Official Thread for Honda CRF230L? New member....

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Nathan2587, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Nathan2587

    Nathan2587 n00b

    Jul 14, 2011
    Hey guys I'm a new member.
    I just bought a brand new 2009 Honda CRF230L three months ago. I'm absolutely having a blast and its my first bike so it could be the worst bike of all time and I wouldn't know it.

    I took it down to the Mark Twain National Forest to ride in Chadwick, MO, by myself just me and my bike. In hindsight that was a bad idea my first time riding on trails. But for a new rider this bike must be really balanced because I was cutting through it pretty easy and alot of the trails had alot of gravel. I did end up leaning it over but that was because I tried to go over a triple hill (Not sure what you call it) that was made of larger loose rocks luckily all I did was bend my gear shifter a little bit.

    I do have a few questions though if you all don't mind.

    1. Would it be a bad idea to take this bike on long trips?
    2. How do people carry so much stuff on the back? Just alot of bungie cords?
    3. For a shorter rider 5'8" would a bigger Dual Sport be out of the question? (No matter what I'm keeping my current bike)
    4. Is there a dedicated thread dedicated for this bike?
  2. acesandeights

    acesandeights Noob

    Jul 2, 2008
    So. Oregon
    The worst part about not taking it on long trips would be not having it there when you got there. Ride it as far as you want.

    I'm 5' 5" or 5' 6" with about a 29" inseam and ride a DR650 (albeit lowered)
  3. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee

    Jul 22, 2010
    Seattle suburbia
    I also have a CRF230L, and am very happy with it as a very versatile and easy-to-ride dual sport that works on challenging single-track, jeep trails, forest roads, and pavement. It's only weakness is running on the interstate... it's not a high-speed bike.

    Re taking it on longer trips, people have ridden thousands of miles on 200cc +/- dual sports. It depends on what you want to do, and if you can deal with the speed limitations. For taking a backroads/offroad tour it would be great. To be frank, if I were doing The Long Way Round ride I'd rather have one of these than a big BMW, since it's a far easier bike for extreme off-road conditions.

    This is not the bike for carrying an extra 100 lbs of stuff along. Get a Giant Loop Coyote bag and you can carry enough clothing and accessories to keep you going for several days without having to hit a laundromat. I'd go on a long tour with this as well as a backpack lashed to the top of the bag, and I'd be able to carry all of the clothing and camping gear I needed as well as a netbook, camera, etc.

    Re a larger dual sport, larger bikes are better if you're mostly going to be riding on pavement or well-groomed dirt roads. The DRZ400 is pretty popular and not much heavier, while the Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki 650s are heavier but much better for freeway use. If you're sticking to backroads without a lot of traffic, then riding at 50 mph on the 230L will work just fine. The disadvantage of larger bikes starts once you leave the pavement... the more rugged the trail the more you'll appreciate a lighter bike. Also, for shorter riders, the lower bikes like the 230L let you more easily put a foot down when crawling over rough terrain, and taller bikes can be very fatiguing in such situations.

    Finally, you can go to for a dedicated forum.
  4. microdoc

    microdoc microdoc

    Nov 19, 2001
    NE Ohio
    There is a whole cult of bicycle riders who do long distance rides, camp along the way, and carry all their own gear. As an example, of ultra compact & lightweight equipment, I have a Nemo two person tent that weighs barely over two pounds and is smaller than a football when packed. It doesn't use poles, but has a air bladder you pump up to erect the tent. It is ingenious and it works perfectly. If you chose your equipment carefully and look at what experienced motorcycle travelers use, you can definitely take longer overnight rides on your CRF230L. As for your bungee cord question, I suggest you avoid their use packing a motorcycle: Bungee cords are nearly impossible to tighten down. Therefore, they will permit your gear to shift and move about. At the least that will be annoying and distracting. Instead, use ROK Straps. These are typically ~6 feet of woven belt with a short length (~6 inches) of high tension elastic sewn in; just enough to help tighten things up and keep 'em tight, without allowing the gear to shift. I've bought ROK straps on line, at motorcycle rallies and even in the automotive section of the local Target store (~$11 for the pair). As an alternative, you will find woven webbed belts with buckles in camping departments of Target, K-Mart, Walmart, etc.These cost a little less, but work almost as well as ROK straps. Use zip-lock bags to keep your clothis dry & clean. Cool-Max shirts, socks & underwear can be washed at days end & hang dried in ~1-2 hours so you need to pack less. Use Google to find Nemo, ROK Straps, etc. Most important: Always ride safely so you can ride again tomorrow.
  5. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

    Feb 7, 2011
    AZ and CA
    > Nemo two person tent
    > use ROK Strap
    > Use zip-lock bags to keep your clothis dry & clean.
    > Cool-Max shirts, socks & underwear can be washed at days end & hang dried in ~1-2 hours so you need to pack less.
    > Always ride safely so you can ride again tomorrow.

    Excellent post microdoc
  6. vagabondmatt

    vagabondmatt '99 DR350SE

    Jun 26, 2014
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    I know this thread is a bit old now, but I want to encourage anyone who is thinking of posting in this thread to post in the main CRF230L thread instead:

    There seems to to have been a lot of random CRF230L threads over the years, and since there aren't a ton of us, let's focus all the discussion in the main thread! :norton