Jump to content

CRF230f to KDX200/220?

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I have had my 2008 crf230f for a while and I loved what it has done for me, however I am starting to feel that it is getting slower and bogging out more on uphills etc, so time for an upgrade right? Crf250x in my area (northern Michigan) are expensive but there are a ton of KDX200's. Are their suspensions any better than the 230? Also, is there any 1st gear put-put torque for tight single track? If you know a lot about KDX models please dump some knowledge thanks.

 

TLDR; looking to upgrade from crf230f to kdx200, want to know how they compare on single track and how good the suspension is.

 

 

(My bike)

IMG_4358.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have one, but I have ridden a 200 a handful of times.

The only thing you'll miss is the E-start and the low seat height.  That said, the one I have ridden had the carb set up properly, and it cranked very easily.  And the seat height is still pretty low.  I'd say it's roughly halfway between the 230 and most other "full size" bikes.

Other than that, the KDX is a significant upgrade over the 230, in pretty much every way measureable.  The one I rode had a KX USD fork swap (which are dirt cheap) with a DIY revalve, and a stock rear shock with a DIY revalve.  As a result, the suspension was absolutely fantastic.  Worlds better than my 230 with modified damper rods and shock.  

And regarding power, the one I've ridden had a stock pipe and muffler on it.  The only mods it had was a properly jetted carb, and a good filter.  Completely stock like that, I thought it easily had as much, or more, low rpm torque than the 230 does.  It's practically "on the pipe" at idle (no, I'm not kidding).  And get the rpm up any little bit, and it blows the 230 off the trail.  

I've read that the 220s make even more low end torque than that.  Plus, there are also aftermarket pipes that also advertise low rpm torque bumps.  If it's low end torque and rideability that you're after, I think you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised with a KDX coming from a 230.  

And as far as maintenance / reliability goes, they're pretty universally regarded to be just as bulletproof as a 230 is.  

They're quite a nice all-around trail bike, and considering how cheap they are (I see nice ones in my area go for $1500 all the time), I think they're probably the best dollar-for-dollar trail bike available.  They are especially good at single track.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, sneaky98gt said:

I don't have one, but I have ridden a 200 a handful of times.

The only thing you'll miss is the E-start and the low seat height.  That said, the one I have ridden had the carb set up properly, and it cranked very easily.  And the seat height is still pretty low.  I'd say it's roughly halfway between the 230 and most other "full size" bikes.

Other than that, the KDX is a significant upgrade over the 230, in pretty much every way measureable.  The one I rode had a KX USD fork swap (which are dirt cheap) with a DIY revalve, and a stock rear shock with a DIY revalve.  As a result, the suspension was absolutely fantastic.  Worlds better than my 230 with modified damper rods and shock.  

And regarding power, the one I've ridden had a stock pipe and muffler on it.  The only mods it had was a properly jetted carb, and a good filter.  Completely stock like that, I thought it easily had as much, or more, low rpm torque than the 230 does.  It's practically "on the pipe" at idle (no, I'm not kidding).  And get the rpm up any little bit, and it blows the 230 off the trail.  

I've read that the 220s make even more low end torque than that.  Plus, there are also aftermarket pipes that also advertise low rpm torque bumps.  If it's low end torque and rideability that you're after, I think you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised with a KDX coming from a 230.  

And as far as maintenance / reliability goes, they're pretty universally regarded to be just as bulletproof as a 230 is.  

They're quite a nice all-around trail bike, and considering how cheap they are (I see nice ones in my area go for $1500 all the time), I think they're probably the best dollar-for-dollar trail bike available.  They are especially good at single track.  

This is I was hoping for, thank you. Just one question. I know that cr125s make ~30hp so should I expect ~40hp  from a kdx? I'm kind of sketched out of the first tire coming up in higher gears like other 40hp bikes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Spagetto said:

This is I was hoping for, thank you. Just one question. I know that cr125s make ~30hp so should I expect ~40hp  from a kdx? I'm kind of sketched out of the first tire coming up in higher gears like other 40hp bikes. 

No. It's prolly 25 hp. It does have the signature higher rpm two stroke pull but nothing spastic like a 125. More useful power range over the 125 too. The stock suspension is unbalanced with different rate springs f/r so you'll need to fix that at a minimum. Once you get comfortable with bike the call Ron Black designs and have the divider plate put in the carb and the head cut too. Huge power and respsone gains there. Leave exhaust stock f/r. Very quiet. expansion chamber is dual walled with fiberglass damping between the pipes. Quiet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Spagetto said:

This is I was hoping for, thank you. Just one question. I know that cr125s make ~30hp so should I expect ~40hp  from a kdx? I'm kind of sketched out of the first tire coming up in higher gears like other 40hp bikes. 

