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timg
11th May 2008, 20:02
Hi Folks,
For some time we have been mulling over getting a bike for my wife. The problem is that she is very short at 5'0" and compounding the problem is that proportionally she has a long body and short legs. We now have the $'s for a new or near new bike and for the last few weeks we have been touring the bike shops trying every thing we can find for size. Being short with short legs has made finding a suitable bike a real drama. The obvious shorties bikes are Yamaha XT225/XT250/TW200, Honda SL230/CRF230L, Suzuki DR200 & Kawasaki Sherpa 250. We hav'nt been able to find a Sherpa or TW200 locally to try out, however all the others are way too tall without significant lowering, and opinions vary regarding the feasibility of doing it. All have a similar seat height but the XT225/250, CRF230L are the closest to fitting due to being very slim bikes, but she is nowhere near being able to get a toe on the ground while seated, let alone both feet touching. We would need to lower the bikes by approx 100 mm which can be acheived by a combination of suspension mods, seat re-trimming and even built up soles on her riding boots.

Are there any bikes we have overlooked? The bike will be used for adventure touring. It needs to be able to maintain open road speeds comfortably, suitable for seal, gravel and formed back country tracks. It won't be used off road/trail riding. It won't be required to carry luggage other than spare riding gear etc (I have a Transalp 650 which is capable of carrying the gear for 2).

Is there anyone that has first hand experience in lowering any of these bikes substantially and properly? If so how and how did it work out?

We've trawled the interweb which as usual is totally confusing.

Any input would be appreciated.
Cheers, Tim.

trustme
11th May 2008, 20:19
Triboy has been modding a GN 250 for his girlfriend & I think it has worked out pretty well. My wife started off on a Kawi BR250 they are pretty rare & the bars are clip on style but I tried it on dirt roads & it was fine. Watched Xerasawhatsit on his CB250rs, he scared the shit out of me but went really well on gravel. So maybe you look for an older single cyl commuter , change tyres & bobs your uncle so to speak.
My wife is 5'2" & we couldnt get any trail bike to suit, ended up with a 250GPZ so no dirt roads for her

nigelp
11th May 2008, 20:51
Hey Tim, I was in at Norjo's on Saturday looking for something similar and the new generation of KLX250S that has just come in may fit your bill. They have one in there at present and said that it is pretty easy to do a mod to the dog-bones on the suspension and you can lower the bike.

They are $8k on the road.

dino3310
11th May 2008, 21:30
Triboy did a 250 volty up for kanny for there adventure rides, does the business.
worth a look http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/forums/showthread.php?t=62494

cooneyr
11th May 2008, 22:06
While it is not optimal for suspension operation the dogbones are not hard to manufacture with the intent of lowering the bike. The front forks can often be slid up enough but may need some internal changes as well. I know of two DR650's with longer dog bones, slid forks as well as lowest factory settings.

I can't think of any other bikes in that would suit. Best of luck finding a bike.

Cheers R

awayatc
11th May 2008, 22:15
Gas gas pampera......? very light (just over 100kg) very capable userfriendly quality bike witha very very low and narrow seat......

timg
11th May 2008, 23:01
Triboy has been modding a GN 250 for his girlfriend & I think it has worked out pretty well. My wife started off on a Kawi BR250 they are pretty rare & the bars are clip on style but I tried it on dirt roads & it was fine. Watched Xerasawhatsit on his CB250rs, he scared the shit out of me but went really well on gravel. So maybe you look for an older single cyl commuter , change tyres & bobs your uncle so to speak.
My wife is 5'2" & we couldnt get any trail bike to suit, ended up with a 250GPZ so no dirt roads for her



Triboy did a 250 volty up for kanny for there adventure rides, does the business.
worth a look http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/forums/showthread.php?t=62494

Thanks guys. Yep, I've seen TB's posts re the Volty and chatted to him regarding it during the Passes Ride earlier this year. Part of his modifications was to increase the ride height which would probably work against us. Also we'd prefer to stick with a 21" front wheel .... Cheers.

timg
11th May 2008, 23:10
Hey Tim, I was in at Norjo's on Saturday looking for something similar and the new generation of KLX250S that has just come in may fit your bill. They have one in there at present and said that it is pretty easy to do a mod to the dog-bones on the suspension and you can lower the bike.

They are $8k on the road.

Thanks Nigel. Yes we've looked at the new KLX but it's way higher to start with - 890 or 900 mm seat height from memory, and lowering it might get it down towards wot the other bikes are. You got plans for the Brass? Struan mentioned what he's planning? Cheers.

timg
11th May 2008, 23:21
While it is not optimal for suspension operation the dogbones are not hard to manufacture with the intent of lowering the bike. The front forks can often be slid up enough but may need some internal changes as well. I know of two DR650's with longer dog bones, slid forks as well as lowest factory settings.

I can't think of any other bikes in that would suit. Best of luck finding a bike.

