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Professor XR's XR250 Front End/Hlebo Shock Conversion Thread

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After researching for months, I chose the CRF230. My main reason was reliability--I grew up on XRs and remember cartwheeling a few off of cliffs and starting them up on the 2nd or 3rd kick. You just can't kill an air-cooled thumper. I also loved the styling of the 230, and the fact that it has some balls, despite its smaller displacement and tame tuning. A Pro Circuit T4 and Mike Coe jetting fix gave it a swift kick in the ass, making it a killer trail bike.

But there was just one problem. My spine felt like mashed potatoes after riding on any trail that had a bump. The suspension on this thing blows. So I debated selling the 230 and going for a CRF250X or XR250/400. Then Mr. Gabe came in and convinced me otherwise. My main concern was the price of a USD conversion and Works shock, placing the bike well over $2,500, and at that point I could buy a used 250X.

Then he mentioned the XR250 front end and Hlebo shock mod. BINGO! Gabe to the rescue!:bonk:

So this is my suspension conversion thread. I'll post progress as the project unfolds. Here's what I did today.

Removed the stock shock. Going to send it to Hlebo on Monday.

CRF230SansShock.jpg

This is the stock CRF230 shock. I'll do a comparison picture with the Hlebo when it gets here.

CRF230StockShock.jpg

CRF230F "Rocker." I believe this is the part I need to swap with the CRF150F's in order to raise the rear to match the XR250 fork height increase?

CRF230Rocker.jpg

The CRF230 linkage is about 1/4-inch shorter than the CRF150's. Is this why the CRF150 rocker on a 230 raises the rear? Also, does anyone know exactly how much the 150 rocker raises the rear? An inch or so?

CRF230Linkage.jpg

The forks should be in next week, so more updates are on the way!

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does anyone know exactly how much the 150 rocker raises the rear?

I checked the numbers on my 230F:

http://rickramsey.net/CRF230Fmods.htm#mix150230linkage <-- linky

My measurements are between the ground and two points on the 230F; they indicate how much the seat height changes - not the actual seat height measurement. :bonk::smirk:

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I checked the numbers on my 230F:

http://rickramsey.net/CRF230Fmods.htm#mix150230linkage <-- linky

My measurements are between the ground and two points on the 230F; they indicate how much the seat height changes - not the actual seat height measurement. :smirk::banana:

That's a huge help--thanks!:bonk: Gosh, your site is the most informative motorcycle site I've ever been to!

According to your measurements, the rear will be raised about an inch from stock.

The CRF230F has 9 inches of travel in back, so the 150F rocker will make it ~10.

The XR250 front end has 10.6 inches of travel. So, we're looking at 10.6 in the front with the XR250 front end and 10 in the back with the 150F rocker. That would add about an inch equally to the front and rear.

I'll pause here and ask if my math is correct.

Now, I'll ask if it would be okay to have the shock lengthened about a half inch to even up the suspension. I know this is slightly different geometry than Honda intended with the 230, but Hlebo has the ability to lengthen the shock.

Should I get the shock lengthened in addition to the CRF150 rocker, or just keep it the stock length?

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Thanks for making this thread. I'm in the same boat; I uncorked and rejected. Now the bike is plenty peppy but the ride is killing my back. I feel like I'm getting old and I'm only 29!

It's pretty awesome the 150F rocker will not only raise seat height, but also increase suspension travel. I could use some extra height to stay out of the roots on my local trails!

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If you wouldn't mind, when you get your shock back, would you post the cost and options Hlebo offers? I just got a leftover '09 and I'm considering the Hlebo shock upgrade with the 150 rocker. I'm sure I'll need a stiffer spring too. I'm torn between the race tech emulators or getting a stem machined to bolt on my '93 KX125 forks.

I'm looking forward to seeing your project progress. There's been alot of 230 projects on here and they're all really different, yet still amazing.

BTW, with the added height you'll need a longer kick stand. From what I've read the XR400 one will work, using the XR spring and mounting bolt.

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If you wouldn't mind, when you get your shock back, would you post the cost and options Hlebo offers? I just got a leftover '09 and I'm considering the Hlebo shock upgrade with the 150 rocker. I'm sure I'll need a stiffer spring too. I'm torn between the race tech emulators or getting a stem machined to bolt on my '93 KX125 forks.

I'm looking forward to seeing your project progress. There's been alot of 230 projects on here and they're all really different, yet still amazing.

BTW, with the added height you'll need a longer kick stand. From what I've read the XR400 one will work, using the XR spring and mounting bolt.

Definitely, I'm going to do a part by part pricing breakdown after everything is ordered. I've got an XR400 kickstand and spring on the way. Hlebo told me $200 for the job and it'll be like a brand new shock. My only debate is whether or not to have him lengthen the shock, but I'll see what he says tomorrow. From what I hear, the emulators make a huge difference, but USDs and more rugged and adjustable. If I had the money, I'd go the USD route.