Good question.  

No, absolutely not.  Not in my opinion anyway.

Complete guess here, but I'd say it's in the mid-high 20s horsepower on the tire (with an uncorked 230 around 16-17 on the tire, for reference).  

An uncorked XR400 is around 31-32 rwhp, and I'd say it feels just a tiny bit slower than my XR4.  I've ridden an uncorked CRF250X quite a bit, and it feels very similar in peak power to that (which are supposedly 26-28 rwhp).  

It most definitely will power wheelie in 1st gear, and doesn't take much of a tug to get it up in 2nd, but it's gonna take some effort to get it off the ground 3rd gear and up.  

A KDX is not even remotely close in feel to a CR125.  A CR makes zero low rpm torque, and then has a massive, very fast, very hard hit onto the pipe, which will do exactly what you're worried about.  I'm really not exaggerating about a KDX not having a hit.  It makes very good torque at idle, with a nice smooth linear increase from there.  It's not a "flat" torque curve like a 230, but instead a nicely linearly increasing one.  The only time there was any perceptible change from "not-on-the-pipe" to "on-the-pipe" was while lugging it in 4th and 5th gear.  And then, since you're in so much higher a gear, it doesn't "hit" hard enough to really do anything.  

Really the only thing to consider regarding how "tame" it is (compared to the 230) is in how responsive it is.  Unlike the 230, if you snap the throttle wide open while up in the rpms a bit in say 2nd or 3rd gear, it WILL get up and move at that exact instant.  There is no kind of delay or hesitation or anything like that.  I don't say this to make it sound "bad"; it's not.  It's just different from the 230.  When you get used to it, it makes lofting the front tire significantly easier.

And one last thing to add:  all this experience I have is on a stock pipe 200.  Everything I've ever read or heard is that a 220 or FMF Gnarly adds EVEN MORE low rpm torque, smoothing out the powerband that much more.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have both a crf230f and a kdx220. The Kdx has a woods fmf pipe and a carb off of a 200 ( 2mm bigger). The Kdx is the torqiest 2 stroke I have ever had. Still it is a 2 stroke and really likes being on the pipe better than lugging. Takes a little more clutch work than the 230 which is point and twist pretty much. Suspension is better factory on the Kdx but the Kdx is a little longer thus not as agile in the nasty tight stuff. The magic button on the crf is usually the deciding factor most times. I done got old and lazy.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Confederate said:

The magic button on the crf is usually the deciding factor most times. I done got old and lazy.

Nah, nothing old and lazy about that.

The e-start is probably THE reason I'm on a 230 instead of a KDX.  Heck, I've got the XR4 which is WAY more fun, and about 2x as capable as the 230 is, yet I still ride the 230 about 80% of the time.

When you've just gotten done picking your bike up off the side of a stupid nasty hill climb, that e-start can be the difference between your day continuing on like normal, or your day being pretty much completely over.  I've ridden a lot of trails that have sections where, I don't care how good you are, you won't be able to get a kick-start only bike cranked if it stalls out for some reason.  It's either too steep, or it's too off-camber, or both your tires are in ruts / holes with rocks / roots jutting up where the kick-starter is, etc.  When that happens, and you spend the next 15-30 minutes physically dragging your bike out of whatever predicament you're in, to get it somewhere that you're actually able to kick-start it, it will wipe every bit of energy you had out of you.  Even if it doesn't completely wipe you out, it will take enough out of you that you won't be the same the rest of the day.

If you don't ride trails where that can possible happen, then no e-start isn't that big of a deal.  But if you do, the e-start can be a life saver.  I used to be a "man up and learn to kick it" type of guy, until I found myself in one of those situations on the XR4 one day.  It was a very long, off-camber uphill climb with an EXTREMELY steep gulley right at the beginning that absolutely required momentum to make it up.  Made it up the gulley, and wound up crashing about halfway up.  Cliffs / rocks on my right side that wouldn't let me get a good kick, very steep downhill on the left that there was no way I was going down voluntarily, and couldn't go back down because I'd never get back up the gulley from a standstill.  So me and the other two guys I was riding with spent the next 30 minutes dragging the bike the rest of the way up the hill.  This was less than an hour into our ride, and we all quit riding for the day when we got off the trail about 20 minutes later.  We were that beat.

