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CRF230f vs. XR250

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Hello. I never got of to a good start riding dirt. I STARTED on a KLR650 and never really "made up" for that. Currently I ride a DR650. What I want is the LEARN HOW TO RIDE in the dirt. How I want to do that is on a small, light weight dirt bike. I want something that I can leave at the house up north and not have to worry about: just start it up and ride when we are there. Of course, I would like to get the most out of this bike and leave it to my daughter in a couple of years. I'm a big fella too, so every last bit of "oomph" would be nice. I am looking at the 230f and older XR250s. Other than the e-start, how do they stack up, one against the other in terms of suspension and power? Any "hidden" aspects about the design and execution of these bike that I should take into consideration?

Ken

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Well here you go...I had a 230 (5'7", 170#) and my buddy had an xr250 (5'9", 230#). We could easily ride each others bikes. I did have a lot of mods on my 230.

230 Pros: Light, cheap. Cons: no back up kick starter, uses a lot of batteries and if you're gonna store it, just plan on buying a new one every year, under suspended, not a lot of aftermarket parts, not headlight and stator is under powered for using one all the time. XR pros: reliable, lots of parts, cheap, rides like a lazy boy. Cons: Heavy, no e start with a heavy kick. Both bikes have a mellow powerband. Now having said all that and being on Thumper Talk in a Honda forum, no less, let me give you my honest opinion, as I and my buddy have both moved on from those bikes. He currently has a 250X (which my wife also has) and I went to the dark side and got a 2 stroke KTM250EXC. The four strokes are expensive to fix. No way around that. My wifes needed an engine rebuild to the tune of $2K. But they need less routine maintenance. My 250EXC has a very mellow controllable powerband, but a lot of power that keeps on going. It is very light compared to the 250X. It has a head light (no e start as it is a 2005) and is very reliable and comfortable, with an excellent suspension. The 250X is also a great bike, with good power and a great suspension also, but does require regular valve checks/adjustments. It also eats batteries for some reason. It does better with a 450X battery. Both bikes have infinte amounts of aftermarket parts, as well.Those would actually be my two choices having been there done that. Sorry for the long reply and hope I didn't make it worse!

Edited by maximoose
typo

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....Those would actually be my two choices having been there done that. Sorry for the long reply and hope I didn't make it worse!
Well, hell YEA it makes it worse....sorta. I have no delusions about what I want in THIS bike. A dirt bike that I can ride WFO in the field behind the house and on the neighbors trails. Period. No more. Full-on learning experieince. I've spent too much time trying to control the power and weight of DRZs and KLRs. I want to concentrate on the skills needed to ride a dirt bike correctly. At the n end of the day, I want to pass it on to my ten-year old when she grows into it and have something "else" for myself. I am not looking at this as my forever-dirtbike. There are TONS of great bikes out there. KDXs jump to the front of the list. I HAD a KTM 250 exc-f that had the 350 kit on it. I had a summer that I didn't get to ride very much (not at all) and like a fool, I SOLD it. It was PERFECT for learning on and would have been perfect for the future too. What an ass-hat.

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Don't feel bad, I sold a brand new (10 hrs) KDX220 that my wife bought me when I separated my shoulder. It took a decade to convince her to let me get another bike...I regret that decision...

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from what you are saying that you want, an XR250 would be the right bike. Get a mid-90's one and take decent care of it and it will run for 20 years. Go ANYWHERE that there are lots of riders and you will see examples of 20 year old XR's still going strong.

For what you want, with e-start, you will have to have a charger on it all the time to keep the battery from going bad.

With the XR, drain the float bowl at the end of the year, put sta-bil in the tank. Change the oil once a year and you should be fine.

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OK, all of the previous posts are de ja vu. I've owned just about every kind of race and trail bike except the latest water cooled 4Ts, and I've ridden a few of those. I currently have a Powroll modded XR200 that weighs 208lbs, it has more torque and power than my XR250 and weighs a ton less. Stock the suspension is better than a CRF230, modded it is much better than a CRF230 or XR250.

Any time I check the heft of a 230 or a 250 I'm impressed by how much heavier they feel compared to my 200. The published dry weight on a 230 is 249, and the the 250x is probably more. 40 lbs weight difference is worth a few horsepower; but more important is how much the extra weight tires you on a ride, or saps your energy when you need to pick up the bike.👍

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Actually the 250x ways as much , if not less in previous years, as the 230.

Was that in question? It seems fairly well known that a 250X is the heavier of the two...

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The published dry weight on a 230 is 249, and the the 250x is probably more.

As of 2009 the 250x is 4lbs heavier than the 230.

In 2007 the 230 weighed in at 238. The 250 weighed in at 225.

The 250x had 2-3x the power of its XR250 counter-part. As the years go by, the bikes get heavier but only at about 2-3 lbs a year.

Clearly if weight is a issue go with the 250x. It has 3x the power of the 230 and its lighter.

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As of 2009 the 250x is 4lbs heavier than the 230.

In 2007 the 230 weighed in at 238. The 250 weighed in at 225.

The 250x had 2-3x the power of its XR250 counter-part. As the years go by, the bikes get heavier but only at about 2-3 lbs a year.

Clearly if weight is a issue go with the 250x. It has 3x the power of the 230 and its lighter.

