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Author Topic:   New Honda Outboard with 150hp @ 480 lbs.
SuburbanBoy posted 05-18-2004 03:52 PM ET (US)   Profile for SuburbanBoy   Send Email to SuburbanBoy  
Honda recently introduced a new 4-cylinder outboard with the following key numbers:

4 cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
2.4 liter
40-amp, belt drive alternator
Feedback sensor (oxygen sensor?)
480 pounds
Full three-year warranty

My guess is that it is near the top of the $/hp chart, and within about 30 pounds heavier than other two or three star compliant power plants (both 2 and 4-stroke).

They have some nice streaming video at their website:


Joe Kriz posted 05-18-2004 04:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
They certainly trimmed some weight off of this engine as compared to the BF115... Their 115 weighs 505 pounds... This new 150 HP at 480 lbs and 485 for the 25" shaft is certainly getting leaner.

I hope other manufacturers will follow suit and get rid of the excess weight factor.

TomG posted 05-18-2004 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
I just installed one of these BF150's on my new (to me) 1999 Outrage 18. I am still within the break-in period, but so far performance is excellent.

I have some pix at:

I'd be happy to answer any questions that anyone has about the Honda 150.

Tom (formerly Ventura16)

elaelap posted 05-19-2004 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
What fun, Tom! As we've discussed via email over the past month or two, we're leading almost parallel boating lives, what with our crazy travel complications to find our 'new' boats, and now with our repowering with new four strokes. I look forward to performance reports on the Honda 150, my friend.


elaelap posted 05-19-2004 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Great pix, too. She looks like she'll get up and fly.
TomG posted 05-19-2004 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
We are two majorly-obsessed Whalerites, aren't we, Tony? The things we go through for our toys. ;-) Hours of driving, massive inconveniences, huge expense, and the agony of waiting...and then wondering when it will be done and will it all be worth it.

I have been following your posts about your new 18 Outrage with the F115...very decent performance numbers so far. It sounds like a perfect match for that hull. My newer "short and portly" (sounds like me) 18 needs more ponies...I think the 150 will be just the thing. I'll keep you posted on the results. Enjoy that Whaler, and drink a couple of cold ones for me...I'll do the same for you!


TomG posted 05-19-2004 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
BTW, were absolutely right about 4 strokes. They are amazing! No smoke, no choke, no drama...turn the key and it just a car. I can't say it enough, no more 2 strokes for me...I have become a true believer.


elaelap posted 05-19-2004 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
You know, Tom, some of the old hands tell me that they actually like the smell of two stroke fumes and enjoy that 'special two stroke sound.' Maybe it's like Proust eating that little madelaine cookie, being drawn back into his remembrances of things past, then locking himself in a cork-lined room for the rest of his life and spinning out 3000 pages of turgid prose. Or maybe it's like me when I get a whiff of patchouli immediately summons up my youth and young adulthood, wild times good and bad, tear gas and braless young women at UC Berkeley back in the 'sixties. Would I like to smell patchouli oil hour after hour every time I go fishin'? Hell no, I won't go...there.


TomG posted 05-19-2004 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
LOL! Ann Arbor for me in the 60's...they say if you can remember the 60's you weren't really there...must be true because I don't remember that much. ;-) But the smell of patchouli and incense does bring back some of those lost memories...and who could possibly forget the beautiful, braless, bell-bottomed girls?

I'm sure I'll feel the same way about 2-stroke oil in the future...something like this: ahhh...I remember those fishing trips in the 80's...we all had our collars turned up on our Izod shirts and our Polo sweaters knotted around our necks...listening to Robert Palmer and Men at Work on the radio...yeah...those were the days.

Yeah, right!


jimh posted 05-19-2004 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The motor looks nice. The website is a bit topsy-turvy. I found the MOV that shows the Variable Valve Timing (VTEC). That is quite interesting. They use some awful HTML, so I hope this link will take you to the "Professor" page where you can see the VTEC movie yourself.

This was worth the silly bother of hunting around to find it after the link on the 150-HP engine page went nowhere. It shows the details of how the implement the changeover in the valve timing.

jimh posted 05-20-2004 07:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is the direct link to the VTEC video:

jimh posted 05-20-2004 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The 150-HP engine is a "hot" spot since it is a good choice for so many applications. You can use it with single engine power on hulls from 17-20 feet, and with dual engine power on hulls 22-25 feet.

