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CRF230F tall guy suspension

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Just picked up an '06 CRF230F,  bone stock. It's a cherry, barely a scratch. Only time it was ridden was when the seller's grandmother rode it two blocks to church every Easter Sunday. OK just kidding but seriously, it still had the original stock pirelli's with about half of the nipples still present, zero wear on the pegs, shifter etc. I could post some pics but I'm betting y'all already know what a stocker looks like. It's a project bike, planning to upgrade in stages with a good amount of riding in between mods.  My current ride is a KTM 300 MX, big flywheel and geared for trails. I ride woods/trails, single track, easy to moderate stuff and follow my teenagers around in whatever they're interested in riding.  Don't race but might take it to the track every once in a while just for kicks. Anyway, so far I'm really liking the bike... for it's potential.  I'm about 6' 3", 185-190 lbs with long arms so some work is needed just to make it rideable. I know there's a hundred threads for suspension mods and I've read them all. Didn't find much specific for a tall setup. What's a good way to go? Need ideas for suspension, tires and wheels, tall seat and maybe some bars or risers. Any other tall guys out there with a great setup? I'd love to hear about it. All suggestions are welcome and thank you in advance!

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At 190lbs you shouldn't have much problem getting a decent suspension set-up, depending on how much you want to $pend. Triplett fork mods are the best bang for your buck as far as the forks go. I've only had the Fox shock, so I don't have experience with other shock options.

As far as your height, there are two main things you should do. Get some handlebar adapters that move the bars forward at least an inch. Moving them up would probably help as well, but, as you've probably already read, the footpeg to handlebar distance is abnormally short on these 230's. Which brings you to step 2; footpeg adapters. If you have fabrication skills, I would set the footpegs back a full inch, if not a little more. Some guys on here have made adapter plates to mount CRF250/450R pegs, which are also nice and wide compared to the stock 230 pegs.

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According to Bruce Triplett and John Hlebo the rear shock spring is good to about 200 pounds so yuu can get rear Race Sag set, albeit with a shock that will eventually hurt you due to bucking and swapping.  The fork springs, on the other hand, were not even good enough for my narrow butt at 150 pounds.  You will need to cut your fork springs or get new ones of a proper rate for your body weight to achieve proper Race Sag.

The easiest, fastest, and most-affordable solution for the forks is Bruce Triplett here in NC.

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I would suggest to replace both tires soon unless you do not lean over in turns and only ride straight ahead.
The side bite traction on on the stockers on fast sweepers and off cambers will put you on the ground way before you would ever expect it. So you have been warned. Good luck and Be careful out there.

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1 hour ago, mx4god said:

At 190lbs you shouldn't have much problem getting a decent suspension set-up, depending on how much you want to $pend. Triplett fork mods are the best bang for your buck as far as the forks go. I've only had the Fox shock, so I don't have experience with other shock options.

As far as your height, there are two main things you should do. Get some handlebar adapters that move the bars forward at least an inch. Moving them up would probably help as well, but, as you've probably already read, the footpeg to handlebar distance is abnormally short on these 230's. Which brings you to step 2; footpeg adapters. If you have fabrication skills, I would set the footpegs back a full inch, if not a little more. Some guys on here have made adapter plates to mount CRF250/450R pegs, which are also nice and wide compared to the stock 230 pegs.

Good news! I weighed myself at 183, good distance from the 200#. I like the Triplett mod but I was thinking about changing them out for more travel. Couldn't I gain some height that way?  Seems like a lot of people love the XR250 mod. Haven't checked to see what's available. Can a set of XR250 forks be found?  Any idea, rough estimate what that costs, including the rework and everything? I've heard its expensive but rides like butter. The CR85 seemed like a contender but most of the information I found was fairly dated. Is that still a viable option?

I don't think I could go wrong with the Fox shock. That's the direction I was leaning. Sometimes better to just pay the man and get the good stuff.

That's some excellent advice, I hadn't actually considered moving the pegs. Especially like the larger peg idea. As long as they're getting moved may as well upgrade.  I'll put that on the list.

 

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4 minutes ago, adnohguy said:

I would suggest to replace both tires soon unless you do not lean over in turns and only ride straight ahead.
The side bite traction on on the stockers on fast sweepers and off cambers will put you on the ground way before you would ever expect it. So you have been warned. Good luck and Be careful out there.

Thank you and yes, those stocker tires are going in the trash. Anyone looking for a *like new* set of 12-year old stock tires?  lol

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2 hours ago, VortecCPI said:

According to Bruce Triplett and John Hlebo the rear shock spring is good to about 200 pounds so yuu can get rear Race Sag set, albeit with a shock that will eventually hurt you due to bucking and swapping.  The fork springs, on the other hand, were not even good enough for my narrow butt at 150 pounds.  You will need to cut your fork springs or get new ones of a proper rate for your body weight to achieve proper Race Sag.

The easiest, fastest, and most-affordable solution for the forks is Bruce Triplett here in NC.

I agree with replacing the forks. Trying to figure out which way to go. I'd be willing to try Bruce, his name comes up a lot and always positive stuff.

