CRF230L Owners Check In

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by racknack83, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    Anyone move from the DR350 to the CRF230L or has both? I am seriously thinking of going to a smaller bike mostly so that my wife can feel more comfortable. I also noticed the XT225 is very similar in specs - have no idea how the character is. Super sherpas are no where to be found. I like the reviews I read of the CRF. Any thoughts?
  2. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    I picked up a left over '09 230L last April and have found it to be a lot of fun, esp up in the mountains of NC/TN/GA and on the Forest Service roads. I rode some 225/250's and an older KLR 250 and really liked the looks, fit and finish and "power" of the Honda better. I have a couple other dual sports, a DRZ that is mainly set up for dirt / single track, a KLR that I commute on and a new to me XR650R that I plan to motard and ride at the track and maybe make my DD (if I sell the KLR).

    I stiffened up the preload, and added 1 washer to the needle (after the de-smog) and with the 6-speed transmission and low gearing it is a hoot to ride. Works fine for NC because the only roads I ride there are 2-lane, it would not make a Interstate cruiser. Seems very happy around 50-60 mph (indicated). My GF likes it very much and is very comfy on it - very confidence inspiring. She's had several bikes that were too tall or too much and seems to get along with the little Honda the best of all.

    Good luck!
  3. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    Picked up a slightly beat up 2009 with 2800 miles for my wife (on road) and for me to learn off road . Thinking of adding hand guards (the Honda ones) and a rear rack, though not sure about the rack. I plan to also use it as my winter commuter. Any common mods? I have a bunch of street bikes, so not too eager to spend too much time modifying this one.
  4. grubbie

    grubbie Been here awhile

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    The honda handguards are really not worth much, have them on my wifes bike. They will block wind but thats it. Go with bark busters or acerbis, they will protect your hands and your levers. I like the honda rear rack. Best mods? Same with any street legal dual sport......uncork it. Open up the airbox and get a pipe. I like the FMF Q4 but its pretty spendy. Sounds good on the bike and not too loud. But, even if you can't put the money into mods, it's a great bike right out of the box. Enjoy!
  5. microdoc

    microdoc microdoc

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    Nice setup, ADVNCW. Who makes your horseshoe duffle? Looks to be just the right size.
  6. BanhXeo

    BanhXeo Been here awhile

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    Giantloop. That's the great basin model. Just ordered mine yesterday. Would have settled with the Coyote model for my 230 if I had not chatted with ADVNCW about the size and fit on these bikes. Thanks again for the tips ADVNCW looking forward to next ride report from up there.

    Link to Giantloop: http://www.giantloopmoto.com/
  7. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    " I have a hard time paying $5-6k for a DR650 with 20yo technology compared to the WR250R." the 20 year old technology is what makes it such a good deal, AND such a great bike. The same thing applies to the CRF230L, with it's simple, air cooled carbureted engine. I admit I didn't like the 230L as much as my XT225, but after seeing the third world made, poser CRF250L, with it's "new technology" I would gladly pay the $500 more for a Japan made CRF230L. Unfortunately that choice is no longer available.
  8. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    Hmm..I just picked up a CRF230L and was considering an XT225. What did you like better on the XT225 than the CRF?
  9. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    First of all, while I have over 30,000 miles on XT225s, and know them inside and out, I have only sat on the CRF230L, and can only judge it by what I have read here. I don't see anything wrong with it, it is a little lower (both in seat height and ground clearance) than than the XT225. I am 6' 220, and the XT fits me a little better. I also see some complaints on the CRF's highway performance. Neither are good long distance highway bikes, they were not designed to be. But I have put 500 miles on the XT225 in one day on the freeway, averaging 60 mph. I have had it up to 74 mph GPS. On flat ground with no wind. Stock, either bike may have advantages over the other depending on the rider.

    It's modifications where the XT shines. Clarke makes a 4 gallon plastic tank for it, which I have found greatly increases it's range. Mine has a kickstarter, pirated from a TTR-225. Both bikes have the same engine. There is a guy on here named Cigar Mike who makes, or used to make a centerstand for it. It has saved me more than once. I like to ride deep into the AZ desert, often alone, and have had a few flat tires. There is nothing in the desert to prop a bike up on, and the centerstand makes it easy to get the wheels off. There is another guy on here named Bryan Swenson who used to make excellent racks for the XT, laser cut steel, and only $69. You could bolt or weld anything to them, and they were solid as a rock. I have 2 of them. ProCycle also makes a carb mounted choke to replace the handlebar mounted one, with the long cable and fragile easily broken fitting at the carb. You can even get a Corbin seat if you want to spend the money. I chose a Beadrider cover instead. Happy Trails makes all kinds of panniers and mounts for them. And they have a 400 pound load capacity. Don't know what the Honda's is. The XT was sold in the U.S. mostly unchanged from 1992-2007, it is a well proven design, parts and tuning information are readily available. They make excellent bikes for a 2-3 day camping trip way out into the desert or forest. And mine has never broke down. I recently got myself one of those SPOT gadgets just in case, hopefully will never need to use it.


    I was very disappointed when I saw the CRF250L, and immediately considered buying a 230, but they were already all gone, except for one Supermoto. With it's 17" wheels, it really was too small for me, and I wanted a more dirt oriented bike. But, I expect my XT225 to last me for many more years, I recently bought a 3,000 mile parts bike almost complete, including the engine, and may buy another, if I find one cheap on Craigslist. For the most part, parts from any year fit any other year.