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Great to finally have a thread devoted to the cheap and effective route, rather than the "HEY LOOK AT ME I'M F***ING RICH" route :bonk:

Yeah, the rocker piece you pictured is what you need from the crf150f.

If you could have the shock lengthened to make up the difference so that you don't even need the crf150f rocker, then heck I think that would be great.

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Great to finally have a thread devoted to the cheap and effective route, rather than the "HEY LOOK AT ME I'M F***ING RICH" route :bonk:

Yeah, the rocker piece you pictured is what you need from the crf150f.

If you could have the shock lengthened to make up the difference so that you don't even need the crf150f rocker, then heck I think that would be great.

Would there be any disadvantage to just installing a longer shock? I'm trying to think about how the suspension works... Depending on how much the shock can be lengthened, why not just make it long enough to increase travel to 12 inches? Ignore for a moment that the stock forks nor the xr250r forks won't quite match up.

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Great to finally have a thread devoted to the cheap and effective route, rather than the "HEY LOOK AT ME I'M F***ING RICH" route :bonk:

Yeah, the rocker piece you pictured is what you need from the crf150f.

If you could have the shock lengthened to make up the difference so that you don't even need the crf150f rocker, then heck I think that would be great.

Hells yeah, we're still ballahs! Those USD sellouts ain't got shiny new fork boots like me, mofos! Rough Riders Roll!:smirk::banana:

Gabe, I the CRF150F rocker is on the way--which means I'll have a 230F rocker in almost new condition (pictured above) for sale very soon if any 150F guys are reading this.

My question is if Hlebo can lengthen the rear shock about a 1/2 inch in addition to using the 150F rocker, would that be a bad thing? Travel will be 10.6 inches in the front, courtesy of the XR250 forks and just under 10 inches in the back, thanks to the CRF150 rocker. If Hlebo lengthened the shock about a half inch, it would even up the suspension (10.6 front ~ 10.5 rear).

The big question is: Will that throw off the handling, since Honda intended on the forks having 1/2 inch more travel in the first place?

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I'm not a suspension expert, but just wondering? Making the shaft length longer would make no difference in travel because the travel is inside the shock. I'm thinking it would be real hard to shove ten inches of shaft into a nine inch hole. Changing the rocker just changes ride height, not travel.

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I'm not a suspension expert, but just wondering? Making the shaft length longer would make no difference in travel because the travel is inside the shock. I'm thinking it would be real hard to shove ten inches of shaft into a nine inch hole. Changing the rocker just changes ride height, not travel.

That's a great observation, and one that proves even further that I am lost at sea when it comes to suspension. :bonk:

I'll ask Hlebo and see what he says.

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I'm not a suspension expert, but just wondering? Making the shaft length longer would make no difference in travel because the travel is inside the shock. I'm thinking it would be real hard to shove ten inches of shaft into a nine inch hole. Changing the rocker just changes ride height, not travel.

I was thinking that also, but hoping that Hlebo would somehow increase the travel.

Somehow, changing the rocker in this case does change the travel. Well, according to the experts who have done it. I didn't actually measure my travel after.

Professor, Adding extra EXTRA height to the back might be a bad thing. I was thinking you would just lengthen the shock so that you didn't need a 150f rocker. What I'm thinking about is swingarm angle. Clearances? And how will the chain like it? The other thing is handling. The 230 is already one of those bikes that wants to turn on a dime, even with the xr conversion. I think it might be a little squirrely if the rear were raised even more.

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New Years Resolution: Leave the Vette in the garage and take the CRF with USD forks to South Beach. Think they'll let me in the VIP Room Gabe. LOL!!!!! wpb230f

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New Years Resolution: Leave the Vette in the garage and take the CRF with USD forks to South Beach. Think they'll let me in the VIP Room Gabe. LOL!!!!! wpb230f

The Vette... You're killing me!!! :smirk:

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No your killing me. BUT I NEED A CAM AND PISTON !!!!!!!!!DSCN0448.jpg

Amen. Even with stock forks, emulators, and the helbo rear shock mod, my bike was begging for more power. Go CoeShow big and tell us how it is! Nobody has given a review of a full coeshow setup yet. They always just ride off into the sunset and never come back :smirk:

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Hey Professor, The tank and sides are from Decal Works www.decalmx.com, the fork and swingarm are factoryeffex.com. Their the T-4 series. Pretty cool site you can change the

colors to whatever you like. Gabe Im looking at my options on the motor. Relly like your setup of piston and drop-in cam, but I'd like to talk to Coeshow and Engines Only too.

wpb230f

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Cool, thanks guys! I just shipped the shock out to Hlebo Bros. today. The XR250 front end will be in on Thursday so I'll post some pictures and assess what needs to be done to them.

My surmise is that they will need seals and bushings, but John Hlebo told me that the XR250 fork springs were soft out of the box, so I'm going to have to spring for stiffer ones (see what I did there?). Regardless, this project is still way cheaper than going the Reger USD and Works Shock route.:smirk:

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