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5 minutes ago, _JC_ said:

I agree with replacing the forks. Trying to figure out which way to go. I'd be willing to try Bruce, his name comes up a lot and always positive stuff.

What is you inseam measurement?

If I wanted to increase the ride height and travel of a CRF230F I'd look for XR400 or XR600/650 forks if conventional was my preference.  Lots of good info here on these forks and lots of successful revalving.

You can also change out the shock linkage rocker to gain an inch or so in height but some do not like what it does to the geometry of the linkage, I'm sure those who have done it will chime in. 

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25 minutes ago, _JC_ said:

I agree with replacing the forks. Trying to figure out which way to go. I'd be willing to try Bruce, his name comes up a lot and always positive stuff.

Bruce will only cost you about ~$100.  Then you can verify you can live with the small CRF230 chassis.  If so you can consider forks with more travel and CRF150 link to raise it up.  More travel will raise the chassis but it will still be too cramped and tight for many riders.

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9 minutes ago, MetricMuscle said:

What is you inseam measurement?

If I wanted to increase the ride height and travel of a CRF230F I'd look for XR400 or XR600/650 forks if conventional was my preference.  Lots of good info here on these forks and lots of successful revalving.

You can also change out the shock linkage rocker to gain an inch or so in height but some do not like what it does to the geometry of the linkage, I'm sure those who have done it will chime in. 

~34 inseam

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Here's my 230F project. Set it up for me being tall 5' 10 female.
Mods as follows:
96-04 XR250 forks & triples
150F raising link. Rebuilt re valved shock
XR400 side stand (1" longer than stock & bolts right on).
Tall seat foam added with gripper seat
Over all seat height now 945mm
Off set bar risers and Jimmy Button tall bend renthal bars, provides much more room in the cockpit.
Normal uncorking routine (airbox, jetting, uni filter) and full pro circuit T4 exhaust.

Mods have made the little bike a far better ride. Hope some of what I have done you may find useful

IMG_1301.JPG

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Fuz71 - Very nice looking bike, well done. How much was the fork replacement after all was said and done?

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Fuz71 - Very nice looking bike, well done. How much was the fork replacement after all was said and done?


I'm in New Zealand so pricing may not be relevant. Biggest challenge is finding a set of forks in good condition, but they are out there if you look hard enough.
I got mine from a guy wrecking a 96 XR250.
Only $100nzd (that was cheap for here) Purchased 01 triples from a wrecker for $100.
Got some washers to use as spacers. XR stem same except a little longer. Easy bolt together with no machining parts. I also replaced steering head bearings while I was doing the job.
Replaced fork seals and oil and was good to go, forks were in really good condition, so I was lucky. They are much better than stock and an easy swap.
Cost me about $300 nzd but that includes local bike shop doing the fork seals/oil for me, I did the rest of it myself.
Hope this helps
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I sent off my XR400 forks and XR350 shock for rebuild to add to my 230. Will add the 150 link, and planning on a BRP upper clamp with 9mm RPS (forward of stem) and raised bar clamps. I'm 6'5" and 250 or so. Really like the bike but it's small. I did spend a few days a week ago chasing my buddy on his Katoom 500 on the single track. Was lots of fun!

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1989 xr600r shock. 1996 xr600r forks. 89 front magnesium wheel. 110-100/18 rear 80-100/21 front. Guys tall seat foam gripper tall guys cover. Cheap bar risers up 1" forward 1 1/4". 2015 crf450t foot pegs moved down and back a little can't remember but welded on very very nice open cockpit for small bike. I'm 225 now and 6'1". 

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Yes, pics show the story. An early shot of the XR forks on and should be able to see the washers I used as spacers for the triple clamps. We have headlight as standard on CRF230s over here in NZ

Was a lot of fun building this bike into a better ride

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If the 96+ XR250 stem is too long, maybe consider the 86-95 XR250 fork or triple? I swapped XR400 forks onto my '94 XR250 and the stem was too long. Almost exactly 1/2" if I rembember correctly. So 86-95 XR250 could be the same length as 230 stem.  86-95 and 96+ both have 41mm tubes, yeah? 

Just a suggestion. 

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If the 96+ XR250 stem is too long, maybe consider the 86-95 XR250 fork or triple? I swapped XR400 forks onto my '94 XR250 and the stem was too long. Almost exactly 1/2" if I rembember correctly. So 86-95 XR250 could be the same length as 230 stem.  86-95 and 96+ both have 41mm tubes, yeah? 
Just a suggestion. 


Nah, still have to do the same thing if you take a look at the following links. This was the website I used for much of my work on the bike. Loads of very good info. The 96-04 XR forks are cartridge and the older forks orifice like the 37mm 230 forks.
XR400 are 43mm and offer more adjustment. Unfortunately have get a matching front wheel as the axle is bigger.

Check out this website, it is very comprehensive and provided me with some very useful info.

https://crf230fmods.wordpress.com/1986-1995-xr250r-fork-swap/

https://crf230fmods.wordpress.com/1996-2004-xr250r-fork-swap/
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