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4Strokes.com Honda Articles: Honda CRF150F/CRF230F Timeline by AHMC
1975 Honda XL175
In the 1960s and early 1970s, dual-purpose bikes were the rage and this realm was ruled by two-strokes. Enter the Honda XL175, a 173cc OHC single with a 5-speed gearbox. Descended in spirit and layout from Honda's venerable SL100, the XL175 sets future standards as ever-tightening EPA restrictions point the way to four-strokes. The Honda XL175 becomes known for its extraordinary reliability, a bike that was both dependable and fun.
1979 Honda XR185
The Honda XR series is born, and a bump to 180cc and a new 6-speed box make the Honda XR185 a potent lightweight. In Cycle magazine's four-bike comparison of recreational off-road mounts displacing 175cc to 185cc, the new Honda XR wins by a mile. Cycle testers say, " We rate the Honda XR185 as far and away the best bike of the four thanks to its outstanding engine performance, superior suspension compliance and excellent overall handling ability."
1980 Honda XR200
A year later, a 15cc increase in displacement begets the 195cc Honda XR200. This is the smallest of Honda's adult-sized enduro mounts, and it quickly becomes a favorite of Eastern enduro competitors, who favor its tractable powerband, nimble handling and ironclad reliability. At the same time, the Honda XR200 serves as a superb recreational mount that entire families can enjoy on weekend outings, and this versatility quickly makes it the best-selling Honda XR nationwide.
1981 Honda XR200R
While the XR200 remains available, the XR200R pushes the genre forward. Competition-oriented riders flock to the new R, which has gained a first-rate adjustable suspension system, including a 35mm fork plus a new rising-rate single-shock Pro-Link rear suspension system. Once again, Cycle succinctly summarizes things by stating, "While the entire spectrum of motorcycles has progressed greatly in the past few year, Honda has done an excellent job of developing the four-stroke off-road bike."
1984 Honda XR200R
Honda engineers unleash a tidal wave of new technology on the Honda XR200R as the R-models for 1984-'85 gain an innovative Radial Four Valve Combustion chamber (RFVC) head, complete with dual carburetors and dual head pipes. Thanks to the added performance of this 199cc engine, the new Honda XR200R becomes a sharper tool for serious competitors, while also serving as a remarkably accommodating companion for recreational riders who likewise embrace the 200's expanded capabilities.
1986 Honda XR200R
The new RFVC engine has the Honda XR200R bumping up hard against the XR250R's price point, which makes the quarter-liter mount a default decision in buyers' eyes. Therefore, Honda rejuvenates the 195cc two-valve option, and the XR200R's popularity soars once again. The package is so well balanced it remains a constant fixture for 16 seasons-a tribute to the versatility as well as the overarching soundness of the this remarkable off-road package.
2003 Honda CRF150F/CRF230F
By introducing two bikes to replace the XR200R, Honda gives riders more leeway than ever to select the bike that specifically fits individual needs. The Honda CRF150F is both smaller and lighter than the XR200R, the better to accommodate up-and-coming riders who are still small in stature. The Honda CRF230F, in turn, is a distinctly upscale, full-size recreational mount offering riders a highly desirable feature: electric starting for the 223cc four-stroke engine.
Credits: Article courtesy of American Honda Motor Company
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