Greatest CRF230F Mods: High Upgrades That Are ACTUALLY Price It

Are you seeking to improve your Honda CRF230F? There are a lot of elements you’ll be able to add to make it quicker and extra snug. That is the final word listing of CRF230 mods that really enhance its efficiency. 

Are you prepared to show your “Little woman’s bike” right into a “sleeper bike” that can make guys on greater bikes look twice when passing them on the paths or monitor? I need to warn you, although…

The extra mods you do, the extra addicting it will get. And the extra giggles you should have beneath your helmet when driving this “Little Pink Pig”. 

Riding 2005 Honda CRF230F Best CRF230F Mods: Top Upgrades That Are ACTUALLY Worth It
Having enjoyable within the woods on my CRF230F

Efficiency Mods Half 1

This might be a 2 half sequence, similar to once I coated the listing of XR200 mods. Half 1 might be all about efficiency modifications that can make your CRF230 quicker or make it simpler to experience, which in flip will make you quicker since you are extra snug on it.

A few of these mods are free or low cost for a way a lot of a distinction they make. The CRF230F won’t ever be the perfect motocross bike, however there’s quite a lot of potential hiding beneath. If you happen to get pleasure from path driving within the woods, mountains, or any type of single-track, then you definately’re in for a shock…

Is The CRF230F Energy-Up Jet Package Price It?

Honda builds their off-road path bikes to fulfill EPA and emission requirements in sure nations. Because of this they’ll run too lean in most climates.

The CRF230 positively must be re-jetted to get probably the most efficiency out of it. This contains each inventory or modified 230F’s. 

Many 230 house owners might notice this and do a fast search to search out that there’s a “CRF230 Energy Up Jet Package” (Amazon). This equipment features a new particular needle, a pair completely different major jet sizes, and a brand new pilot jet. The associated fee is about $50, which is cheap for an improve that makes a noticeable distinction.

DIY & Save A Few Bucks

If you happen to like tinkering in your bike with mods, then there’s a less expensive technique to get the identical quantity of efficiency because the Energy Up Jet Package. As an alternative, you should buy particular person major and pilot jets along with a inventory 2003-2005 CRF230F needle. 

Inventory Honda CRF230F Jetting Specs

The inventory jetting on a CRF230F is lean for many climates, which is why the Energy Up Jet equipment (Amazon) is offered. The inventory pilot jet is a 42 and the primary jet is a 110. Going as much as a forty five pilot and a 120 major will achieve energy and throttle response generally. 

The 2003-2005 CRF230 comes with an adjustable needle. Going from the center clip place to the 4th place from the highest must also make an enchancment. 

Why Totally different Fundamental Jets?

The ability up jet equipment needle has a distinct taper, so it requires a richer major jet than should you run the inventory 03-05 needle.
For instance:

When you have the power-up needle then it’s going to run higher with a 132-135 major jet in case your bike is inventory for common climates. A 120 major will run higher with the inventory 03-05 CRF230F needle.

How To Un-Cork Your CRF230F

A number of path bikes come corked or choked up from the manufacturing unit. Normally for emission and sound restrict causes to fulfill EPA necessities. Altering the jets within the carb, as you simply learn, was a part of the un-corking course of.

The CRF230 has a baffle/restrictor on the consumption and exhaust. These do assist preserve the sound output down, however they’re limiting some potential energy. 

To un-cork a Honda CRF230F, merely take away the consumption air field lid and exhaust baffle. Jetting should be modified if it’s nonetheless inventory from the manufacturing unit. 

Air Field

The CRF230 has an average-sized air field, however there’s not a lot room for air to get in to succeed in the carb. The extra air you may get via the carb, the extra potential fuel you may get via it as nicely, which can make extra energy.

That is theoretical, in fact, as a result of the engine has to have the ability to correctly burn all of that air and gas to make the facility.

Why will we set up greater carbs on grime bikes? They suck extra air in to spice up the horsepower (when correctly tuned). Nonetheless, different elements come into play, reminiscent of the rate of the air. Air velocity is how briskly the air goes via the consumption, which performs an even bigger function in low-end torque.

