Some ttr 230 questions

I am about to order a couple of '09 ttr 230's for my son and I. He is 13 and I haven't ridden in over 25 years. As my call sign indicates we are interested in riding trails near where we live in Western Oregon and some desert riding in Eastern Oregon. Not interested in racing or any extreme riding. I, (we) have put a lot of research into what bikes to get, including some email dialog with actual owners of this model, and I am comfortable with the decision to go with the 230s. So this is NOT a question about whether or not this is the right bike. If you feel the need to push a Honda or the WRs, please don't bother doing it here. Having said that, if Yamaha made a single cylinder, two valve, air cooled, ttr 400, I'd buy that for me in a second. But they don't, and neither does anyone else, so I am addressing this to people who own and/or ride the ttr 230:

I do not plan to "uncork" the bikes; at least not anytime soon. But I have read quite a bit about the gearing, particularly the very low 1st. I am thinking about having the dealership change out the counter sprockets to 14 tooth before the bikes are assembled and rear wheel mounted. Figure it must be pretty simple at that point. Here are my questions:

1. Is this really worth doing? Will it make it easier for my son to learn on? (He hasn't driven a clutch yet.) Will we lose any hill climbing abilities by doing this? We are not interested in "top end" riding so that gain is irrelevant to us.

2. Is this change advisable w/out uncorking? Or do you need the extra power before you can make the change in gearing?

3. If the dealership won't do it, or says it will void the warranty, how difficult a change is it to do? Does the chain/rear wheel need to be removed? I do not consider myself an accomplished mechanic; but I usually do all the maintenance on my vehicles and can do most small stuff if I have good instructions and pics. But I'm a little more hesitant to tear into brand new stuff lest I screw it up. :excuseme:

I'd like to say thanks in advance. This is an awesome sight and I have been visiting it for months and it has been a huge help in making this decision. I have some more questions but I know this is really long so I appreciate those of you who have read it and can help with some objective feedback.

you are on the right track. you do need to change the front sprocket from the start. don't worry about bottom end, these things have ton's. i am not goint to try to sell you on re-jetting but i am 5'10 and 220lbs. and it made a night and day difference. also if you do not ride alot i would suggest a battery tender. don't pay the stealership to change you sprockets, you can do it a whole lot cheaper.

you are on the right track. you do need to change the front sprocket from the start. don't worry about bottom end, these things have ton's. i am not goint to try to sell you on re-jetting but i am 5'10 and 220lbs. and it made a night and day difference. also if you do not ride alot i would suggest a battery tender. don't pay the stealership to change you sprockets, you can do it a whole lot cheaper.

Thanks for that input. How tough is it to change the counter sprocket? And does that require any other changes? Does a battery tender just keep a trickle charge on them 24/7 so they don't lose the charge? Apologies for my ignorance.

if you didnt want to buy a battery tender I would suggest just starting the bikes once a week and letting them run for ten minutes. as for the sprocket I still have the original one and dont plan on changin it any time soon, but with a new chain if you change the sprocket all you may have to do is adjust the tension as apposed to adding or removing a link

Thanks. You say you don't plan to change the original? I take it the gearing works okay for you? We have a lot of hills around here and like I said, one of my main concerns is ease of learning for my son, not out and out performance.

I think it is a great begginer bike as well as advanced riders, I believe it will handle any hill you want to tackle. I have never had a speed or power issue, but my style is to putt around in 1st or 2nd gear. just for fun if your baffle in the exhaust is as easy as the 07 to take out one 10 mil screw, it makes it sounder a little meaner, cant tell i gain anything but it sounds big, lol

you don't need anything special to change the counter sprocket. only like 4 or 5 bolts to get covers and sprocket off. and the countershaft is keyed so you can't screw it up. and the stock chain will work. it will just need to be adjusted. the problem with the stock gear is that the bike is too jumpy. even with my weight there is no hill that i have yet to find that i cannot climb. heck there are alot of times i have to darn near stop in the middle of a huge hill in the mark twain nat. forest and the bike will take right off. i wouldn't pull the exhaust baffle out, just makes the bike anoying.

you don't need anything special to change the counter sprocket. only like 4 or 5 bolts to get covers and sprocket off. and the countershaft is keyed so you can't screw it up. and the stock chain will work. it will just need to be adjusted. the problem with the stock gear is that the bike is too jumpy. even with my weight there is no hill that i have yet to find that i cannot climb. heck there are alot of times i have to darn near stop in the middle of a huge hill in the mark twain nat. forest and the bike will take right off. i wouldn't pull the exhaust baffle out, just makes the bike anoying.

