2001 Engine Preview Page 5
Engines — By
the PMY staff
Outboards — Suzuki Marine
|2001 Engine Preview|
A couple of months ago, we had the good fortune to test drive the company’s new 115-hp, fuel-injected, four-stroke DF115, a veritable jewel of an outboard. Admittedly, the test drive took place on a flat-calm lake around Orlando, and the test platform was a comparatively light vessel, a 17-foot aluminum Lund bassboat called Mr. Pike, a name we found rather endearing, by the way. We’ve honchoed several other four-strokes in this size range around various lakes, ponds, and saltwater bays over the past couple of years, and this in-line, 16-valve, DOHC, sequentially electronic fuel-injected four beats ’em all. Not only is she compact and about 80 pounds lighter than a Honda four-stroke BF115 (according to brochure specs), but also she was fast and smooth coming out of the hole, with plenty of acceleration from cruise speed to top end—almost head-snatching, as a matter of fact. Moreover, Suzuki says the engine meets 2006 EPA emissions standards as well as the 2008 Ultra-Low 3-Star CARB guidelines.
How did Suzuki put together such a compelling little package? For starters, to keep overall size and weight down, engineers used an offset drive shaft with a reduction gear incorporated at the bottom of the power unit to transfer power in two stages from the crankshaft to the prop shaft. The offset moves the center of gravity forward, improving balance and reducing vibration. The reduction gear allows for the use of a smaller cam sprocket as well as a smaller cylinder-head cover.
And then there’s the prop thing. Via the two stages just mentioned, the reduction gear also delivers a lower ratio of 2.59:1, staring with a first-stage ratio of 1.25:1, and adding the remainder in the gear case itself. Of course, the big gain with lower gears is the ability to use a prop with more diameter and pitch, a feature that produces the sporty hole shot and the midrange acceleration that so impressed us on the Orlando lake. All this and a new oil-change reminder alert for us forgetful mechanics? Cool!
Suzuki Marine (714) 996-7040. Fax: (714)-996-6005. www.suzuki.com.
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This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.