Better front brake?

so I find the front disc brake on the CRF 230 very disappointing anybody have some solutions to making it better?I would like better stopping power than it has.

I think a 280mm disc would be my first stop (oops, sorry for the unintentional pun).

I believe the bolt pattern is typical XR, so if you can find a 280mm rotor and offset bracket for an XR400, etc. it might bolt right up.

Someone else want to chime in here?


Ebc contor front rotor kit fir the crf150/230. Its the rotor and bracket make it work. It can be had for under $200. I have had mine for a while and its fantastic.

I don't understand; the rotor size and caliper are the same as MX bikes, something else must be wrong.

Most common problems with front discs is air in the system and/or a flexy hose.

Brake pads make a difference as does the bore size of the master cylinder.

Does anyone know the bore size of the CRF150/230 master cylinder?

You can over heat your caliper and rotor. Which will make the front feel like its fading away to nothingness. Thats where the oversize rotor comes in, its bigger so its longer traveled between pad contact and more open to allow better heat disapation so your brakes dont "fade". I agree with the flexy hose thing tho, I would definitally swit h to a steal braided line if you havent already, it makes a big improvement on the lever firmness and consistancy.

Edited by bigwill5686

Yes you can overheat the front brake and if the fluid is aged and has moisture it will boil at a lower temp than new fluid and you will have brake fade.

But a CRF230F is barely a 20hp bike and its front rotor size, caliper, and pads are the same as a CRF450R race bike with 50hp so IMO the OPs brake problems are most likely maintenance and/or service related rather than structural.

IMO the OPs brake problems are most likely maintenance and/or service related rather than structural.

^^^ I'm going to retract my earlier statement... Fresh fluid and some pads with better initial bite are cheaper than an oversize rotor!


Service the thing correctly. Take the caliper off and lube the sliders. If the caliper is not "floating" then you will not get solid even contact on both sides of the rotor.

Replace the fluid completely.

clean the pads and rotor with some 400 grit emery cloth and rinse real well with brake cleaner.

keep the Armor All off the brake components.

alright I'll give it a try I just thought it was strange because my wife little 140 had better breaking power than mine

Bleeding is is difficult even with bleed tools so if you change fluid here is a method I've had to use.

Pull the caliper, place the end of the brake hose in a container.

Remove the MC cover and operate the lever to pump all of the old fluid out of the system.

If you have a compressor pry the brake pads apart forcing all of the fluid out of the caliper.

Use compressed air to force the pistons out until the pads touch.

Add some fresh brake fluid to the caliper, slosh around to clean out old fluid and drain.

Fill the caliper with fresh brake fluid, rotate fore and aft to remove air bubbles.

Connect the brake hose, wrap rags around the reservoir to catch overflowing fluid.

Slowly pry the pads apart, this will force fluid bake up the hose to the MC,

periodically check the MC reservoir, looking for the fresh fluid entering the reservoir.

Install the caliper.

Fill the reservoir and operate the lever to extend the pads against the rotor adding fluid as necessary to the reservoir to keep the port covered or air will get into the system.

Add fluid to the full mark and install the MC cover.

At this point you should have a good brakes unless you installed new pads, then you will need some ride time to bed them in to the rotor.

Edited by chuck4788

Changed the brake fluid and it's working great now. I still wish it was more touchy but I'll just live withwhat I have.

Two things most common for a soft lever feel; air in the system and OEM brake hose flex. The later is usually acceptable if most of the air is out of the system.

More bleeding might help, a new hose might help, a braided steel hose definitely will help. My test is to be able to lock the front wheel before the lever touches the grip.

A braided line will help tremendously. Get some rope or heavy rubber bands and keep the brake lever engaged overnight for a few days to get the air bubbles out.

Just my two cents. The front brake on the CRF150/230 is the same brake in the CRF450. With that said, unless you riding supermoto, I think the fluids and/or pads just need to be addressed. There. I saved you a lot of money. I'll send you a bill in the mail. :)

I think I will try changing the pads. I changed the fluid and got all the air out. brake locks up way before it touches the grip. It just doesn't seem to be as good as my 450 x brakes were. I am assuming that may be the only difference in the brake system between the two.

There are some big differences in the friction of pads so that my be why the brakes feel different from the 450X, also the master cylinders could be different, a part number check on piston kits and/or levers will indicate.

Bottom line as others have said; with good OEM pads, good OEM rotor, no air, and good hose the brakes should have a fairly firm lever and easy lock up. I have found some aftermarket pads to be so grabby that they are difficult to use on slippery surfaces, that is why I like OEM pads.

I like really grabby brakes :goofy:

I like really grabby brakes :goofy:

Come ride PNW wet clay, we call it the "brown ice power slide". :banghead:

Slightly off subject but reminds me of an experience with wet red clay a few years ago. Three of us went riding in an area with known red clay and it was wet. Slight upgrades and I would lose momentum on corners and they would pass me, often one on each side, then wait for me to catch up. Then ask me to lead so they could again impress on me how much more traction a radial ply Trials tire has in wet clay compared to my knobby. I switched to TTs.

Edited by chuck4788

Ya as soon as this knobby I am going to trials tire. Do they wear out fast?

They last 2-3 times as long as a knobby and they don't suffer as much loss of traction as they wear, so their life cycle cost is a lot less than a knobby. I have two years on a D803 on a XR and the leading edges of the lugs have slight rounding. I have the same number of rides on a X11 on my Trial bike and the leading edges are more rounded. Of course YMMV.

Edited by chuck4788

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