Wow. You are 220 and it will still climb hills with the 14 tooth? But that is after uncorking, right? I'm about 180 w/out gear or backpack. Would it still have power enough to pull me up some steep inclines with the 14 tooth and no other modifications? Meaning not uncorked? I do appreciate the info. Thanks!

I have an '08 TT-R230. All I've done to it is change the front sprocket to a 14t (very easy to do - no other changes required) and re-jet it. You'll still have plenty of bottom end with a 14t front sprocket. The bike is geared ridiculously low from the factory. First gear is just about useless with a 13t front sprocket.

Re-jetting is a little more complicated than changing the sprocket but it made a world of difference. The bike now starts easier, runs better, and is a lot easier to ride. Before re-jetting it took ~10 minutes of warm up time before an inexperienced rider could get it going without stalling the engine. Now, one minute is long enough. If you don't want to tackle the re-jetting and are concerned about the warranty, wait until the warranty expires (it's only 90 days) then hire someone to re-jet the bikes for you.

Thanks, David. When you say all you did was re-jet it, does that mean you didn't change anything with the air intake or exhaust? If that is the case, what changes in the jetting did you make? I know there is a lot of info on completely uncorking it, but it sounds like you may have just re-jetted and I'm wondering if there would be something different about that vs. the doing the whole sha-bang?

All I did was change the jets. I didn't drill holes in the airbox or modify the exhaust like some do. I used the jets in the following links.

http://www.boats.net/parts/detail/Y-288-14343-65-00.html

http://www.boats.net/parts/detail/Y-43F-14342-19-00.html

Here's a link to an article with a lot of pictures showing how to re-jet and also the airbox and exhaust mods.

http://dirtbike.off-road.com/dirtbike/Features/Project-Yamaha-TTR230---Part-3---Dirt-bike-breathi/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/453706?contextCategoryId=46428

Thanks again, David. That dirtbike site was great. Very detailed, which I like. Maybe after we have the bikes for a few months we'll decide to go the route of re-jetting. I rode one at the dealership today and I think it will be plenty until my son is comfortable and I get back in the groove of riding. I guess I do have one further clarification, if you don't mind. I was under the impression that you have to do both, meaning if you open the air and exhaust up, you need to re-jet or it will run too lean. I guess I assumed that also meant that if you re-jetted w/out opening the air up it would run much too rich. But apparently that is not the case? Either way, it's nice to know we can get more out of these engines should we decide we need to. And it's really cool to be able to get advice from people who actually own and ride these bikes.

I'll lay out the few changes I have made to my TT-R 230 that I think are worthwhile:

1: The 14 tooth front sprocket - stretches out the usefulness of 2nd gear for virtually every low speed situation - carving it up in deep sand = 2nd gear. Charging a steep, rocky, rutted hill = 2nd gear. Tractoring out of mud = 2nd gear. With the extra tooth, you get the additional momentum you need for ugly situations without having to compromise torque by being in the next higher gear. The TT-R 230 LIKES a 14 tooth front sprocket. Changing it is easy. Remove the shift lever, remove the sprocket cover, remove the sprocket retaining bolts - remove the sprocket. Installation is the reverse of disassembly.

2: A real bash plate. The only one you can find anywhere is the Ricochet plate from Utah Sport Cycle. It's good. Installs easily, and offers excellent protection, while gliding easily over logs and junk.

3: Custom fork and shock springs from Cannon Racecraft. Having the right rate springs for your weight makes rough terrain easy. There are some rocky hills you can't climb without carrying enough speed, but with that right speed and undersprung suspension, you'll get knocked on your head. With the correct spring rates, the suspension soaks it up, and does the hard work for you.

4: Tusk T-6 aluminum handlebar, mini high bend. Mini bar? Yes. The bar is maybe 2 inches narrower than a MX bar (not that much), but its height and width suit the TT-R 230 perfectly for stand up riding in tight areas, and give great control and reach for stupid flatland stunts like hoiking wheelies and doing donuts. Get some Tusk aluminum handguards while you're at it to save your levers from tip-overs and high speed forest landscaping re-arrangement.

5: Exhaust stopper, airbox snorkel, and carb rejet: Makes a difference, but not as big a difference as you might hope.

That's it. After that, the best thing you can do is change the oil, clean the air filter, and keep the valves adjusted.

I guess I assumed that also meant that if you re-jetted w/out opening the air up it would run much too rich. But apparently that is not the case?

