|Sand Mountain – October 2013
By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
I was in serious need of some sand therapy, and had convinced my friends that a quick trip to Sand Mountain, NV was in order. We set a date for a random Tuesday and figured the place would be all but deserted. But this was no ordinary October.
The Government Shutdown was in full-steam and had closed down more than I would have ever imagined. I expected most of the national museums in Washington D.C. to be affected, but BLM and Forest Service controlled dunes didn’t really enter my mind. That was until I saw from my Facebook friends up north that theOregon Dunes National Recreation Area was closed by the Forest Service. Then I heard through the grapevine that the BLM out of Carson City had technically closedSand Mountain, NV, but would most likely not enforce the closure. BLM did not answer the phone, so It was a little risky to take the four-hour drive from the Sacramento area without knowing for sure.
We decided that it was worth the risk and loaded up four RZRs for the trip. I was bringing by XP 1000 with a fresh set of GMZ Race Products sand tires, and my big bore, turbo Jagged X RZR. My friend Jeff had his brand new XP 1000 as well, and John brought his XP 900.
We arrived at Sand Mountain before 10AM and were surprised to see a handful of camps setup and several ATVs running around the flats. No crowded by any means, but seeing people there was a relief.
After unloading, the first item on the agenda was to check and adjust the Attitude Industries EFI controller. I was really too busy at DuneFest to really do much with our car in its first outing, so it was important to make sure the car was getting the right amount of fuel to match up with the Muzzys 995cc big bore, K&T Performance / Race Proven Motors turbo and K&T head porting. I had my friend Paul Hart in the passenger seat, and we made several passes on the flats rolling through the RPM levels and checking air/fuel levels. After a few quick adjustments, me made a half speed run to the top, and then several more. Each time we bumped the throttle level up a bit until we were flying up the hill at full throttle. It really only took 15 minutes, but it made me feel better knowing that we weren’t going to fry the engine while blasting up the dunes.
I then hopped out and gave the driver’s seat over to Paul while I snapped some shots. The power was really fun and very smooth. We ran all the time in 2-wheel-drive and the sand tires that Fullerton Sand Sports had setup for the car were perfect. Plenty of power to get anywhere on the mountain in 2WD, and this allowed the car to drift better as a result. The STU tires are mounted up on 14-inch HiPer dual beadlocks.
I was thrilled with how the car performed throughout the rest of the day. With the long wheelbase, Jagged X long travel and FOX 2.5-inch shocks, it feels like a small sand car, and the power from the turbo and big bore bring it right up to that level.
SDR Motorsports knocked it out of the park on the roll cage, doors bumper and full turnkey installation. And I think the graphics designed by 4130 Clothing set the car apart from anything else in the dunes.
I can’t wait to get this car down to Camp RZR in a few weeks to show it off.
I also brought our XP 1000. At the Sand Sports Super Show, I had TMW Off-Road install a roll cage and doors, plus Wolf Designs installed a custom wrap for us. I had also swapped out my radius links for a high clearance setup from Long Travel Industries. After the show, upgraded my shocks with a package from Walker Evans Racing.
In addition, I had just received a set of GMZ Sand Stripper tires and Venomous wheels. The offset on the wheels makes the 1000 about 5 inches wider than stock for more stability. The SandStripper tires are 6 Ply radials. Up front are 28×12-14 3-Rib Sand Stripper Turning Tires and the rears are 28×15-14 HP Sand Stripper. The HP is more aggressive and has more grip over the standard Sand Stripper model. Designed for the higher powered machines with more horse power this tire has 14 full length paddles that measure 1 1/8 tall. We found the HP to be a little too much paddle for the stock XP 1000 at Sand Mountain (every dune is different for paddles). They worked great, but climbing the steep face at Sand Mountain, engine RPMs were about 7500. A bit less paddle or more power would be perfect. We will have these tires on our RZR XP 4 1000 at Camp RZR in Glamis and expect the Sand Strippers to be perfect. Sea level instead of 4500 ft. plus finer grained sand will do well well a little more paddle.
Our XP 1000 is being setup to be able to dune and rock crawl so keep an eye on what else we have in store for this build.
Jeff had his new XP 1000 there as well. He was running 30x10R14 Maxxis Bighorns mounted up on STI beadlocks. He was able to get everywhere on the mountain with ease. And John had brought out his King of the Hammers proved XP 900 for the day.
We all had a great time. Sand Mountain was not closed, weather was ideal and all of the UTVs ran like champs. Can’t wait to do it again.