Yamaha F200 – the Italian Stallion
  |  First Published: July 2013

The new Yamaha F200 is an outstanding development in high capacity outboard engines.

Leggera is a term normally associated with Lamborghini cars but Yamaha’s new 200hp model has shaved 56 kg off its predecessor and earns the right to be known as the super-light Super Leggera.

Rocky Balboa shed kilos by running up and down stairs. Yamaha has found weight reduction by changing from V6 format (F200c) to an ultra-modern and technically advanced inline 4.

The 16-valve DOHC power head equipped with a Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT) suggests that pound for pound this is one outboard you will want in your corner.

There has been a huge effort on behalf of Yamaha technicians to trim a massive 18% of weight from this horsepower range and that will be of massive benefit for end users.

The power to weight ratio is exceptional and this engine lends itself favourably to those owners restricted by transom weight, but wanting more grunt. This outboard engine offers boat owners the possibility to fit a new outboard engine to an incredibly wide range of boats.

Pound for pound this outboard delivers significant punch.

Attention Tech heads

Two versions of the new F200 will be available. The F200F, with a regular mechanical shift and throttle, and the F200G, with an electronically-controlled, drive-by-wire shift and throttle. The F200F/G also benefit from recent technological advances made by Yamaha, such as Yamaha’s Y-COP (Yamaha Customer Outboard Protection) anti-theft system, a newly-designed Reliance SDS (Shift Dampener System) as recommended propeller, a tilt-limiter, and LCD colour display (optional for the F200G only), one-touch start/stop (optional for the F200G only), and the ability to set variable trolling-speed revs. These features place the F200F/G firmly alongside Yamaha’s top-of-the-range V6 (4.2L) and V8 outboards.

For The Rest of Us

It’s so quiet at idle it’s ridiculous, it dead-set hammers and the little amount of fuel it uses, is twice as ridiculous as how quiet it is at idle.

On the water

The vessel the F200 was attached to for this trial was a Bar Crusher 670 HT from Coastal Marine in Somerset, Tasmania. The sea trials were held in magnificent conditions in and around Wynyard. The sea conditions were calm with the obligatory 500mm of confused nor, nor wester. The high tide on the Inglis River allowed us to do some very accurate calm water testing.

A lot of reviews wax on about the engine starting with a “simple turn of the key and settling into an easy and smooth idle”. Well it would want to wouldn’t it? It’s brand new…

Of course the Yamaha F200 was no exception and the whisper quiet idle is an industry standard with this class of outboard. Manoeuvring off the trailer, snitching in and out of gear and picking up crew from the pontoon I was thinking “what smooth operator and a demon helmsman I was”. I found out later it actually had more to do with Yamaha’s patented Shift Dampener System than my skills as a boat driver.

Gear shifting and transitioning between forwards and reverse was effortless and smooth. Once clear of the pontoon and general wharf area we popped up on the plane and cruised down towards the ski area at a lazy nine knots. The F200 was sipping at the in-floor tank at a leisurely rate of 10L per hour.

On finding some clear water free of others we dropped the hammer and it is here you can see the variable cam timing come to the party. Bigger 4-stroke engines have been plagued by sluggishness to get off the bottom and into their strong mid-range.

The variable nature of the timing allows the best of both worlds. Specific engine tuning for bottom end punch allows an awesome bridge to the fantastic midrange attained by 2875cc of engine displacement. As revs climb the cam timing electrickery-magic does its thing and we level out to allow a cruising speed of 24 knots at a fuel consumption of 22L per hour.

The mirror calm waters of the test site would allowed us to trim the new F200 right out and attain an impressive maximum speed. This is of course irrelevant as we all know that in reality, given changing sea conditions, we never get the opportunity to, want or need to run our boats at wide open throttle.

Full power

This outboard engine from Yamaha will leave every bowl of rice custard in Australia skinless. The variable cam timing allows old school 2-stroke acceleration to be achieved from around 3000rpm through to ‘flat knacker’. It has been said that this type of constant drive and power is called – linear!

I don’t know what the hell that means, but “you are going to go through some hats!”

The fuel consumption while traveling at this speed was of course considerably more than at cruise, but is remarkable when you think you can cover 80km in that hour.

Fast Facts
There are two models available with mechanical or drive-by-wire electronic controls
The F200F has traditional mechanical controls ideal for re-powering second-hand craft with existing cables
The F200G has digital drive-by-wire electronic controls. The F200G is subsequently easier for a dealer to rig and it requires less maintenance.
Yamaha’s Variable Trolling Switch (VTS) allows the idle rpm to be adjusted between 650rpm and 900rpm (in 50rpm increments) allowing constant lure or bait trolling speeds
Options include a tilt-limit switch (to protect the cowling on installations with restricted space overhead), and Yamaha’s Customer Outboard Protection anti-theft system that gives owners the ability to disable the engine’s ignition system with the push of a button.
In my opinion

The cage has been rattled and the introduction of Yamaha's new F200 has significantly raised the bar. It’s power to weight will impress those looking to power new craft, but this package is an extremely attractive option for anyone looking to repower a vessel with transom weight restrictions.

It is a very smooth, refined, and quiet-running engine with excellent fuel economy, low emissions and solid performance.

I feel like holding some one’s arm aloft. It’s a ‘technical knock-out.’

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