That's not the case at all - at least not the case here in Louisiana where we are less than 300' above sea level.

The TT-R 230s are jetted terribly lean from the factory. After re-jetting our bike starts easier, warms up quicker, doesn't stall as easily and just runs better in general.

Thanks Banda and David. We had been thinking of skid plates and I imagine we will invest in those. The suspension is another thing I expect we'll deal with at some point if it's not too technical to change out. Probably the sprockets too once we are off warranty. Have to see about the re-jetting. We live at 860' elevation and will probably ride at 1,000' or more most of the time. The desert in eastern Oregon is 3,000' and up. Probably the only time we'd be at or close to sea level would be if we go over to the coast to play on the beach and in the sand dunes. Someone, I think the dealer, said these aren't powerful enough for the dunes but would be fine on the hard sand of the beach. Either way, it would be rare to take them in that direction. Much more riding at 1,000' and up. Not sure how much effect that will have on the carburetion, if any. Any idea on the cost of front and rear springs x 2 from Cannon? How difficult a switch out is that? (Remember, for a novice to do!) :banghead:

Any idea on the cost of front and rear springs x 2 from Cannon? How difficult a switch out is that? (Remember, for a novice to do!) :banghead:

http://cannonracecraft.com/catalog2/product_info.php?products_id=239

I've never tried to switch out springs. The shock looks like it would be easy enough. No clue about the forks. I've never had a set of forks apart.

David's right - the shock is easy. It requires no special tools or techniques. Just have to remove a bunch of stuff to get the shock off - the rear fender, the airbox, the bottom linkage and dogbones. Having all that apart is a good opportunity to inspect and pack the linkage bearings with fresh lube.

The fork is not hard either, just messy. After removing the front wheel and brake caliper, the fork legs come off. Then you remove the rubber fork caps, and dig out the snap ring that retains the actual metal fork cap. Springs come right out, along with much of your fork oil. New oil goes in first, then new springs, then it's a two person job to replace the metal fork cap and the snap ring.

I paid $350 for my custom shock and fork springs. I installed them myself in about 2.5 hours with a brief extra hand for the snap ring installations.

I recommend to rejet immediatly. If your ttr cools off overnight in an unheated garage and it is below 50*F, don't expect to get it started. After I rejetted I could barely pull my finger of the button before it started.

It'll be a good time for your son to enjoy working on the bike! May be a good time to invest in a decent torque wrench; nothing worse than a loose/floppy shift lever or a front sprocket that falls off.

Just Trails:

All these suggested mods are great and you can go there if you want, but the bike can be ridden right from the dealer, without mods. I have a TW200 and my son rode a TTR125LE and recently graduated to the TTR230. I'm 47 and my son is 14. I rode bikes 20 years ago and wanted to do the same thing you describe. We ride trails and some steeper rocky terrain in the foothills. I never did anything to his TTR125 other than hand guards. On this forum, everyone rejets the TTR125, but he rode his unmodded one and had lots of power and fun. The TTR230 - I rejeted - why - because I was curious, like to tinker and it didn't cost much. Would I recommend rejetting? Yes and no, at higher altitudes the bike doesn't need to be enriched (which is what the rejetting does) and you can tweak the leanness but just removing the idle mixture cap hiding the idle mixture screw. The idle mixture screw is protected from adjustment so it meets the emissions check and runs lean. If you pop out the brass cap over the screw you can richen up the mixture and it starts better and runs a little better. My TW200 is the same, and by only adjusting the idle mixture screw (no rejetting) I have a great running bike. So the rejet is up to you, but not necessary. If you rejet, you need more air flow (modding the air intake box to open it up) and less restriction on the exhaust (removing the muffler insert).

Sprockets, chains and such. Just ride the bike. Sure you can buy a oring chain and change the front and rear sprockets, but the bike works fine the way it is too. If you need to mod the sprockets, then do it based on what is not working for you, not what everyone else is doing. My son's stock gearing takes him up steep rocky slopes and I can't keep up to him on the flat stuff.

Springs, changing them out already? Yikes. Have you found the stock setup doesn't work for you? Just ride the bikes.

It's easy to get caught up in modding the bike, especially with all the options and access to knowledge and experience of others, but ride the bikes and see how they work. You will have fun on a stock TTR230, it will start and it will run. If you must spend some money, get a better bash plate and add some hand guards. Spend your time on learning how to fix a flat tire, fix/lube a chain, gap and swap a plug, adjust the valves, basic maintenance.

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