Yamaha XT250 or Honda 230L


19 replies to this topic
  • reconranger

Posted 09 March 2008 - 08:44 AM

#1

It comes down to these as the only two viable choices for me. My preference would be the WR250R, but it is probably way to tall for my short legs! I just need a mellow street legal machine to do occasional forest and desert dirt roads, and have a backup local commuting machine when my truck is in the shop....plus, a starter bike for a couple of early teen kids. Anybody have any experience on either of these?

Right now I am leaning toward the Yamaha, but I have read good reviews on both. I had a CRF230F (recent model with newer engine), so I know that it is bulletproof....but it sure isn't any powerhouse (the L has a 6 speed trans however). The XT has the same engine as the new Raptor 250 quad, and everybody raves at how much power they are getting out of this little engine (borrowed out of the Tricker motorcycle).

http://www.topspeed....-xt/ke2739.html

http://www.topspeed....a/index163.html

What about tires???? Are there any DOT approved tires that are more agressive for off-road than what comes on these machine stock????

  • Pilikia

Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:53 PM

#2

I'd go with the Yamaha. I have the last model year of the TTR 250 and it is truly bulletproof. If the XT is anything like the TTR it is well worth the investment, and will last for years.

  • tigerowner_ut

Posted 11 March 2008 - 09:09 AM

#3

I went out last weekend to look at the new ~200-250 dual-sports with my father this past weekend. He is looking for a smaller bike he can flat foot to do some exploring and errand running with. We visited all the dealers and looked at every model available in the class. Here is what we found.

Yamaha
XT250 – Looks like the engine is completely new this year. Also new to the bike is the added weight. Either Yamaha is much more honest this year with reported weight or the bike has gained some. What the bike lost was sixth gear and the zerk fittings on the suspension links even though the suspension looks virtually identical to the 225 except for the new rear disk caliper mount. A new rear disk will provide more confidence compared to the drum on the 225 when wet. Valves are still adjustable via tappets and feeler gauge. Other than the added CCs and a rear disk I don’t see much improvement. The loss of 6th gear and the added suspension maintenance is a disappointment. To be fair the others in this class don’t have grease fittings either.

Posted Image

WR250R - Looks like a close copy of the WR250F with one less radiator, a steel downtube, and a bunch of emissions stuff. We didn’t look closely at this one due to the HIGH seat. If you can’t plate a real WR this is worth a look (#1 non-competition enduro like dual-sport).

Posted Image

TW200 – Dad was set on this bike going in. The big tires and crawling ability were attractive. In reality the bike is heavier feeling than the others and the wide seat makes it harder to flat foot. The 200 CC displacement and the lack of 6th gear was also a let down.

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Kawasaki
KLX250 – Little more old school that the WR above. Seat is too high for my dad. The KLX is a good old school thumper. The chassis is the second best for serious off-road behind the WR and ahead of the CRF. I like the WR a bit more than this one and the WR has more power stock but the KLX has a big list of potential modifications including a 300 cylinder. This is the most off-road bang for the dollar.

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Suzuki
DR200 – Love the tank!! 3.5 gallons is wonderful. Otherwise looses out due to the small displacement and 5 speed tranny.

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Honda
CRF230L – Let me preface this by saying that this is the bike of choice for dad. The CRF has up to date looks on a good chassis with a low seat height. The engine is the typical 2 valve easily maintained engine layout. Six speed gearbox and 230ccs are a big plus. Front and rear disk brakes to get the stopping done. The bike also is closely related to the CRF230F so aftermarket options are bound to be larger. To top it all off the bike has a great review at MotorcycleUSA.com. For those who want a small but up to date bike this may be the ticket.

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http://www.motorcycl...?ArticleID=5943

  • reconranger

Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:01 AM

#4

Just for the record, the XT250 engine has been around for years in Europe and Asia in the Tricker, so it isn't a brand new unproven engine by any means. This engine is also in the new Raptor 250 quad, which is getting rave reviews! http://www.motorcycl...aha_tricker.htm

To me, the XT seems kind of tall in the tank area. It feels heavy (they all do!), but with a full tank of gas up high like that, it is going to be even more top heavy....

I am leaning toward the Honda at this point, but I'm not in any hury....

  • reconranger

Posted 12 March 2008 - 07:45 AM

#5

Or, I could probably pick up a leftover Yamaha XT225 for a very good price, seeing that it is now out of production.

The TW200 is attractive here in the desert because of those huge tires, but I fear it will be very underpowered and it has a very small fuel tank.

  • COAL RUN

Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:22 AM

#6

I think both would be equally reliable, but when you want more power or better suspension there is very little out there for the XT but quit abit for the CRF. That would pretty much make my choice right there. The KLX 250 would also be a good choice as it has a low seat better suspension than the other two & if you ever want more power there are lots of stuff availible

  • bikeslut

Posted 12 March 2008 - 01:55 PM

#7

Or, I could probably pick up a leftover Yamaha XT225 for a very good price, seeing that it is now out of production.

The TW200 is attractive here in the desert because of those huge tires, but I fear it will be very underpowered and it has a very small fuel tank.


The tires do help it float on the sand, but really, that's all it has going for it... no power to speak of, and I think the "crawling" capabilities are over rated... with stock gearing

80 miles or so before reserve...

  • reconranger

Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:39 PM

#8

The KLX is unavailable here in Calif, and you can't just buy a Baja kit and convert an existing off-road machine like you could in the old days....so the choices are limited.

I can do a 34" seat height if I have to. That's or even higher is ok off-road, but in traffic it makes it weird when you have to stop and can't quite put you feet down! The KLX is ~35" and the WR is 36"+........

