Yamaha makes no concessions in what concerns the TT-R230 and it feels from the first time you through a leg over it. To begin with, the seat is only 34.2 inches from the ground and yet they manage to achieve an 11.6 inches ground clearance. The center of gravity is also very low, providing confidence to a beginning rider as the bike stands for easy slow speed maneuvering.
Not quite the top of the line, but neither an entry-level bike, the biggest TT-R handles like old two-stroke Yamaha trail bikes even though the engine is a highly reliable 223cc air-cooled SOHC four-stroke with two valves. Can it get simpler than that? The light and precise handling is only matched by the carbureted engine’s more than decent performance considering the 256 lbs mass of the bike only.
Built with ergonomics in mind, the bike feels comfortable and reassuring especially knowing that you can always prevent a fall by simply sacrificing your boot’s luster. With full-sized wheels (21-inch front and 18-inch rear), long travel suspension and apparently an insignificant, but damn important skidplate under the engine, you really can’t doubt TT-R’s off-road abilities. Through the mud, over steep hills and on top of slippery rocks, the small TT-R230 unveils its WR-F DNA and that’s always a good thing.
The engine might seem like it is on it for decades, but it stands as the excitement source at all times. Responsive and very well tuned, that blacked-out single cylinder delivers great low- and midrange power while the lack of consistency from the top of the rev range is complemented by the existence of a sixth gear. This is how Yamaha makes it possible for us to push the thing up to 70 mph without making excessive use of the fairly small engine. It sounds really torquey, but doesn’t vibrate that hard so it definitely won’t scare anyone.
With 9.5 inches of ground clearance up front and 8.7 at the rear, any ride on the trails is smooth and the TT-R really makes you feel like part of the scenario if riding it docile. The other way around, you’ll be just a passer-by. It still doesn’t get a rear disc brake, but the CRF230F doesn’t either and they don’t actually need it to be quite honest. Relying on a 220 mm front disc and a 130mm rear drum, you are provided with enough stopping power to put an end to any of those “help me Lord!” kind of situations. I’m not saying that the Yamaha TT-R230 will get you there, but it is good to know you can always harness it.
Overall, the bike leaves no doubts of it being good both for beginning and more experienced riders and it sure meets the purpose of its creation beautifully.
Yamaha sells the 2009 Yamaha TT-R230 ever since October 2008 for an MSRP of $3,699 and succeeds remaining strong on the market even though competition is definitely a thing worthy to be taken in consideration.
For those of you looking for a cheap, torquey and beautiful trail machine, the Yamaha TT-R230 is indeed one of the few names that can be seriously taken in consideration as it is cheap to maintain and lasts a lifetime.