Honda CRF250L vs CRF230L

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

  1. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    +1

    So much potential. Then it comes out at 317 lbs:puke1
    #41
  2. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    The TCI front rack on my 230L holds the 1.5 gal Kolpin. That plus my stock tank gives 250 to 270 miles range depending how it is ridden. I did not need the extra gas for the WABDR. Plenty of range on the 230L to fuel up on the WABDR:clap

    The 250L will also get great mileage per what I read.
    #42
  3. 73Mustang

    73Mustang Been here awhile

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    I agree with JerryH. I was flying down a forest trail, and my front of the left shroud got ripped off, almost taking out the radiator. I realized I better slow down because I was miles from the trailhead. My XR 200 was undestructible. I crashed that thing into a freakin' tree, and it just keeps on going. But when I ride my bikes with radiators, I am extra careful and slow down. I don't have any electronic fuel injection bike, and I would be a little bit worried if I was taking such a bike out into the woods or the desert. I think EFI is good for the track and the urban streets, where you can call 911 for help.
    #43
  4. stealth916

    stealth916 n00b

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    I have been mulling over an upgrade (side-grade?) from my several years old 230L to a 250L for some months, ever since the 250L was announced. For adventure riding, which is why I purchased the small dual sport in the first place, I've decided that 50lbs lighter and much less complexity makes the 230L a winner *for my purpose*. I'm sticking with the lighter bike, air-cooled engine and gravity fed carb. I realize the 250L will be better on the street, but I have street bikes for the street. Of course I long for a faster and smoother street ride to get me to the trail-head, but my type of trail riding dictates light weight and simplicity over technology. I also make extensive use of the low gearing on the 230L to get me up insane mountain goat trails, I'd hate to give that up - (sigh) everything is a trade-off. The 250L will make a bad-A little Super Motard - but the 230L is what I would buy again today for my type of off-road adventures. If I was planning on riding 80% street, I'd go 250L - it will be a hoot in town! For picking my way through the woods, creeks, or up crazy rutted out trails, or if I plan to leave civilization far behind, I'm going 230L.

    I also was not aware that the 250L was Thai made - that has a huge impact on my purchase decision. I'm not saying it is crap or there will be a problem, I am sure that Honda has excellent oversight of the process. But what I am saying is you find a different pride in workmanship from Japan vs Thailand, a night and day difference. And when you are talking about a living breathing machine - hopefully one with soul, one that you plan on getting far away with - pride in workmanship means everything.

    To those who like to constantly call people by their first name in forum posts while attempting to belittle them for their opinions: I know a little bit about technology, having worked at it for 30+ years to the point I can play with bikes and airplanes. I know enough about technology to know how great and how fallible it is. Speaking of airplanes, I'm one of those people who take a no bullshit approach to vehicle systems: the simpler the better when things go sideways far from home. You don't see a lot of fuel injected airplanes plying the backwoods of Alaska for instance.

    If someone who owns a 250L might indulge the audience with a test: Disconnect your battery and then see if you can push start the bike. If you want to spice up the test, load your bike out with 60lbs of camp gear and pretend like you're 300 miles from nowhere, hot and tired. Report back, thanks.
    #44
  5. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I don't worry about FI on bikes, the only thing that is likely to ever fail is the fuel pump at higher miles.
    But I don't like the look or the problems that radiators on bikes can cause, or the weight (up high) they add.

    And, when riding off road, I really like a lighter bike.
    The crf250 is not too bad weight wise, but with the lighter weight and lack of radiators, I think I would pick the 230 and do things to get a bit more power out of it and upgrade the suspension if it needed it.
    #45
  6. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    I agree and I understand your views. Nothing wrong with FI or enduro race bikes or etc all fine. But yes my 230L worked great for 7000 trouble-free miles traveling from May to Oct., riding, plenty of gnarly mountain-trail riding and traveling!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thus far I have resisted even buying the WR250R because of the weight! Weight matters on the tight and gnarly! Then consider the situation for adventure traveling with the real light bikes- Euro bikes- where reliability and durability are not yet proven. Tough for me to think about spending $10k for a bike that runs for 10 minutes without issues, and then is buzzy going down the road. Heck, my 230L is buzzy going down the road for under $3k but dead reliable, always runs perfectly, little maintenance needed.:D

    So then there is or will be all the commentary about a list of 23 mods to make the WR250R travel ready or lighter/ better for enduro riding, or how to make the orange bike work right much less work for traveling....
    The 'lowly' 230L will do it basically stock. It will ride the tight and gnarly easily, it will travel down the highway weakly, but with traffic. And the 230L will run forever,,,:clap

    The weight of the loaded 230L shown above is about equal to a stock new 250L....and I camped for several weeks this past summer with that load!:lol3
    #46
  7. heirhead

    heirhead Been here awhile

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    Hello,

    I get that you LOVE your xt and I like mine also. SoCal to Boise, 2500 mile trip.
    Also think that before you comment on bikes other than seat height, you should RIDE said bikes.
    What was Yamaha thinking when it went from 6 to 5 spds. on the xt? My 2 pennies.
    Lets go for a ride.

