As entry-level dual-sport bikes, both models are totally redesigned. These two small-bore motorcycles offer tons of cheap potential. Check out how these bikes performs in our 2008 Honda CRF230L vs Yamaha XT250 comparison.
- 2008 Honda CRF230L
- The CRF230L gives up a little displacement, but the six-speed gearbox helps make up for it and plays a big role in making the red bike a better off-roader.
- Our 120-pound female tester was unable to support the CRF once it tipped over past a certain point.
- Despite nearly two fewer inches of ground clearance, the Honda traverses uneven terrain more easily than the XT250.
- Like we noted during the press launch, the 230L's Showa shock rebounds a little too quickly, but at least it doesn't smack the bottom as hard as the XT does.
- Our CRF was equipped with handguards and a luggage rack, which are nice options as Honda Genuine Accessories.
- A low seat height, balanced weight distribution and good ergonomics make the CRF very manageable off-road.
- Response to the 30mm CV carb is very sharp, but it's to the point where it creates a lurching sensation when trying to navigate a gridwork of roadways.
- The great thing is that when either machine stalled, the electric starters worked absolutely flawlessly on both. Neither machine comes with a kickstarter.
- Both bikes are pretty affordable entry-level dual-sports. We picked the Honda overall because of slightly more versatility, but there were things about the XT that we really liked.
- The six-speed transmission we loved so much in the off-road sections creates extra work during stoplight action.
- Standing on these little machine is a little awkward regardless, but the Honda (right) is the more accommodating of the pair, even for our largest testers.