For instance, if you go to an even bigger carb the top-end energy is elevated, however some low-end torque is often misplaced. Entering into the science of it’s attention-grabbing, however that’s not what this text is about.

Take away The Lid

There’s a lid on the highest of the airbox that may be eliminated to make the opening greater. You’ll have to take the seat off to entry it. 

Slightly extra mud will have the ability to get in, however it’s typically price it should you’re on the lookout for extra energy. This is the reason it’s vital to have a high quality air filter that’s recurrently cleaned or modified. 

Air Filter

Going to a high quality aftermarket air filter may also enable extra air via, providing you with extra energy and higher throttle response. Simply keep in mind to maintain it clear, particularly should you experience in sandy/dusty areas. 

Muffler Baffle/Finish Cap

Whereas the inventory head pipe is the largest restriction (extra on this later), the manufacturing unit muffler on the Honda 230 has a baffle with a built-in spark arrestor on it. This may be eliminated to achieve some low-end torque and throttle response. 

Nonetheless, this can tremendously enhance the sound decibel output. I don’t advocate this modification should you stay in a suburban space with neighbors shut by or should you experience at a path/park that requires a USFS accepted spark arrestor

20180802 105425 Best CRF230F Mods: Top Upgrades That Are ACTUALLY Worth It
Using up a mountain on my Honda CRF230F

CRF230 Suspension upgrades

The final a part of a path bike that will get a know-how replace is often the suspension. It’s because reasonably priced path bikes are constructed for a newbie rider or somebody that doesn’t have sufficient expertise to inform a distinction between good and unhealthy suspension. 

The CRF230F suspension is Nineteen Seventies know-how, however that’s okay. It’s tremendous easy, simple to work on, and dependable. The issue is that after you begin driving at increased speeds over tough terrain, the inventory forks and shock will beat you up and will even throw you off the bike.

Having correctly setup suspension for YOU is vital for security, however studying correct driving strategies is much more vital and might make up for poor suspension to a degree.

What’s Your Funds & Timeframe?

There are a number of choices out there for modifying or upgrading your CRF230 suspension, however the perfect choices are a whole lot of {dollars}. If you happen to plan on conserving this bike for years to return, it could be price your time, effort, and funding. 

Rear Shock improve

The rear shock is probably the most troublesome half on the CRF230 in relation to efficiency. Honda continues to disregard this subpar, but very important suspension element that may trigger issues of safety in case you are an aggressive rider.

Inventory Shock Woes

The inventory shock on the 230 really has a very good spring price for a medium-sized newbie path rider, however you may get a stiffer spring (Amazon) should you weigh over 200 lbs. The primary drawback is the inner valving that may and will provide you with a tough time driving on tough terrain if you push the tempo onerous sufficient. 

The rebound damping is simply too sluggish. It is a drawback when you’ve two consecutive bumps or obstacles that can compress the rear shock in a brief period of time.

Has the inventory shock put you on the bottom?

The primary bump will compress the shock, however the shock rebounds too slowly. By the point you hit the second bump the shock continues to be attempting to rebound.

This may compress it much more than the primary bump did. After that’s when it’s going to attempt to buck you off as a result of it now can totally rebound, however it has much more built-up drive from compressing twice. 

Inventory Shock Re-Valve

The inventory shock will be re-valved by an expert, reminiscent of Bruce Triplett or John Hlebo, however even Bruce says that the inventory CRF230F shock is restricted. Nonetheless, it’s probably the most reasonably priced shock improve and will certainly make a distinction, even should you’re a mean rider with little expertise.

Relying on who you ship it to, it’ll be round 200 bucks. That’s not very costly for a re-valve, however you’re lacking out on any exterior changes for higher efficiency, except for the spring pre-load. 

Vonkat rear shock improve

The most recent rear shock choice for the CRF230 is likely to be the perfect worth and efficiency to your cash. The Vonkat rear shock (Amazon) is a good choice should you’re an aggressive or heavier rider for just a few causes.

