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2018 CRF230X - 215 lbs street legal


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OK I just made that up,... This is what Honda SHOULD be selling for 2018!

It does weigh 215 wet but no gas, and it is street legal but its a worked over 2005 model. I built this for a friend and I think it addresses all the shortcomings of this bike. See how many improvements you can spot.

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11 hours ago, woodsryder said:

OK I just made that up,... This is what Honda SHOULD be selling for 2018!

It does weigh 215 wet but no gas, and it is street legal but its a worked over 2005 model. I built this for a friend and I think it addresses all the shortcomings of this bike. See how many improvements you can spot.

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Nice job for a KTMaHonda

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Woodsrider, that is a very nice looking bike.

Would you be so kind as to share the intimate details of your project?  I think I remember reading about the freeride swing arm and ktm85 forks.  If I remember correctly you were having travel issues with the forks. How about the swingarm, any issues with this piece?  I am planing a similar project with a basket case 150F that I inherited, and I was looking at the PDS setup from a 125/200 since they are readily available and cheap. I didn’t consider the freeride parts because I didn’t think any would be available. 

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19 hours ago, woodsryder said:

OK I just made that up,... This is what Honda SHOULD be selling for 2018!

It does weigh 215 wet but no gas, and it is street legal but its a worked over 2005 model. I built this for a friend and I think it addresses all the shortcomings of this bike. See how many improvements you can spot.

Hey Ryder, haven't seen a build from you since your amazing 183 lb XR200R BBR framed wonderbike. You are absolutely right on this: Honda should be ashamed of themselves for not having done this to the CRF230F years ago. Great job, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the details of this build revealed.

Jay

PS: I WANT one!

Edited by Old Plonker
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Upside down forks

Rear disk brake

Different swingarm

Rear shock

Pipe and silencer

Hand guards

Footpegs

Shorter seat

Rear fender

I have a 2005 CRF230F and a rolling chassis from a 2004 CR125R (complete except for engine, electrics and radiators).  I've been toying with the idea of an engine swap, but best estimate from local fabricator is "minimum of $2000 and probably more".  I'm not sure if the outcome would be worth the price.  Did you keep track of what your's cost, and would you mind sharing it?  

Thanks

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I like what you did on this bike. Do you happen to know what the seat height is with this suspension? It reminds me of an XR200R that I set up with a 218 Powroll engine back in the 80's. Wheelbase was too short but you could really scoot through some nasty trails with it. I ride a CRF250X but I still miss that little bike.

Edited by deno62
left out a word
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Sorry to leave everyone hanging, I'm crazy busy. I also started a thread on Adventure rider so there will be some cut and paste between the two as I answer questions.

Some of you know I built an ultralight BBR framed XR200 a while back that weighed in at 183 lbs no gas. That is the inspiration for this bike. I've been riding the custom BBR ever since and swearing I'll build a next generation version someday. Well, Im perpetually busy and it hasn't happened yet but hey, I already have one so no hurry. When I ride with other people its very conspicuous that Im having more fun and never getting tired. One of my riding friends is a 60 yr old female with excellent riding skills. Here in Florida she struggles riding her big KTM's in the sugar sand while I blitz around like a sand flea grinning all the time. She had a 230 once and loved it so we decided to see how much I could improve the bike without a full custom frame. She already looked at a new Freeride or X-trainer but would rather be poked in the eye with a stick than own a two stroke. I agreed to the build because I wanted to see if it would be possible to offer conversion kits.

This was our goal,... enhance the good things and replace the bad things. The good things are the engine, seat height and reduced size. The bad things were everything else.

I tried to use hand picked OEM parts instead of one off creations so future repair would be easy. I had a good budget but limited time so the quick but not so cost efficient way was to buy two donor bikes and sell off the leftover parts.  When the dust settles she will have around $6000 in it which is better than a new bike she wouldn't like as much. Someone with more to time to shop could do it cheaper of course.

As far as improvements I wanted to pick all the low hanging fruit. Fix the things big that mattered most and don't bother with styling, billet, bling, titanium etc,.. I did this in a short time with no documentation so don't expect a tutorial. Here was my recipe:

- Tune the engine for torque,.. 254cc, 6mm stroker, 67mm wiseco piston, ST1.0 cam, PWK28 carb.

- KTM 85 hubs, forks, brakes, laced with Freeride spokes and rims. This saved massive chunks of rotating unsprung weight and these parts weigh less than aftermarket bling items.

- Freeride swingarm with Ohlins shock. This eliminated the stupid heavy linkage and heavy frame brackets. The KTM 85 had a quality shock but it was too long to package and I happened to have 20 new surplus Cannondale Ohlins shocks. Using KTM parts also meant easy maintenance and repair when things wear or break.

