Just picked up an '05 230

Hey guys, we just picked up an '05 CRF230 for my Dad yesterday and I figured I'd chime in here to get the low down. Basically looking for any mods, advice, things to look out for, that kind of thing.

A little info on my Dad, he's an old racer that had some skills back in the day, but his time in the saddle now is about 2 rides a year. He's lost a lot of his confidence and doesn't ride very fast. He's been riding a lowered DRZ400, but it's just not working out. He's never felt comfortable on it and it's too heavy, and top heavy, for him. He's 74 now, has one replaced hip and the other just worn out and a bad right knee. It's time for a more simple bike for him so he can just play ride.

The bike we bought is very clean, but I only have an approximation on hours from the guy we bought it from. He's claiming about 20 hours, it looks like that could be legit. He enriched the carb tune, swapped out the skid plate for a Works Connection and put on hand guards, other than that the bike is bone stock all the way down to the original tires. It's had two previous owners that both used it as a Wife's bike, hence the reason it was never ridden. lol!!

My plan of action is new tires and I have to do something with the suspension for my Dad's weight, he's about 240-250 pounds, and I want to get rid of the stock bars. I don't have any other plans unless you guys can tell me some things that really should be done.

I was wondering about bar height, the stock ones seem a bit low, do most people go to a higher bar? They seem OK, but compared to my bikes they look very low.

I was also wondering about the success people are having with just swapping out springs on the suspension. Is it fine if you're not hammering trails or the desert? Or is it necessary to get the valving redone even for low speed easy riding? Since we're making such a big jump in spring rate, I'm a little worried about the suspension valving being too soft. I contacted Hlebo Bros. and it would be $575 to totally rework the front and rear. Is it worth it, or could I get away with just springs?

The only other concern I have is long term enjoyment for my Dad with such a lesser bike than he's had. I know this is a starter bike and the power is limited. With out breaking the bank, is there mods that can be done over time to keep the bike interesting? I know I can get a pipe, and probably a cam, but is there a significant grin factor pay off to the various parts available for the CRF230, or is it just spending money for a little gain.

Thanks for any help.

Sure, you are on the right track with your suspension advice. If you've got the money for it, that would be an awesome addition.

My son bent the handlebars on our 230 in short order, and we installed some $65 ProTaper Cr-Hi rise handlebars. They are a little taller and have less sweep, making the bike less crowded, and a lot more comfortable.

For a 74 year old... just make the bike as comfortable as possible, and don't try to coax him into doing anything too dangerous, as at that age... a person gets hurt a LOT easier, and healing time is forever.

It will be an awesome play bike. I think he'll love it!

You can install stiffer springs into the stock forks, but it might be too much for his wrists. A stiffer spring in the rear will also be too much for the stock shock. For a young kid, I might recommend keeping the suspension all stock, except for one BBR spring in the forks, but for a guy that age, you need to make it plush. Bite the bullet and take it where you have planned. They have an excellent reputation with these bikes.

Good Luck!


I put renthal rc highbend bars on my 230. I also run bbr springs on forks and monoshock. For his weight, he might be ok with the stiffness. I wish you could try it before you install them, but I like mine. If money isnt an issue, have the suspension reworked.

As far as the fun factor, have him ride it and if he needs more power there is a million forums on mods. I installed the factory power up kit and a 14 tooth c/s sprocket and am pretty happy with the bike. I'm pushing 40 and weigh about 220 so I'm a fairly casual rider myself.

check the jetting that has been installed. I've used coeshow's recommended jetting and has really made the bike a blast to ride vs stock vs Honda recommended power up mods.

120 main, stock needle in the 4th clip position, 45 pilot. remove intake snorkel/baffles and exhaust baffle (leave the spark arrestor in).

I use works shocks on both my crfs and emulators in the forks. good start to making the bike a lot easier to ride.

yes, replace those stock, junky tires... they are just plain dangerous.

Thanks for the posts guys.

Did some shopping already. We have new tires and tubes on the way. I got some Maxxis IT's, those should work all around for anywhere this bike will go. I have a left over set of Pro Tapers, so we got a set of adapters, grips and a bar pad coming. The adapters should give us the extra height we need.

I called my suspension guy and it turns out he's familiar with the CRF's and can get it done in a few days. He'll be doing emulators in the front and new springs front and rear. After some ride time, we'll see if he needs to do anything with the rear shock.

We're taking the forks and shock over tomorrow and the parts are on the way, we should have everything by this weekend. :thumbsup:

kkim, I'll dig in to the carb and check it out. I do know it ran better than any other we looked at. I still need to un-plug it though, so might have to make some changes.

The 05 doesn't have clips on the carb's needle. You'll have to use a #4 washer or something to space the needle. If you need to adjust the idle mixture knob on the bottom front of the carb, you'll need a special tool, as it's not a screwdriver slot, it's D-shaped.

I also used the #120 main instead of the #134 that comes with the power-up kits. Works GREAT.

I changed the idle jet, added a washer to the needle, but didn't mess with the idle screw yet.