Vonkat shock benefits:

  • Extra suspension/wheel journey = higher potential efficiency
  • 2.5 lbs lighter than inventory – that’s HUGE (much less unsprung weight = higher dealing with)
  • Greater shock shaft (18) – extra sturdy for aggressive driving
  • 20 clicker rebound damping adjustment – tune for higher consolation/traction
  • Air adjustable spring help for much more tunability
  • Rebuildable – the inventory shock shouldn’t be made to be simply rebuildable

Even Torture Check says that it’s an awesome bolt-on mod should you’re on the lookout for probably the most efficiency to your cash. In comparison with the Hagon shock, it’s arrange for quicker and heavier riders.

Hagon Shock

A Hagon rear shock is an entire aftermarket shock for the 230F. It’s a giant enchancment over the inventory shock, however it’s nonetheless restricted because of an absence of adjustability. It has a compression/rebound clicker adjustment, and the pre-load will be adjusted. There’s no distant reservoir or high-speed damping.

Works/Different Shocks

There are different aftermarket shocks that appear to return and go so far as resale and availability. The very best shocks for a CRF230F typically have a distant reservoir with full compression and rebound damping adjustment, in addition to excessive velocity compression damping. 

Excessive velocity damping management is nice for path bikes as a result of it might probably make a uneven experience really feel plush with out bottoming out simply. Excessive velocity compression damping controls the compression velocity if you hit obstacles that compress the suspension at a excessive price of velocity.

This would come with small bumps, rocks, roots, and many others. With the ability to soften it up for the small stuff with out effecting the suspension on greater hits will make your experience softer so that you’ll have the ability to experience longer.

Entrance Fork Upgrades

The inventory CRF230F forks are sufficient for a brand new rider, however they’re very comfortable and one-dimensional. They solely have about 9.5″ of journey, so this is among the greatest disadvantages in comparison with different full dimension path bikes with 11-12 inches of suspension journey. 

Funds DIY fork improve

The inventory 230 forks will be modified. Heavy responsibility springs (Amazon) are a typical and pretty simple mod, however that solely makes them a stiffer one-dimensional set of forks.

Once I say one-dimensional, I imply that the speed at which the forks compress is similar all through your entire stroke. This is because of there solely being one gap on every damper rod for the fork oil to movement via. That is known as suspension damping. 

You may as well use heavier-weight fork oil (Amazon) to decelerate the compression and rebound damping much more. If you happen to’re already changing the inventory fork springs, then it’s simple to make use of heavier oil to make it stiffer and assist forestall bottoming the forks.

Inventory Fork Re-valve Mod

I prefer to work on and modify my very own bikes and elements, however in relation to suspension work that I’ve by no means carried out earlier than, I contemplate sending it to somebody and see what they did and the way it works.

Within the case of my CRF230, I despatched my inventory fork damper rods and is derived to Bruce Triplett as a result of he is aware of his stuff in relation to older fashion RSU (right-side-up) forks. The 230 neighborhood regard him because the guru for the inventory suspension parts and learn how to set them up for every particular person’s weight and driving skill. 

Modded 2005 Honda CRF230F
CRF230F with Bruce Triplett modified forks.

For a little bit greater than 100 bucks I bought them again and put in them myself. I used to be tremendously impressed as a result of the damping was way more progressive, and the pre-load was spot on for my weight.

For the perfect funds fork improve, a very good tuner like Bruce is the way in which to go, particularly should you’re intimidated by engaged on the suspension. He’s extraordinarily simple to speak to and can clarify all the things intimately. His velocity and value are past honest for my part.

CRF230F Fork Conversions – From completely different bikes?

There are quite a few fork conversions which were carried out to the CRF230F. Whichever type of fork setup you need is determined by how a lot work you’re prepared to do. 

CR85 to CRF230 Fork Conversion

Most likely the primary and hottest fork swap was the CR80/CR85 forks, which is what I’ve on my 230. They’re one of many lightest forks that may be fitted to this bike.

Adapter kits had been being made by no less than one producer/particular person, however they are often troublesome to supply should you don’t have the assets to make your individual adapter elements.

