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Author Topic:   Suzuki outboards: general opinions?
woody7 posted 02-16-2002 01:40 PM ET (US)   Profile for woody7   Send Email to woody7  
I am looking at a '89 suzuki 175 horse. I don't know this brand. Can anyone help me with information ? opinion?
Kelly posted 02-17-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
I don't have any experience with Suzuki. There is an interesting thread on about Suzuki service and parts availability. For an '89 model, I think parts availability would be important. Kelly
jimh posted 02-17-2002 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Suzuki has been marketing their outboards in the US for quite a while, but they have not achieved large market share. They appear to be partnered with just a few boat builders for OEM rigging and delivery. Their dealer network is limited. I would guess that most of their sales are to people repowering and buying loose engines. Not many new boats are delivered with Suzuki engines.

The engines appear to be advanced technology designs, particularly with regard to 4-stroke engines, fuel injection, and tuned intake manifolds. These features were introduced by Suzuki several years ago and are now just beginning to be seen on other engines.

Suzuki has been very aggressive in marketing their new engines with long warranties, in some cases six-year warranties. This was another first in outboard power, and it seems to have led (or dragged) other manufacturers into also providing long warranty periods.

Suzuki also produced engines for Evinrude. Most (all?) of the Evinrude 4-stroke engines were made by Suzuki and rebadged with new colors and cowlings as Evinrude engines.

The Suzuki 70-HP 4-Stroke EFI engine was introduced several years ago, long before any other maker had EFI 4-stroke engines, and has been highly praised by everyone I have encountered that had that engine.

Suzuki technical representative David Greenwood has been seen on the Speedvision network, where he hosts a segment in a popular boating show. He offers tips on outboard engine operation and maintenance, with a tilt toward the Suzuki engine. These segments are available on-line, too. This seems like very smart marketing. I find it much more interesting than hearing about how many bass fishing tournaments a particular engine has won.

The Suzuki website is well organized and easy to navigate, and it provides the visitor with simple access to information about their products. That is quite a contrast from some other outboard maker websites which seem like they want to hide and bury all the info in a deeply nested hierarchy of obscure links. On the down side, the Suzuki website uses "frames", a particularly awful and confusing method of presentation, but inspite of that it is decent. See for more on their product line.

In judging whether or not to buy a Suzuki engine I would place great emphasis on the calibre of the local dealer. Often the larger and more established dealerships have existing relationships with larger engine makers which prevent them from adding more engine lines, and this causes the small-fry makers like Suzuki to become represented by smaller, newer dealers who may not have much history.

If there were a strong Suzuki dealer near to me and he appeared to be someone I could do business with, I don't think I would hesitate to consider Suzuki.

If the nearest dealer were 200 miles away, I would probably have to have a strong incentive to go with Suzuki over more dominant brands. A strong incentive could be price, features, warranty, etc., or the combination of them all.

There are anecdotal reports of lousy repair situations with all brands, so I do not place too much emphasis on any one person's report of their experience. Such tales are often told from a slanted point of view, even if all the details are factual.

In summary, I see Suzuki as an innovative new engine maker with attractive products and warranties, struggling to gain a foot hold in a difficult market and hampered most by lack of a strong dealer network.


Alan Hiccock posted 02-17-2002 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
I know a guy who swears by them. He's an offshore angler (well almost). He goes up to 40 [miles] out [from the south shore of Long Island] for tuna and shark in his 25 C Hawk CC.
He's got a 225 (I think) and has put many hours on the original powerhead. I've seen him out there and chatted with him on the radio--real hard core local fisherman. He [made] mentioned of some work needed when [the Suziki engine] was just out of warranty. Suzuki insisted on paying for it as it most likely was a defect in manufacturing. The only thing is [a 1989 model] is an early year for this company; my friend's is a [later] model. I think they would be my second choice behind Yamaha, which is what I own now. [I] had Johnsons (four times); they were good, too.
Bigshot posted 02-19-2002 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I had a 1981 140-HP and it was a great engine. I now have a 70-HP 4-stroke. Do a compression test and go from there. ANY and EVERY 13 year old engine can run 5 minutes or 5 years, etc.
David Ratusnik posted 02-19-2002 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Fully agree with Biggggs. Have it serviced top to bottom and then run it into the ground. It's a crap shoot. Suspect you will win. .03 David
jimh posted 02-19-2002 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Changed topic--jimh]
woody7 posted 02-22-2002 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for woody7  Send Email to woody7     
Thanks everybody. I bought the motor and so far it has plenty of power and pushed my 20' outrage great. The compression test yeilded 100 to 105 between all 6 cylinders. Today however, I took an unexpected detour into a mud bank and got all kinds of muck into the cooling system. It peed and seemed OK afterwards. Any opinions on that? thanks again.
Bigshot posted 02-25-2002 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
phatwhaler posted 02-27-2002 01:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
Uhh, there's this technique called dead reckoning..........:-)
David Ratusnik posted 02-27-2002 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Woody- On 2/19 I recommended that you "run it into the ground"--that was a figure of speech!! Good luck David
Bigshot posted 02-27-2002 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
JDH posted 02-27-2002 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
I have an 89 DT-75. I only acquired it last year, but so far it has been great.
woody7 posted 03-04-2002 01:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for woody7  Send Email to woody7     
Good jokes. You can bet I felt pretty stupid waiting out the tide. Where I got stuck was just outside a narrow channel as I came about. Anyway I got to see a lot of bird life up close. I've since run the motor a couple of times in a trash can and it seems OK.
David Ratusnik posted 03-04-2002 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Woody- Just kidding, we've all been there. Last summer while pulling the 14 y/o on his wakeboard down in the Sebastian Inlet (FLA) area I managed to do the same thing as you. Unfamiliar with channel, watching the kid and then thud, thud- ran the Outrage into the muck collection from the Sebastian River. Soft stuff. No harm, no foul. Good Luck David

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