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Old 08-27-2014, 04:23 PM   #1
Normnotsoyoung OP
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question crf230 - is it the suspension?

Hi - brand new here - and pretty new at riding too.
I'm 54, 5'10", 185 lbs. I got into dirt riding 2 years ago because my then 12 year old did. we do only woods trail and such - with hills and mud/clay (Pennsylvania west)- . he is now 14 and races harescramble. Means we now go to harder and harder trails (for me). Started on an XR250 (2001) - but got tired of kicking after dumping it. Wanted a magic button, got the honda crf230f (2007). Been going fine with it (in the easy stuff from last year). Last week went up rocky (big rocks) steep climb OK - only stalled 3 times or so. I know enough to stand on pegs and squeeze the tank with my knees (as long as my body will allow).

Lately though I have been falling as I go faster on hill climb or tight trails. I was going up this hill climb (about 40 degrees) - was washed out by rain then hardened - lots of rocks poking out. Hit a rock sticking out about 6-8 inches, and the front wheel turned - next thing you know I am going sideways (not for long: lots or ruts from rain gullies). Other example: straight tight trail with 3 or 4 6-8 inch logs accross 10 feet appart. Lift front wheel over first but by the third - hit the log, wheel turns and I am driving perpendicular to the trail in the forest (not for long either).

Is it the suspension? I thought dirt bikes should be able to hit rocks /logs that small and "jump" over at speed.

My son started on an xr100 - but just got a 2stroke ktm 85xc. he hits a rock like that and just keeps going. he keeps telling me I need a lighter bike - 2t such as ktm 200 or 300 xc - because better suspension etc. Is he right?

i'd hate loosing that magic button - and I like the tractor going up anything anytime almost any gear...

if you recommend I switch bike - am I nuts to think 2 strokes at my age and level of experience?

one thing's for sure - as long as my son wants me along for the ride (at 14) I'm going...

thanks in advance.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:33 PM   #2
clintnz
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If you think you're reaching the limits of a CRF230 & want to keep it light for gnarly trails a 200EXC would be a great choice. Longer travel better quality suspension really does make a difference!

The first time I rode a 200EXC I was surprised just how well it did tractor around & you can start them with your hand. Totally my favourite machine for gnarly trails - I'd own one for sure if I did lots of that sort of riding.

Not sure I'd go 300EXC... while they will tractor around on technical stuff pretty well they can be a whole lotta angry to hang on to when they come on the pipe

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Old 08-27-2014, 05:39 PM   #3
Buliwyf
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Can't help you with the rock on the hill. Seems like it's all a speed an momentum thing with bikes climbing. I'm not there yet.

But those logs should be cake. More wheelie practice? Just mono over those bitches. Try it on a mountain bike first maybe. Mountain bikes fly over logs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJncB0b_HNk

I tried that videos stuff on an uphill. Bike flew one way sideways, I went the other way. Would have been perfect if I'd have still been ON the bike. I hate up hills.

Buliwyf screwed with this post 08-27-2014 at 05:45 PM
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
AZ TOM
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More practice, a trials tire on the rear? Just my 2 cents. I think all of us tend to blame the bike for our own inability some times. Firm believer in at least 70% the rider & 30% the bike.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
Buliwyf
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Hit the logs harder, keep your weight back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJtinorv_g

Note that they're using their suspension as a springboard, not to soak up the obstacle. That little Honda should do a 8" log with no issues. You probally just had too much weight pushing the front tire down into the ground for it to spring over the log.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:14 PM   #6
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I stuggled in the rocks and steep hills as you describe. Put in racetech springs and emulators and problem solved. No more pogo with the forks. I can hear the valve bleed off when I hit hard. I have the 230L. Get my cogent rear shock next week.....can't wait.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:25 PM   #7
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I believe a KTM 200 is available with electric start now, and it's certainly a better bike in every way than your Honda, well, except fuel economy. But it doesn't sound like you're exceeding the capabilities of your Honda.
Your statement about lifting the front wheel over a log suggests that you don't know how to properly ride over a log. Consider getting some instruction or check out some of the thousands of internet videos showing technique for riding over logs and other obstacles.
I realize that you're just riding smaller obstacles now, that makes it the optimal time to learn proper technique.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:57 PM   #8
Normnotsoyoung OP
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This is all great info. Thanks for all comments on learning - it has been more than a suspicion of mine that the problem is my technique.