The CR85 forks require a decrease triple clamp reduction mod for the steering stem to be lengthy sufficient, wheel spacers, brake caliper adapters, fender mounting mods, and an extended brake line. There’s in all probability a pair different small issues to make all the things match and work. 

CRF230F CR85 Fork Conversion
CRF230F with CR85 forks.

Then there’s establishing the fork spring price and valving. Stiffer springs are required, however the valving must be softer for path driving or else will probably be a harsh experience. If correctly arrange, these forks are on one other degree in comparison with the inventory 230F forks. Having additional journey helps too. 

XR400 Fork Swap

The most recent widespread fork conversion is taking an entire XR400 front-end and bolting it onto the CRF230 chassis. There are nonetheless some small mods that should be carried out, reminiscent of shortening the steering stem, however these are very succesful forks, particularly after some valving adjustments. 


Do you’ve the unique tires in your CRF230? Even when they nonetheless have loads of tread left, going to a distinct tire for the suitable terrain might be an improve.

After suspension, tires are the largest issue to driving comfortably and assured, which can speed up your ability and velocity. I actually just like the Shinko F546 (Amazon) on the entrance and a IRC VE33 (Amazon) on the rear. They each work nicely in each terrain I’ve ridden my 230F.

Upgraded CDI Field

The CDI (ignition field) controls the timing of the spark that produces combustion for the engine. The inventory CRF230F CDI could be very mellow, to place it plainly. It’s a lazy ignition curve in order that the power-curve is clean, comfortable, and it received’t trigger any pre-ignition issues.

An aftermarket ignition will advance the spark in any respect or sure RPM ranges. What this implies is that the spark plug will ignite and the combustion will start at a sooner level of the engine rotation. This helps burn the combination and push the piston again down on the proper time to make extra energy. 

There’s some extent at which advancing will do extra hurt than good. The consequence might be a loss in energy and it might probably pre-ignite the air/gas combination. You shouldn’t want to fret about that on the CRF 230 except you’re operating extraordinarily excessive compression.

ProCom CDI

The very best bang to your buck goes to be a ProCom CDI. It advances the spark principally at low RPM speeds. This may assist enhance low-end torque, which is the place this bike shines. 

The rev limiter can be elevated, however the CRF230 is ineffective at that top of an RPM. As soon as it goes previous 8k it’s going downhill within the horsepower division. 


Do you know that the CRF230F and CRF150F (03-05) share the identical dimension head pipe? Honda needed to economize, in order that they didn’t develop a brand new head pipe that works higher for the bigger engine, in order that they used the pipe from the smaller engine.

It is a choke level, so going with a bigger diameter header pipe will present a noticeable energy achieve even when your engine is inventory. 

Is The Muffler Junk Too?

The 230 muffler is definitely not that unhealthy. Sure, the baffle is considerably restrictive, however the muffler itself flows nicely sufficient to make use of a bigger head pipe with it. 

Going with a full aftermarket exhaust system can yield probably the most enchancment, however it prices extra and is mostly louder. 

Which Exhaust Is Greatest?

Just about any aftermarket exhaust goes to be higher than a inventory system if it’s correctly jetted. It primarily is determined by the look, sound, and value you wish to pay for it. 

Low-cost Knock-Off Exhaust System

If you happen to’re on a decent funds, the JFG Racing exhaust system (Amazon) is as low cost because it will get whereas nonetheless providing you with efficiency. At about 100 bucks, you surprise how they’ll promote them… 

The standard of supplies and fitment in all probability received’t be the best. You may simply want to assist it alongside to suit, however chances are you’ll not have any drawback in any respect. It’s not a dyno-proven exhaust, so don’t count on large horsepower positive factors to your CRF230.

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B07GYSLJMD&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL250 &tag=crf230f mods 20 Best CRF230F Mods: Top Upgrades That Are ACTUALLY Worth It

Professional Circuit T4 System

The Professional Circuit T4 exhaust system (Amazon) is my suggestion for the perfect bang to your buck in efficiency, high quality and value. It seems good and sounds good too. The pinnacle pipe has a number of diameters (stepped head pipe will get greater every part), which is ideal for offering broad, mid-range energy. 