Changing the stock main (#105, maybe?) for the #120 made the biggest difference.

Good Luck!

I think you have the years mixed up:

CRF230F - Carb info <-- linky

I think you have the years mixed up:

CRF230F - Carb info <-- linky

OK, I guess 05 was the last year with the adjustable needle.

Mine is and 06.

Nice catch. :thumbsup:

Well, got my handle bar parts in, and just realized either the previous owner hacked a lot off the end of the throttle tube when he put the hand guards on, or these bikes have short throttle tubes. I can get an OEM tube tomorrow at the dealer, but would like to know if they are a standard grip length. It comes with a grip molded on I'll have to cut off. I've seen after market tubes with no grip and they look long enough for a standard grip, but I'd have to order and wait.

Any one familiar with the stock tube?

Is it long enough for a replacement grip?

Yeah stock throttle tube is full length

however, whatever you do, make sure your throttle tube doesn't stick off the end of the bar!

If you don't run bark busters, when you drop the bike, the throttle tube will jam/break really easy.

I always cut the ends off mine and moved them up the bar about 1/8" that way when I crash they don't get destroyed. Running stock tube on my 150f after 4 years :thumbsup:

at least that's how I do it. Before I did this, I'd ruin a throttle tube fast. Now I have yet to ruin a throttle tube sine I started doing that.

I even purchased a billet one for my crf 50 once, took me two weeks to bend it and have it stick and be ruined!

Cool, thanks. :thumbsup:

I'll just pick up the OEM one tomorrow. It's only $10.68 where the aftermarket's are around $15 or more with shipping and all. Makes a nice change when OEM is cheaper. :blah:

The only other concern I have is long term enjoyment for my Dad with such a lesser bike than he's had. I know this is a starter bike and the power is limited. With out breaking the bank, is there mods that can be done over time to keep the bike interesting? I know I can get a pipe, and probably a cam, but is there a significant grin factor pay off to the various parts available for the CRF230, or is it just spending money for a little gain.

To address your power concerns, there is always more available for those with the $$. Check out Coeshow's bored crf"250". http://www.coeshow.com/_mgxroot/page_10761.html - That thing probably makes more power than the stock crf250 mxer. Food for thought :thumbsup:

Just to update, the stock throttle tube was short. I hollowed out the end and let the excess grip sit over the bar. The after market grip was about 3/8" to 1/2" longer than the tube.

Maybe other years have longer tubes? I don't know, but I got it to work, it's all good. Next time I'll get an after market throttle tube.

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      Jetting the 230F
      By: Phil Vieira
      This project takes no less than 2 hours if you have never done jetting to a bike before. It took me 1.5 hours, to take my bike apart, take out the needle, change my pilot jet and the main, and take pictures along the way, but I have seen the inside of my carb 3 times, so I know my way around it pretty well…
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      ~Phillips and Flathead screwdriver (Be sure these are in perfect condition. A badly worn screwdriver will strip the screws)
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      Those two bolts are both a 12mm socket. Use the open end wrench on the inside, and use the socket on the outside. You may need to use an extension if you don’t have a deep socket. Once you have the two bolts off, slide the seat back, and lift it up. This is what you have. Notice there is a hook in the middle and a knob on the tank. That is what you are sliding the seat off of.

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      Where the red dot is where the needle lies. Grab needle nose pliers and carefully pull up the needle out of its slot. This is what the needle looks like once it is out.

      Now we must move the carb to take the bowl off. Untie the two straps on the front and back of the carb. Don’t take them off; just loosen them until the threads are at the end. Take the front of the carb off the boot and twist the bowl as much as you can towards you. Tie the back tie down to that it does not rewind back on you. This is what you have:

      Now we must take off the bowl. Some people take that hex nut off to change the main jet, which you can, but you cannot access the pilot jet, and you can’t take out the needle jet (a piece the needle slides into), so we need to take it off. It’s just three bolts. As we look at the underside of the carb, this is what you will see:

      The bolts with the red square dots are the bolts you will be removing. These are Phillips head bolts, and the bolt with the blue dot is your fuel screw. This is what you will adjust when the time comes, but keep in mind where that bolt is. You need a small flat blade to adjust it.
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      The blue dot is for cross reference, which is the fuel screw once again. The green dot is the pilot jet. You can remove this using a flat blade screwdriver. Just unscrew it and pull it out. Once you pull it out, set it aside and put in the 45 pilot jet you got. The red dot is the main. You remove this by using a 6mm socket. Just unscrew it. If the whole thing turns, not just the jet, but the 7mm sized socket under it, don’t worry, that piece has to come out as well. If it doesn’t, use a 7mm to unscrew it off. Here is what the jets look like:

      Pilot Jet

      Main jet attached to the tube. Take the main jet off by using an open end wrench and a socket on the jet. Again, it screws right off.
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      From left to right: Main jet, Pilot Jet, Fuel screw. Now in the main jet’s hole, if you look closely, you see a bronze piece in the middle of that hole. We are going to take this off. Since I did not do this part (I only changed my pilot jet when I took these pictures) there are no pictures taken for this section but this is really simple to do if you’ve been a good student and know where things go. You should know anyways, you have to put the bike back together!
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      (Notice: Many people have destroyed jets and such by overtighting them! Use the thumb on the head of the wrench and two fingers on the wrench to tighten it down.)
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      Now we must put the bowl back on. The white piece that came off with the bowl goes back as followed:

      If you look directly under the carb, the round hole is aligned with the pilot jet. Take the float bowl, and put it back on.
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      The top clip position is #1, the lowest one, closest to the bottom, is #5. (The picture says six but it is five in this case) For reference #1 is the leanest position, while 5 is the richest. I put the clip in the 4th position. Read at the bottom of the page and you can know what conditions I ride in, and you can adjust them to your preference.
      Put the clip in the new needle, slip it in. Take the vise grips off your grips and start guiding the plunger holder down to the bottom. Remember not to let that assembly come apart because it is a pain in the ass to get it back together! Once you get it to the bottom, put the two screws on, and then put the cover on.
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      As you can see, you can slip your fingers in and pull it out. Do that. This lets more air in to the air box. Don’t worry about water getting in. There is a lip that is about 1/8” high that doesn’t let water in. When you wash, don’t spray a lot under the seat, but don’t worry about it too much.
      The next thing you must do is remove the exhaust baffle. The screw is a torx type, or you can carefully use an allen wrench and take care not to strip it:

      The screw is at the 5 o’clock position and all you do is unscrew it, reach in, and yank it out. This setup still passes the dB test. The bike runs 92 dB per AMA standards, which is acceptable. Just carry this baffle in your gear bag if the ranger is a jerk off. I’ve never had a problem, but don’t take chances.
      That’s it! Start putting your tank on, seat, and covers. After you put the seat on, pull up on the front, and the middle of the seat to make sure the hooks set in place.
      Turn on the bike, and take a can of WD-40. Spray the WD-40 around the boot where it meets the carburetor. If the RPM rises, you know you have a leak, and the leak must be stopped. You must do this to make sure there are no leaks!
      Here is my configuration:
      04’ 230F
      Uni Air filter
      132 Main Jet
      45 Pilot Jet
      Power up needle, 4th clip position
      Fuel screw 1.75 turns out
      Riding elevation: 2000ft - Sea level
      Temperature – Around 60-90 degrees
      Spark Plug Tips
      When you jet your carb, a spark plug is a best friend. Make sure your spark plug is gapped correctly, (.035) but that’s not all that matters. You want to make sure the electrode is over the center, and you want the electrode to be parallel, not like a wave of a sea. Put in the plug, and run the bike for 15 mins, ride it around too then turn it off. Then take off the spark plug after letting the bike cool. The ceramic insulator should be tan, like a paper bag. If it is black, it is running rich, if it is white, it is running lean. The fuel screw should be turned out if it is running lean, and turned in if it is running rich. Go ¼ turns at a time until your plug is a nice tan color.
      Making sure your bike is jetted correctly
      While you are running the bike for those 15 mins to check the plug color, you want to make sure it’s jetted correctly now. Here is what the jets/needle/screw control:
      0- 3/8 throttle – Pilot jet
      ¼ to ¾ throttle – Needle
      5/8 – full throttle – Main jet
      0-Full – Fuel screw
      Pin the gas, does it bog much? Just put around, is it responsive? When you’re coming down a hill, the rpm’s are high and you have no hand on the throttle, does it pop? If it pops, it is lean and the pilot jet should be bigger. If it’s responsive your needle is set perfectly. You shouldn’t have to go any leaner than the 3rd position, but I put mine in the 4th position to get the most response. Your bike shouldn’t bog much when you have it pinned. If it does it is too rich of a main jet.
      Determining the plug color, you will have to mess with the fuel screw.
      That’s it, have fun jetting, and any questions, post on the forum, but remember to do a search first.
      Also, if your bike requires different jets due to alititude, humidity, or temperature, please post the following so we can better assist you:
      Average temperature
      Altitude (If you do not know this, there is a link in the Jetting forum that you can look up your alititude)
      Average Humidity
      What jets you are currently running
      What the problem is (If there is one)
      Just do that and we'll help you out the best we can.
      EDIT: The girl using this login name is my girlfriend. You can reach me on my new login name at 250Thumpher
      Then again, you're more than welcome to say hi to her!
      -Phill Vieira
    • By jason230
      Well I figured this would be a cool thread to have seeing as how quite a few of us have gotten pretty far into upgrading our 150/230s. This will be helpfull for those looking into getting things for their bike so they can see what everything looks like.
      '05 CRF230:
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      -Factory FX #'s
      -Renthal 7/8ths MC bend w/ soft half waffle grips
      -BBR +1/2" shift lever
      -BBR revbox
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      -Twin-Air and White Bros. airfilters
      -White Bros. 112main and 48pilot jets
      -Dunlop D756's w/ MSR Ultra Heavy Duty tubes