CRF 230 vs modified xr 200

My wife rides a '94 XR 200 thats been bored and stroked, torque cam, valves and springs by Powroll (made it a 215 1/4). Huge bottom end improvement.It has progressive fork springs and is CA street licesenced. She is a very good "C" rider. Loves single track & technical stuff. Would the 230 be enough of an improvement (e-start, brakes, just newer, etc) to warrent the $$$ and the extra weight(doesn't want more weight). She can kick start the XR fine when she chooses to follow the drill. I would have to add the cost of plating the 230. My other thought is a 250x. I would have to lower it and plate it, with a much higher initial cost. But then I could ride it!!! Thanks

Hey, I have all three of the bikes you have mentioned. Modified 200, modified 230, and a piped and jetted stock 250X. It's a no-brainer. Get the X. Install a KoubaLink, drop the front forks, maybe shave the seat foam and she/you will be in heaven. The 250 is well worth the extra bucks as it is a universe away from the 230. Clint

Just Bought a 230 for myself, I have ridden the XR200 and my brother has a crf250r. With some modifications the 230 will be a big improvement over the XR. The 230 is alot more stable than the XR and with a spring and fork spring update, to stiffen up the ride, the 230 is alot more bike than the 200. As for the CRF250X or R She better hold on tight, even out of the crate they both deliver alot of torque and alot of suspension. Either way its a Honda, you just can't loose.

by altering the geometry to gain a foothold, wouldn't that alter the handling, for which this bike is legendary in this respect ?

If I do something as simple as moving the back wheel all the way to the front, vs all the way to the rear of the swingarm, I can already feel how my front end is behaving.

Get the X. Install a KoubaLink, drop the front forks, maybe shave the seat foam and she/you will be in heaven. The 250 is well worth the extra bucks as it is a universe away from the 230. Clint
by altering the geometry to gain a foothold, wouldn't that alter the handling, for which this bike is legendary in this respect ?

If I do something as simple as moving the back wheel all the way to the front, vs all the way to the rear of the swingarm, I can already feel how my front end is behaving.

If the front and rear are lowered equally the handling wont be affected much at all, except to make it rail the corners. I had my KTM 400exc lowered 1 1/2 " by Dicks Racing and love it. The frame and footpeg clearence are lower but I can touch the ground now (verticlly challenged) and I can hold inside lines and off camber stuff much better. Maybe it's in my head, but whatever works...

having raced enduro on a 81 xr 200r, and comparing it to my boys 03 crf 230,which i've uncorked,rejetted and modified the susp. i would go with my old xr if given the choice. especially a modded one as is yours. the crf is a beached whale(weighs more than my wr450!), they retain little resale value,and trade in on a 1 yr old bike barely used was half of what it cost new(tried trading up last yr.). so we're stuck with it t'ill payoff. if the e-start is not an issue ,i see no performance gains by you going from what you have to a crf 230. maybe a xr 400 might be a option? i see alot of women riding the 400's where i ride. :cry:

your problem with resale value is not with the CRF230, it's with where you decided to go to get rid of it. For the convenience of trade-in, you don't get full face value of it, because the dealer needs to make a profit. the dealer is more inclined to take a crf230 in as trade than an xr250. That should say how the well the CRF230's sell.

i've been trading bikes for over 30 yrs,and know what your saying. the dealer did not even want it back!. some people might like the 230 but as far as a improvement over a xr; NO,i really ,really wish i rode this bike before we bought it for my son,it was a very large disappointment. the nearest comparison i could make was a xl 185 that my cousin used to ride. i'm just tryin' to keep this feller's wife happy (thats hard to do that when you give her something thats worse than what she has) ride one first(230) is all i got to tell ya :cry:


As you can see by the replys to your post, it is difficult to obtain a non-biased opinion on the decision you are trying to make concerning a possible new mount for your wife. I read through all of the thread and was LOL with some of the responses!!

Now here comes mine! My wife rides off road like your wife. My wife will never be a competitive rider and is very happy with her TTR-125E. My feelings toward some of the other reply's is that people will tend to steer you toward what THEY like or ride at the moment, not necessarily what would be best for someone else.

Ultimately I think your wife will need to choose for herself.

I feel the CRF230 is a positive improvement over the XR200, for many reasons other than the e-start. Obviously others feel differently, thats whats so nice about this site, being able to get so many different opinions.

XR400?? Must have one of the tallest seat heights of any bike ever made. If your wife is through with kick starting, can you imagine her trying to start this bike? after a spill????

CRF250R/X?? Nice competition bike, very tall low gear, mucho $$$$ and questionable reliability. Maybe another trip to ALL of the dealers and some leg overs is in your future. There are many bikes to choose from, so have fun and let her in on what you feel is in her best interest, and what will work best for the majority of the riding she enjoys. I like to inform people to try and get the right tool for the job, kinda like at work.

Many people are persuaded to purchase competition based bikes as much for their ego and what their friends may think, rather than for what will really suit their needs.

