Off-Road Sand Practice Day – Sat. August 25th

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Mike E 10 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    Mike E

    Who’s interested in going to St. Helen for some Michigan Sand Practice on Saturday, August 25th?

    It’s a great place to ride to get used to the Michigan sand.  Will be great prep for the Fall Color Ride in October if you’re doing some of the trails on that ride.

    Plan would be to ride up on Saturday morning, ride until a late lunch on Saturday, then ride home.

    St. Helen has a motorsports area, with a few interesting places to visit (sand pit, sand flats), and there are a couple of trail systems which also go through the area.  It is located off I-75 at exit 222.  It’s about a 2-1/2 hour ride up there.

    You could get a lot of sand practice in without going down any trails too far, or ride some miles on the trails.  Do as much or as little as you want to do.

    If you only ride a little and have enough of the sand, you can take a spin up to Mio and check out the Bull Gap Sand Hill Climb – watch the folks climb the sand hill, then come back and meet us for lunch, etc. (I understand that there are some non-sandy trail options south of Mio if you choose your trail carefully as well, but that is TBD).

    If you’re interested, let us know.  There may be others who will be going sooner than this day as well.  If you want to go, but are interested in another date, chime in as well.  It’s best with small groups of 2-3 people of similar skill level so you can keep together, pick each other’s bikes up, etc.



    I’m interested in weekends other than 8/11-12, 8/25-26, 9/8-9, and 9/21. Saturday or Sunday is good for me.  Gee, I sound very picky. Sorry 🙂



    Interested…….Must have my F800 repaired by then though…….None of youz will help me pick up my Harley in the sand 200 Times……..Of this I am certain.   🙂


    Mike E

    You need to run the Harley up the Bull Run Sand Hillclimb!  Just like old times.  We’ll watch!



    Is anyone interested in doing this ride next Saturday?


    Greg Linton

    Despite this offer sounding vaguely like “eat your vegetables, Timmy, so you grow up big and strong”, I’m interested. Easy for me to say…I eat a lot of veggies. 🙂

    Given that all our fancy electronics will be useless in the sand, I may bring my cosmetically challenged 950 Adv.

    8/25 works so far.


    Mike E

    Eat your sandy vegetables…

    We’ll need to take a poll to determine departure time.  BMW SEM is having a ‘motorcycles and coffee’ event at the dealer from 8-10, so we could meet there and hit the road at 8:30 (Arriving at the trail at approx at 11:00).  Alternatively, we could all leave separately, and meet up in St. Helen at 9:30 or 10:00.

    Currently, the list is myself, Alex, Bikrum, Rick (if the shock arrives…), and Greg.



    I might be in if I don’t do the GLDS ride.


    Jeff H

    Gladwin is another good option for sand. Even the roads in this area can prove difficult. Take I-75 to exit 190, then head west ~10 miles to the trail head.  Center Firelane Trail road is another good sand run, and right next to the trail head.

    Center Firelane Trail Rd:

    Gladwin Trail Head:


    Jeff H

    For time, the earlier the better to have cooler temps for working with big bikes in the sand.



    I tried to ride some of the gladwin trails last year by myself on my gs 650. That sand is deep without reprieve! I struggled mightily to ride 50 feet and I am not exaggerating. Dropped my bike at a weird angle and couldn’t pick it up. Luckily 2 guys on 4 wheelers stopped and helped me. I ended up riding the nearby roads which was enough sand challenge for me that day. As Jeff mentioned the roads are pretty sandy too.


    Mike E

    What a difference a year makes!  Scotty handled it all without issue yesterday on the scouting trip for the sand ride.

    Thank to Eric, we have a great route planned.  Some gravel roads from West Branch up to St Helen, the  to the staging area for some warm-up practice on the sand.  We just hang out in the parking lot (restrooms available), and make sand runs and turns on the trail next to the staging area.  Make some runs, rest, watch the others, etc.  it worked out great.  Then before everyone is too wore out, we hit the trail to practice some more.

    Low miles, we take our time.  Will be a lot of fun!

    Let us know if you’re planning on attending.




    Alex Trajano

    I’m in.


    Greg Linton

    I’m in. New Karoo 3 is ready to do some diggin’. 


    JP Vos

    Did I miss something? What is the final departure time and place?

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