, I ride sand almost every ride in Nevada and that gearing makes 1st. gear very useable, 1st. stays with you a little longer to use some of the Yamy power. The front tire will still be on a jackstand when you want it.

  • jwashburn

Posted August 10, 2004 - 03:56 AM


Thanks for your help. I'll go with the 14-48 as well as trying second gear starts when needed.

I'll also check the list of free mods on thumperfaq. I know that a few have been done by the previous owner but I'm sure that not all of them have been done.

Thanks again for your advice.

  • BIGMatt

Posted August 10, 2004 - 04:29 AM


Where were you riding? That place looks beautiful!!!
Kind'a like Pismo Dunes! WOW!! :thumbsup:

  • jwashburn

Posted August 10, 2004 - 06:02 AM


It's Sand Lake which is just south of Tillamook on the Oregon coast. The veiw of the ocean from the top of the dunes is awesome! From what they tell me, it's not as nice a riding area as some of the places further down the coast. That's because of all the traffic it gets. You can't beat the view though!
Sand Lake Recreational Area

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  • DesertChris

Posted August 10, 2004 - 10:35 AM


Second gear starts work just great for me with stock gearing. Even in drags up comp hills only the 500cc would easily pull ahead. Two years ago I had it up in your out at Winchester Bay for the Dune Fest and I was able to make it up anything I tried, before I went to YZ timing. Mine might not be a 500cc 2-stroke but it sure throws one hell of a roost with a Kings 8 paddle. I heading out to Pismo tomorrow for the rest of the week and I am going to try out Kings front sand tire, we will see how it works out.

  • jwashburn

Posted August 18, 2004 - 11:32 AM


I just wanted to say thanks. I've been out for a couple of rides since this post and starting from second gear works great. In fact I skipped out of work early yesterday and made the 1 1/2 hour drive to the dunes and rode until it got dark. I'm beat today, but there is something special about getting out for a mid-week ride.

  • sjwr450

Posted August 18, 2004 - 11:51 AM


Is there a sand tire on it. My 250f had no problem once I put a tire on it.

  • jwashburn

Posted August 18, 2004 - 01:07 PM


Yup, I've got an 8 paddle tire on it.

A friend just gave me a second paddle tire which is significantly wider and has 10 paddles. I'm going to mount that tire to a second rim arriving in the next couple of days. Then I'll take both wheels with me so I can compare the two tires side by side. Although, that won't be for a couple of weeks because I'm heading out of town for a week.

The truth is I'm very happy with how the bike is hooking up now using second gear starts. But I can't help but experiment with different set-ups. It's in my nature to tinker and play around.

  • dirtryder52

Posted August 18, 2004 - 10:51 PM


this is a little off topic but what is the stock sprocket sizes on an '04 wr 450?

  • 5valve

Posted August 18, 2004 - 11:08 PM


14/50 for all the WR's produced

  • dirtryder52

Posted August 19, 2004 - 09:02 AM


and also the gear ratio?

  • 5valve

Posted August 19, 2004 - 09:11 AM


all the same too


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