Ha-ha Ross, riding a snow plow is a great description of the GS's sand handling with the stock 19" wheel. Although I have seen some great riders like Jimmy Lewis ride it like it was the easiest thing in the world but, like I said, GREAT riders.
If you thought the sand was bad from Baker to where I passed you, you wouldn't have believed what we rode through in the canyons outside of Barstow ...
I picked up the wheel from another inmate here, it is a HP-2 wheel (tubeless) laced to a GS hub. On day 2 about 2 hours out of Barstow I cut the sidewall of the front tire and got an instant flat. Pulled an emergency tube from a buddy, popped it in and kept right on going..
As for suspension, I am using the Wilbers WESA set up that integrates into the ESA system. The ride height for sure changes with the ESA set on the offroad settings.
Planning to go to Alt Rider Taste of Dakar again, last year was a lot of fun ... those guys know how to build a campfire.
Life is an adventure that requires the correct equipment ... UNTIL IT F'NG BREAKS!
R1200GS Adventure, 525 exc