Cheers R

Thanx R. Helen of Troy's is the lowest DR I'm aware of and that's still too high. Sportzone say they cannot do anything for the DR200 in the rear other than screw off preload. The XT's seem they might be the best bet, can have the dogbones done but with the amount of drop we require would require the rear shock & spring shortened as well, and the same at the front. The thing is nobody is prepared to say that they can do it. The Honda prolink isn't as easy. There's a lowering kit for the 'real' CRF230, but it's a different bike from the CRF230L although some components carry over. Nobody is able to tell me if the lower linkage & geometery is the same which if it was the lowering kit would be interchangable. A new wife might be cheaper! :devil2:

timg
11th May 2008, 23:25
Gas gas pampera......? very light (just over 100kg) very capable userfriendly quality bike witha very very low and narrow seat......

Thanks. I'll check it out. Road legal? Cheers.

Squiggles
11th May 2008, 23:32
My DR250 (85 model) is very low, mrs can get both feet on the ground. I'll try and get out the tape tomorrow and measure it up. No feckin way its as tall as the net says

awayatc
12th May 2008, 07:28
Thanks. I'll check it out. Road legal? Cheers.

Yes they are...street and sport in manchesterstreet christchurch are listed as agents/dealers.
All the NZ bike magazines had very positive write-ups on the little pampera, I'm sure you can find some on the net.
It was said at the time that the gas gas had the lowest seat available in that market..(and lowest weight)....numbers on paper don't tell the whole story, I have seen one in real life, and was very impressed...Hope you manage to have a look at one...
Good luck:scooter:

Transalper
12th May 2008, 09:14
Thanx R. Helen of Troy's is the lowest DR I'm aware of and that's still too high.J's DR650 is lower than Helens but Js seat has been modded so is a little wider now which doesn't help. I'm pretty sure you'd stil find it to tall. We can lower it further but it would involve shortening the suspension stroke and the belly to ground clearance will start to suffer more.



Sportzone say they cannot do anything for the DR200 in the rear other than screw off preload. The XT's seem they might be the best bet, can have the dogbones done but with the amount of drop we require would require the rear shock & spring shortened as well, and the same at the front. The thing is nobody is prepared to say that they can do it. The Honda prolink isn't as easy. There's a lowering kit for the 'real' CRF230, but it's a different bike from the CRF230L although some components carry over. Nobody is able to tell me if the lower linkage & geometery is the same which if it was the lowering kit would be interchangable.
You need to go spend some time with Linton at Dirt Action Services.
He can pretty much lower anything within reason. That includes dismantiling and modifying shocks and forks and lengthing dogbones.
I have also seen them use a low profile knobby tyre to grab a few more millimeters.
Trouble is he is busy so these things can take a while, never tell him you are not in a hurry.
DAS... ph.03 389 0080.


Old twin shock bikes are often lower too, but they don't usually handle as well and might need a bit of an overhaul if you find one.

NordieBoy
12th May 2008, 10:03
Old twin shock bikes are often lower too, but they don't usually handle as well and might need a bit of an overhaul if you find one.

They handle fine.
Untill you ride something more modern :D

cooneyr
12th May 2008, 11:01
.......Linton at Dirt Action Services..........
Trouble is he is busy so these things can take a while, never tell him you are not in a hurry.
DAS... ph.03 389 0080......

Put it another way - you always need it in a hurry! At best things can take a month. He does do very good work and he is very informative to talk to.

Cheers R

mazz1972
12th May 2008, 14:04
My DR250 (85 model) is very low, mrs can get both feet on the ground. I'll try and get out the tape tomorrow and measure it up. No feckin way its as tall as the net says

I'm 5ft4 and a 2004/5 DR250 with everything lowered including seat cut down, was still too tall for me. It belonged to a friend and it was also too tall for her. Her riding confidence dropped massively when she had that bike.

mazz1972
12th May 2008, 14:56
Timg

Not sure if any of this will help or not….

How does the state seat height of the bikes you've tried compare with the Sherpa? The Sherpa is stated to be 830mm.

I have a Sherpa and I’m 5ft4. With my bike boots on I can get both feet practically flat on the ground. I reckon it would be fine for someone of your wifes height too.....should at least be able to get toes down anyway.

You can make adjustments to the rear suspension which would make a small difference how much the shock compacts, and therefore height when sitting on it.

I've had my Sherpa from new for nearly two years, and it's just clocked over 10,000 kms. Still on the original tyres but they are now pretty buggered and new ones on order. It does road speeds fine, handles the gravel etc perfectly (although the owner doesn’t!), and I’ve had it well loaded up with a very full ventura pack etc. The bike is fairly light so I find it dead easy to handle. I would seriously recommend one of these. You didn’t mention if your wife already rides or whether she’s a learner?

In case you weren’t aware….the Kawasaki Stockman is the same bike as the Sherpa with same seat height….in case you find one to sit on.