Walkaround and Sound Overview of Professional Circuit T4

The PC T4 goes to be louder than a inventory pipe, however it’s not obnoxious. For round 250, you’re not going to search out many different title model full exhausts except they’re used. It additionally comes with a USFS accepted spark arrestor on the tip cap.

Yoshimura RS2 System

Yoshimura is well-known for making top quality efficiency exhausts within the grime bike trade. The construct high quality and sturdiness is nice, and with the quiet insert, it’s one of many quietest pipes whereas nonetheless providing you with extra energy than inventory. 

The Yoshimura RS2 Comp Collection Enduro exhaust (MotoSport) comes with a USFS accepted spark arrestor for the CRF230F.

Yoshimura RS2 on CRF230F sound clip

My Private Overview

I personally have an FMF Megabomb head pipe with the inventory muffler and a customized finish cap on my CRF230F. The FMF header has a decreased diameter the place it meets the midpipe/inventory muffler joint, so it nonetheless restricts movement regardless that it’s bigger than replenish till that time. 

Out of the above choices, I might in all probability go along with the Yoshimura or Professional Circuit (Amazon) exhaust system if I needed to do it over once more. That approach I get the entire system without having to do any mods later to open it up extra. 

Carb Improve

The inventory carburetor is one other choke level on the CRF230F. Upgrading to a bigger carb will more than likely achieve horsepower, however chances are you’ll lose torque should you select the improper one. 

XL250 OEM Carb

The outdated Honda XL250 carb is mainly the best bolt-on efficiency carb improve for the CRF230. The issue is, they’re onerous to search out, and so they often want a rebuild with substitute elements which are onerous to search out in inventory. 

The rationale why the XL250 carb is best is primarily due to the accelerator pump. The AP is a mechanical pump that squirts a small shot of gas via the carb at low RPM throttle openings. This additional gas produces extra low-end energy and throttle response as a result of it helps do away with that lean spot. 

Why The Inventory Carb Sucks

Previous, spherical slide carbs, like what the inventory CRF230F has, should not environment friendly at low RPM. There’s lots that goes into that however that’s for an additional article.

If you happen to’ve ever snapped the throttle open rapidly from a low RPM, you’ve in all probability felt the lavatory or hesitation earlier than it begins accelerating. It is a lean lavatory as a result of the engine can’t burn the gas on the identical price that air is coming in.

Including a little bit additional gas from the AP counteracts that, providing you with extra “snap” on the low-end, which is nice for getting up hills in a decrease gear or popping the entrance wheel as much as recover from a fallen log.

XL250 Chinese language Copy Carb

There’s a Chinese language copy of the XL250 carburetor (Amazon) on eBay for lower than $50, however the high quality isn’t fairly the identical. Many CRF230 house owners which have carried out this carb swap wanted to purchase two of those carbs and swap out good working elements from every of them to make one full functioning carb. The accelerator pump and nozzle will in all probability should be adjusted as nicely on this copycat carb or else you received’t get the profit.

If you happen to like tinkering on stuff and saving cash, this route may fit out nicely for you. 

Keihin PWK28 Carb Conversion

A real Keihin PWK 28 carb is well-known to be an awesome carb improve for the CRF230F, even when your engine is inventory. It’s smaller, lighter, simple to tune, and it outperforms the inventory carb in each approach. 

The largest setback is the associated fee and time to adapt it to the CRF230 consumption manifold. A brand new real PWK28 is over 200 bucks, however setup with the appropriate jetting and it’s able to go along with some adapters and a distinct throttle meeting. The inventory carb has push and pull cables whereas the PWK simply has one pull cable.

PWK carb is a great mod to give your CRF230F more torque and horsepower
Real Keihin PWK Carb swap on my CRF230F

Adapters are wanted as a result of it’s shorter than the inventory carb and the inlet/outlet diameters are smaller. They are often machined and pressed on, or you may get artistic with some tubing from an area {hardware}/instrument provide retailer. 

Massive Bore Package

There’s no substitute for displacement. You could have quite a few choices for rising the engine dimension in your CRF 230. A large bore piston equipment from BBR (Amazon) is offered if you wish to bore your inventory cylinder out. This must be carried out by a machinist that may maintain correct tolerances. 

