Project Honda CRF230F: Reader Questions

Sweating the Small Stuff - Dirtbike Style

Sep. 07, 2008 By Rick Sieman

hey rick,
I was wondering about changing the clutchs there a lock nut on there but im not sure if ts reversd threads or what cause i cant seem to get it off. what should i do ? thanks alot - Ryan
Kingsley, PA

Read original article:
Project Honda CRF230F - Part 1 Uncorking the CRF


The clutch nut is a right hand thread, as are all the clutch nuts on a right-side mounted clutch. The reason it's so hard to get loose, is that it's held in place with 69 ft. lbs. of torque. You'll need a long breaker bar or an air impact to get the nut loose. Here's a diagram of the clutch.





i am 14 years old and 130lbs i am not sure weather to get the fmf pipe or the brr i am tring to keep prices as low as possible and if you have any other cheap good investments under the like 200$ range would be good thank my terrain is filled wit rocks mud and trees thank
Manchester, VT

If you're on a really tight budget, then stick with the stock pipe and modify the muffler like we did.



What is the size of the Sidewinder Tri-Metal rear sprocket in Project 230?

The Sidewinder rear sprocket was 50 teeth, the same as stock. However, we popped for a 15 countershaft sprocket.



I’ve got a lot of hours on my 2005 230 and now all of the sudden it’s been jumping out of gear, I shift like I always have, but now this problem. What would cause this?
Mike B.
Dallas, TX

It could be caused by several things, or a combination of them. Here are some possibilities: Worn shift drum stopper arm, worn or broken gearshift spindle return spring, bent or tweaked shift fork shaft, damaged or worn shift drum guide grooves or simple worn gear dogs or dog holes. Only a visual inspection will tell you what the problem is.



Is it possible to put a kickstarter on the 230 just in case the battery fails? I’ve been to the dealer and may of the engines look similar, at least in the cases they do. Has anybody tried this yet?
Robert Miller
Palmdale, CA

The person with the most experience on this is Rick Ramsey, who did a lot of research on this very subject. Here’s what he had to say:

The engines of the 150 and 230 share many parts and, externally, they look the same, except for the electric start motor and the kickstart. It’s tempting to think that Honda designed one motor and then made changes to arrive at the second motor. Going on that premise, the extent of the changes will dictate the feasibility of this project.

Looking at the Parts Catalog for the 1SOP and 230F, we see:

Right crankcase cover: On the 150, this cover contains an oil seal through which the kickstart shaft passes. On the 230, the case is smooth at this point. The choice here is whether to buy a 150 cover or machine the 230 cover and buy the oil seal only. All other parts on both covers are identical.

Right crankcase: This is the right half of the engine case than contains the transmission, crankshaft, and other parts. The kickstart assembly mounts onto this part. The 150 and 230 parts are the same. The crankcase center gasket is also the same. The left crankcase differs because the 150 does not have the electric start.

Clutch: All parts are identical except for the following: the clutch outer (aka clutch basket) and four clutch springs. There is also a clutch outer guide on the 230 that is not on the 150. The springs are different because of the different power through the clutch. The clutch outer is different because there is a clutch outer guide on the 230 and not on the 150, so the hole through the center of the clutch outer is larger on the 230. There may also be a different number of teeth between the two outers.

Three gears must mesh properly for everything to work right. The 150 pinion kickstart gear must mesh with the 230 clutch outer gear, and it must mesh with the 230 main drive gear. We already know the latter two mesh in the 230 engine now. The only question is will the 150 pinion kickstart gear mesh with the 230 clutch outer gear? One indication of a problem is that the main, drive gear on the 150 crankshaft has 18T, and the 230 has 22T. Therefore, the clutch outers may have a different number of teeth. The only way to know is to compare the two clutch outers because Honda does not publish the number of teeth. This task is left as an exercise for the reader.

Thoughts: The clutch outer guide on the 230 is a bushing that sits on the transmission main shaft and onto which the clutch outer rides. I have some ideas about why Honda uses this design, but I won’t speculate here. I don’t think the clutch outer guide is a factor in the conversion. I do think the number of teeth on the back of the clutch outers is the deciding element. The 150 kickstart gear is fixed. If it will only mesh with the 150 clutch outer, then you’re stuck using the 150 clutch outer. If the 150 clutch outer fits on the 230 transmission main shaft, that still doesn’t solve the problem because the 230 main drive gear will not mesh properly.

Lastly, you could have a pinion kickstart gear fabricated that would match the 230 clutch outer and the 150 kickstart shaft.



Hello and help
My 230 has been running real good for about two years now, but as of late it’s been backfiring mostly when I accelerate hard and just once in a while when coming down from speed. Any ideas?
Ken Griffin
No Address

My best guess is that you’re too lean or have developed an air leak. Also you can check for a faulty ignition system. Newsletter
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