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CRF230F vs CRF250X – Which Dirt Bike Is Best For You?

If you’re trying to decide between the CRF230F and CRF250X, I’d like to save you the time and frustration. This article will cover the practical differences of the 230F vs 250X an help you decide which dirt bike is best for you.

What is the difference between CRF 230 and CRF 250X?

Even though they’re very close in (engine) size, these two Honda trail bikes are quite a bit different in every way. The CRF230F is a low-performance beginner dirt bike for casual trail riding. The CRF250X is a high-performance trail bike that’s based off of the 250R MX bike.

The CRF 250X is bigger, taller, faster, and harder to ride if you’re new to dirt biking.

Is the CRF230F any good?

Absolutely, the CRF230F is a great dirt bike if it’s the type of bike you’re looking for. It has many disadvantages, and it will never be a good motocross bike, but there’s a reason why they’re so popular.

CRF230F vs CRF250X the 230 is better at lower speed and tighter trails
Awesome trail ride in the Montana Rocky Mountains.

What CC is a CRF230F?

It’s a 223cc 4 stroke engine – Honda just uses ‘230’ because a rounded number looks and sounds better.


The CRF250F is a 249cc 4 stroke engine, although it’s liquid-cooled (compared to the air-cooled 230 engine). The 250X puts out almost twice as much peak horsepower, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s twice as fast. It will win in a drag race virtually every time, but dirt bike riding isn’t always a straight line.

Where the CRF230F engine shines is the tight and technical trails. It has good low-end torque that starts right off idle, allowing you to lug the engine and accelerate a gear lower sometimes without stalling.

With a lightweight flywheel, the CRF250X revs more quickly, but this also means that it stalls more easily. Either add more flywheel weight or you’ll have to learn better clutch control.


Once again, the suspension category is not much of a comparison. The CRF230 has old, but simple and reliable forks and shock. It’s plush, comfortable for beginners, and is very reliable.

The CRF250X not only has a more advanced set of forks and shock, but you get more suspension travel, which is nice if you ride more aggressively.

Colorado Trip 2018 Edit 22 CRF230F vs CRF250X - Which Dirt Bike Is Best For You?
Trail Riding A CRF250X


The overall weight is within 5 lbs, but don’t let that fool you. With a lower center of gravity and a shorter wheelbase, the CRF230F is a quiet weapon in the woods when it gets tight and twisty. Being able to turn easily and flick it over makes the 230 a very fun dirt bike to ride on most trails.

If you’re a tall rider or you ride at higher speeds, the CRF250X will treat you better because it’s more stable. Whoops and rough trails are a little easier to handle not only because of the suspension, but the longer wheelbase that keeps the bike more settled.

If you try riding a single track trail that is whooped out on a CRF230F, you’re going to be on an adventure, to say the least… Ask me how I know.

Which dirt bike is right for you?

So, if you haven’t figured it out already, the 230F and 250X are clearly built for different types of riders. But, to make it even easier for you to decide, I put these quick facts together.

You should get the CRF250X if you:

  • Already have trail riding experience and want to upgrade
  • Are a taller rider
  • Like a snappier power-curve
  • Want modern suspension with more travel and performance

You should get the CRF230F if you:

  • Are a beginner and just getting started riding off-road
  • Just want to do casual riding
  • Are a shorter rider
  • Want to build your confidence on a bike that’s easy to ride and reliable

Learn to ride with confidence with less seat time

Rather than trying to learn how to ride a dirt bike on your own and spending years building your confidence, you could learn the proper techniques very quickly with my free training. You’ll skip all of the common mistakes beginners make by learning all of the basic techniques to ride with control.

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