Honda CRF250L vs CRF230L

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by acesandeights, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Yes, most of it was, but when you ride like I do (alone, 50-100 miles back out into the AZ desert, sometimes on 2-3 day trips) you have to take everything you can into consideration. I was never a boy scout, but I do believe in their moto "be prepared" I trust my highly modified (4 gallon Clarke tank, Bryan Swens luggage rack, kickstarter, 4mm thick tubes, and Cigar Mike centerstand, just to name a few) XT225 to get me in and out, and it has yet to fail me. It uses old technology which is easy to work with, both on the trail and at home (you can replace the cam chain without taking the engine apart). And with the rack, I can carry plenty of spares and tools. With the centerstand I can fix a flat, even if there is nothing within miles to prop the bike up on. These new bikes just don't have those capabilities. At least the 230 has an air cooled engine, carb, and a rack available.
    #21
  2. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    Are you sure you trust internal combustion engines? Less reliable than walking.
































    :hide
    #22
  3. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Wow, Jerry...I've been somewhat critical of the diminished suspension potential on the new Honda 250, but the reliability factor and the other modern aspects of the engine...including FI...are its shining homeruns...and its engine track record is present in the CBR. And to compare what is basically a 1970's engine design to the 250L, and then say the 230 is superior is somewhat amazing to me. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but your rationale here seems very unusual. I like stone age reliability as much as anyone, but I want my motorcycles to be a little newer than the stone age. My KLX does have a carb, but I would ride the FI model in just as remote spots in the western U.S. as I ride my carbed bike all by my little lonesome. As a four time Honda XR250R owner, I am personally aware of how long my water cooled engines have lasted without serious engine work over those XR's...and I really liked those XR's.

    Jerry...it's 2012. There are much better motorcycles than that ancient 230L out there...and the Honda 250L is one of them. And speaking of Honda XR250R's, Honda should be absolutely ashamed to have ditched the XR250L and kept a motorcycle in the 230 that was basically 15 years older. Jerry...we've moved on from wooden wheels in case you haven't heard.:lol3
    #23
  4. crypto666

    crypto666 Long timer

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    Forget the showroom floor models, what about decorking? I know the 230 can benefit from some decorking, making it much more capable. What about the 250?

    Anyone seen that 250 4c motor from honda thats putting out something like 55hp? Probably not the same motor here, but...
    #24
  5. Downstater

    Downstater Adventurer

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    Man I wish I could get back te 5 minutes I just wasted reading that. As others have said your entitled to your own opinion but IMO your opinion is complete rubbish. To call the 230 a "superior" bike to the 250L is like calling a Datsun pickup superior to a ford super duty. FI is extremely reliable and in case you havnt noticed, many high end mx and dual sport bikes now feature it standard. There is a reason for that... Actually a couple. Nevertheless, it seems as though you are fairly concrete in your beliefs of outdated technology being superior to modern tech, so I'll shut up.
    #25
  6. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

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    While I will agree that the 230L is simple and will run for a long time... Good bike too... Fuel Injection (FI) is fantastic... The WRr starts easy, always, I found out (through ADV) how to program the stock FI... No jets, no parts, just a jumper wire. So far as electronics go, CDI's are the ignition version of FI, both increase power and fuel economy. Liquid cool vs air... well I bought the brace/guard for my radiator immediately. First mod. Going down is a given. If you go off-road, it WILL happen. no matter what, the bike could crack a side cover and leak out all of the oil. I am not against air cool, carb bikes. But I went from an xr650L to the WRr, lost 400cc, and what felt like 150lbs, could not be happier... In every way.... Love FI, Water Cool, and CDI
    #26
  7. strongbad

    strongbad Been here awhile

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    The 250L has a 50 lb weight disadvantage compared to the 230L and that's a huge disadvantage off road. The 230L makes about 14.5 rwhp compared to about 18 rwhp for the 250L, so the hp/lb of the two is not that much different. The 250L, no doubt, is the superior road bike--but we get no factory supermoto version from Honda. :cry Yet we do get a supermoto version of the 230L. :huh
    #27
  8. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Strictly speculation on my part, but I think the 230 will disappear completely, probably by the next model lineup. I'd bet the only reason it's still around is some kind of manufacturing lag, warehouse stock, or some kind of contract for 230's that was already in the pipeline. No inside info, just a WAG.:D
    #28
  9. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    My 230L serves basically as one step above my "trials bike" 200 Reflex as exremely capable on narrow and gnarly, 18 inch singletrack switchbacks that the bigger nice dirtbikes are challenging. As well, with my mods I can travel gravel road routes comfortably as well in the past few weeks rode 1000 miles on 60 MPH highway quite comfortably.And the 3000 miles of dirt riding this summer is so easy. On the WABDR I just flew with the little bike on FS roads, no worries- one does not need 13 inches of suspension for that, or at all if one is not racing or generally being crazy or lazy when riding.

    Different power characteristics suit specific purposes. Light is right, and the 230L is really the only inexpensive, 1/4 L class up dual sport with a low maintenence long-distance engine that is under 300 lbs. After riding my home gnarly FS trails I sold an IT 490 that could not be opened up on those tight trails and was a pain on so many switchbacks, and I went to the 200 Reflex; I rode with ease to places that I did not take the IT 490 with the 200 Reflex, and now with the 230L.

