Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

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Maverick
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Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby Maverick » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:12 pm

Please tell me about your first-hand experience in owning a HONDA BF2.3 air-cooled lightweightoutboard engine. I have never owned a HONDA outboard engine.

BACKSTORY: I am ready to re-power a 17-foot Boston Whaler boat with a new main propulsion engine. I also want a small auxiliary engine that is lightweight and air cooled in order that when operating in shallow water the auxiliary engine won't suck up mud in the cooling system.

I have found a good buy on a new Honda BF2.3. a 30-lbs, air cooled. 20-inch shaft, outboard engine for $900 that will easily clamp on the the transom of a 17-foot Boston Whaler.

biggiefl
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby biggiefl » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:28 am

Double check [about water intake for cooling because] many air-cooled engines still water cool the exhaust, and therefore have a water pump.

I don't know for sure about the newer HONDA engines, but the older air-cooled engines were noisy.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

L78steve
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby L78steve » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:54 pm

The little air cooled Honda engines are fine engines. They are [made in China since c.2015 according to a NEKKEI news article].
1988 15' Sport, 89 Johnson 70HP
1998 22' Progression Merc 300XP
1961 12' Allstar FG 73 Evinrude 25

frontier
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby frontier » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:02 pm

We have a 2015 Honda 2.3 HP long-shaft outboard engine used as an auxiliary engine on our classic Montauk.

The 2.3-HP HONDA engine is a good quality engine, but not as good as our Honda lawn mower. THe 2.3-HP HONDA engine is somewhat noisy. It is very lightweight and does its job.

I always use Sta-Bil and fresh gasoline. The tiny carburetor jets plug easily.

My HONDA 2.3-HP engine was made at the Honda outboard factory in Hosoe, Japan.

macfam
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby macfam » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:22 am

We have a Honda original 2-HP short shaft, not the 2.3-HP. For all practical purposes, they are the same. I only use engineered fuel in the little Honda, simply because of seldom use in our 9-foot-long inflatable. Placing the engine on the transom of the inflatable is easy; it only weighs 30-lbs.

I have not had any problems at all, but there are two slight concerns:

--the engine is AIR-COOLED, no water pump and therefore noisy, but bearable;

--if tilting out of the water, the fuel tank cap vent MUST be closed to prevent leakage.

Our HONDA 2-HP was made in Japan.

Maverick
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby Maverick » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:26 am

Thanks for the feedback.

There are some knockoffs for $400 to $500, about half the price of the Honda, but I don’t mind paying more to get reliability--if that’s possible for any of these little aircooled engines.

dtmackey
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby dtmackey » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:13 pm

Mercury has been building outboards for years in China in the 60hp and below power ratings.

D-

biggiefl
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby biggiefl » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:14 am

D--Most of Mercury's smaller engines are made by Tohatsu. Yamaha used to make them up until early 1990's.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

dtmackey
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby dtmackey » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:41 am

biggiefl wrote:Most of Mercury's smaller engines are made by Tohatsu. Yamaha used to make them up until early 90's.


Clarification: Mercury outboard engines under 30-HP do share a relationship with Tohatsu. Mercury outboard 40, 50 and 60-HP are built in China at the Mercury manufacturing facility in Suzhou China with production at this facility dating back to 2005 .

Mercury also licensed designs of their smaller 2 strokes to other (non-Tohatsu) manufacturers in China that build Mercury clones (dating back to 1986) and I'm sure there's plenty of knock-offs being built as well.

D-

jimh
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby jimh » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:39 am

The topic of how TOHATSU makes smaller outboard engines for Brunswick to be sold as Mercury-branded engines in a TOHATSU-run plant in Japan has been exhaustively discussed in many prior threads.

From a long-ago post from a person who had inside knowledge [i.e., he worked for one of the companies,] of the Brunswick-Tohatsu relationship often cited vaguely as "a joint-venture" I excerpt these comments:

Brunswick and Tohatsu formed a joint real estate company. That company owns the land, building and a couple of pieces of manufacturing equipment [at the plant in Komagane, Nagano Prefecture, on the island of Honshu, Japan]. Tohatsu then leases that plant back from the jointly owned company. The plant itself is 100% under Tohatsu management and control with zero oversight by Brunswick. It builds Tohatsu engines and then labels them under Tohatsu, Nissan or Mercury depending on who is buying what. The designs are from Tohatsu engineers. The sole exception to that is on the 4-stroke, 25 to30 EFI model. Some Mercury engineer did have input at some point on its EFI system....

Tohatsu began making the 5-HP and small engines for Mercury in the early 1990's. Up until a couple of years ago [c.2010] it was still routine for [Mercury] to deny any relationship with Tohatsu at all....

It's a world economy now and loyalty to one brand or another because it's "home built" is a thing of the past. I don't particularly like it that way, but it is what it is.

dtmackey
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby dtmackey » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:46 pm

Sounds about right Jim, I still have a 1990's vintage Tohatsu 5hp, purchased new and now sitting on an engine stand in the basement and it's a clone to the Merc 5hp 2 stroke and also built at the plant in Japan.

The relationship you mention, I do not believe has a connection to the Merc plant in China with the 40 - 60 range, nor the Wei Min Machinery Factory in Le Ping in Jiang Xi province producing Mercury 7.5/9.8-horsepower outboard engines or the Hangkai Outboard company producting clone like Merc motors.

I'm sure the relationships are very twisted with a lot of questionable intellectual property concerns.

D-

jimh
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Re: Experience with HONDA BF2.3 Outboard engine

Postby jimh » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:04 pm

DT--I think Mercury became very wary of partnerships with other outboard engine makers after their relationship with Yamaha went south. Some history:

Mercury tried to influence the U.S.International Trade Commission (USITC) to create a tariff on imported four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines from Japan back in the 2000's. Of course, at that time Mercury was making only ONE four-stroke outboard engine in the USA, a 25-HP model. All the other four-stroke-power-cycle engines Mercury was selling were, themselves, imported from Japan. This all came out in hearings before the trade commission. The real target of Brunswick's attempt to use political influence to impede their outboard engine competitors was, of course, Yamaha. Yamaha and Mercury had a deal in place in which Yamaha was making four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines for Mercury.

After the USITC heard testimony from many outboard engine dealers, and Mercury themselves had to reveal the extent of their own importation of outboard engines from Japan they were selling under their Mercury brand, the USITC did not impose a tariff. Yamaha then decided it would stop making outboard engines for Brunswick. And Brunswick had to sue Yamaha to force them to fulfill their contract and make more outboard engines in Japan to be imported and sold as Mercury engines.

I have a printed copy of the entire transcript of testimony before the USITC--at one time it was on-line--and it makes for very interesting reading.

After Brunswick was burned by Yamaha and their reluctance to make engines for sale as Mercury engines, I believe Brunswick cooked up their deal with Tohatsu so they could not be left in a bind. If Brunswick is a part owner of the land, the building, and some machinery for the factory Tohatsu leases as their primary engine production plant, then Brunswick has a rather secured position in the future of that plant's operation. That gave them much more leverage in dealing with Tohatsu than it did with their dealing their former partner, Yamaha. Live and learn, as they say.