There’s a review of it here http://www.aatorque.co.nz/reviews/Pages/Kawasaki.aspx and was another review in Kiwirider a few issues back.

The DR200, at 810mm, is lower than the Sherpa, but I didn’t want a 200cc.
Unfortunately for us folk with the shorter wheel base, there aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to dual purpose bikes!

Good luck!

And yes folks I know that in the photo I've got the pack on the wrong side of the rack....but there just isn't enough room for me if I have it facing the front, even without the tank bag!

CRM
12th May 2008, 15:06
I'v got a 250 Pampera and also a Honda XL250 Degree. Both are quite low seat height and the Pampera has the advantage of being very narrow and light as well.

The XL250 is about the size of a CRF230 or XR200 and very cushy and stable for adventure riding. It's electric start water cooled and very well mannered for adventure riding and commuting.

The Pampera has quite a small fuel tank which limits it's range but it's the most fun bike to ride - based on a trials bike motor will go more places than any bike short of a true trials bike but you can actually sit down on it! They're very popular with women riders due to the size and weight. I like it because I can play trials, do trail rides, do a fair pace on it off road and ride it on the road as well.

I'm considering selling one or both of these bikes as I need some cash for some other stuff so if you are interested at all give me a pm.

marks
12th May 2008, 15:14
It does road speeds fine, handles the gravel etc perfectly (although the owner doesn’t!), and I’ve had it well loaded up with a very full ventura pack etc.

Getting rid of the pack rack and putting your gear in throw over panniers can make a light bike much more confidence inspiring in gravel.

cheers

Mark

SDU
12th May 2008, 16:07
Thanx R. Helen of Troy's is the lowest DR I'm aware of and that's still too high.

I'm the hobbit that had HoT's bike before her. I can't remember but I think we left it lowered but not as low as it was for me (may have put the original dogbones back on it???) ask Helen.
It wasn't too hard to get dogbones made to lower it more, & I had the shocks adjusted & the forks pushed through too. I was on the tips of my toes so it is also about confidence. Linton can do the suspension even more to lower it. I found it the best dual sporter for on the road & light off roading, as it had enough power to do the job. It also handled well in it's lowered form.
The Serow225 (XT250) I had before that (tall also) was just a bit gutless for any big trip- does it but takes awhile to wind up but fine in the tight gnarly stuff as lighter. An 800mm (still on ya toes) seat bike is hard to find-KLX125Letc are all I know off & won't suit your purpose.

Don't give up most things can be lowered.

SDU
12th May 2008, 16:49
Oops it's been ages since having the DR650 done but it was lowered as per standard lowering kit & then some.
Lemans did it himself- the DR650 manual explains how to adjust the forks & lower the rear. Then we cored the seat & added non standard dogbones to lower it more. We have them, but the front of HoT's bike is still in the lowered form & the rear is more standard.

twotyred
12th May 2008, 17:40
I would have a look at the AG bikes(ctx200,Stockman,AG200) all have low seat heights to start with and can probably be lowered a bit more...

good luck

timg
12th May 2008, 19:31
You need to go spend some time with Linton at Dirt Action Services.
He can pretty much lower anything within reason.

Thanx TA. Had a good chat to Linton at the Waimak training day they ran a while ago and also more recently to see what he could suggest but it's the "within reason" bit that is the problem. He's not confident that he can get enough out of anything. We'd hoped he or some of the other's we've talked to would be able to say yup we've taken heaps of height out of X bike and it went well and that would be the best bet but so far that has'nt happened. Cheers.

timg
12th May 2008, 19:39
I'm the hobbit.

Hahahahaha! :) Hobbit eh? That's wot Debs gets called around here. Couldn't put that while she was looking over my shoulder tho :dodge:

I've seen Hotties bike, & done a couple of rides with her so I know the bike works well but still looks a bit too high although if it can go lower still that might be an option in the future. At present Debbie is limited to 250cc/learner licence. Thanx for your input. Cheers.

timg
12th May 2008, 19:47
Timg

Not sure if any of this will help or not….

Thanks for that. Specified seat height is only part of the equation. How wide the bike is also has a bearing on its suitability. A short wide bike is as much problem as a narrrow tall 'un. While the Sherpa might be a tad higher than the DR200, it appears a slimmer bike. We haven't been able to find one in Chch to try but one of the Kwaka dealers is going to get one in and have a look at what can be done. Thanks for your input. Cheers.

Rosie
13th May 2008, 08:57
Don't underestimate the lowering potential of a seat reshape. Especially seats that have quite thick foam right at the front - if you can replace that with thinner, denser foam, and make it fairly slim, it will be much easier to find the ground. For touring etc, you aren't normally sitting squeezed against the tank, so modifying that part of the seat shouldn't have too much effect on the overall comfort.

