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Honda 230F as first bike?

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Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this website. I recently completed a beginner MSF dirtbike course and have to say that I loved it very much. Well, at the ripe age of 36 I want to get my first dirt bike and also introduce my son to the joy of riding. He is four. Well, I just picked up a Suzuki Jr 50 so he is covered. Now for me. My specis are 5'10" and 185 pounds and in pretty decent shape. My thinking was that the Hondar CRF 230 or the comparitive Yamaha TTR230 would be the best starter bikes for me. I plan on riding probably about 80% trails with my son and then maybe a little track time for the both of us. Believe me, not a lot of air will be between the both of us. Well, enough about that.

My other thought on a first bike is a Suzuki RM125. My friend has a 2004 that he was into for a year but no longer really rides. He is looking to sell the bike. The only downs on the bike are the power as compared to the 230, it is a two stroke and is only kick start. Well, the plus side is that it is a race bike, if I want to push it a little on the track it will do just fine and in the event my wife wants to ride, I could pass it down to her and then upgrade.

Well, these are my stories. Please fire away with the any advice/comments that you may have.

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Welcome to TT!!

good luck in your search for your first bike! all i can say is stay very clear of the TTR230

the CRF outperforms it in every catagory

the 230 is a GREAT beginners bike and an excellent trail monster with gobs of tourque

and not to mention that the aftermarket is strong with the CRF 150/230

let us know how it goes!

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Welcome to TT!!

good luck in your search for your first bike! all i can say is stay very clear of the TTR230

the CRF outperforms it in every catagory

the 230 is a GREAT beginners bike and an excellent trail monster with gobs of tourque

and not to mention that the aftermarket is strong with the CRF 150/230

let us know how it goes!

Welcome to TT. Ditto. The 230 is reliable and low maintenance. My son started on a 50 also, you can chug along with the 230 with no problem. It's great on the trails and can pull like a tractor. :applause:

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Very, very easy bike to learn on. However, you may be bored after you have it for about 3-6 months and want some more juice. You will have fun on day 1 though. The bike just lacks power. I say, buy a used one, ride it for a while and if you want to move up you will probably be able to get close to what you paid.

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I would stay away from a 125 for a first bike. Also, if your gonna want to be ripping around with your son, a two stroke MX'er isn't very practical. The Honda 230f sounds like a good bike for your situation. As said before, stay away from those tt-r 230's. I like my CRF better in absolutely every way. The tt-r is like riding a couch, very awkward and the handling is a step down from the CRF. The stand up position is horrible on it too. The CRF is also a lot more torquey.

I agree with Timothy, buy it used. Ride it a year or so and sell it. Unless your acctaully quite pleased with it, keep it and mod it out. They are still very fun bikes even though they are short of power to my liking. I've been riding mine for two years now, after high school I'm either looking in to buying a 450 or doing a complete suspension conversion. Either way, I'll still keep my 230 for the trails. Goodluck on your next purchase.

-Matt:thumbsup:

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Everyone,

Thanks for the great advice. I was definitely leaning toward the Honda over the Yamaha especially towards the resale market but thanks for the info about the Yamaha. My one concern with the Honda is the suspension. I belive there is nine inches of travel front and rear. I will not be ripping off any monster jumps any time soon but can the suspension be upgraded on the Honda 230F at a reasonable cost in the future if you want to ride it a little harder in the future.

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The 230f has 9.5" of travel in the front forks and 9.0" of travel in the rear. If your not serious into jumping, BBR Fork Springs is a good alternative. I've got 20Wt oil, BBR Fork Springs and Pre-Load spacers in my forks right now. Since they have no rebound/compression settings, you have to improvise with spacers. Definetly can handle a lot more jumps and terrain than before. Springs are cheap, something like $85 US. As for the rear. BBR also makes a Heavy Duty rear spring, from what I've heard from a lot of people. That spring should be taken off the market. The heavy spring just totally over powers the shock and creates an uncontrolable rebound. There is a good alternative to that though. You can send your shock to Hlebo Bros, they'll revalve it and put on a heavy spring for $180 US. Or you can fork out the cash for a Works Shock.

-Matt

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Everyone,

Thanks for the great advice. I was definitely leaning toward the Honda over the Yamaha especially towards the resale market but thanks for the info about the Yamaha. My one concern with the Honda is the suspension. I belive there is nine inches of travel front and rear. I will not be ripping off any monster jumps any time soon but can the suspension be upgraded on the Honda 230F at a reasonable cost in the future if you want to ride it a little harder in the future.

Have to agree with Crf230 Rider about the 125. It's just not a good bike to ride with kids. Geared too high, no grunt, loads up & fouls plugs. The 230 is the best bike out there for what you're going to be doing with it IMO.

As far as suspension the rear shock is not to bad in stock condition if the preload is set riight.

For the front here's a thread I started on it: http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1940565#post1940565

Stock springs with some preload & 20-30 wt oil will get you want you want on a budget.

Welcome to TT & ride safe,

Steve

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