The 250X does NOT have 2-3 times the power of an XR250 and 3 times the power of a CRF230. A late-model XR250 makes about 20 RWHP and the 230, if jetted properly, makes about 18 RWHP. The 250X makes about 29 RWHP. See here: https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=378266&page=2. My 230 runs side-by-side up to about 50 MPH with both of the late-model XR250s we also have. The CRF230 makes more bottom-end torque than the XR250 and the XR250 makes more bottom-end torque than the CRF250X. Conversely, the CRF250X makes more top-end power than the XR250 and the XR250 more top-end power than the CRF230.

If you're going to supply information to people looking to make a purchase, please be sure the information is accurate.

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It is accurate. That came from a study done. Read it about 4 weeks ago. I can't remember the website though. Sorry if it differs from what other people say. Now lets get back to the weight issue that was discussed earlier.

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It is accurate. That came from a study done. Read it about 4 weeks ago. I can't remember the website though. Sorry if it differs from what other people say. Now lets get back to the weight issue that was discussed earlier.

The 2005 CRF250X made 26.63 RWHP on a dyno run. I would assume the latest models make a bit more power but they are not capable of making the 40 to 60 RWHP you implied earlier. You can find the results of an actual dyno test here: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/11/459/Motorcycle-Article/2005-CRF250X-vs-WR250F-Performance.aspx. This is not my opinion, it is simply a fact.

Now we can get back to the weight issue...

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As of 2009 the 250x is 4lbs heavier than the 230.

In 2007 the 230 weighed in at 238. The 250 weighed in at 225.

The 250x had 2-3x the power of its XR250 counter-part. As the years go by, the bikes get heavier but only at about 2-3 lbs a year.

Clearly if weight is a issue go with the 250x. It has 3x the power of the 230 and its lighter.

Errr...... I hope that I wasn't misleading. I'm not interested at all in either of the water-cooled CRF250s. Air cooled. Simple. Low maintenance.

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Yeah... We got a little off base...

Here's my two cents...

My friends ride two late-model XR250s. On paper, the XR250s are superior in just about all respects. In fact, the only things that come to mind as "better" on the 230 are new ergonomics, electric start, lighter weight, lower seat height, lower center of gravity, and faster handling in tight woods. In stock form, the engine is good and the suspension is okay. Although the 230 is heavy, the low center of gravity makes it feel and handle light. The late-model XR250s feel much heavier in tight conditions. This is my opinion and it is also the opinion of my two friends. They say riding the 230 is so easy it feels like you're cheating.

Once uncorked and jetted per Mike Coe's dyno work, the engine becomes very good and the suspension becomes very dangerous. I now use one BBR fork spring along with a Fox shock and it all works very well. The forks will go to Bruce's Suspension for final rework in the fall.

So what does it all mean? My friend's XR250s are pefectly jetted and they are as good a rider as I am. I can beat them anywhere and everywhere we go, including Brushy Mountain and Carolina Adventure World, and that was before the suspension work. My 230 can run side by side from a dead stop with both 250s until around 50 MPH, which is plenty for me, and never happens in the woods anyway.

If you're a big guy and/or have a long inseam, the 250 is a good way to go as the 230's suspension didn't work for me and I only weigh 150 pounds. The 230 will require new springs if you're over 200 pounds and a new shock or revalve by Hlebo.

The XR250 is probably the better way for you to go if you just want to get on it and go riding. Set the suspension adjusters to factory defaults and set the rear sag at 3.6". Put in a 48 pilot and a 135 main and maybe a UNI or Twin-Air filter and you're good to go.

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CRF230F is the way to go if your trying to get back in the swing of things. Its low and very easy to ride. Parts are readily available as its a current production bike. I have one thats plated and can't say enough good things about it. It also looks better that the XR IMHO.

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Errr...... I hope that I wasn't misleading. I'm not interested at all in either of the water-cooled CRF250s. Air cooled. Simple. Low maintenance.

Woah...woah...woah...I just realized that we were suppose to be talking about the XR250. I knew that then read one guys post and for some reason thought about the 250x...woah...sorry guys.

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In 2003, I built an XR280 and spent many hours on it in the tight woods around S.W. Washington. It was a great bike, worked well for its intended purpose, and was very reliable. I replaced it with an '05 KTM400EXC which weight-wise, handling, etc. was very similar to the XR280, but the suspension was much better, and the power was just "more".

I've been working on a 2007 CRF230F project for the past couple of years now, and I find it very difficult to compare the XR to the CRF.

XR feel is much more top heavy.

XR280 has much more power than an 11:1 ported CRF230F.

XR is not as cramped as the CRF.

XR250 can be finicky starting even with correct technique when hot after dumping it on it's lid.

CRF will drag footpegs in areas the XR won't.

CRF requires a lot of work to make it more "nimble" than the XR, but my XR when finished was 270lbish, and my CRF that started life at 260lbs ready to ride is now 215lbs ready to ride.

I personally prefer my CRF in the tight woods.

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With the CRF, you are going to have to take the battery out each time you leave it in case it freezes before you get back there again. Get the XR and be done with it.

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With the CRF, you are going to have to take the battery out each time you leave it in case it freezes before you get back there again. Get the XR and be done with it.

..... or buy a lithium ion battery pack and don't worry about it.

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