The Haines Marine Group recently celebrated its 10th partnership with Suzuki Outboards in Australia at a lavish media event at Noosa Heads.
The event was crowned by a number of innovative features in the popular four-stroke range, especially selective-rotation in the two biggest motors of the range – DF250hp and 300hp.
The Selective Rotation allows mechanics to change the propeller rotation direct (left or right) of the motor straight out of the box. Indeed, the plug-and-play module allows each of these motors to change to counter-rotation when needed.
This latter feature is aimed at big maxi trailer boats running dual and trip motors on the transom. At the Noosa Suzuki Conference, boating journalists were able to inspect and ride aboard a large Powercat rigged with dual Suzuki 300hp motors, plus a large Police Naiad RIB Patrol boat rigged with triple Suzuki 300hp motors.
The general rule is that with twin rigs having the propellers running in opposite direction stops the boat pulling to one side.
However, it obviously gets a bit trickier with a three motor rig. The answer, as seen on the big Naiad is to have right and middle motors running conventional rotation, and only the left motor running counter-rotational. This works well in practice and provides quite a well balanced rig motor thrust.
Meanwhile, the small end of the market has been catered for very well by Suzuki with the release of two portable four-stroke motors. The DF 15A and DF 20A made their world debut at Dusseldorf Boat Show in January with some fanfare. They are said to be the first battery-less fuel injected (EFI) outboards on the market.
Through a lean-burn technology they are both very fuel-efficient and start very easily even when cold, or after being left idle for some time. The quick start feature was most noticeable aboard the Anglapro demonstrator tinnies provided to the media on the Noosa River. The ability of these motors to fire on only half of the cord pull makes for very user-friendly boating. It’s especially great if you’re a fisherman moving from one fishing spot to another.
The DF 15/20 features a completely new fuel injection system that gives them an inline high pressure fuel pump, throttle body and small fuel cooler. There’s also a new style of vapor separator and fuel injector in these innovative motors.
The smaller cowling and physical size of these new Suzuki motors makes them easier to lift and also reduces windage at speed. Admittedly, there isstill a bit of lift at 44kg, however, that’s not dramatically more than a two-stroke of the same horsepower. It makes them noticeably lighter than some of the competitor four-stroke brands.
It’s interesting to note that when the physical size of motors becomes smaller, they are easier to lift on and off the transom. Certainly, Suzuki will be banking on that fact as they try and lure more dinghy and punt owners over to these clean-tech, small motors.
Meanwhile, matching these new Suzuki motors is a brand new electric tiller handle that is one of the most sophisticated yet released on the boating market. The Suzuki electric tiller handle not only extends the tiller distance for easy, convenient driving but also gives you a separate gear lever and tachometer.
These tiller-steering models also have a troll mode switch and this combined with the tachometer allows you to program the motor running to suit your fishing needs.
The DF 15A and DF 20A Lean Burn fuel features definitely deliver superior fuel economy and will be a significant selling point on these motors this summer. If the price of premium fuel continues to rise this summer (as predicted to do), there will be a lot of boaties wanting to get into thrifty motors.
We noticed these motors require less ‘pull pressure’ and have a lighter recoil load. On the water these small four-strokes also gave us impressive hole-shot power and seem to be very competitive with two-strokes in terms of general acceleration and overall speed.
For any small boat owner who has wanted to go four-stroke but felt they wouldn’t quite make the mark, perhaps these new Suzuki motors are going to change their minds.
BIG SUZUKI MOTORS
Meanwhile, the big DF 250 AP and DF 300 AP models showed off their latest features like Selective Rotation, Lean Burn technology and an innovative dual-water intakes that makes for better cooling at all times.
On the water these big V-6 provided a ‘tower of power’ but more importantly delivered excellent fuel economy from their Lean Burn technology. Basically, what Lean Burn does is monitor engine performance and the operation conditions (cold, hot, etc.) and predicts fuel needs. The system uses advanced computerisation to deliver a leaner fuel mix to the engine. This, in turn, gives significant reduction on fuel consumption.
It’s worth noting that Lean Burn has been introduced over most of, but not all models to date. These are the A series motors and among other things feature a more streamlined gear case, first introduced on the DF300 that reduces water drag by up to 36 per cent. This is one of the reasons these motors seem to accelerate faster and feel more like two-strokes in terms of hole-shot performance.
Meanwhile, the media conference saw the unveiling of a special one-off white DF 60A. At the moment it’s only this motor that features the white colour scheme but one suspects if the idea gets a popular following it may just lead to a new generation of white Suzuki motors.
Indeed, on the styling front the 2012 Suzuki range revealed some other changes. We noticed a new, larger Suzuki chrome S decal on the cowling of the new models. It’s all part of a fresh new marketing push that sees Suzuki lift both the value of its products and its image. Suzuki is already the third largest world brand and is determined to be number one. To that end it will be promoting a ‘value-packed product’ strategy over the coming few years and this already has seen some significant price cuts and added extras.
Suzuki now offers one of the most comprehensive outboard ranges in Australia that delivers market-leading four-strokes from 2.5hp to 300hp. It also sells a range of two-strokes up to 40hp to cover that part of the market that demands cheaper, more affordable motor packages. However, there’s no question that four-stroke is still the main game for this very successful Japanese motor brand.
Visit: www.suzukimarine.com.au or www.suzukimarine.com.nz