    I rode 44 states and the AK Hwy (gravel then-with street tires) on a two-stroke GT750 (that thing would wheelie), had a Husky CR360GP that had a powerband like a 125, my IT490- superior on whoops, jumps, speed inferior in my home mountains, etc. Different bikes for different uses, the more specialized for one purpose the more issues in general.

    Chest-beating unformed opinions are missing the points.

    CRF250L is a better road bike. The liquid cooled engine and FI is great. Weight is more important to me, even though I am a big guy and riding since 1970 with 4 inch-travel suspension, then upgrading ultimately to 13 inch suspension and now backing down for current use! The 250L is ridiculously heavy- heavier than a DR400! If the 250L was say 280 lbs I would probably grab one and fix it up fot the CD and other gravel tours!

    CRF230L is not as good on street, fast open dirt riding, etc, it is small, but that is a different type of machine, not necessarily inferior.
    #29
  10. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Sounds like a good argument for buying a Yamaha XT250.
    #30
  11. Echo1

    Echo1 Been here awhile

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    Except the new XT250 is fuel injected now too. AFAIK, the only new 250 class dualsport with a carb is the KLX250S.

    JerryH has a valid point about fuel injection reliability. The WRR is the first Japanese dualsport with fuel injection and they have/had fuel pump problems. If Yamaha can't get it right who can? Maybe Honda will be the first but they also have a track record of fuel pump failures on their motocross bikes.

    To me, these fuel pump issues are the elephant in the room. A fuel pump failure on a street bike can be a pain in the ass. A fuel pump failure on a dualsport way off the beaten path can be a much more serious situation.
    #31
  12. strongbad

    strongbad Been here awhile

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    Plus the 230L is a 6-speed vs 5-speed for the XT and the 230L is >20lbs lighter. I think I'd go for the 230L.
    #32
  13. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    You are both so right. I didn't notice that Yamaha had applied fuel injection to the XT. The fuel pump issue on the WRR is not a universal problem, but there is no question that gravity is more reliable than a pump. Of course, once you go down this road you open a can of worms. My brother's 1973 Husqvarna 125WR left him stranded once because the Motoplat ignition failed. Yet today I never see anyone arguing to bring back ignition points. We will get there with fuel injection.

    As far as gear ratios go, the XT has an unusually wide ratio 5-speed -- the spread from 1st to 5th is wider than the six-speed transmissions on the WRR, the old KLR 250, any of the KTMs, the Husqvarna TE610, etc. But credit where it's due, the 230L has the widest spread of any currently available dual sport, and having six speeds reduces the gaps between gears compared to the XT.

    As far as weight difference, my figures suggest 24 lbs. So, hat tip to both of you.
    #33
  14. FreckledAvenger

    FreckledAvenger Trainee Stunt Double

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    And with the KLX250S actually being sold with fuel injection in other markets it may be that the carb'ed model is on the way out too.

    The fuel pump problems on the WR250R affected some of the 2008 models (which was the first model year for this bike). Never the less the thought of my fuel pump dying in the middle of no-where is something that still scares me a bit (I have a 2011 with 23000kms on mine).
    #34
  15. 150ron

    150ron Long timer

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    Wow, you were kicked out of xt225.com for doing the same thing, now you do it on here?? man...

    all i have to say is xt225.com (xt225 and 250 site) has been so much better without you there, go buy a steam powered bike and hit the road, they are much more reliable then this new crap technology. :D
    #35
  16. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Apparently the CRF230F is Brazilian, but the CRF230L is Japanese. Not sure that's worth much, but some folks really care. Source: http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/off-road-bikes/141_0810_2008_honda_crf230l_review/

    I think my Honda CBF1000 is Spanish-made? Or maybe Italian? Knock on wood, no issues in 2 years.
    #36
  17. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    crf230l would be a lot better off if it had an option for a larger gas tank. Actually, it doesn't have much aftermarket support all. Obviously the crf250l is too new for aftermarket goodies but it looks like it will be a more popular bike than the crf230l. Something to think about if you need a longer range or want racks/panniers.
    #37
  18. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Ride The Wind ForeverFree

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    I can get about 170+ miles out of a tank and carry about 50 oz more which gives me about 200+ mile range. Not terrible, but not great. TCI makes custom rack/holder for 1.5 gallon can. I'd prefer a bigger tank also though. I also use the dirtbagz with the duffle on top and has worked really well for many miles. I even carried and extra gallon of gas in one of the bags, but found it to be overkill for where I ride.
    #38
  19. Brk4moose

    Brk4moose Could save your life

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    Just curious where people are at with this now that the CRF250L's have hit the road?

    My dealer said that they have already had 2 230's traded in for the 250.

    I recently picked one if the 250's up and I love it but have no experience other than throwing a leg over the 230L.
    #39
  20. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    There is something to be said for simplicity. Carrying a a spare CDI out in BFE isn't much easier than carrying a spare fuelpump, but swapping a CDI is usually much easier. Do your research on whatever bikes you're looking to buy, and figure out which fixes are easier for YOU.

    People also have different preferences on power delivery, while many are sucked in with HP numbers. HP might be nice for high-speed riding, but torque is where it's at for plonking along.

    I'm still trying to understand why mfrs bother with a 250cc dirt-capable bike when they're going to make it 300lb+ with a 34"+ seat-height. :huh
    #40