Since then, any time I hear someone say that they don't see the reason for e-start, I always tell them that they aren't riding hard enough trails and/or haven't had the bike stall out on them in the wrong spot yet.  I quit counting how many times I've had the 230 in a position that would have 100%, surely ended my day riding if I didn't have e-start.  Instead, it's bump the button, and keep on rolling.  Heck, last time I rode, I used the e-start to help navigate a super steep and off-camber rock ledge.  Yes, I stood on the uphill side (right side in this case), put the bike in gear, bumped the starter with my right hand, and held onto the fender with my left hand to keep it from sliding down, and walked it across ledge.  THAT was awesome!  Can't do that without e-start.  LoL!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sneaky98gt said:

Good question.  

No, absolutely not.  Not in my opinion anyway.

Complete guess here, but I'd say it's in the mid-high 20s horsepower on the tire (with an uncorked 230 around 16-17 on the tire, for reference).  

An uncorked XR400 is around 31-32 rwhp, and I'd say it feels just a tiny bit slower than my XR4.  I've ridden an uncorked CRF250X quite a bit, and it feels very similar in peak power to that (which are supposedly 26-28 rwhp).  

It most definitely will power wheelie in 1st gear, and doesn't take much of a tug to get it up in 2nd, but it's gonna take some effort to get it off the ground 3rd gear and up.  

A KDX is not even remotely close in feel to a CR125.  A CR makes zero low rpm torque, and then has a massive, very fast, very hard hit onto the pipe, which will do exactly what you're worried about.  I'm really not exaggerating about a KDX not having a hit.  It makes very good torque at idle, with a nice smooth linear increase from there.  It's not a "flat" torque curve like a 230, but instead a nicely linearly increasing one.  The only time there was any perceptible change from "not-on-the-pipe" to "on-the-pipe" was while lugging it in 4th and 5th gear.  And then, since you're in so much higher a gear, it doesn't "hit" hard enough to really do anything.  

Really the only thing to consider regarding how "tame" it is (compared to the 230) is in how responsive it is.  Unlike the 230, if you snap the throttle wide open while up in the rpms a bit in say 2nd or 3rd gear, it WILL get up and move at that exact instant.  There is no kind of delay or hesitation or anything like that.  I don't say this to make it sound "bad"; it's not.  It's just different from the 230.  When you get used to it, it makes lofting the front tire significantly easier.

And one last thing to add:  all this experience I have is on a stock pipe 200.  Everything I've ever read or heard is that a 220 or FMF Gnarly adds EVEN MORE low rpm torque, smoothing out the powerband that much more.  

Thanks for the reply, lots of good stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Spagetto said:

Hi all, I have had my 2008 crf230f for a while and I loved what it has done for me, however I am starting to feel that it is getting slower and bogging out more on uphills etc, so time for an upgrade right? Crf250x in my area (northern Michigan) are expensive but there are a ton of KDX200's. Are their suspensions any better than the 230? Also, is there any 1st gear put-put torque for tight single track? If you know a lot about KDX models please dump some knowledge thanks.

The KDX175 was one of my teenage fantasy bikes, the other being an XR200R.

https://dirtbikemagazine.com/the-life-times-of-the-kawasaki-kdx200/

Did I hear that parts are surprisingly out of production for the older Kawasaki trail bikes? Seems like the topic came up with a modder who was lamenting the fate of the KDX200.

Edited by RedMesa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, sneaky98gt said:

I don't have one, but I have ridden a 200 a handful of times.

The only thing you'll miss is the E-start and the low seat height.  That said, the one I have ridden had the carb set up properly, and it cranked very easily.  And the seat height is still pretty low.  I'd say it's roughly halfway between the 230 and most other "full size" bikes.

Other than that, the KDX is a significant upgrade over the 230, in pretty much every way measureable.  The one I rode had a KX USD fork swap (which are dirt cheap) with a DIY revalve, and a stock rear shock with a DIY revalve.  As a result, the suspension was absolutely fantastic.  Worlds better than my 230 with modified damper rods and shock.  

And regarding power, the one I've ridden had a stock pipe and muffler on it.  The only mods it had was a properly jetted carb, and a good filter.  Completely stock like that, I thought it easily had as much, or more, low rpm torque than the 230 does.  It's practically "on the pipe" at idle (no, I'm not kidding).  And get the rpm up any little bit, and it blows the 230 off the trail.  

I've read that the 220s make even more low end torque than that.  Plus, there are also aftermarket pipes that also advertise low rpm torque bumps.  If it's low end torque and rideability that you're after, I think you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised with a KDX coming from a 230.  

And as far as maintenance / reliability goes, they're pretty universally regarded to be just as bulletproof as a 230 is.  