Good luck and have fun !!

i would like an explanation of what on earth is better about the crf 230 than a xr200 thats been bored and stroked,cams etc... the 230's susp?? is a dang laugh on the crf(theres not even any adjustment) i'm pretty sure they were adjustable on the xr's,and the forks twist like a pretzal if you even drive up to a set of whoops. brakes, drums in the rear...power delivery ?? are you you crazy,i've uncorked,re-jetted,re-geared(54 rear) and it barely gets out of its own way. i'm gonna try a rev box next,maybe that'll help it!! whats dry weight on a xr 200?? 225 lbs?? the crf230 weighs near to 270 with oil. don't believe me ?? put it on a scale!! about the only thing this bike does well is go up a snot covered hill,because of its lack of wheelspin and all that weight holding it down. and you can't tell me that the crf 230 is technologicaly advanced,because its the same dang motor they been building since god knows when. so fill me in on what is better,please!! :cry: and you can lower the susp significantly on any bike. i just don't see how anyone could be happy with that kinda upgrade? if you don't mind a 2-smoke you might look at the kdx 220,awesome bike for the woods. my buddies kid rides one and he's 5'4" and 100 lbs soaking wet,the suspension is very plush. and with just a few mods its faster than most 250 4 strokes. and heres the big bonus,its one of the cheapest real bikes goin' at $4k :cry:

My wife had a stcck XR200. She is a pretty good rider, she can ride most trails I take her on in the CA desert. I like tight technical stuff and she does alright with it. THe biggest drawback with the XR200 was getting it started after stalling on a hill. SHe's only 5'2" and it would sometimes be an issue.

I just bought her a CRF230, mainly because I felt I got a good deal on it and also just because it looks more up to date that the 200. The first ride we took she did just fine. She likes the bike even though it's 20 lbs. heavier. The real test came when she killed it on a hill. It was a ridge and we needed to turn around and it was a road to nowhere. In order to turn around she needed to back it down the side of the ridge slightly. Normally this would have been a turnaround I would have to do for her. She would never be able to start it in that position. With the electric start, she was able to start it while off the bike and power it up to the trail before getting on it. That told me right there the value of the ES for her.

She thinks it was plenty of power and handle better than the 200, but that's just her opinion.

Her 200 is CA licensed too and I hate to let it go because I don't think there's an easy way right now to get the 230 licensed. Not so sure that special construction avenue will work.


Do you really need someone to inform you of all of the improvements there are on a CRF230 over an XR200?? The clear thing here is that you need to take a much closer look at your 230. And if its really as slow as you claim, you might want to take it to someone that can figure out what may be wrong with it, or possibly what you did wrong to it ! 270 lbs, I don't think so. Amazingly, I weighed my bike with my "calibrated" bathroom scale years ago and again just now. I have removed a few little parts with the power-up mods, but it has about a 1/2 tank of fuel. Scale says 237lbs.

My Honda manual claims 237 lbs too.......... huh.

If your bike really weighs 270 lbs as you claim, I can see where that extra weight could be cutting into some of the performance and handling !!

MAybe some Brazilian prankster filled your bikes frame tubes and swing arm full of lead when it was assembled??

I have had my share of XR200's and modded them too. They were and are good bikes. But the CRF230 is much improved in many ways, and the new bike LOOKS so much better and modern !! The e-start is also a big bonus for most, and is well worth the extra tonnage. Obviously they are not for every one! You claim to have tried to sell or trade yours already. If you really dislike it so, it will eventually find a new home.

Thanks everybody for all your thoughts !!! Nothing is set in stone yet but I think her little XR 215 1/4 is going to get her through another season. It's still a really fun bike and hopefully 2006 will show up with something thats a big improvement. As much as I would love to have that 250X in the stable she really does'nt need that much bike. But NEED sure is subjective.

I like the 230 as its a nice trail bike with electric start which is why my wife likes it too. In riding both the 200 and the 230 you can quickly tell the 230 is easier to ride and just flat works better for learning riders. Your wife will find a CRF250x like being on a works bike as compared to her old XR, better for competition also. The new 250X is really easy to ride with good low end and no big hit in the powerband, have the wife ride one. Now I have to go to the garage and weight my 230 to see how it feels so light when compared to my WR450?

My buddy, Jeff, rides a modded XR200. The motor was bored and stroked and is now a 218cc, torque cam, custom exhaust, supertrapp muffler, longer/stiffer fork springs, longer shock, emulators in the forks. This bike is a perfect height and weight for aggressive ladies riding woods. Jeff has raced it in the 40+ unlimited vintage MX and done very well against all the Cr's and YZ's. Mostly because of rider skill and it is easy to ride. Check out Powroll's website and the XR200 page., products, XR200, half-way down.

Don't let people try to talk you into a motocross conversion(X). I've ridden 2 of them and they are great if you're a racer and 5'10" or taller and have a fat wallet. Stock(corked up) they don't seem to have near the bottom end of an XR250 and rely on rpm for speed. The 230 does have a displacement and ergonomic advantage but is still overweight and sluggish but does have the e-start. Jeff's XR218 puts a smile on my face every time I ride it.

Good luck.


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