  • lat1

Posted 15 March 2008 - 05:08 PM

#9

how does the crf do on the highway, speed wise and comfort wise? i have an 05 klr 250 and it does better on pavement than dirt. cruise at 75mph and decently comfy for long days. the crf seems like a good trail bike, so are the road manners ok also?

  • jim1234

Posted 16 March 2008 - 05:38 AM

#10

I don't think the tw200 has much going for it. It is a good putt bike. The tires aren't wide enough to get much flotation. I've owned two . They were fun to trail ride the kids on, but that was about it. I've also owned a couple of Bw200 and used them for night dune rides with the quads. They work well due to the very wide tires. I think Yamaha had a good idea with the tw , just never finished it. A little more power and susp. Would make it a much better bike.

  • wilee617

Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:34 PM

#11

Just bought a crf 230l. Got it on Thursday. Nice bike. Haven't taken it on the highway yet. needs to be broken in. I'm 5'8" and 170 pounds, feels underpowered but i'm used to my Harley.
Bought it to cruise around and to ride with my little nephew.
If you have a small inseam (30") like me it is the perfect fitting bike, everything else is too big. Had my heart set on the Suzuki DRZ400S but it was way too tall. So was the Kawasaki KTX 250.
If you want a speed demon on the highway the Honda might not be your best bet.
Feels like I'm riding my mountainbike.
Nice bike if your looking for a small dual sport
Also Kawasaki wanted 400.00 for dealer prep(what a joke).Honda was 89.00 and gave me 15% off gear and they we're cheaper or similar to internet prices on gear before the 15%.

  • speednut

Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:30 AM

#12

great info everyone! one question will the crf230l run 70 mph for 10 miles ?I have 10 miles of freeway to get to work.

  • wilee617

Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:44 PM

#13

I only put 50 miles on the 230L so far. I think 70 mph for 10 miles would probably be pushing it. I don't think it is capable but I'll let you know after I break her in.
Paul

  • speednut

Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:55 PM

#14

Thanks

  • shrubitup

Posted 01 April 2008 - 10:54 PM

#15

I think both would be equally reliable, but when you want more power or better suspension there is very little out there for the XT but quit abit for the CRF. That would pretty much make my choice right there. The KLX 250 would also be a good choice as it has a low seat better suspension than the other two & if you ever want more power there are lots of stuff availible

All off road aftermarket mods (pipes) that fit the TT-R230 also fit the XT225 when and if you need them.

  • COAL RUN

Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:33 AM

#16

The XT is a good little bike, but if you want to get more performance all around the bikes I mentioned can be a good platform to build on (IE: carb, big bore kit , suspension work, ect., ect.) with the XT you would be looking at buying a differnt bike. I had considered getting an XT for the wife but decided if she got more serious about riding it may not fit the bill for long, so I am looking for a plated KDX

  • shrubitup

Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:59 AM

#17

The XT is a good little bike, but if you want to get more performance all around the bikes I mentioned can be a good platform to build on (IE: carb, big bore kit , suspension work, ect., ect.) with the XT you would be looking at buying a differnt bike. I had considered getting an XT for the wife but decided if she got more serious about riding it may not fit the bill for long, so I am looking for a plated KDX

That's a good route (the KDX) particularly if it's not a daily rider. They are nice bikes and would eat any CRF/XT/TTR 230 alive.

Plate revocation on non-factory dual sports is an issue in my state.:bonk:

Longevity should be about the same. The stock silencer on the KDX is said to be quiet. Get the FMF Gnarly woods for trail power and keep the stock silencer.:prof: If your wife is can reach ground on the KDX - it will work out! The 220 has more low end and torque but lacks the over-rev of the 200. Fix the 200's low end with said pipe. 220s actually like the FMF Gnarly desert pipe. You'll need a forged piston in the 220.:confused:

Anyway, I think all the BBR mods that can be done to the TTR230 also apply to the XT225.

  • DaymienRules

Posted 02 April 2008 - 09:11 AM

#18

I've got the WR250r with a 30" inseam. It's doable. I can get a foot on the pavement, just not a flat foot. I've lowered the rear shock adjuster, set the sag at 105 and raised the forks 5mm over flush. I guess I've just gotten used to bike being big off road, so this doesn't seem too bad for me. There's ALOT of foam in the seat too, so I may take a bit out later if I get the urge.

reconranger -if you're in LA area you're welcome to stop by and throw a leg over it, jut to make sure.

I've spent alot of time on the off-road honda230. It's a blast, but the stock suspension sucks. I could play on it all day, as long as no desert whoops are involved.

  • ChanceIt

Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:43 AM

#19

I just last week bought a new DS bike for the wife to ride.
I looked long and hard at all the different choices that would fit her, as she is vertically challenged at just 5'4.
I chose the honda 230L after much looking.
It just flet better to ride is all.
The dealer let me take it for a spin, and wow was i ever impressed by the little honda 230L.
My current DS bike is a KLR650, and the only advantge it has over the honda is top speed on the HWY.
But her honda will haul my oversized butt along at 70 MPH, and i was damn impressed to say the least.
I had to beg the yami shop to let me even ride their bike, and i understood why after a short ride, it felt inferior to the honda in every category i can think of.
I wish she was taller, as i would have liked to get her a Kawi KLX250, but unless she wears boots with 6 inch heels, she would never even mount it....lol

  • IowaCRFrider

Posted 04 April 2008 - 06:47 PM

#20

There are at least three brands of serious or 90 (dirt) - 10 (Street) tires like the Pirelli MT21 that fit the Honda CRF230L if not the Yamaha. I also found a couple of 50-50 types by Maxxis & IRC. Hope this helps.

So far I love the Honda CRF230L. It is a great little run around and is very solid and peppy. I plan on upgrading the tires (although the stock Bridgestone TW's seem to be very nice for a 80% street DS tire. The engine starts easily and has no flat spots.

Good Luck!




 
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