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New CRF230F Owner Drum Brake Question

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Ok, so I haven't ridden in quite a while.  The last bike I had was a worked 2005 CR250R 2 stroke, purchased from a former Pro Honda rider.  I ended up getting hurt and needed a couple of back surgeries (and probably need a third coming up soon).  At that point I sold my bikes and thought I would never ride again since I have a hard time mounting the tall MX bikes these days.

 

Well, the kids recently have started showing interest in riding.  My 5 year old daughter just learned to ride a bicycle without training wheels a couple of months ago.  I got out our old Yamaha PW50, and she jumped on and took right off.  She loves it.

 

So, besides for my poor health, my dreams of having the family ride together seemed to be getting closer to reality.  Problem is that I didn't have a bike yet.

 

I looked into what bike would be a good fit for me at this point.  I knew I didn't want anything too tall since I don't have much mobility on my right leg and needed to plant my feet firmly on the ground when coming to a stop (My right foot has very little feeling and I can't tell when it is on the ground, sometimes causing me to fall off of farm tractors and ladders at times!).  I also didn't want something that would allow me to push it too hard since I'm afraid of causing too much stress on my back.

 

I ended up finding a 2012 CRF230F.  Looks to be in pretty good shape, except for some messed up screws/bolts that I will replace.

 

Now the only problem I am having is coming to terms with the fact that I don't own a race prepped CR250R anymore, and instead own a CRF230F.  I like the low maintenance, and electric start was critical considering my condition.  Although I would like a little more power, I do feel the CRF230F has just enough to keep me happy for a while.  I do believe this CRF230F will be the right decision in the long run.  I weigh in at 200+ pounds, so the only mod I am thinking of right now is the BBR heavy duty fork springs to get a little extra stiffness.

 

So my first major question concerns the rear drum brakes.  Mine seem to be in spec according to the manual and not close to the wear limit.  I am not sure, however if they are working properly or perhaps I am wrongly comparing them to my old bike.  When coming into a corner and trying to lock up the rear, it seems as though I really have to stand on the brake in order for it to lock the wheel.  Is this normal?

 

Of course it could also stem from the fact that I have a lack of feeling and strength in my right leg, and perhaps it has more to do with me than the bike.  I just don't remember the effectiveness of drum brakes, since its been so long since I have been on a bike with a rear drum, so I am curious what other CRF230F owners feel about their rear drum and if they notice a big difference from a rear disc.

 

I'm sure as time goes on, I will have some other questions, and hope nobody minds if I continue this thread.

 

Thanks everyone.

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Mike,

 

The 230F rear drum break is nothing like the 250R/450R's with front/rear disk breaks.. meaning you will have to apply more foot pressure on the 230F drum break than you did with the 250R rear disk breaks. However, if your 230F has good break shoes and adjusted properly, you really should not have to stand on the rear break to get it to lock-up. I ride my wife's 230F more than she does, and I have no problem locking the rear wheel in turns.. it's obviously not as sensitive as my 450R rear disk break, but it should lock-up with little effort.

 

How much free play (slack/movement) do you have in the rear break pedal? You can adjust the free play at the rear wheel on the break rod so there is little play which will result in more "bite" when you apply pressure to the rear break pedal. Just make sure there is no break drag when you spin the wheel with the bike on a stand.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Good luck.

 

JL

 

1211131840.jpg

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Thanks Falcon1.  I was afraid of brake drag so had it set to the upper level of spec.  Brought it down to just under minimum spec (just under 3/8") and it seems to be working a lot better.  My weak lower leg (calf muscle on the right is pretty much completely gone) is probably amplifying the amount of pressure required to brake.

 

Looking forward to getting some good seat time on the CRF230F.  I need to do some work on our PW50, and buy my wife and other daughter a bike (my son has a 125cc pit bike he is learning on), and we should be ready for some fun times ahead.

