While casually scanning Craigslist for a Yamaha XT this past Monday, something that's rare as hen's teeth these days, I came across a 2008 Honda CRF 230L, another rare bird of the light weight dual-sport persuasion.
A fellow had it sitting in his garage and up for sale. His wife had ridden it, putting 7300 miles on it since they purchased it new. She's small, less than 100 lbs, and no longer rides the bike.
Turned out the bike was in pristine condition, a true one owner jewel. Given the resale value on lightweight dual-sport bikes like this, which continue to rise in value as fewer and fewer show up for sale, at $2k I wasn't about to turn this machine down!
A 70 mile round trip to Snowflake and back, and the bike came home with us. It's completely stock, right down to the California emissions equipment still in place along with its original Trail Wing tires -- which show surprisingly little wear (little wonder given how small the lady who rode it was)!
The bike starts instantly and runs quiet as a mouse. First Honda I've owned since the late 60s and the new Honda 125 trials bike I bought back then. I'll keep this CRF 230L completely stock as I dig into what's the best route to improving overall performance on a budget.
Still have my eye out for an XT, but a truly good one hasn't shown up anywhere near us in a long time. Those that do occasionally show up, usually a long way away, are sold before I'd reasonably be able to make the drive, so this all original Honda CRF 230L will do for now.
Anyone who has experience with the Honda CRF 230L, who'd like to share some of what they know, I'd be mighty pleased to hear from them! First impressions on my part tell me it's a keeper. But from there I'm a babe in the woods when it comes to how best to set one up for riding at 6600 feet and higher.
It's much the same as the XT225, weighing in at just over 250 lbs dry and running Honda's air cooled OHC single cylinder 223cc engine lashed up to a silky smooth 6 speed transmission. With a seat height of 31" it's every bit as easy to handle as an XT.
Beyond that I've got a lot to learn about the bike. Any suggestions or other help would be appreciated!..