Or, if all else fails, there is always the CT110 :D :blink:

mazz1972
13th May 2008, 09:35
Thanks for that. Specified seat height is only part of the equation. How wide the bike is also has a bearing on its suitability. A short wide bike is as much problem as a narrrow tall 'un. While the Sherpa might be a tad higher than the DR200, it appears a slimmer bike. We haven't been able to find one in Chch to try but one of the Kwaka dealers is going to get one in and have a look at what can be done. Thanks for your input. Cheers.

Norjo Motorcycles in Chch have a Kawa Stockman advertised on Bikepoint - do they not actually have one at the shop?

I understand completely re bike width as well as seat height. The Sherpa is narrow which is why I can reach the ground so well, even with my thunder thighs!

Just an idea.....
Try a Honda NXR125 if anyone in Chch has one (for size only - not recommending you consider one to buy). At 825mm the seat height is 5mm shorter than the Sherpa, but the NXR seat is wider. I had one briefly before my Sherpa and from memory the NXR felt a bit taller. If your wife can reach the ground ok on that, the Sherpa should be fine.

I got my Sherpa while still on my learners and it made a massive difference to my confidence after having the NXR....the weight balance on the NXR seems all wrong and the Sherpa is balanced perfectly.

Crisis management
13th May 2008, 09:36
How about putting some height into her boots? Not something I have any personal knowledge of but it was offered as a viable solution to a similar problem on ADVrider, people were putting 2 - 3 cms thicker soles / heels on and finding it a very workable solution.
Maybe a combination of seat & suspension lowering and feet packing might give enough height to make it work.

mazz1972
13th May 2008, 09:51
Getting rid of the pack rack and putting your gear in throw over panniers can make a light bike much more confidence inspiring in gravel.

cheers

Mark

Load or no load, me and gravel just don't gel! I don't go fast enough but can't get my head around how to handle the bike if it slides...I panic a bit and hang on for grim death. I still do the gravel though , it just takes me longer!

nigelp
13th May 2008, 10:07
Norjo Motorcycles in Chch have a Kawa Stockman advertised on Bikepoint - do they not actually have one at the shop?

I understand completely re bike width as well as seat height. The Sherpa is narrow which is why I can reach the ground so well, even with my thunder thighs!

Just an idea.....
Try a Honda NXR125 if anyone in Chch has one (for size only - not recommending you consider one to buy). At 825mm the seat height is 5mm shorter than the Sherpa, but the NXR seat is wider. I had one briefly before my Sherpa and from memory the NXR felt a bit taller. If your wife can reach the ground ok on that, the Sherpa should be fine.

I got my Sherpa while still on my learners and it made a massive difference to my confidence after having the NXR....the weight balance on the NXR seems all wrong and the Sherpa is balanced perfectly.

Norjo had the stockman sitting outside when I was there last Saturday.

mazz1972
13th May 2008, 10:25
Norjo had the stockman sitting outside when I was there last Saturday.

There you go timg...a sit on that will give you an answer re the Sherpa

SDU
15th May 2008, 12:49
I always try to find boots that are chuckier in style than norm without increasing them- every little bit helps.
The stockman is tall but narrow from memory, see if it can be lowered.

Have you checked out Falsgraves, they get in a few dualsporters.
they are on falsgrave st.

Good luck, just keep on trying.

timg
15th May 2008, 19:49
I always try to find boots that are chuckier in style than norm without increasing them- every little bit helps. The stockman is tall but narrow from memory, see if it can be lowered.

Have you checked out Falsgraves, they get in a few dualsporters.
they are on falsgrave st.

Good luck, just keep on trying.

Yes built up boots are on our list of options. As you say an extra cm or two all helps.

& yes we have been to see what Falsgraves have got. Not much there at the moment except for a higher mileage scruffy SL230. However XF650 found these on the net :niceone: http://www.suzukicycles.org/TU-series/Grasstracker.shtml which look ideal. Seat height of 745mm. We'll see if Falsgraves or one of the other local importers will bring one in with their next shipment. Cheers.

cooneyr
15th May 2008, 20:59
Yes built up boots are on our list of options. As you say an extra cm or two all helps.

& yes we have been to see what Falsgraves have got. Not much there at the moment except for a higher mileage scruffy SL230. However XF650 found these on the net :niceone: http://www.suzukicycles.org/TU-series/Grasstracker.shtml which look ideal. Seat height of 745mm. We'll see if Falsgraves or one of the other local importers will bring one in with their next shipment. Cheers.

Dude - they are styley :niceone: Good luck sourcing one.

Cheers R

Ruralman
15th May 2008, 23:54
Hi Tim - why don't you just get the gorse out of your pocket, buy her the Harley she really wants and chuck some EO7's on it :cool::2thumbsup

I havent trolled through all the posts but I assume you've tried her on the XF 650? The Gas Gas Pampera suggested would be good but not sure about for longer road trips - if you were doing some trail riding it would be perfect. If its like the other Gas'rs it will require premix and will have a smallish tank. The Pampera power is closer to their trials bike heritage than their enduro machines which makes them very easy to ride and able to pull away in tricky situations from very low revs - don't know they were designed with sustained highway cruising in mind.