The Honda 150-HP looks like a nice engine. Let's compare it to the Mercury Optimax 150-HP:

Displacement: Optimax is larger (2.5 versus 2.4 liter)
Weight: Optimax is lighter (431 versus 480 pounds)
Alternator: Optimax has more output (60 versus 40 Amperes)
Warranty: Same (3-year)

Let's compare the Honda to the Yamaha 150-HP Four-stroke

Displacement: Yamaha is larger (2.67 versus 2.4 liter)
Weight: Yamaha is lighter (466 versus 480 pounds)
Alternator: Honda has more output (40 versus 35 Amperes)
Warranty: Same (3-year)

Let's compare the Honda to the Suzuki 140-HP Four-stroke:

Displacement: Honda is larger (2.4 versus 2.0 liter)
Weight: Suzuki is lighter (410 versus 480 pounds)
Alternator: Unspecified on Suzuki engine
Warranty: Same (3-year)

TomG posted 05-20-2004 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
The specs of all of these motors are fairly close. As you point out, jimh, the Optimax weighs about 50 lbs. less than the Honda...and about 30 lbs. less than the Yamaha. The Suzuki is the lightest, but has the lowest HP output. All in all, they are fairly comparable. Remember, the 4 strokes don't have the additional weight of any 2 stroke oil.

That being said, there is a huge "perceived" difference for the occupants of a boat powered with these motors. The Optimax is noisier and although it does smoke a lot less than earlier 2 strokes, it DOES still smoke and also has that lovely 2 stroke aroma. The 4 strokes don't smoke, don't smell and are so quiet at idle that you literally have to look at the tach to see if they are running.

I think that the key point in this discussion is that for the first time, 4 strokes are close enough in weight and performance to 2 strokes to be real competitors. Before, choosing 4 strokes outboards required a large compromise on that isn't true anymore.


Moe posted 05-20-2004 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Having owned a 1.8L DOHC VTEC for about five years, I have nothing but praise for the concept. The torque curve was flat and ample below about 4400 rpm where it was in "torque cam" mode with long intake runners. It would tool around town with plenty of acceleration as low as 2000 rpm without lugging.

The cam timing switched about 4400 rpm, and the torque curve started to rise. The intake switched to short runners about 5,500 rpm where you could really feel the surge, and torque peaked at about 6500, IIRC. Peak horsepower (170 crank) came in at 7600 rpm, but it would still pull strong in 4th gear, past the 8100 rpm redline. There was a 195 horsepower version of this engine in the Type 2, making more than 100 horsepower per liter.

My engine spent a good part of its life running between 4500 and 8500 rpm, and once ran hours at a time between 5500 and 6000 rpm on a long trip. When I sold it, the compression was still at new spec (used Mobil1 oil).

With more optimal cam timing for both low rpm and high rpm, the VTEC performs in both ranges like an engine with significantly more displacement.


jimh posted 05-20-2004 06:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am impressed with the VTEC cam changeover. This variable valve timing is apparently a key technique to improving performance. I believe some automotive companies are developing engines without camshafts at all. In these engines the valves open by electrical solenoids, and the timing is controlled by software.

The Honda has other tweaks to improve performance, like the gates or valves in the intake manifolds to adjust the tuning of the air intake at different speed ranges.

Tom--I think you are correct in your observation: the four-stroke outboard does seem to be improving its performance compared to the traditional two-stroke engine.

There are intangibles that aren't in the specifications and weights that probably affect the perception of how well the engine runs, too. That can be important.

One thing that speaks loudly: few complaints from current owners.

SuburbanBoy posted 05-20-2004 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
This outboard is based on the same engine currently fitted to all CRV's since 2002, and all 4 cylinder Accords from about 2002. The land based varient has 160 hp. In automotive applications it has met LEV II standards since at least 2002. These standards are set to a schedule for implementation by 2010. They are way ahead of the curve.
jimh posted 05-20-2004 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Is that emission level with or without catalytic convertor?
SuburbanBoy posted 05-22-2004 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Good question, WITH converter (mounted close to the head, to allow it to light off sooner, reducing the cold start emissions). For real low pollution, try their fuel cell vehicle, FCX; a few municipalities in CA and NY have leased examples of it.

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