Honda has come out with a dual-sport motorcycle loosely based on the CRF230F named to CRF230L. The CRF230L has the addition of a lot of parts to make it a street legal machine. The addition of emissions, a very quiet muffler, headlight, turn signals, steal tank, tools and other street worthy additions, bumps the over all weight of the CRF230L to nearly 270 pounds with gas. Both the L and the F models share the same motor except the CRF230L uses a 30mm CV carb instead of the 26mm piston-valve carb on the F.

The six-speed transmission also shares the same gear ratios as the F but the final drive is different, allowing us to reach 70mph on some asphalt sections of our day riding the CRF230L in the high deserts of California. The semi-double-cradle high-tensile-steel frame (say that five times fast) holds the 37mm Showa leading-axle forks with 9.0 inches of travel, and in back the heavy-duty Showa shock delivers 6.3 inches of travel.

The seat height is a low 31.9 inches making is easy for riders of all sizes to swing a leg over the machine. Disc brakes front and back bring the heavy little machine to a quick stop. The USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler combo means the CRF230L is legit for off-road use where spark arresters are required and is so quiet its hard to tell if it’s running when idling. The steal gas tank holds 2.3 gallons, including a 0.7-gallon reserve and will go between 80-100 miles on a tank of gas.

  We rode the little CRF230L over 80 miles during Honda’s introduction and while it isn’t a rocket, it’s a lot of fun. Its not a bike you want to smash through desert whoops on but trail riding brings a smile and the ability to ride the streets is a big bonus. The CRF230L is like a shrunk down version of the XR650L.

Look for a full test in the May issue of Dirt Bike.

CRF230LEngine Type: 223cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke: 65.5mm x 66.2mm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve Induction: 30mm CV carburetor Ignition: CD

Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: #520 O-ring-sealed chain

 Front: 37mm leading-axle Showa fork; 9.0 inches travel
 Rear: Pro-Link Showa single shock with spring preload adjustability; 6.3 inches travel

Brakes: Front: Single 240mm disc Rear: 220mm disc
Tires: Front: 2.75 -21 Rear: 120/80-18
Wheelbase: 52.75 inches
Rake (Caster angle): 26.83¡
Trail: 103mm (4.0 inches)
Seat Height: 31.9 inches
Ground Clearance: 9.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 2.3 gallons, including 0.7-gallon reserve

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