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Time to upgrade from the CRF230

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Had my CRF230 for a few years, and it's time to pass it to my teenage son.  A few bikes that I'm considering are: YZ250, CRF250X, KTM 250 XC-W.   The bike will be used for all trail riding, single track and some double track.  I'm about 5'8 on the heavier side, just over 200 lbs.   I've rode a CRF250X, found it somewhat similar to the 230F in low end torque and overall drivability.  I took a friends KTM 300 XC-W out and I found it had WAY too much power for mucking around in the woods.   Any suggestions or input?    

 

As far as skill level I'd say intermediate for sure. 

Edited by Jason Clark

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I went from a stock CRF230F to a hot-rodded CRF230 that was actually 247cc. Nice increase of power, but then the suspension's issues were front and center. Got a used KTM 250XCF and liked it a lot. Rode it a couple of years, sold it for about what I paid for it, and bought a KTM 300 XCW.

I am not a fast rider, I'm old and slow. But I love my 300. It is not too much motor, if you are sane with your right hand. I love how it can pull from idle up slick rocky trails.

The KTM 250 XCF has the nice KTM suspension. The engine is a bit of a Jeckle and Hide. From idle up to 5K or so, its pretty mellow. But once on the cam, its got a lot of beans.  You might try to find a 250 XCF-W, but they are not easy to find.

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If you felt the 300 had to much power a 250 2st isn't going to be much difference. Any 250 or 300 will take some time to get used to. You can't twist the throttle open like you can on your 230. You could look at a kdx200 or KTM 200 those are very good trail bikes and a nice step up from the crf230. A newer Yamaha wr250f might be something to look at to. Personally I would stay away from any mx bikes. There suspension and power characteristics don't lend them to be good trail bikes. 

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I think I need more seat time on the 300 xc-w to know for sure.  Finding the bikes to test and ride is the harder part :)

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22 hours ago, Jason Clark said:

I think I need more seat time on the 300 xc-w to know for sure.  Finding the bikes to test and ride is the harder part :)

While I was waiting for my 300 to get delivered, a buddy with a year earlier 300 said "I hated it when I first got it, took 5 hours to decide it was OK, and after 10 hours, you can't get me to give it up". Especially if you are coming from a four stroke, the lack of engine braking is hard to get used to, even if you know to expect it. And it takes time to get used to how the motor pulls in response to the throttle.

IMHO no "test ride" is going to be enough. What you need is a riding buddy with a 300 and swap bikes back and forth on a long ride.

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Your best bet to keep the same riding demeanor is another four stroke. I have both a KTM 300 and Husaberg 250 four stoke that is the same as a KTM 250 XCF-W. Both are great but the 250 has a smoother power band and is easier to handle. I had to learn how not to twist to far in the 300 to stay out of trouble. In the 250, you have to twist farther and wait a bit longer before things can get scary.

 

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I just upgraded from an XR200 to a 300 XC. I find the powerband pretty manageable. I'll agree that it's more power than I will ever to be able to use in the woods, but the real reason to get the 300 is the low end. It's got enough grunt that you can almost just ride it like a 4-stroke. But you still get all the maintenance advantages of a 2-stroke. For where I ride at least (Colorado), this is the absolute perfect trail bike.

If you really don't want the 300, I can also second the recommendation for a KDX, although for where I ride, the 220 is much better than the 200 - much more low end. My buddy has a KDX 220 that I've ridden a couple times, and it is definitely an excellent trail bike - most definitely the best value.

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250 four stroke woods bike would most likely have an easier power band but I don’t think you can beat the 300 for trail riding. I just think the motor is so good for everywhere. Like someone said I’m sure it would take getting used to over a doughy 230 but I think you’ll find it’s a good getting used too. 

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