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CRF230F vs CRF250X

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I know, I know, they're really not comparable. But help me out here. I currently ride a '94 XR250R and a '99 XR200R. I enjoy the 250 but it is a little large for me (5'8" 150 lbs) and I feel like I'm constantly fighting the thing to stay upright. I'm also not an expert rider. In the woods, I can go almost anywhere on the xr200. But it is a little small, underpowered, and the suspension is like jumping on a pogo stick. I'm going to upgrade to something this spring and am looking at CRF250X and the CRF230F. My fear for the 250 is that it will be too tall. My fear for the 230 is that it will be too weak in the motor and suspension. Keep in mind, I'm 41 and mostly like to ride trails (not trials) in the Alabama woods. That means rocks, leaves, mud, roots, bogs, and short steep hills. What do you guru's recommend? Will I be giving up too much with the 230, or getting too much with the 250? I'm guessing that either bike will probably be a step up from the XR250 though.

Keep Ridin'

John B.

Huntsville, AL

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CRM114,

I feel the CRF230 will fill your needs better than the CRF250R/X. You are used to XR's. You like their reliabilty and their power delivery. The CRF250 will be taller than any of the other bikes.

You could lower it, but the power delivery is what I feel you will dislike the most. The CRF250 has a 2 stroke powerband, and very little low rpm torque. I know because I have ridden them. Stock and modified ones. Yes, they are fast. From what I read, your age, size, weight, skill level and intended use, you would really enjoy the CRF230.

The CRF230 is a significantly improved/evolved XR200. It has the CR/CRF front disc brake and a much improved suspension over the XR200. It has near equal peak power to a stock XR250 but with with an even wider power band, an improved 6 speed tranny, plus e-start!

If you have a dealer that will allow you to test ride one, please do.

For every reader on this site you will get a different opinion. Heres mine. Too many guys ( especially younger guys!) purchase bikes with their ego's. The CRF250R/X is a race bike. Are you going to race? Most all of these bikes (race bikes) are never ridden to near their potential. They are very expensive to purchase, very high maintenance, and most CRF250/450 owners would probably have more FUN on these trail bikes when used in areas like you mentioned, but their ego's won't allow them to admit it!

Thats my $.02

Good luck with your decision. Ride safely.

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CRM114,

I feel the CRF230 will fill your needs better than the CRF250R/X. You are used to XR's. You like their reliabilty and their power delivery. The CRF250 will be taller than any of the other bikes.

You could lower it, but the power delivery is what I feel you will dislike the most. The CRF250 has a 2 stroke powerband, and very little low rpm torque. I know because I have ridden them. Stock and modified ones. Yes, they are fast. From what I read, your age, size, weight, skill level and intended use, you would really enjoy the CRF230.

The CRF230 is a significantly improved/evolved XR200. It has the CR/CRF front disc brake and a much improved suspension over the XR200. It has near equal peak power to a stock XR250 but with with an even wider power band, an improved 6 speed tranny, plus e-start!

If you have a dealer that will allow you to test ride one, please do.

For every reader on this site you will get a different opinion. Heres mine. Too many guys ( especially younger guys!) purchase bikes with their ego's. The CRF250R/X is a race bike. Are you going to race? Most all of these bikes (race bikes) are never ridden to near their potential. They are very expensive to purchase, very high maintenance, and most CRF250/450 owners would probably have more FUN on these trail bikes when used in areas like you mentioned, but their ego's won't allow them to admit it!

Thats my $.02

Good luck with your decision. Ride safely.

Thats the best review of the CRF230F Ive ever read,makes me happy I have one,I take my first post back,get the 230!!!!

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I used to ride a CR250 and absolutely love the balls out thrill of speed and the power delivery on the pipe... I bought a CRF230 to have a fun bike to actually be able to ride on the trails and have not regretted the decision at all. It's has plenty of pull off the line, yeah the suspension is a littl elacking, but there are fixes for that and really, I wasn't looking for another MX bike. I don't need to fly through the air so much anymore... besides, I keep a CR125 around for that!

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Couldn't recommend the X over a WR (I've ridden one & prefer it over the X not to mention reliability). If you were to go that direction.

My best guess is the best bike for you is my by 230. No I'm not selling it just saying you'd love it. It's uncorcked & has the Works Pro series shock on the back. I also have RaceTech emulators in the forks which give some compression adjustability.

It has plenty of low end for trails & picking up the front end in 1st & 2nd. It's outclimbed much bigger bikes. Lot's of low end torque. Make it easier to ride slow than the 250. Ride a gear high & work on being smooth & the speed will come.

It was mine but my son rides it now & I often have trouble catching him on my 400 when it gets twisty. I do find the big bore bikes just as easy or easier to ride than the 230 because of the low end torque on the steep, twisty, rooted rocky & rutted trails. It does take more throttle control to keep from getting into trouble but more grins for the twist. :applause:

Lot's of helpful people here. Welcome to TT.

