Targeting the heart of the boating market, the refreshed Honda models mark the newest evolution in the company’s product line, integrating innovative design, a sleek new style, enhanced reliability, streamlined maintenance and an expanded number of rigging options for ease of use. Whether boaters are weekend cruisers or commercial (including government and law enforcement) users, these enhanced V6 motors deliver what every marine enthusiast wants—maximum time on the water.
“With a new design, a new engine powering the BF175, BF200 and BF225, multiple rigging options and Honda’s legendary durability and reliability, Honda Marine delivers best-in-class power and performance from initial blast to top end” said Will Walton, assistant vice president, Honda Marine. “Exciting things are happening at Honda Marine, and the new outboard motors are a key part of Honda Marine’s wave of new products.”
All four outboards debut the new Honda Progressive V Form, with aerodynamic lines and an emphasized “V” with the center grille and chrome line detail, exhibiting an elegant, aerodynamic design aesthetic. The new design also delivers boaters increased engine cover durability, better protection from water entering the engine and protection from paint chips and scrapes. The outboards are equipped with a three-latch lock and seal system and two inverted grip points that make the cover easy to remove and carry—the first step in easy maintenance. To enhance performance and provide better protection from water intrusion, the new cowling incorporates a dual channel, indirect-air-circuit induction system improving airflow while helping funnel moisture away from the throttle body. The undercase design has been streamlined to incorporate three pieces (instead of seven on the previous model), along with a heavy protective rubber edge at the base of the cowling, further protecting against outside elements and increasing durability. A new rear utility cover on the cowling features a design consistent with that of the Honda BF115hp-BF150hp outboards.
The new Honda Marine BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 incorporate more than cosmetic appearance changes. The revamped Honda V6 engines also feature a number of enhancements for improved reliability and ease of maintenance. Corrosion resistance is improved with a new coating on the surface of engine hardware that utilizes a chemically treated, zinc-nickel plating with a high corrosion-resistant top coat. In addition, components including the oil pan, thermostat cover, upper mount cover, and prop shaft holder use a higher corrosion-resistant material, resulting in a more durable engine and gear case. Finally, the number of anodes on each engine’s V bank has been increased from two to four.
And for more time on the water, routine maintenance time is reduced for activities such as oil and filter changes on the refreshed V6 outboards, courtesy of a larger diameter dipstick tube, the integration of a water separator and fuel strainer and relocation of the high-pressure filter (from the high-pressure pump) for easier access. For example, changing a high-pressure fuel filter on any of the new V6 motors now can take as little as five minutes as compared to the 60 minutes on existing models.
Shared Technology: Crossing Honda Product Lines
The technology applied to the refreshed Honda BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 engines is derived from the very same technology that powers Honda automobiles, gaining from years of proven Honda engineering, precision manufacturing and reliability. This cross-platform integration of technology, even with features such as push-button start and theft deterring immobilizer, illustrates the Honda commitment to high performance, fuel efficiency and environmental excellence for its customers. In conjunction, innovative features and Honda-exclusive technologies make the newly refreshed outboards leading high-power choices in the 175hp – 250hp outboard range, providing increased value and benefit to consumers:
- Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®), a Honda exclusive, uses mild cam profile to operate intake valves at low rpm, then engages a high-output cam profile for higher-rpm operation. The exclusive design provides a unique blend of power, torque, and efficiency at any speed. (BF225 and BF250)
- Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) delivers precise amounts of fuel and air to each cylinder, resulting in quick starts, instant throttle response and low fuel consumption. PGM-FI employs microprocessor technology to accurately control the ignition timing during start-up and across the entire rpm range, providing optimum overall operation. (BF175, BF200, BF225, BF250)
- Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST™) System dramatically improves performance and acceleration by advancing ignition timing during ‘hammer down’ acceleration. The Engine Control Module (ECM) steps in to increase injector timing, creating a more potent air/fuel mixture. The resulting boost in available torque at low rpm contributes to a strong holeshot to get the boat up on plane quickly. (BF175, BF200, BF225, BF250)
- Lean Burn Control (ECOmo) automatically adjusts the air/fuel mixture according to speed and load while maximizing power throughout the acceleration range, increasing fuel efficiency in cruise mode (2,000 to 4,500 rpm).
Rigging: It’s All About Options
All four of the refreshed Honda Marine high-power outboards feature an expanded number of rigging options, including top-mount binnacle or side-mount controls, for both electronic and mechanically controlled engines; newly designed push button and key start configurations; and multi-function display to provide boaters with a customized on-the-water operating experience. (Flush-mount iST® is a first for Honda Marine). A standard tilt limit switch has been added to all four models.
Rounding out the rigging options, models with the next generation iST offer a one-push button start and theft-deterring immobilizer unit for added security. All three units are joystick compatible for boaters who want to add this feature.
Intelligent Shift & Throttle
The iST command and control system is available on all four outboard motors, providing superb control and plug-and-play installation. The system offers all of the features boaters are looking for, including control of as many as four engines and two control stations; effortless shift and throttle control; fine tuning of throttle settings at any speed; enhanced docking and slow speed control; return-to-port capability; and simple, easy-to-understand user interface. For multi-engine installations, the iST provides one switch trim control on the throttle handle, trimming all engines simultaneously. Individual trim switches allow for fine tuning each engine’s trim position. The system also provides engine speed synchronization, and single handle control of all engines while synchronized
The Intelligent Shift & Throttle engine control units offer binnacle-mounted throttle controls for as many as four engines, or side-flush mount for single engines. The mechanical control supports up to two engines and a single-helm location as well as a side-mount control box. The design of the components compliments their operation; the iST throttle controls are sleek and modern, while the mechanical controls are tough and rugged.
For convenience and flexibility, boaters buying refreshed Honda high-power outboards have two options for starting the engine. The iST models offer a one press-push button start; If equipped with immobilizer and the key/transponder unit is lost, the owner can rely on an emergency mechanical key, paired with a passcode, to start the engine(s). The mechanical ECU models offer a key start only.
Gauges and User Interface
The buttons, indicators and gauges for the BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 outboards are redesigned to offer the operator a variety of starting, operational and maintenance information, along with alerts, in an easy-to-view format.
The Honda BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 motors equipped with iST are available with an immobilizer ignition system that requires a remote transponder key to start the engine. The theft-deterrent immobilizer is designed to prevent the engine from being started without the owner’s remote ignition key. If an attempt is made to start the engine with any other key, the immobilizer disables the engine so that it can’t be started.
The new outboards are available at Honda Marine dealers nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2018
“Honda Marine outboards can power almost any type of boat, and we work to ensure that every Honda Marine motor—ranging from 2.3 to 250 horsepower—sets the standard for fuel efficiency and ease of operation while staying true to the core Honda attributes of durability, quality, reliability and quiet operation,” said Walton. “Around the world, Honda is the world’s largest manufacturer of engines for a diverse array of automotive, motorcycle, marine, outdoor power equipment and powersports products, supplying smooth and dependable power for a wide variety of mobility and work-related applications. This high production volume, coupled with precision manufacturing techniques and advanced engineering, gives Honda Marine the ability to best serve the heart of the marine market and make boating accessible to new enthusiasts.”
These engines will be coming to the UK late this year.