2014 Honda CRF230F Trail Bike

The motor, suspension, and handling are just a few things that make this bike great

Many new riders ask us what we think of Honda’s CRF230F play bike. Well, we recently went to the 2014 Honda CRF230F trail bike introduction at the Hungry Valley OHV Park in Gorman, California and got a chance to ride each of the new machines. Our final installment is of our Honda trail bike series is, as requested, the 2014 CRF230F. The CRF230F has been a staple in the Honda trail bike line up for a few years, but we felt the need to revisit the big bike to see how it works out on the trail.

2014 Honda CRF230F
* Seat Height: 34.1 inches
* Claimed Weight: 249 lbs. with full tank of fuel
* MSRP: 4,170.00
* Website: www.powersports.honda.com

Just because you’re a bigger rider doesn’t mean you want a fire breathing off-road machine, does it? No, of course not! Honda makes its largest trail bike, the CRF230F, with the larger size rider in mind. If you’re too tall and cramped on the other Honda model trail bikes, have no fear—the CRF230F can get you out on the trail with your family and friends without the scary/ crazy horsepower that full size off-road bikes produce.

  1. Motor. A lot of work went into the design of this six-speed off-road model. The 223cc engine has no problem pulling around its 249-pound chassis out on the trail. The bottom end offers enough power to keep your friends on bigger, full size off-road race machines in sight and is easy to ride for any skill level. Mid-top end power is also smooth and the CRF230F will accommodate a rider looking to go on a faster longer type of trail ride.

  2. Ergonomics. This Honda is set up with an 18" rear wheel and 21" front wheel, which gave the bike maximum ground clearance, but our shortest test riders could still touch the ground thanks to the low seat height. The handlebar could easily be adjusted to accommodate both short and tall riders, which is a huge plus if sharing this bike between family members. The seat foam is comfortable enough for newbies to go on longer rides without getting monkey butt.

  3. Suspension. Once again, the CRF230F comes equipped with Showa components that will make a huge difference in handling and bike control for all types of riders. The CRF230F feels heavy in some tighter parts of the trail but we also noticed it was stable on high speed, whooped out sections.  Lighter riders complimented the plush feeling of the fork and shock and the heavier fellas that we had ride the Honda didn't complain about either. Balanced and great for a wide range of riders, the all-around suspension is a great feature on this model.

  4. Handling. This bike is heavy. It is, however, a very stable machine on straight-line situations. It stays straight without any side-to-side movement but it will get you a little worn out in the tighter trails. The CRF230F corners well, but just don't ask it to corner well on switchbacks. This is where you will feel how top heavy the bike can be.

  5. Electric Start. Yes, we know we have been using this as a category on all the trail bike models, but its hard to deny how well this electric start works for every rider. Those who have spent a lot of time on this machine can attest to the luxury of the button.

  6. Brakes. The front disc is a nice touch (as it should be on this bike) due to the high overall weight of the machine. It does take a little more pull of the front brake to get the CRF230F to stop, but it will get you stopped nonetheless. The rear drum is decent, just make sure not to drag the rear brake as it will fade quickly.

    Check out the November issue of Dirt Rider Magazine for more information on all of Honda's trail bike line up.