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The rear drum brakes on our CRF150 and CRF230s work quite well.  Loosen the rear axle a bit and give the rear tire a good spin and then lock up the rear brake.  Do this a few times and then tighten the rear axle.  This will assure the shoes and drum are aligned.

 

You should also check the drum face and shoes for any grease.  Sometimes people slop too much grease on the axle and/or on the spacer and it gets on the braking surfaces.  Sometimes people reassemble the brakes with dirty hands so a good cleaning may also help.

 

I grooved my stock shoes and they perform very well.  I can lock up my rear tire with very little pressure.  They perform quite well when wet as well.

 

At 200 pounds I suggest only one BBR fork spring.  My buddy weighs 200 pounds and two were way too much.  If the forks bottom too much or too hard add 1/2" fork oil to each fork leg.  Be sure to use a high-quality 10w fork oil.

 

These bikes have plenty of power waiting to be released with very little time and money.  You may be surprised at how well your CRF230 performs once you do a few modifications.  Wonderfully reliable and super torquey engines.

IMG_0711.JPG

Edited by VortecCPI
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Thanks for the tip on the fork springs.  Since I am probably a lot heavier than the target rider for the CRF230F, I automatically assumed that the BBR front springs was almost a mandatory upgrade.  I hadn't researched the CRF230F as thoroughly as I have past purchases, and did not spend a lot of time researching this section of the forum.

 

Your post made me dig deeper and I found lots of good info here on fork springs and preloading the stock springs.  When I said 200+ lbs, I was being generous - my actual weight is 230 lbs without riding gear.  I have to wonder if in my case the BBR heavy fork springs would be appropriate, considering a lot of riders on the CRF230F are probably almost 100 lbs lighter than me.  My use will probably be chasing the kids on their bikes, and riding (mostly slow) on MX practice tracks when I take the kids.  I am planning on trying to keep the stock rear shock and spring, since I prefer a spongy tail end with my back condition.

 

Good tip on the brake shoes.  I will have to look into doing mine.  Thanks for the picture.

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Thanks for the tip on the fork springs.  Since I am probably a lot heavier than the target rider for the CRF230F, I automatically assumed that the BBR front springs was almost a mandatory upgrade.  I hadn't researched the CRF230F as thoroughly as I have past purchases, and did not spend a lot of time researching this section of the forum.

 

Your post made me dig deeper and I found lots of good info here on fork springs and preloading the stock springs.  When I said 200+ lbs, I was being generous - my actual weight is 230 lbs without riding gear.  I have to wonder if in my case the BBR heavy fork springs would be appropriate, considering a lot of riders on the CRF230F are probably almost 100 lbs lighter than me.  My use will probably be chasing the kids on their bikes, and riding (mostly slow) on MX practice tracks when I take the kids.  I am planning on trying to keep the stock rear shock and spring, since I prefer a spongy tail end with my back condition.

 

Good tip on the brake shoes.  I will have to look into doing mine.  Thanks for the picture.

 

At that weight you will need two BBR fork springs but your rebound speed will be out of control, so I suggest you go up to 15w fork oil.  It will slow down your rebound but will also slow down your compression so your ride will be a little stiffer.

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I am still in need of one CRF230 BBR fork spring. If anyone has an extra, please PM me.

Thanks in advance.

Guy

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At that weight you will need two BBR fork springs but your rebound speed will be out of control, so I suggest you go up to 15w fork oil.  It will slow down your rebound but will also slow down your compression so your ride will be a little stiffer.

 

VortecCPI, in your opinion, for my weight what would be the difference between the BBR fork springs with 15w fork oil, and the stock springs preloaded with 15w fork oil?  I realize that the front end will never be as good as on my old '05 CR250R, but that isn't really my expectation.  I don't think I really want to spend more than the $100 that the BBR fork springs go for.  Just looking for a bit of improvement if I decide to get temporarily playful on the MX practice track.