SDU
16th May 2008, 15:03
Yes built up boots are on our list of options. As you say an extra cm or two all helps.

& yes we have been to see what Falsgraves have got. Not much there at the moment except for a higher mileage scruffy SL230. However XF650 found these on the net :niceone: http://www.suzukicycles.org/TU-series/Grasstracker.shtml which look ideal. Seat height of 745mm. We'll see if Falsgraves or one of the other local importers will bring one in with their next shipment. Cheers.

Wow I've not seen those before, good luck on sussing one out.
Places like Just motorcycles if they have a break down off the type of bikes you want will get them in for you if they can- Shelly can height test them first as she's a hobbit too :chase:

(hope she's not reading this)

timg
16th May 2008, 18:51
Hi Tim - why don't you just get the gorse out of your pocket, buy her the Harley she really wants and chuck some EO7's on it :cool::2thumbsup

Hahahaha Bruceeee :) The problem is that the gorse is out, the moths have been released, but we can't find something to spend the bloody stuff on :no:

Mystic13
22nd June 2008, 19:24
Don't know if your still looking but there are a couple of those Suzuki Trackers for sale on Trademe. Another bike that fits what you may be looking for is the Yamaha Tricker, also on Trademe. The Tracker seat height is 785 and the Tricker is 790mm. personally i like the Tricker better. Tracker auctions are 161760846, 161825811, 161760841 and the Tricker is 156882447 and 124394215. For what you needed I thought the Tricker was the better bike. IMHO.

motabaik
22nd June 2008, 23:14
Try a Honda AX1 (also sold as NX250) Great little bike for adventure touring. Not sure of seat height but real low. They are getting back a bit (1988 - early 90s) and any in NZ will be Jap imports but bomb proof engines. 130kg, liquid cooled, 6 speed, discs front and back and surprisingly fast on the open road. Main problem is getting 16" Bridgestone trailwings for the rear. 19" fronts are easy to get. Come up every now and then on tradme. Cheers.

timg
23rd June 2008, 19:14
Don't know if your still looking but there are a couple of those Suzuki Trackers for sale on Trademe.


Try a Honda AX1 (also sold as NX250)

Thanks for the eyes up guys. None of the local importers I pestered could source the Suzi Grasstracker for us. We got warned off the Tricker as being a 'fun bike' & not intended or designed for much more than commuting. We've got summit sorted and there should be a new toy in the garage before the week is out :woohoo: Thanks for all the advice and ideas. It's been appreciated :2thumbsup Cheers.

Ruralman
26th June 2008, 20:12
Thanks for the eyes up guys. None of the local importers I pestered could source the Suzi Grasstracker for us. We got warned off the Tricker as being a 'fun bike' & not intended or designed for much more than commuting. We've got summit sorted and there should be a new toy in the garage before the week is out :woohoo: Thanks for all the advice and ideas. It's been appreciated :2thumbsup Cheers.

Come on Tim - the week is nearly out - watdidya get then huh ??????

_Shrek_
26th June 2008, 20:50
Thanks for the eyes up guys. None of the local importers I pestered could source the Suzi Grasstracker for us. We got warned off the Tricker as being a 'fun bike' & not intended or designed for much more than commuting. We've got summit sorted and there should be a new toy in the garage before the week is out :woohoo: Thanks for all the advice and ideas. It's been appreciated :2thumbsup Cheers.


bring it out on the trailer sat & she can :ride: up & down our road :woohoo: be good practice :Popcorn

timg
26th June 2008, 21:31
bring it out on the trailer sat & she can :ride: up & down our road :woohoo: be good practice :Popcorn
Hahaha she has to wait for the lowering kit to turn up from the States and the seat to be carved up. She's not called the Hobbit for nothing :whistle: In the mean time she can polish it after I've dirtied it up :devil2:


Come on Tim - the week is nearly out - watdidya get then huh ?????? One of these.... :) CRF230L :ride: The TA has a stable mate :love:

NordieBoy
26th June 2008, 22:00
See Transalper!
Trade the CRF230 on a 230L and you won't have to trailer it :D

yamalink
27th June 2008, 00:58
Maybe koubalink.com has something or procircuit.com

Transalper
27th June 2008, 12:25
See Transalper!
Trade the CRF230 on a 230L and you won't have to trailer it :DBelieve me they have caught my eye.
Have also been considering on and off the mods to make mine road legal.
Modding mine may still be cheeper vs a trade.
Then there's the bit where it would all mean an ongoing cost of extra REGO each year etc etc.