- I relocated the pegs and used the KTM85 brake pedal and master cyl. Longer custom brake hoses front and rear

- Full KTM 85 forks and brakes with lighter springs. The low 14mm stock clamp offset increased trail making it very sand friendly but 20mm clamps are also available.

- Comfy soft foam seat and minimalist lighting.

Despite its factory appearance, fabrication was extensive and I decided conversion kits would never be practical. The shock mount had to move several inches upward and I was barely able to shove it up into a spot between the tank and seat. Minimal seat base trimming and maximal airbox trimming was required. I cut away most of the airbox to clear the shock, fitted a closure plate to create a home for the foam pod filter. Then I made a new battery box for the lithium battery and relocated electrical components. It took six hours of grinding to surgically remove metal and many more to fit new metal. I built new peg mounts and  brake pedal brackets. I built an intake manifold and sorted out the many packaging issues around the airbox. Machined adapter bushings for fork bearings and swingarm pivot. made spacers for both sprockets to fix chain line issues.

In order to preserve the stock seat height and fit a tall sand specific tire, I had to limit rear travel to 10.6 inches. I fitted shorter top out springs to increase fork travel to 11.2 in. but then discovered tire to frame interference and had to limit the front to 10.6 also. This is still more travel than the Freeride or stock 230 and same as the X-trainer.

I may get bashed for spending $6000 on a play bike but I think its above that category now. Ill argue that it now has better suspension than the freeride and x-trainer, and about the same power with much better torque. She got the perfect size bike for her, its street legal, has an electric start four stroke that weighs less than your average two stroke. The massive 25 lb weight loss came mostly off of rotating and unsprung parts so its not the same bike it used to be. The simple, mechanic friendly Honda engine is a joy to maintain, you can change oil in a few minutes and remove the carb with one screwdriver. No cooling system, no valve shims, no shock linkage,.. old school simplicity with modern handling.

Interesting to note that there is still plenty of meat on the bone when you consider that my ultralight BBR uses the same basic component set but is yet another 30 lbs lighter than this bike!! Most of that is the extra 12+ lbs for electric start, 8 lbs for heavier tank, shrouds and seat. 3 lbs exhaust, and the rest is for frame, steel motor mount brackets, heavier tires etc,..

I'll post up some more detail pics tomorrow.

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Awesome machine. Something like that should be built by one of the major company's. Shame that you have to custom build it,,,,, but then, you got something special. Awesome. Good workmanship and fab skills. ... However, LOL, I can't pass on it. I have a 254 , 6mm stroker, with that cam, etc, sitting in my garage. It does not have the torque of my Freeride.  Just speaking from first hand experience.  It does have an extremely smooth power delivery and long gears that I often miss. And I miss the size of it. The size of it instilled confidence. I have let my 254 stroker sit for to long, now the carb has to be cleaned out. 

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4 minutes ago, 1gr8bldr said:

Awesome machine. Something like that should be built by one of the major company's. Shame that you have to custom build it,,,,, but then, you got something special. Awesome. Good workmanship and fab skills. ... However, LOL, I can't pass on it. I have a 254 , 6mm stroker, with that cam, etc, sitting in my garage. It does not have the torque of my Freeride.  Just speaking from first hand experience.  It does have an extremely smooth power delivery and long gears that I often miss. And I miss the size of it. The size of it instilled confidence. I have let my 254 stroker sit for to long, now the carb has to be cleaned out. 

I stand corrected on the torque. I would love to ride your freeride.

I should have said the power delivery is better,.. why else would we put up with the crappy stock chassis  🤣

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32 minutes ago, Kevin Bartle said:

Hi the bike looks nice but why put KTM pds suspension it's rubbish you can't beat linkage

The linkage ratio and spring rate on the CRF230 is a lot different than that found on the linkaged suspension setups that work well.  And there are very few good options to upgrade the CRF230 shock.  So in order to use a high performance linkage suspension on one of these, you would have to adapt it onto the bike from a modern motocross bike.  And to adapt the linkage system and shock from a high performance bike would require a LOT of custom work.  The PDS setup might not be quite as good as the modern linkage shock sutups, but it is damn close.  The KTM PDS shock is significantly better than the stock shock setup that is on these CRF230s, and it is a LOT less complex to swap it on compared to swapping in a linkage setup.  

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I went one better than this, I bought a new 2016 AJP PR4 240 for $2,000 after a dealer had liquidated from closing. At this price I can always wait for a Honda CRF230F motor to show up. Until then I have fitted a full FMF exhaust, up graded cam & ignition & higher compression piston. I know it's not ultra light but it is very fun to ride.

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