Athena has an entire large bore equipment that comes with a brand new cylinder and piston equipment already matched to dimension. The very best half? It’s not way more costly than a large bore piston equipment. It’s increased compression however can nonetheless be run on premium pump fuel. To learn extra concerning the Athena large bore equipment click on right here

Camshaft improve

The camshaft is among the greatest items to the puzzle of any 4 stroke engine. It determines the place the facility is made and the way it comes on. Internet Cam Racing is the largest producer of camshafts for the CRF230F. 

In order for you extra low-end torque, go for increased elevate and low to reasonable length. The extra length you add the upper within the RPM vary the facility shifts in direction of.

Max elevate for the inventory CRF230 valve springs is .365″. Any greater than that and you will have heavier responsibility springs in order that they don’t bind and trigger valve float. 

Cylinder Head Porting Is Underrated

The opposite secret sauce to constructing an awesome engine is within the ports. Cylinder head porting could make or break an engine’s power-band, and it’s simple to do the latter should you don’t know what you’re doing. Simply making the ports bigger in all probability received’t assist as a lot as you assume. In reality, it could make it worse and kill your bottom-end energy. 

The Consumption Offender

The weakest hyperlink within the CRF230F cylinder head is the consumption port. It’s restrictive, and sadly, there isn’t a lot room to work with earlier than breaking via the port wall. 

Discovering a porting specialist that is aware of the 230 engine particularly is essential to getting probably the most environment friendly energy positive factors. 

Making All the things Work Collectively

A inventory CRF230 head can solely movement a lot air. Even should you add a giant bore, a bigger carb, and a better-flowing exhaust, the consumption port goes to choke up the potential that you may be getting.

All the things within the engine works collectively, so should you’re going for a particular sort of power-curve, all of the parts must be tuned for that RPM vary. 

Flywheel Key

Just like the ProCom CDI talked about earlier, a modified flywheel key can advance the timing to spice up low-end energy and throttle response. The flywheel key indexes the flywheel, which is on the crankshaft. Eradicating materials from one aspect of the important thing will change the timing of the flywheel. 

Adjustable Camshaft Sprocket

Need much more timing adjustability? Slot the cam sprocket holes to “diploma in” your camshaft, particularly if it’s an aftermarket race cam. It’s all the time good to examine the cam timing and valve clearances when putting in a brand new camshaft. 

More often than not the cam builder will get the timing spot on, however sometimes chances are you’ll want to regulate it a pair levels to get it the place you need it. 

Lightened Flywheel

Not solely will the engine be lighter, however it’s going to rev faster for higher acceleration. Eradicating 12+ ounces from the circumference of the CRF230F flywheel is straightforward with a machinist lathe. The engine and flywheel are already so heavy that eradicating as much as 1 pound is not going to make it simple to stall as a result of lighter rotating mass.

CRF230F Lightened Flywheel Best CRF230F Mods: Top Upgrades That Are ACTUALLY Worth It
CRF230F Lightened Flywheel

Bonus Mod: Gearing

Yet another mod that can make a giant distinction in your CRF230 is altering the gearing. Inventory gearing is a 13 tooth entrance and 51 tooth rear sprocket.

First gear is so low that it’s virtually unusable. When you begin including energy, you may as nicely begin in second gear as a result of it has loads of torque to tug it from a standstill.

Right here is the listing of the 13 finest CRF230 mods:

  • Airbox
  • Air filter
  • Rejet
  • Muffler
  • Rear shock
  • Forks
  • Tires
  • CDI Improve
  • Exhaust
  • Carb
  • Massive bore equipment
  • Camshaft
  • Porting
  • Flywheel key
  • Lightened flywheel
  • Adjustable camshaft sprocket

The very best mod to experience with confidence on the paths

You are able to do all of the mods you wish to your CRF230F, however should you don’t have correct driving approach, you’re going to wrestle staying in management on the paths. Need to get began on the appropriate path to constructing your confidence? Click on right here to begin studying correct driving approach.