Honda outboards have been at the forefront of four-stroke technology since they arrived on the outboard scene and their latest release, the BF60 EFI, is another great example of just how much technology and research goes into making an environmentally-friendly outboard motor.
Slotting in between the BF40/50 and BF75/90, the new BF60 combines exclusive Honda technologies in a lightest-weight-in-class package that delivers sensational performance.
Weighing 110kg, the newly designed, water-cooled, 998cm3 three-cylinder engine incorporates electronic fuel injection, Honda’s revolutionary Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) air/fuel ratio and ignition-timing technology, and lean burn control to deliver powerful start-up and acceleration together with outstanding fuel economy during cruising (ECOmo). A high-performance gear case further contributes to the BF60’s impressive acceleration and top-end speed.
Along with its powerful 17amp alternator, the BF60 is also NMEA2000 compatible, which allows the engine to communicate with onboard electronics to deliver a wide-range of information to head-unit displays.
Sporting a futuristic new look that reflects its superior performance, the BF60 is available in remote control (including a Power Thrust model) and tiller versions. Among its many features, the multi-function tiller handle incorporates a power trim-tilt switch, which is conveniently located in the throttle grip so the engine can be easily trimmed while underway allowing the operator to remain completely focused on the water.
I’d like to take the time to quickly look at BLAST and ECOmo technology as these two features are part of what makes the Honda range so special.
BLAST is a system whereby the outboard boosts the horsepower output at low revs to punch the boat out of the hole surprisingly quickly. To achieve this BLAST uses a system that links the ignition timing control of the engine to the air/fuel ratio setting the optimum timing via computer control. This provides maximum torque for each engine revolution while pushing the outboard to its maximum knock limit using a rich air/fuel ration in the maximum throttle zone.
On the water this equates to sensational hole shot performance and in testing you can actually feel the difference when BLAST kicks in as opposed to slowly accelerating the boat onto the plane. I can see this feature really helping out tournament anglers, those fishing in currents and anglers who need extra torque to get through bar crossings safely.
The ECOmo is a dedicated fuel saving mode that kicks in when the outboard is running at a cruising speed, usually between 3000 and 4500 revolutions. The low fuel consumption is achieved by Lean Burn Control technology that allows combustion to operate on a leaner air/fuel ratio than models without ECOmo. We had the chance to run one of the test rigs with a fuel flow and use gauge attached and you could actually see the difference when ECOmo kicked in with fuel consumptions dropping almost a litre per hour.
For boaters who travel a lot of distance to fish, the ECOmo feature will save you dollars at the fuel bowser and allow you an extra margin of safety for your return home.
The BF60 comes in two configurations, a tiller steer model and a forward control model and the forward control model has the option of a Power Thrust version. The Power Thrust version uses a larger gear case and larger diameter propeller resulting in greater thrust. This just might be the thing you are looking for if you work your outboards hard in tough circumstances.
Consistently leading the world in environmental performance, the smooth and quiet-running BF60 exceeds the latest US EPA emissions standards – the most stringent in the world; 2008 CARB standards; and domestic Japanese voluntary regulations. The new BF60 will also achieve the Outboard Engine Distributors Association’s (OEDA) three-star rating for ultra-low emissions.
The BF60s are NMEA compatible giving these outboards the ability to communicate with onboard electronics to deliver a wide range of data to head unit displays. This means sounder/GPS units that are NMEA compatible will be able to display such things as speed, temperature, revs, fuel usage and other data on screen. For the technologically gifted this compatibility is a great inclusion.
Covered by Honda’s five-year warranty, the new BF60 will be available through Honda’s national marine dealer network in the second half of 2009 and will be well worth placing on your shopping list if your rig is suited to a 60hp outboard.
For further information on the new BF60 EFI log onto www.honda.com.au. You will find your nearest Honda dealer who will help you with any questions you have regarding these new outboards.Reads: 4231