Honda’s small in displacement, but large in size 2009 CRF230L stands as an incredible do-it-all motorcycle. First off, it is an economic and fast commuting mean, one that does a very good job exploring the trails and secondly, it is user-friendly and brings full benefits of an e-start and a low seat height. Did I even mention how great it looks? Well…it sure does!
2009 Honda CRF230L
But Honda didn’t spend that much time refining the design as it did in making sure that the bike meets the purpose of its creation. So what do riders look for before ending up choosing the Honda CRF230L?
A torquey 223cc, air-cooled, four-stroke single and six-speed transmission is probably as good as an answer as it is the lightweight semi-double-cradle high-tensile steel frame, but when you add crisp throttle response and Showa long-travel suspensions there isn’t pretty much anything you can ask for. Or not! In this case, the bike is even better overall as it only weights 267 pounds wet and the rider sits 31.9 inches from the ground.
With the headlight, taillight, turn signals and mirrors as the final touches of street-legality, I believe we’re quite familiar with what doest the trick on this CRF model.
But as much heritage the Honda may have, we should never forget that the rest of the Japanese crowd is always close to the action and this case is no different.
2009 Yamaha XT250
Yamaha is out with the 2009 XT250, their most versatile dual-sport machine, one that not only matches Honda’s engine capabilities with their own carbureted and e-started 249cc, air-cooled, SOHC, four-stroke single-cylinder engine, but also features a 31.9 inches high seat. The ground clearance of the Yamaha XT250 (11.2 inches) makes it more of a dirt roads machine (CRF’s ground clearance is only 9.5 inches) and so is the five-speed gearbox. I guess it is just a matter of knowing where you’ll be riding more often and choose between the Honda (better on the streets) and Yamaha (better on the trails). This last comes with a $4,690 MSRP in order to ease your decision.
With a liquid-cooled, 249cc, four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve single-cylinder engine working perfectly together with a six-speed tranny and yet offering a 11.2 inches of ground clearance, the 2009 Kawasaki KLX250S meets the market’s demands for a stronger pulling dual-purpose motorcycle, one that doesn’t sacrifice the off-road capabilities. Still, the 35 inches of seat height make the situation a little bit tricky on shorter riders. Base price is $4,999.
2009 Suzuki DR200SE
Significantly cheaper ($3,949), more user-friendly and getting the best fuel mileage in its class (105 mpg) is the 2009 Suzuki DR200SE. The engine behind it is a docile air-cooled, 199cc, four-stroke, OHC single-cylinder fed through a Mikuni carburetor. This is also electronically started, but only gets a five-speed gearbox not because of its off-road abilities, but because small cylinder capacity. The 31.9 inches of seat height also characterizes the small Suzi, but so is the 278 lbs and rear drum brake.