CRF230F and the other 2XX dualsports

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by switchback, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. switchback

    switchback Eatin' Dirt Since 1982

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    I went out last weekend to look at the new ~200-250 dual-sports with my father this past weekend. He is looking for a smaller bike he can flat foot to do some exploring and errand running with. We visited all the dealers and looked at every model available in the class. Here is what we found.

    Yamaha
    XT250 – Looks like the engine is completely new this year. Also new to the bike is the added weight. Either Yamaha is much more honest this year with reported weight or the bike has gained some. What the bike lost was sixth gear and the zerk fittings on the suspension links even though the suspension looks virtually identical to the 225 except for the new rear disk caliper mount. A new rear disk will provide more confidence compared to the drum on the 225 when wet. Valves are still adjustable via tappets and feeler gauge. Other than the added CCs and a rear disk I don’t see much improvement. The loss of 6th gear and the added suspension maintenance is a disappointment. To be fair the others in this class don’t have grease fittings either.

    [​IMG]

    WR250R - Looks like a close copy of the WR250F with one less radiator, a steel downtube, and a bunch of emissions stuff. We didn’t look closely at this one due to the HIGH seat. If you can’t plate a real WR this is worth a look (#1 non-competition enduro like dual-sport).

    [​IMG]

    TW200 – Dad was set on this bike going in. The big tires and crawling ability were attractive. In reality the bike is heavier feeling than the others and the wide seat makes it harder to flat foot. The 200 CC displacement and the lack of 6th gear was also a let down.

    [​IMG]

    Kawasaki
    KLX250 – Little more old school that the WR above. Seat is too high for my dad. The KLX is a good old school thumper. The chassis is the second best for serious off-road behind the WR and ahead of the CRF. I like the WR a bit more than this one and the WR has more power stock but the KLX has a big list of potential modifications including a 300 cylinder. This is the most off-road bang for the dollar.

    [​IMG]

    Suzuki
    DR200 – Love the tank!! 3.5 gallons is wonderful. Otherwise looses out due to the small displacement and 5 speed tranny.

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    Honda
    CRF230L – Let me preface this by saying that this is the bike of choice for dad. The CRF has up to date looks on a good chassis with a low seat height. The engine is the typical 2 valve easily maintained engine layout. Six speed gearbox and 230ccs are a big plus. Front and rear disk brakes to get the stopping done. The bike also is closely related to the CRF230F so aftermarket options are bound to be larger. To top it all off the bike has a great review at MotorcycleUSA.com. For those who want a small but up to date bike this may be the ticket.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_Page.aspx?ArticleID=5943
    #1
  2. Harsh

    Harsh Been here awhile

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    Thanks for putting them all together in one post. I am going to buy one of the above this summer. Wish one of the magazines would do a side by side comparison.
    #2
  3. dieseldave24v

    dieseldave24v Wish I was riding

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    I had a CRF230 for my wife to learn on. It was a 2004 "Not street legal" I dont know if there are any differences between the two, but it sure was a sweet bike.
    #3
  4. switchback

    switchback Eatin' Dirt Since 1982

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    According to the review the CRF230L has a bit more power than the 230F. I was surprised to read this.
    #4
  5. dieseldave24v

    dieseldave24v Wish I was riding

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    Yeah me to. I never took it on the road, other than up and down my street, but it felt like it could have been a very capable bike on the road. We even thought of getting a baja design dual sport kit for it, but I didnt want to have problems with the DMV so we just sold it.
    #5
  6. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    Thanks for the informative post.
    #6
  7. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    http://www.biketestusa.com/Article_Page.aspx?ArticleID=5943 has a first look at the CRF230L. I hope we'll see comparison tests soon matching up the CRF and XT and the KLX and WR. The TW is a planet of its own but owners say they're more relaxing to ride in the rough than anything else going. There's a thread on the forum called "Why would anybody want a TW200?" Here's one response:

    As far as the WR250R, the engine has nothing to do with the WR250F. It's a new design -- appears to be one cylinder off the YZF-R1, complete with 26,000 mile valve adjustment intervals.

    I would also note that the gear spread on the two 5-speed Yamahas is almost as wide as the six-speed Honda, but of course you have bigger gaps between gears to deal with. Six speeds are definitely better.
    #7
  8. DeeG

    DeeG Huh?

