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Using Honda CRF230M (Supermoto) in the Dirt

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My G/F decided to surprise me and get her M endorsement and discovered she likes riding far more than she thought she would and now wants a bike.  We've narrowed it down to a Honda CRF230 but want it street legal, so the L or M model are the choices.  The only difference between them is the wheel size.  The L is a true dual sport with 21/18" wheels.  The M is a supermoto with 17" wheels front and back.  We will ride primarily dirt roads and trails with some street.  The M's for whatever reason are more plentiful and she likes the looks better.  They make 17" dual sport tires that will fit the M.  My question is, how much difference will the 17" wheel in front create for off road use?  Very easy roads/trails, nothing tough or technical, so I'm thinking the effect will be negligible for her. 

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