@lamotovita: do you recommend a particular site for learning? I did get the idea of lifting the front wheel over the log from youtube ( took me a while to learn in fact). Your comment confirms my lack of satisfaction with the technique...
I find sometimes everybody on the net is an expert: now i need an expert to decipher which " expert" to follow...

Thanks for the contributed videos. Gives me something to work with.

Still so many posts about crf230 condemn the suspension, that i wonder if improving it, while i work on my technique might not be useful?
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:07 PM   #9
lamotovita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normnotsoyoung View Post
This is all great info. Thanks for all comments on learning - it has been more than a suspicion of mine that the problem is my technique.

@lamotovita: do you recommend a particular site for learning? I did get the idea of lifting the front wheel over the log from youtube ( took me a while to learn in fact). Your comment confirms my lack of satisfaction with the technique...
I find sometimes everybody on the net is an expert: now i need an expert to decipher which " expert" to follow...

Thanks for the contributed videos. Gives me something to work with.

Still so many posts about crf230 condemn the suspension, that i wonder if improving it, while i work on my technique might not be useful?
Yes better tires and suspension will make the bike work better, but don't go overboard with suspension mods. Change your fork oil if you haven't already.
I'm sure theirs no shortage of bad information on the internet but if you evaluate several sources you'll figure it out.
On an 8" log there is really very little technique needed, you can just roll over it, but always, regardless of the size of log, impact the log with your front wheel.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:26 AM   #10
stevh0
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I don't think it's the suspension. A couple of years ago jade gutzeit did the roof of Africa in lesotho with a ttr230 and finished 6th overall. The ttr is just a blue crf.

Could your crashing not perhaps be fitness and fatigue related ?
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:27 AM   #11
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On another note the ttr230 has seriously crap suspension compared to my yz250.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:26 AM   #12
dentvet
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Of course its the suspension. Better suspension is more forgiving and less tiring. Can't have too much 'suspension'

This isn't to say that you have correct technique and skills. Slow down and don't outride your skills. Trouble is that many technical elements are easier if you attack. If you are punished for attacking, you need help from the machine or go back to easier terrain as you learn. Can't have too much technique.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:02 AM   #13
fastdadio
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Yes, it's the suspension.

I'm 6ft. 220 lbs. experienced off roader and I have your exact bike. These are 'play' bikes and as such, are built to a lower price. I can't ride mine in any way approaching an aggressive manor without squashing it. The stock suspension is sprung for a 120 to 150 lbs. rider. Any more than that and new springs are in order. Also good advice here about technique, there is always room for improvement. Physical fitness plays a big part. That kid of yours is gonna wear you down. We can't know your budget, but IMHO, the KTM 200 is the way to go. You can throw a truck load of money at the CRF and at the end of the day, it's still a CRF. Get the KTM and your done except for suspension tuning to your weight/ability. As an added bonus, your son is going to out grow the 85 tomorrow and his next hare scramble bike will already be in the garage.
http://www.rickramsey.net/CRF230Fmods.htm

http://crfsonly.com/forum/viewtopic....2d019a6e191714

http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/crf150-crf230.html

http://www.bbrmotorsports.com/Produc...d=411-HCF-2301
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:13 PM   #14
crypto666
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Try one of these:
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:33 PM   #15
fastdadio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypto666 View Post
Try one of these:
Thats what...half the value of an 07 CRF230? C'mon....
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