Maybe koubalink.com has something or procircuit.comI believe it's a koubalink they are waiting for.

timg
27th June 2008, 18:48
I believe it's a koubalink they are waiting for. Yup, ordered it when we ordered the bike. :) Bike arrived first.

timg
28th July 2008, 22:45
The Hobbits bike has clocked up just over 1000km mostly commuting from Rolly to central Chch, with a couple of runs home via the Summit Road/Dyers Pass Road.

When we ordered the bike we also ordered a lowering link from koubalink.com which arrived about a fortnight after the bike. $190 to the front door. It looks like a well finished quality item. Fitting was a breeze and should take about 15 minutes to remove and convert it back to standard ride height should I want to go out to play on it. It is fine for me commuting lowered. The link lowers it 38mm in the back and we've slid the forks up 30mm. With the thickest soled boots we could find Debbie can get just get enough toe on the ground to feel secure. 30mm in the forks sounds a lot but we've been running a 10mm blob of blue-tack under the guard and it hasn't been knocked of yet despite some determined attempts so I'm figuring it's ok.

The bike does 100kmh on a flat road commute and tops out at about 118 with a bit of a run up. However XF650, Nigelp & I went on a wee ride up around Coleridge yesterday and the bikes performance was disappointing on the way there. Heading up the plains with a light crosswind and bulky wet weather gear on the bike had difficulty pulling and maintaining 100kmh. Not good news as we intended this to be a miniature adventure bike for Debbie and it failed it's first test in the real world. On the shingle roads around Coleridge it was in it's element and is a sweet handling wee bike happy at 90-95kmh. On the way home (down hill) it was cruising at 100 kmh easily.

Next step will be trying to free up some upper end power - exhaust, jetting and airbox mods and see what result we get.

We were trying to get a Suzuki 250 Grass Tracker perviously but none of the local importers could source one for us after several months of trying. Murphys law and 4 of the bloody things turn up on TradeMe a week after we buy the CRF :angry2: Any way we have got a Grass Tracker coming to run alongside the CRF and will keep which ever seems to suit best. Should be fun :)

1 Kouba link fitted
2 Raised forks
3 Hobbit on her bike. Tiny eh?
4 Grass Tracker

NordieBoy
29th July 2008, 07:48
The link lowers it 38mm in the back and we've slid the forks up 30mm. With the thickest soled boots we could find Debbie can get just get enough toe on the ground to feel secure. 30mm in the forks sounds a lot but we've been running a 10mm blob of blue-tack under the guard and it hasn't been knocked of yet despite some determined attempts so I'm figuring it's ok.

My XR250 has a 21" front wheel instead of the 23" and the rear shocks are 2cm longer than stock.
I'm effectivly trying to race a bike in cross countries and MX that's been lowered 5cm through the clamps. No wonder it feels twitchy :D
The CRF shold feel nicely planted with the back lowered more than the front.
My brothers g/f put shorter springs in the front of hers.


Next step will be trying to free up some upper end power - exhaust, jetting and airbox mods and see what result we get.

Have you seen Super Hunkys CRF230 hot-up articals?

http://dirtbike.off-road.com/dirtbike/Project+CRF230F/Project-Honda-CRF230F---Part-1/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/380749?contextCategoryId=46424

There's 26 odd episodes in the hot-up :D

Rosie
29th July 2008, 07:58
Thanks for the update :)
The grass tracker looks like a cool little bike :D

Transalper
29th July 2008, 15:51
Picture number 3, where's she looking? I'm not sure but eyes up, eyes up I say!

Queen of the Hobbits
29th July 2008, 20:53
Picture number 3, where's she looking? I'm not sure but eyes up, eyes up I say!

You mean like this? Cheeky sod! :bleh:

XF650
29th July 2008, 21:00
1st bike, 1st post & great reply.
Welcome to KB Debs, but have you cleaned the CRF yet?

timg
29th July 2008, 21:07
Have you seen Super Hunkys CRF230 hot-up articals?

http://dirtbike.off-road.com/dirtbike/Project+CRF230F/Project-Honda-CRF230F---Part-1/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/380749?contextCategoryId=46424

There's 26 odd episodes in the hot-up :D

Yup, seen that thanks Nordie. Unfortunately there's not much thats interchangeable between the 230F & 230L, but the basic principal is there. There's a couple of threads on Thumper Talk dealing with 230L mods which is quite informative. Cheers, T.

helenoftroy
29th July 2008, 21:23
You mean like this? Cheeky sod! :bleh:

Hey great to see you on here Debbie!!
Atta girl:woohoo:gotta keep those cheeky ones in line:rockon:

tri boy
29th July 2008, 21:28
Hi Tim,
I will be interested to hear about the comparrison between the CRF n Tracker.
I'm picking the suspension package on the Honda will win the day, as twin shock systems seem to struggle off road. (Kanny's Volty is cool, and handles gravel, but something like the Sherpa/DT/CRF might be better).
Oh, happy trails Hobbit Queen.:scooter:

Transalper
29th July 2008, 21:55
You mean like this? Cheeky sod! :bleh:Ah, a conveniently placed stick.
:yes: like that, round and round we go.
Welcome to the site.:cool:

NordieBoy
29th July 2008, 22:22
Yup, seen that thanks Nordie. Unfortunately there's not much thats interchangeable between the 230F & 230L, but the basic principal is there. There's a couple of threads on Thumper Talk dealing with 230L mods which is quite informative. Cheers, T.