They're quite a nice all-around trail bike, and considering how cheap they are (I see nice ones in my area go for $1500 all the time), I think they're probably the best dollar-for-dollar trail bike available.  They are especially good at single track.  

I almost sold my CRF230. However then I awoke from my dream and remembered riding and punishing KDX 220's. Torque like a CRF230. I guess if your a new rider and you ride on roads you wouldn't know the difference. 

It reminds me of my friend Arman that bought a 220 after reading every magazine that had the KDX 220 in it. Yup they had him completly convinced that the bike was lighter and had more power and torque than the CRF230's. That seemed to disappear however when he flipped the bike trying to get up a loose rock pile. Punctured a hugh hole in the radiator after four tries. There was five four strokes watching him from the top. 

After all of that he tried one of the CRF230's and went right up it like everyone else. Well that was the last time we saw poor Arman riding with us. 

Edited by stevethe
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RedMesa said:

The KDX175 was one of my teenage fantasy bikes, the other being an XR200R.

https://dirtbikemagazine.com/the-life-times-of-the-kawasaki-kdx200/

Did I hear that parts are surprisingly out of production for the older Kawasaki trail bikes? Seems like the topic came up with a modder who was lamenting the fate of the KDX200.

Parts are out there for the 95-06 kdx but not the generation before that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Spagetto said:

 

Hi all, I have had my 2008 crf230f for a while and I loved what it has done for me, however I am starting to feel that it is getting slower and bogging out more on uphills etc, so time for an upgrade right? Crf250x in my area (northern Michigan) are expensive but there are a ton of KDX200's. Are their suspensions any better than the 230? Also, is there any 1st gear put-put torque for tight single track? If you know a lot about KDX models please dump some knowledge thanks.

 

TLDR; looking to upgrade from crf230f to kdx200, want to know how they compare on single track and how good the suspension is.

 

 

(My bike)

IMG_4358.jpg

 

How old are you and what kind of riding do you do other than single track?

What have you done to your current CRF230F?  Suspension?  Tires?  Engine/Exhaust?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know there must be a lot of experienced riders in this forum that are very foolish for riding CRF230's. I guess they must not know how much better a KDX is. Okay I are one of them. Anyone else? :lol:

Not that there is anything wrong with a KDX. It is a different bike and takes a completely different riding style and works better for mainly more open terrain riding. For me if I was in that market I would get a KTM 300 T2.    

 

Edited by stevethe
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Good news is... that the KDX 200 forum is very much alive, much like the 230 forum. So if you go that route, you should have great forum support

Edited by 1gr8bldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sneakygoat did not mention that the KDX he is referring to has over 600 hours on it with the second owner. No telling how much the first owner put on it , and has had to do nothing to the motor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, 1gr8bldr said:

Sneakygoat did not mention that the KDX he is referring to has over 600 hours on it with the second owner. No telling how much the first owner put on it , and has had to do nothing to the motor.

They are good bikes but are way different than a 230. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How old are you and what kind of riding do you do other than single track?
What have you done to your current CRF230F?  Suspension?  Tires?  Engine/Exhaust?


I'm 16 5' 10"
I ride mostly really tight deer path single track or 2 track orv trails with my friend on a side by side.
There are no major performance mods done, just things to make it more OEM. I have almost pulled the trigger on performance mods, but I would rather spend it on maintenance stuff.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of punishment. These are pics of my built CRF230 punishing some very well known Thumpertalk riders. Note: They are both going down the hill after not making it. One was on a built WR450 and the other was on a KTM510. Now that was a really good day! 

That never would have happened on a KDX220 but the CRF230 is a 250cc. 

IMG_4299.PNG

IMG_4300.PNG

IMG_4301.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know there must be a lot of experienced riders in this forum that are very foolish for riding CRF230's. I guess they must not know how much better a KDX is. Okay I are one of them. Anyone else? :lol:
Not that there is anything wrong with a KDX. It is a different bike and takes a completely different riding style and works better for mainly more open terrain riding. For me if I was in that market I would get a KTM 300 T2.    
 


I would love to get a KTM but they are heavy on the wallet. This is why I was looking to a kdx. (Also I don't need all the power of the KTM, I sure as heck wouldn't use all of it lol)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Spagetto said:

 


I would love to get a KTM but they are heavy on the wallet. This is why I was looking to a kdx. (Also I don't need all the power of the KTM, I sure as heck wouldn't use all of it lol)

 

If your 16 and riding with side by sides. A KDX or built up CRF230 will do. Side by sides don't do very technical hard stuff. If you get a KDX it will have a different power band than the CRF. It will have less power off idle and more power on top. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×