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    We picked up a CRF230L about a month ago. What a kick in butt little bike! Haven't done much dirt riding yet (the dirt is either covered in snow or is thick nasty mud), but what we have done, the bike seems to handle quite well. Does just fine on the highway, it'll tool along at 65 mph with no issues. The engine has a lot of get up and go, and it makes my 250cc Rebel feel like an underpowered slug. (hmmmmm, wonder if I can fit the 230L engine in the place of the Rebel engine.......)


    We even did two up on it about two weeks ago. (My punishment for having too many Guinesses and Lemon Drops) We took the back roads home. I don't recommend doing two up for long distances, even though I was a bit intoxicated, it was, after 6 miles, cramped and uncomfy and my feet kept coming off them rear pegs. And besides, you end up looking like a circus act. :lol3
    #8
  9. switchback

    switchback Eatin' Dirt Since 1982

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    :thumb No disagreement here.

    If you are looking for a true dualsport that is off-road worthy I think the WR250R is a great bike with fully adjustable suspension. If you are looking to compete and want a plate convert a standard WR250F or one of the street legal competition enduros.
    #9
  10. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    5 spd vs. 6 spd.....look at gear ratios instead of how many gears it has.......
    #10
  11. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Look at gear spread, overall and between gears. Then figure out if the engine can pull the spread nicely.
    #11
  12. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    Greetings.
    I’m trying to find info on the 2013 CRF230f

    Honda’s website has her as having a 2.3 gallon tank (some sites have her at 1.9 gallons).
    What gives. I'm getting confused on the reserve tank. :deal

    I’m interested in the fuel economy. I can’t find it on the web.

    I tried looking on fuelly, but a crf230m came up.

    I’ve researched that the DR200se has about 85mpg fuel economy, so I’d like to think the Honda is about the same.

    I’m not going to complain about the fuel tank. 90% of the time I’d not even miss it. I would just like to know a ball park number on her range. I suppose 85X2.3=195 miles is fair.

    In comparison to the DR200, the ergos seem better with the Honda.
    34.6” seat is ok. I’ll be on the balls of my feet with boots on. This is a big difference from the 31.9” seat of the Suzuki. But I should feel more comfortable most of the time.

    The ground clearance is actually more with the Honda.
    10.2” on the DR vs 11.7” on the Honda.

    The Honda comes with a skid plate, not sure about the DR.

    A 6<SUP>th</SUP> gear seems good.

    It would be nice to have this bike to complete a NC700X (not an owner). I&#8217;d be good with the DR (3.4 gallon tank:lol3),
    I was thinking, maybe I&#8217;d get a discount for being a loyal Honda customer. :ear
    __
    Thanks for reading.
    Ride Safe.
    #12
  13. thumpnokie

    thumpnokie Adventurer

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    I'm somewhat confused by your comparison of the CRF230F and DR200se. The "F" model 230 Honda is an off-road only bike rather than a duel sport machine like the Suzuki. I suspect this is why you can't find any fuel economy info on the Honda.

    The comparable Honda dual sport model to the Suzuki is the CRF230L. It looks similar to the "F" but is a mostly different bike . . . different suspension, similar but different engine, different six speed transmission, different rear brake, lower seat height.

    Honda doesn't show the 230 "L" model on their website currently so they may have discontinued it with the introduction of their CRF250L in 2012.

    The 230"M" model that you cited was the same as the 230"L" except in supermoto form.
    #13
  14. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    Thanks for the quick and clear explaination.

    That would explain why the CRF250L is the dual sport section of the Honda website, and the CRF230F is in the trail. :ear

    I read an article (2010) that compared the DR200, CRF230L, a Kawi, and Yahmaha. They had both the DR and CRF as air-cooled.
    I actually read where the F was for off-roading only, but had hoped that Honda would have kept an air-cooled engine street legal. Looks like they did not.

    __
    Thanks again.
    Ride Safe.
    #14
  15. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    They Do! :lol3

    But she must not be discussed in this thread.

    __
    What a noob. :ear
    #15
  16. thumpnokie

    thumpnokie Adventurer

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    Too bad you're in Commiefornia. If you were in a little more "liberal" state for motor vehicle licensing, you could plate a 230F if you wished. That's what I have here in Okieland. I like it a lot for backroads exploring and easy single track.
    #16