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Guys,

This is exactly the kind of dialog I was looking for. I've been leaning towards the 230 for exactly the reasons mentioned but was concerned about the suspension and engine as stated. Your replies have alleviated that concern. Especially since I love to tinker and upgrade. If I get a 230 I get to upgrade. If I get a 250X I have to downgrade.

And I have to admit, my ego was probably the only thing really pushing me towards the 250. Especially since my 14 year old son is now as tall as me and rides my XR250 better than I do. Time to let go a little I suppose. And I figure if I got the 250X, he'd just jump on it and blast off and I'd still be riding 'his' XR200R - which I do in fact enjoy more than 'my' XR250R. At least, I can still wax his tail in soccer... but not for long.

Thanks so much. These bikes are $$$, so I don't want to get the wrong one. I do have a chance to ride both and will be doing so over the next few weeks. I'll post a 'review' for everyone to see how an old-guy compares the two mounts.

Keep Ridin'

John

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I was in the same boat as you. In my early years I rode YZ125, XR250s, etc. Took 20 years off and got back into riding 2 years ago. I bought a 05 CRF230 then uncorked it, BBR pipe and springs. Loved the bike. Then the ego got involved. My riding buddies were on CRF250Xs and 450X. So I go and get a CRF250X. Fast and powerful. After owning it for 3 months low and behold I need all new valves. $1,100 dollars later its running again. Fast and fun. So off I go on the local MX track with the ego as big as my repair bill trying to keep up with guys 20yrs younger. Pushing my "ego" enhanced ability to the limits. Last corner, planted my leg in the mud, gave it some throttle and "POP" . . . complete ACL tear on my left knee.

It's been a year off the bike and now I'm getting back on my CRF230. Just purchased a CR85 front end and will stick to trail riding and enjoying the sport.

Don't leg your EGO drive your purchase. Take a long hard look at the type of riding, how often you will go, and an honest assesment of you ability before making a purchase.

Good luck . . .

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get a 230 and mod it. my dad is 6'4" and appx 210lbs and he hauls a$$ on his 230. he pulled the snorkel and baffle and rejetted, '80s CR250 forks, an adjustale XR250 shock. its awesome. has 12inches of travel in the front, all adjustable, great power. and only cost $2-300 in mods. if you are into modding you will have loads of fun with the crf230. its an awesome little bike.

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Interesting contrast between the replies on the 230 forum, and the 250X forum. Here, it's mostly, "the 230 is a fun bike", "you'll enjoy it a lot", "make an honest assessment", etc. Over there it is, "the 250 kicks @#!", "tons of power", "fast", "go, go, go", etc. One guy even said he didn't do too well on the 250 for a while but he's getting better. I appreciate that, but I can't afford the injuries that come with getting that kind of better. I want to ride trails, jump in the local clay pit, and run an enduro now and then. Thanks.

Keep Ridin'

John

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as the owner of a 250f and a 230 let me tell you from what youve told us youd have more fun on a 230

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I currently own a slightly modded 230f, all I can say is I don't think there would be a better bike on the planet for my needs. It pulls like a tractor down low and will climb anything. The only thing I feel is holding it back is the poor suspension. I added BBR Fork Springs which definately helped, but it still has very limited suspension. At first, I found the bike to be very mellow. After I piped and jetted it, it really woke up. With a new set of tires, it handled like a different bike. The way it is set up now, I love it. With a few mods, a 230f can be turned into a serious trail machine. Goodluck in your next purchase.

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husky 250 what year the xr250 shock your dad use on the 230??

im not sure exactly. i think it was an early 90s, and im pretty sure it was an XR250. i just scanned ebay until he found some nice looking shocks. the seller put length measurements(from bolt to bolt hole) and it was the same. thinking about it, i wanna say for some reason it was either a XR250/400 or maybe an xr600...but i think they are all the same length.

if you check ebay you can usually find some good deals. just make sue you type it any way you can think of, (like XR250, XR 250, XR250r, XR 250r) so that you dont miss any, its kinda a pain but worth it if you can get a good deal. i got mine for $120 and it was in like perfect shape.

another note, try to get one with a hose for the reservoir, otherwise it wont fit.

good luck and feel free to ask any other questions. (my dads 230 is actually mine, but he bought it off me so i could get the husky, now he rides it) so i know most of the mods

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get a 230 and mod it. my dad is 6'4" and appx 210lbs and he hauls a$$ on his 230. he pulled the snorkel and baffle and rejetted, '80s CR250 forks, an adjustale XR250 shock. its awesome. has 12inches of travel in the front, all adjustable, great power. and only cost $2-300 in mods. if you are into modding you will have loads of fun with the crf230. its an awesome little bike.

god dam u could just about race that thing haha

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Yeah, if the xr250 is tall, then you wouldn't like the crf250x. I sat on one(5'8'') and it felt decent, but still on tips of toes, and not to mention, I have REALLY long legs for my size. Some guys told me at the OHV park that the xr200 motor in his bike beat the 230's. I said no way, I hopped on and it was probably only 70% of what mine has. The 230 also has a way better tranny i hear.

