I purchased a CRF230M for my wife for Christmas for trail riding with me. She already had a CRF150F but that was not the optimal bike to go riding with me on my CRF250L because her bike is not street legal.

The 230M is a fun bike! She also has a BMW F650GS and a Ducati 620 Multistrata. Both are great bikes but they can be a little intimidating for off road riding. (Additionally the Ducati is almost impossible to make dirt worthy as it is hard to get aftermarket parts for it.)

My wife's first bike was a Suzuki GZ250 which is a small cruiser. We sold it soon after she became comfortable and experienced enough to ride the 650GS. I'm not knocking the GZ250 but if it were the 230M we would have never sold it because you can convert it over to dual sport use after you learn to ride on pavement.

I'm not saying the 230M is a perfect bike. It is not that powerful and offers little wind protection and it is a struggle to get it to go 65mph BUT it is a super fun, good handling small bike that would be great to learn street riding on and then could be utilized for off road riding after that. All you would need to do for that is affix a skid plate and some more aggressive tires. One downside is that it has a 17" front rim so the selection of tires for off road use is somewhat limited. Additionally it has a low seat height so for taller folks it might be a little cramped. I'm 5'10" with a 30 inch inseam and it is low for me but not uncomfortable. The 230M was only available in 2009 (perhaps in early 2008 too) so they might not be on the radar for newer riders. I also would had considered a 230L but in the used bike market you buy what is available. Plus I think the 230M looks better as it is all black as compared to the normal red and white.

Anyway I just wanted to give a plug for this model. Happy riding!