CRF230L Owners Check In

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

  1. Inoplanetyanin

    Inoplanetyanin One day closer!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Castaic, CA
    Bitingdog likes this.
  2. North60

    North60 Norsky adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Green Lake, WI
    Hello all,
    First time post on this specific forum.
    I want a smaller bike for practice to build up my trail skills, have a dr650 but I am finding my skill level needs work.

    Am considering a used crf230 09 with 12k miles on it .
    It has no maintenance records, so not sure of its history.
    Original owner put most of the miles commuting and wkend trail riding.
    2nd owner has only put 1k on it, wants to sell it now says he wants to get a bike for geared towards dirt riding only.

    I will have to travel about 500 miles to check it out.
    If...... the owners did regular oil changes, clean air filter,etc.. will this 12k motor still be reliable or will it need work?
    Bike comes with fmf exhaust, new tires, chain, sprockets, rear rack, skid plate and brush guards.

    So, my question to you all is this a bike worth looking at for $2500?

    Thanks in advance
    dankatz likes this.
  3. Inoplanetyanin

    Inoplanetyanin One day closer!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Castaic, CA
    Even though an engine like this could be expected to deliver trouble free 50 000 miles if well maintained, there is no way to know how the previous owner exactly used it or took care of it. I would personally stay away from a bike with significant mileage. Did they do valve adjustments? What kind of oil did they use? Finally, mileage on a trail bike is not the whole story, how long has it been idled and crawled up steep hills. Perhaps it's been overheated.
    Couple that with 500 miles trip and it doesn't not seem like a good deal to me.

    These bikes are not too common but they are still around and many of them come with almost no miles. I would look around cycle trader and local craigslists and one would show up sooner rather than later. I bought an '08 with 900 miles on it for 2500.
  4. nacho squatcho

    nacho squatcho Long timer Supporter

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    Aug 24, 2015
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    USA
  5. North60

    North60 Norsky adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Green Lake, WI
    Yeah, I think you are right. . I want a simple, lightweight air cooled, carburated trail bike.
    I will keep looking and may expand my search to include an Xt225 or Xt250 as well. The market for
    these older bikes is good, they don't last long when listed for sale.
  6. xNateX

    xNateX Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    roaming
  7. CheapoWes

    CheapoWes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Oddometer:
    520
    Location:
    Tallahaseee
    I've owned a XT225 and CRF230L.

    They are pretty much interchangeable IMO. Not coming into this thread to crap on the CRF but the XT had slightly longer legs on the HWY. Once mine was jetted correctly it would cruise around 65 and top out @ 75(GPS) without tucking. To be fair I haven't spent much time playing with the 230 jetting but don't hear many reports of them going over 70.

    I preferred the 230 in the woods though. Slightly better suspension, ran cooler and better torque.
    Bitingdog and xNateX like this.
  8. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    620
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I had a DR650 at the same time I had a CRF230L. The difference is staggering offroad as expected - 100 lbs is quite noticeable and the weight difference is noticeable. I could ride the highway at 65 mph with earplugs but I am also 145 lbs. I heard the same about the XT225 vs CRF230L that the main difference is the suspension. As for miles, it's a Honda, should be reliable :-) I miss my CRF230L and replaced both the CRF230L and DR650 with a CRF250L/M which has a few mods. It's 50% faster than the CRF230L stock was, but not nearly as fast as my old dr650. It's also much taller.
  9. CheapoWes

    CheapoWes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Oddometer:
    520
    Location:
    Tallahaseee
    I also went this path with a 250L from a XT225 and my buddies 230L is my backup bike(he has extra).

    At this point I think i'd trade my 250L for a DR650 though. Mine has all the mods before tearing into the engine.
  10. rwebell

    rwebell "Mission, Men, Me"

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    663
    Location:
    West of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    I have both a dr650 and crf230l. Both awesome bikes but not interchangeable. They occupy different places on the dual sport spectrum. I love the 230 on the trails but I have commuted on it and it comes up short for my 200+lbs. I lack the skill to really ride the DR on the trails but it is much more capable on the roads. I won’t trade either on but I am aware of there strengths and ride them accordingly. I will say that tires make a big difference on all bikes. If it’s not a knobby it shouldn’t be off the tarmac.
    dankatz likes this.
  11. jsonder

    jsonder Tired Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    941
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Oh, come on now..... See the PR4s in mild off roading.

    [​IMG]
  12. xNateX

    xNateX Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    roaming
    Anyone know if 3.5 inch handlebar risers will fit? I'm at sea until February and can't check.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003CJJQYM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AUNMX34AEN231&psc=1

    I've got 1 inch risers now, turns out that hard right would cause the bike to turn off. My latest dealer visit discovered that the choke cable was being engaged at hard right, they rerouted it and all is fine now. But at 6'1", a little higher bars (and wider pegs too) would be wonderful.

    I'm not letting go of this bike. Might as well mod it to make it perfect for me.
  13. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    620
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Agree with all comments. I used to have both at the same time for a few years. I set up the dr more for off-road with proper protection and 90% off-road pirelli tires where my dr was more of a commuter with Shinko 244
  14. Tippit

    Tippit Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes, got a cheap meter off ebay, works fine. Tucked the excess wire under the gas tank and zip tied it to the handle bars. Had it for about 4 months
  15. Tippit

    Tippit Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Florida
    [/QUOTE]
    I'd call the guy, tell him you're 500 miles away and that $2K will be your best offer IF the bike is in good shape. If you go to see it, check around the foot pegs for frame cracks, take tools to remove the seat for a look under and check the air filter. Check the subframe for cracks. A flash light and a 24mm open end wrench will give you a peek in the engine at the exhaust valve inspection cap. These are just highlights of a pre purchase inspection for the 230L. If this bike has been cared for 12K is not high miles. If the guy won't budge on the price over the phone it would not be worth it for me, too far away. But it's probably "a good sign" if he won't budge on price
  16. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    New York
    Can anyone pass along info for the TCI windscreen mounts? Were there some specifically designed for the 230L or do the 250L brackets work? How about the XT250 brackets?
  17. nickgindy

    nickgindy KLR Basher

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,272
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    How would someone rate the crf230l for trails? I know its not a motorcross bike by no means but I want something a bit better than my dr350se for trail riding. I'm 5'7 130ish.
  18. xNateX

    xNateX Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    roaming
    dirtbike.jpg
    I'm 6'1" and 200 pounds on a good day. Trails is where this thing excels at. Since I don't have to commute to the trails and don't need the extra horsepower for the roads, this bike does the trick for me. And its small size has allowed me to get in over my head on more than one occasion: it just makes everything so easy - until it isn't :)
  19. jsonder

    jsonder Tired Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    941
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    The suspension and gearing leave a bit to be desired for serious trail riding, but the stock gearing lets you have some fun.

    [​IMG]

    However, I had some trails that required feathering the clutch in 1st for a couple of hundred yards and that caused a few falls so I changed the rear sprocket from 39 to 48 teeth. Now it climbs nicely.

    [​IMG]
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  20. xNateX

    xNateX Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    roaming
    ... so I changed the rear sprocket...

    Thanks for that! There were a couple of occasions when the trails got hellaciously steep (posted prior, like taking this to 13k feet in Colorado) that this little thing fell a wee bit short and I had to get creative to make the pass. Turns out the prior owner regeared it for higher speed. Your post just reminded me of that, so now I'll gear the rear sprocket a bit higher and turn this thing into a mountain goat.
    Bitingdog likes this.