The engines are not the same?

timg
29th July 2008, 22:34
The engines are not the same?
Yes, same engine, just 'detuned', different cams, different carb, different gear ratios (taller), different airbox, different exhaust (F exhaust won't fit), different frame, different tank, different seat, different rear shock and linkages etc etc. :doh: The CRF230L is actually what has been sold in Japan for several years as a XR230. It looks similar to a CRF230F but is a significantly different bike. Cheers.

NordieBoy
30th July 2008, 08:38
The XR name has a proud heritage as does the CR and I hate to see how they are using CRF as a marketing tool.

But aside from that...
I wouldn't mind a 230L or even 250L as a road legal trailey.

merv
30th July 2008, 09:23
I have the 250L as you know and it is similar in concept to the 230 in that there are quite a few differences compared to the good old 250R. e.g. Milder tune, smaller header pipes, lower compression, vacuum carb, paper airfilter, different frame and taller gearing. The taller gearing is entirely from sprocket differences - 40T rear versus 48T, so easy to change, but you'd have to change the chain guide.

The vacuum carb gives it a turbine like feel where it kind of winds up and doesn't just snap onto power like the old R did. However power isn't too bad with a reasonable speed for a 250 and totally miserly fuel consumption - like 26km/l and better.

I bought a 48T back sprocket for it but never got around to fitting it because I use my Yamaha for the trail type riding. The frame difference meant I had to adapt some Ventura pack rack brackets for it because Ventura didn't make them.

As a bike, I like it.

Comments about the 230 not pulling 100 uphill into wind is typical when riding a small bike - I've spent many a time with small Hondas nailed to the throttle stop in whatever gear necessary to maintain the best speed possible. Its all part of the fun of riding huh! The good news for me so far is the motors never seemed to break.

Rosie
30th July 2008, 09:47
Welcome to KB Debbie! :clap:
Enjoy your new bike. :niceone:

timg
30th July 2008, 21:10
Hi Tim,
I will be interested to hear about the comparrison between the CRF n Tracker.
I'm picking the suspension package on the Honda will win the day, as twin shock systems seem to struggle off road. (Kanny's Volty is cool, and handles gravel, but something like the Sherpa/DT/CRF might be better).
Oh, happy trails Hobbit Queen.:scooter:

Hiya TB, yeah I reckon you are right regarding the CRF. However being a bit more trail orientated, it's suspension is a bit choppy/harsh on the seal and I expect the Grass Tracker will be a softer ride which will probably be more suited to her. It's also quite a bit lower than the lowered CRF which will be a plus for her... and she thinks the Grass Tracker looks styley. Getting her out onto the road is really all about what she's comfortable and confident with. :ride: It'll be an interesting few months. I'll update the thread as we go. Cheers, T.

SDU
31st July 2008, 16:24
Welcome to KB my Queen;)

Congrats on your new bike, hope you have a ball on it. Great time off year for mud plugging. Hope to see you & the bike in person sometime soon.

Ciao from another Hobbit

_Shrek_
31st July 2008, 18:43
You mean like this? Cheeky sod! :bleh:

Hey there royalty :thud: welcome to KB :wavey:
by the looks of the pic you need leg extensions :dodge:

timg
5th September 2008, 22:34
Woohoo :2thumbsup: It arrived yesterday. Absolutely immaculate with 1020kms. This thing is tiny, but perfectly sized for Debs. Rode it to work today and as expected it's a softer bike than the CRF but that's a good thing I think for her confidence. It'll be fun running them side by side for a while. The mirrors are styley rubbish, can't see a thing in them but that's easily changed. No trip meter is a bummer especially as the tank capacity is small too.

NordieBoy
5th September 2008, 22:43
Tidy 'lil beastie.

cooneyr
5th September 2008, 22:47
That beasty is cool. Looks tiny next to the tranny - just perfect then :D

Cheers R

Padmei
6th September 2008, 07:24
Tre cool.
Those protection bars onthe tranny look interesting. Did you make them pr buy them? Have they had a drop yet?

timg
6th September 2008, 08:52
Tre cool.
Those protection bars onthe tranny look interesting. Did you make them pr buy them? Have they had a drop yet? No I haven't tested the calf bars yet & hope they are never needed. They came from http://www.norrus.com.au/ & are a Hepco & Becker product. Cheers.

_Shrek_
8th September 2008, 19:48
:clap: looks good Tim, has Deb tried it yet

rok-the-boat
13th September 2008, 18:31
Get her a cruiser and put knobbly tyres on it ...

