What manufacturer has a wider product range than Honda? From the Honda Jet to outboard motors, generators, MotoGP bikes, and street and dirt iron, Soichiro’s little piston-ring startup now does it all. A quiet but valuable middle ground among all this excitement is the CRF230F, a casual trailbike for, well, casual trail riding. No fancy computer-controlled injection, no myriad of suspension settings to decipher, no need to eyeball an onboard hourmeter to make the next valve adjustment on time. Instead, the CFR230F delivers the simplicity of trail riding in a relaxed, almost Zen-like way.
The four-stroke single displaces an oddball 223cc that’s enough to take you just about anywhere off road, including through sand and up some pretty steep hill climbs. The steel frame isn’t fancy, but it provides a nice seating position—albeit with a 34.6-inch seat height, which is getting up there even for off-road bikes. Translation: It helps to have a little Paul Bunyan DNA in you to ride it. Electric starting and a front disc brake are much appreciated standard equipment.
Likes: Friendly power delivery, suspension, and seating
Dislikes: A bit tall for some riders. Also, why no lights?
Verdict: A solid middle ground between minis and motocross bikes