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VortecCPI, in your opinion, for my weight what would be the difference between the BBR fork springs with 15w fork oil, and the stock springs preloaded with 15w fork oil?  I realize that the front end will never be as good as on my old '05 CR250R, but that isn't really my expectation.  I don't think I really want to spend more than the $100 that the BBR fork springs go for.  Just looking for a bit of improvement if I decide to get temporarily playful on the MX practice track.

 

Preloading springs is not the answer.  If you speak with Bruce or John they will tell you to steer clear.  We tried it and it was awful - The ride was very harsh, just as Bruce and John said it would be.  You will read many, many posts in here about how wonderful it is but it is not the answer.  Remember - Springs have almost nothing to do with damping.  If you don't believe it drill a hole in each fork cap and see what happens.  Then remove the oil and see what happens.

 

The only purpose of springs is to attain proper sag.  Period.  I am probably going to get a slew of responses telling me I'm incorrect and that's fine.  I have spent countless hours speaking with Bruce, John, and many others about suspension setups.  These guys are brilliant and have been doing their jobs for many decades.  They are experts and I am sharing what they have shared.

Go with the BBR springs and heavier fork oil.  It's not the perfect fix but it will be better than stock.  If you go with Emulators go with one stock fork spring and one BBR fork spring.

As far as MX goes this is not the ideal bike.  The steering is too fast and the wheelbase is too short.  However - I have seen quite a few people get around MX tracks pretty darn fast so it can and has been done.  Also remember suspension setup for MX is quite different from suspension setup for enduro/trail/woods.

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Thank you.

 

I just ordered the BBR springs here on the TT store.  I will write up on how they worked out for me.  Afterwards I may send the rear shock out to Hlebo to complete a cheap suspension upgrade for a fat old timer!

 

I also ordered 15w fork oil and plan to replace it when I install the new springs.  Which brings me to another question.  I have the service manual and it describes the complete disassembly of the forks.  Seems simple.  I have however come across this video that discusses replacing fork oil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R6zvSo44XA

 

The guy on the video has a CRF100.  In the video he drains the forks by removing the bolt at the bottom of the forks. 

 

On the forum here, I have read that you drain the forks by removing them completely and dumping upside down.  The service manual does not specifically state either way, since it discusses the fork system completely as opposed to just changing the oil.  Of course I would prefer to just drain from the bottom and then refill up top (I was planning on using the spec amount of oil in the forks - I think 380cc or slightly more for my year).

 

Can I get away doing it like the guy did in the video?  Or am I better off just removing the forks?

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Yes - that is fine and exactly how we do it.  Be sure to loosen the damper rod bolt (at the bottom) before you remove the fork caps.  This will keep the damper rods from spinning as you break the bolt loose.

 

Also be sure to use a high-quality fork oil such as Bel Ray.  Cheaper fork oils will vary greatly in actual weight, both initially and as the oil gets hot.  You should change your fork oil at least once a year.

Edited by VortecCPI

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Yes - that is fine and exactly how we do it.  Be sure to loosen the damper rod bolt (at the bottom) before you remove the fork caps.  This will keep the damper rods from spinning as you break the bolt loose.

 

Also be sure to use a high-quality fork oil such as Bel Ray.  Cheaper fork oils will vary greatly in actual weight, both initially and as the oil gets hot.  You should change your fork oil at least once a year.

 

That is great news.  Doing it that way should make it go much quicker.

 

Funny, Bel-Ray 15w fork oil was what I had ordered.  I have used Bel-Ray oils for years and buy them when I have the option.

 

Thanks again for all of your assistance on my new CRF230F!

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That is great news.  Doing it that way should make it go much quicker.

 

Funny, Bel-Ray 15w fork oil was what I had ordered.  I have used Bel-Ray oils for years and buy them when I have the option.

 

Thanks again for all of your assistance on my new CRF230F!

 

Never hesitate to ask.  We have all spent a lot of time and money here on TT and we enjoy sharing what we have learned.  My buddy and I have been down the road of transformation with our two CRF230s.  We speak from a lot of experience so if you ever need help PM me.

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