    Oh yeah. I don't know about the Honda, but the cam chain can be replaced on the XT without tearing the engine down. I'm on my third one in 30,000 miles. They were not replaced due to a problem, but my experience is that the cam chain is the weakest part of any engine that has one, and I believe in replacing them the same as drive chains.
  10. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the extensive reply! I see lot of strong points. I ultimately paid a few hundred dollars and bought a used 2009 CRF230L, mostly for my wife. I was afraid of some bikes having starting issues and preferred the rear disc to drum brakes, but honestly would have been fine with an XT225. I think the CRF230L was designed with the 225 in mind looking at the specs sheet :-)
  11. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Ride The Wind ForeverFree

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    Not that there is much difference, but I have ridden both the xt225 and the crf230l. And I like the 230l better it feels smoother (clutch, shifting, etc) and a bit more refined on the street. Also better build quality. But I like the height of the slightly taller xt. I also think the build quaility is lacking on the xt's(225) especially the newer ones up until when they quit making them compared to the xt's made in the 90's. The wheels in particular are poor quality. imo
  12. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Location:
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    Sorry I just saw this. That is a Giant Loop Great Basin.

    Since I bought my 230L in May, with 900 miles on it, I have put 6000 trouble-free miles on it riding mountain singletrack, gravel roads, the WABDR, two trips across the state of WA. I wore out tires, chain (sand from riding Pacific beaches ...) and brake pads. About a total with gear of $5k invested for a nice adventure setup!

    I have been traveling on the 230L Adventure for the past two weeks. The Seat Concepts seat and 1 7/8 inch handlebar risers make an acceptable fit for my 6' 1" 230 lb carcass. The TCI windshield adds comfort, even on gravel roads, knocks down the wind turbulence against chest and belly, deflects bugs etc. I trail ride the TCI windshield, ok as long as one has a full face helmet since I occasionally whack the chin area of the helmet on the windshield...and I do not ride 'hard' with a windshield on trails.

    Sweet ride, just a bit of a 'dog' I admit above 50 MPH on the highway...but, hey so excellent on any kind of dirt. I ride my setup loaded on singletrack. This past week, I turned the loaded 230L Adventure around on singletrack by rocking the front wheel up the high side of the USFS mountain-singletrack. Try that with a big motorcycle.:wink: I have ridden since 1970 including 44 states and AK to Mexico on a two-stroke 750, had an IT490 I enjoyed. I believe that the power characteristics of the 230L are an advantage for ease and control on gravel road riding. With a high-performance (thrilling) motorcycle, one roosts, fishtails, accelerates, grabs the brakes- all fun, but more tiring. On the 230L I flow at a good speed over gravel roads, not much wheel spinning, no hard accelerate-decelerate. I have decided that the low, smooth power, but just enough, of the 230L is an advantage- and I think my traveling speed on gravel roads is as fast as any and faster than a lot of guys riding big bikes on gravel, with effort...

    My home area has over 50,000 acres of the local Forest on fire:waysad. The smoke that blocked out the sun and dropped ash in our valley made me ill so I was a 'smoke refugee' for two weeks. I went to a smoke free area of the Cascades, rode singletrack and Jeep trails and highway, mountains to ocean and back a few times. Camped and hoteled. Again I rode the Pacific beaches open for driving- fun!

    This trip I was in Mt Rainier NP, far between gas pumps, so my wife and daughter joined me and brought my 1.5 gal Kolpin gas tank. With that I get well over 250 mile range!
    [​IMG]

    Gas mileage is another huge plus. I get 73 MPG just normal riding including gravel/ easy dirt. When I pin the 230L Adventure at 60 to 65 MPH for 70+ miles the gas mileage suffers down into the 63-67 MPG range.When I consider another motorcycle to use to travel on gravel/ dirt, I think of the extra gas needed to be carried and also of how easy it is on my CRF230L Adventure, loaded, to stop, turn around, ride any terrain....less fatigue riding dirt and gravel!
  13. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    Nice post ADVNCW! What tires do you run? Stock?
  14. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Stock Trailwings in the photo above. Before riding the WABDR I got D606 front and rear. Rear D606 is fantastic. Front was real busy in gravel, when new, settled down with wear- however the D606 sticks to gravel, dirt, rock, asphalt. I like the D606 especially in the rear, somewhere on this forum I read of claims of the best ever front tire for gravel that I would try next time on front.
  15. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

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    I have been searching for a used cfr230l in New Hampshire, any one know of any leftovers in the US?
    Thanks
  16. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    HI Tom. I just picked up a CRF230L, 2009, used. Was looking around a lot and bought it in Albany.
    Here is a cycletrader link: http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2009-HONDA-CRF230L-106347225

    For that price point, consider this bike as well:
    http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2009-Kawasaki-Super-Sherpa-105829894

    The Super Sherpas are terrific bikes. Reliable, air cooled, stronger motor, light (282 lbs wet) and very rugged. They are hard to find.

    Good luck!
    Dani
  17. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    In April the Honda dealer in Hendersonville NC (? Schroeder's) had a 7 or 9 '09's in crates. They have a website, might check it out.
  18. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Dani and PMR. I will review and post results. I have not owned a Honda in all the years that I have been riding.
  19. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

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    The NC dealers wants 4400 for the bike. It listed @4495 when new, I have a note into the State College shop with no response, he wants 3800 and no response. My old home dealer doesn't have any.
  20. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    Tom, why buy new? I picked up my used 2009 in decent condition for $2300...that's a big difference