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Yeah, if the xr250 is tall, then you wouldn't like the crf250x. I sat on one(5'8'') and it felt decent, but still on tips of toes, and not to mention, I have REALLY long legs for my size. Some guys told me at the OHV park that the xr200 motor in his bike beat the 230's. I said no way, I hopped on and it was probably only 70% of what mine has. The 230 also has a way better tranny i hear.

I rode my 2002 XR200 (1990 fork and 1984 shock), a then-new 2006 CRF230 (jetted and piped), and a TTR225 all the same day last fall.

The TTR was terrible so I won't even talk about it.

Figure that the XR200 gives up 30cc to the CRF but gains a full point of compression ratio. It's also 15lbs lighter. Both bikes felt about the same speed.

What suprised me about the CRF230 was the rear shock. For a non-adjustable spring-on-a-stick, it felt better damped and more controlable than the adjustable boinger on my 200.

Both forks were pitiful.

Obviously the front brake on the CRF was better than the drum on the 200.

Idealy, I'd like the XR200 bottom end (no goofy electric start) with the CRF230 barrel and a hi-comp piston. The XR200 can be punched to a 218 but that's about it.

My 2 cents.

"O"

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If I get a 250X I have to downgrade.

When you say this do you mean lower the bike?

I also have a CRF230 and a 250f - Husqvarna TE250.

Came from a KLR250 which was my first bike, just started riding and am also in my 40's. The CRF230 suspension is much much better than the KLR250 and is much much lighter.

Economics:

A new 250f is 2x (WAG) in cost as a new 230 which may make a difference. You have already indicated suspension is a concern and you would need to upgrade that - I agree. You seem to have some time since you already have bikes. Personally I would take a step back and make a list of what would be needed to do to each bike and estimated costs - including any tax, license fees, and labor you would not be doing. Then take a look 3 or 6 years from now and make a wag what each bike might be worth - if that is important to you.

I am not tall at all and don't ride hard so am having my suspension re-valved and for an extra $50 while doing the re-valve they will lower both ends - putting in a limiting spacer which is completely reversible... It will reduce the suspension travel up if it is re-valved then the amount of stroke needed will not be as great. My goal is to soak up the little chatter, minimize brake dive, and soak up the big stuff too. If lowering the suspension is not enough then some more can be obtained by stepping the seat - cutting some foam out near the low part of the seat.

If you get a 250f then you might want to get some preliminary pricing regarding a re-valve and lowering - that seems to cost anywhere from $300 to $1300, and of course some realistic estimates regarding different suspension (both ends) for the 230 which I have no clue.

There will be misc stuff like taller bars on the 230 if you think it is cramped, bark busters, etc. Skid plates? Radiator guards? (250f)...

Here are some Wags:

250f - $7000? otd + $500? suspension = $7500?

230f - $3500? otd + $1500? suspension = $5000?

Repeat these are Wags - no clue what the real numbers are.

Medical

Yes - you can get hurt riding. Loaned my xr100 to a friend and his kid ran it into something at speed and put her in the hospital for a few days. I put a smaller CS on my 250f as an experiment and it would lift the front way easy. Rode tired, very tired, got off balance (on flat ground) and whacked the throttle. Bike lifted up - went right - and foot peg slammed my leg just above the ankle breaking both tib and fib in many places. Was off work for a while.

But while in the orthopedics everyone there had broken bones from stepping off a curb wrong or similar non-riding type reasons.

As a side note - I had super sticky trials tires that would not slip at all which had a lot do do with the leg break too.

Torque

When first got my 250f it had about the same as the 230 on the very low end, but of course would quickly accelerate. Pretty much dialed in for enduros & trail riding at speed. For my 'slow' enjoy the scenery riding style my preference is to have the bike 'lift the front end over the little log' set up.

I spent a huge amount of time playing with the jetting and can assure you there is all the low end that I will ever need. It took that long because I knew nothing about Keihin carbs or any carbs with an AP. The search for low end performance was the reason for the smaller CS (see above). I could re-jet a carb now for my liking in a few minutes, and just did for someone last week after riding it for a short time.

Capabilities:

250f for sure - but the 230f will do just fine too. If you have not seen it watch the video in the first post of this thread:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=473167

Which brand:

My personal choice is crf230 or TE250, if not the TE250 then the WR250f. Orange bikes seem good but I am shallow and still cannot deal with the color... I have had multiple red/blue/green bikes and now the Husky - I am a bike whore and have no loyalty.

How would each work for you:

Test ride - the only way I know of. Even then the set up of each bike will affect how you like it. However everyone had me convinced that a particular bike was best for me based on TT discussions - 30 second test ride and hated it...

What would I do:

With a xr100, ttr125le, crf230, and TE250 in the garage - most of which are for the kids - the last bike to be sold will be the TE250. It really is a whole lot of fun, and just because the bike can be ridden very fast by a good rider - it can be ridden slow just fine. I would buy the exact same model in a heart beat - the fact that it comes with a license plate is icing on the cake.

Tough choice dude...

.

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