NordieBoy
14th September 2008, 08:24
Get her a cruiser and put knobbly tyres on it ...

The front wanders too much.

HenryDorsetCase
14th September 2008, 23:03
I am reading this thread with interest. (being a shorty and all)

timg
1st November 2008, 14:32
It's been a while and we've been busy with various things.... one of which is the wee Grass Tracker. Since it arrived it has had;

1. The bars changed for some more suitable Zeta alloy competition bars - just wot seemed to suit best
2. A ventura pack rack. We bought a GN250 one hoping that it might fit or atleast be close but nothing lined up :( so it required extensive hacking and rewelding :)
3. A set of more adventure worthy Bridgestone Trail Wings fitted
4. Front guard raised an inch.

The bike goes really well for what it is. Runs well at 100kmh and runs out to about 115kmh flat out. Speed wise it's much the same as the CRF230L but the Grass Tracker has slightly more power (20hp vs 17) and maintains 100kmh with a bit of a headwind or uphill were the CRF doesn't have the power to do so.

Both bikes seem to consistantly do 29/30 kml. The Grass Tracker only has a 6 litre tank which is a bit of a pain and limit's it's range. No trip meter or fuel gauge is also a pain. I have a bike computer to fit which will provide a trip meter and clock functions. The final thing to do is to track down or make a small screen for it.

Compared to the CRF which is a small bike anyway shows just how tiny the Grass Tracker is. It has proven to be the ideal bike for the hobbit so far and she seems happy with her 'wee Pearl' so far. Now just gotta get out and use it... :ride:

The final pix is another new toy :innocent: Canon G10. I anybody is looking for a smallish, robust and fully featured camera I can't recommend this highly enough. It's awesome. Small enough to fit in my riding pant's pocket and way more covenient on a bike than my DSLR.

Cheers.

NordieBoy
1st November 2008, 17:44
Looking good.

A Dakar tank from an R80GSPD should fit with a bit of work.

cooneyr
1st November 2008, 17:49
Looking good.

A Dakar tank from an R80GSPD should fit with a bit of work.

How many millions of miles do you want this thing to travel. Weren't the R80GSPD tanks 30+ L!

Cheers R

NordieBoy
1st November 2008, 18:06
How many millions of miles do you want this thing to travel. Weren't the R80GSPD tanks 30+ L!

Shush you!

timg
1st November 2008, 18:50
Shush you! :laugh::laugh: Outed eh? Looks like a GN tank will bolt straight on but that's got no class ;) one from a Volty should fit too and has more capacity then a GN and much more styley. It is a girls bike after all :) Kanny wouldn't miss her tank would she Triboy? :innocent:

tri boy
1st November 2008, 20:02
She would hunt you down and...................

SDU
2nd November 2008, 14:34
looking good! Hope the hobbit is enjoying her toy & hope to meet up sometime.

timg
2nd November 2008, 19:48
She would hunt you down and...................

............... I'm quite attached to my nuts and would like it to stay that way :lol:

timg
2nd November 2008, 21:54
I made and painted a bracket for the bike computer last night and fitted it this morning. And as you do, I went for a wee ride via the Waimak & Oxford to calibrate it. This was the first real ride on this thing and I was very impressed with it. Its certainly no chook chaser :msn-wink: but as a wee adventure bike for SHMBO it's ideal. It's a sweet handling we thing. The track thru the Waimak was pretty rough with parts of it recently re-shingled if you can call baseball size stones shingle, a few creek crossings, a bit of sand, mud and the odd bit of good shingle track. Over all a much rougher ride than we'd envision for it. Given that the front wheel is 18" and limited suspension travel it coped well, just at a slower pace :ride:

Peril
2nd November 2008, 22:03
How was that ford?
Last time I went through the other way,just over a month ago,the bike ended up on it's side on the grassy bank on the right of your pic almost facing back where you are.Don't ask how,I still haven't figured it out.It's a tricky little crossing and is a bit deeper than it looks.

helenoftroy
3rd November 2008, 18:35
A Dakar tank from an R80GSPD should fit with a bit of work.


Weren't the R80GSPD tanks 30+ L!

It was great,I could get to Greymouth and almost home:wari:

Just a bit too bigger tank for me off the seal,so I would use a R80RT tank most of the time.Just made the beautiful beast just that bit slimmer....

Gaston Rahier was just a small man.....but yeah that tank was massive!!

timg
3rd November 2008, 20:23
How was that ford?
Last time I went through the other way,just over a month ago,the bike ended up on it's side on the grassy bank on the right of your pic almost facing back where you are.Don't ask how,I still haven't figured it out.It's a tricky little crossing and is a bit deeper than it looks.

There's a bit of a hole on the left but the RHS is OK. Looking at your exit/where you want to go, not the water in front of you seems to be the trick. Cheers.