    Heirhead
    #47
  8. Bulldogs2k

    Bulldogs2k Been here awhile

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    woohoo just broke 11k

    I can't trade it in now, I MUST reach 20k! :freaky
    #48
  9. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Gear box ratios are more important than how many gears it has.Hack it to death if you will,but,I really like my TW200.:D
    #49
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    TW200's are great bikes, but are different from normal motorcycles in the dirt, more like 2 wheel quads or something.

    I have a friend who has an xt225 and that thing was a hoot in the dirt. I suppose the crf230l is about the same but better made?
    #50
  11. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    The engine has to be able to pull the spread though. Flat-slide pumper carbs or EFI can help pull low RPMs better, to negate too much spread a bit.
    #51
  12. SR56

    SR56 Been here awhile

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    I have a 230L and have put 4,500 miles on it mainly in the woods trying to keep up with my buddies on KTM 500s. My throttle has two positions, off and WFO (wide open). The only thing I have changed is the tires and I had to replace a screw that vibrated loose...so yes, I would say it is bulletproof.

    The bads, it doesn't have enough power to pull a blade of grass out of the ground, top speed on flat ground with no wind is 72.5 mph and it slows down if you get a head wind or any kind of incline.

    No longer available from Honda...I have ridden the WR250R and KLX250S, if you want the best 250 from the big five (KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki) get the Yamaha, if you want a good reliable do it all bike for about $1,700 less then get the Kawasaki, if you want Honda reliability and the easiest to ride for $500 less than the Kawasaki then get the Honda CRF250L. If you want to run with the big dogs...get the EXC 350 or 500 KTM but they will cost you.

    There is no one right answer for everyone only what is right for each individual. Examine what you want to do with the bike, what you are willing to pay, and start riding!
    #52
  13. blatant

    blatant Been here awhile

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    bumping this b/c i find myself in the quandary. Sounds like the crf230 is the KLR of the honda lot. Does everything you need but....

    Like this thread. Should be more 250s floating around now. What's the new word?

    Also. What's a good "going" rate for a 230L. I'm seeing between 2500 and 3 for low mile deals. under 3k miles. What say the collective?
    #53
  14. Inoplanetyanin

    Inoplanetyanin One day closer!

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    I have another question also and can't find the info online.

    I live in California and want to know if CRF 230L sold in other states meet CARB emissions requirements?

    Are they all 50 states compliant or were there separate CA models?

    Any reference to the published info online would be appreciated.
    #54
  15. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee

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    Love my 230L. It's not a rip-snortin' dirt bike. Just a practical, low-RPM trail bike. It really feels like a motorized mountain bike... about as easy to ride. It could use a little more power, and I for one would welcome FI because it makes sense at steep angles in the mountains.

    What Honda needs to make is their version of a Freeride. With a 350cc engine, for lots of torque at low RPM. A low seat height, yet good suspension travel. And, under 220 lbs., but with at least a 1.5 gallon fuel tank. Honda reliability in a small light bike, combining the best of a trials bike and a trail bike... they'd sell a bunch of them. I know I'd buy one.
    #55
  16. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    I can only find one model (each year), so it appears that it is a 50-state model.

    http://www.hondanews.com/channels/crf230l/releases/2008-honda-crf230l-specifications

    Click on pricing. Compare CRF230L to CRF250X, which comes in 49-state and CA versions for 2008 (CRF250X8 and CRF250XL8).

    Parts list shows only one model:
    http://www.discounthondaparts.com/f...=Motorcycles&make=Honda&year=2009&fveh=131749

    More info here:
    http://rickramsey.net/CRF230L.htm

    :ricky
    #56
  17. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    We have put a beating on both the 230 and a 250 (dual-sport, desert poker runs, road trips and single track in the woods).

    Both bikes have been very reliable considering how much disrespect we show'd them. Both have good, typical Honda build quality.

    For anyone who grew up on older XR's (100, 200 or 250), the 230 replicates this in almost every way, circa 1985 whereas the 250, you know your on a Honda but it's refined almost everywhere.

    Both are very easy to self maintain and can be easily improved toward the direction of your riding preferences. The one thing the 230 will not be easily able to do is match the 55MPH cruising speed or the fuel economy of the 250.

    Neither will make a great technical bike (sand or tight single track) but both are capable doing small stints with the right skill.

    Having them side by side and riding them back-to-back, there is no doubt in my mind that the 250 is a much better bike in about every way and an incredible value if your looking for a relatively affordable DS.
    #57
  18. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I went back and had a look at these bikes, and am now more convinced than ever that the 230 is superior to the 250, IF you fit on it. It is a smaller bike in overall size.

    Not only does the 230 have the advantage of a carb over FI, and being air cooled over liquid cooled, I found two more important advantages. One is the wheels. The 230 uses straight pull spokes, like a real dirt bike. A far stronger design than the standard of using a right angle bend on the hub end of the spoke. Also, the 230 has easy to adjust screw and locknut valves, and only has two. The 250 has harder to adjust shimmed valves, and has four. Not sure why on such a low output engine. Oh, and the 230 was made in Japan, while the 250 is made in Thailand.

    I wondered why the 230 cost so much for what it appeared to be, but now I'm beginning to understand.
    #58
  19. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    Oh boy.:fpalm
    #59
  20. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Forget which inmate it was,but they did a write up on 6sp vs. 5sp gear boxes a couple of years ago. The numbers ran in favor of the 5sp, ratio wise. To each their own.:D
    #60