Honda 200 hp outboard review

Honda 200 hp outboard review DEFAULT

Honda hp Outboard

Honda BF


The brand new Honda hp outboard engine delivers even more superior torque, top end speed and overall world-class performance, reliability and durability in a narrow, balanced 60 degree V6 power plant. With a completely upgraded engine block, the BF is the ultimate four stroke.

It features BLAST™ (Boosted low-speed torque) for rapid acceleration, ECOmo Lean Burn Control® for exceptional fuel economy at cruise and NMEA which enables all engine and fuel data to be viewed on a GPS screen.

Honda engineers have once again spent countless hours looking at ways of minimising noise and vibration, with the result that Honda outboards are the smoothest and quietest on the market.


Packed with power, the entire brand new V6 range (BF, BF, BF) incorporates Honda’s revolutionary Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST™) air/fuel ratio and ignition-timing technology, and Lean Burn Control to deliver powerful acceleration together with outstanding fuel economy during cruising (ECOmo).

A high-performance gear case further contributes to the V6 engine series’ impressive acceleration and top-end speed. All three engines are also NMEA compatible, which allows the engines to communicate with onboard electronics to deliver a wide-range of information to head-unit displays.


Review: Honda BF

Is a seven-year warranty enough to encourage punters to spend their newly released tax dollars on a Honda engine? From Honda’s point of view it should be, because it says a lot about their faith in their product. As a comparison, most other manufacturers have a three or five year maximum, although some dealers are stretching it to six when tied to a service contract.


The engine of choice on the Blackdog Cat WHT is the punchy BF Honda and it was a fine match of performance and economy. The is a V6 with a meaty cc, which is the second biggest capacity in territory. In a pissing completion where size matters, the V6 Suzuki beats it with cc, but the rest fall short by a fair margin. Suzuki’s L4 is cc, Yamaha’s L4 weighs in at , the Verado L6 is cc and the two-stroke Evinrude is cc from its V6.

Honda has pumped a swag of technical wizardry into the engine to give it the zing needed to compete in this very competitive sector, which is hotting up even further with Mercury about to introduce a new range of engines. 

The BF is a single overhead cam, valve configuration with Variable Valve Timing, computer controlled electronic fuel injection, lean burn technology and their Blast or Boosted Low Speed Torque for better power from low revs.


The Blackdog Cat has a hull weight of about kg and a twin-hull design that presents a lithe profile to the water. The air assistance under the hull had us planing at a respectable 14kph at only rpm and a fuel burn of lph.

Spinning a three-blade Solas 17” prop, we saw 66kph at rpm from the fresh engine which isn’t bad from a boat that isn’t highly aerodynamic and in conditions on the choppy water that weren’t ideal for getting maximum speed. At WOT, the 92 octane disappeared at 64lph. Hole shot was brisk and mid-range acceleration was impressive, so it would seem the prop is well matched.

Best fuel economy showed when cruising at rpm, we saw 44kph for a theoretical range of km from the L tanks with 10 per cent in reserve.

The XL version of the Honda weighs in at kg, so it’s the second heaviest in class but well suited to the Black Cat, which can easily run the weight of a twin-engine setup. Stated weights can be confusing because most builders quote the engine with the lightest leg, but as a guide, the Yamaha is kg, the Suzuki V6 is kg, their in-line 4 is kg, the L6 Mercury Verado is kg and the V6 Evinrude hits the scales at kg.


L fuel tank (calculations using 10% reserve)


*Sea-trial data supplied by the author.


TYPE Four-stroke SOHC 60° V6 / valves





PROPELLER Solas four-blade 17in

Check out the full review in issue # of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest boat news, reviews and travel inspiration.

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Brief Summary

The powerful Honda horsepower has a large displacement V-6 engine, giving it outstanding torque. The valve, six-cylinder design produces all the durability and performance of the smooth-running Honda Acura MDX it was based on-in a narrow, sixty-degree "V" profile outboard.

The Honda BF is available in two different types: L and X. The information on this page represents the L type unless specified. Test#

Key Features

  • A powerful, compact 24 valve SOHC design. Lacking the bulk and weight of long intake runners and multi-camshafts, the narrow V6 design offers top perf
  • Honda's dual stage induction variable intake system utilizes a plenum chamber with twin butterfly valves to control the volume of intake air into the
  • Dual exhaust headers wrap around the outside of the oil pan.
  • Lean Burn Feedback Control utilizes a linear air-fuel sensor that automatically adjusts the air/fuel mix according to speed and load to maximize fuel
  • "On demand" belt-driven alternator reduces heat build up and provides superior battery charging capacity.
  • EMC monitors vital engine functions and prevents engine damage.
  • Standard 3-year limited warranty


Type of Engine 4-Stroke
Number of Cylinders 6
Horse Power
Configuration V-drive
Weight lbs
Fuel Type Gasoline
Fuel Delivery Fuel Injected
Shaft Length Options 20 in for L / 25 in for X
Shift Throttle Control
Displacement cu in
Steering Control Power Assist
Recommended Fuel
Alternator Output
CARB Rating
Engine Monitoring System

Captain's Report

Honda Outboards: Rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power & Associates

Honda’s revolutionary BF and BF, with powerful large-displacement liter single overhead cam (SOHC) V-6 engines, provide today’s sport angler with the most technologically-advanced outboard power available. Based on the architecture of Honda automotive engines, the models’ valve, 6-cylinder profiles deliver the maximum in durability, world-class performance and reliability as well as superior torque in a narrow, balanced, 60° "V" profile outboard. The slim design of both engines allows for the mounting of dual engines on a 26” center-to-center distance – fitting on a dual engine boat without expensive transom modifications.

The BF's Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) technology, that first appeared on the Acura NSX supercar, utilizes mild cam lobes to operate the intake valves at low rpm, and engages a high output cam lobe for high output operation. This state-of-the-art, exclusive design gives this Honda Marine flagship engine a unique blend of power, torque, and efficiency at any speed. “VTEC technology packs a punch to get sports anglers to a breathtaking speed,” said Robin Senger, Honda Marine Marketing. “Performance with efficiency is what VTEC is all about.”

The BF features a Single Overhead Cam (SOHC); the low-maintenance Honda design eliminates trial and error adjustment of the valves.

The BF and BF share a number of other features that provide optimum performance. On both models, the Engine Alert System works to monitor vital engine functions, alerting the operator of any problems. A 2-Pass Cooling System maintains an even temperature on all cylinders, resulting in increased cooling efficiency and long-term durability. The BF and BF incorporate a Tuned Dual Exhaust that wraps around the outside of the oil pan, serving to reduce heat build-up as well as increase engine efficiency and performance. A Multi-Port, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) delivers precise amounts of fuel/air to each cylinder, resulting in quick starts, instant throttle response and low fuel consumption. Each engine also contains a crankshaft-driven, automotive-style Trochoid Pump to ensure critical engine component long-term durability.

In addition, both the BF and BF contain a Single Latch Cowl to ensure a water-tight seal, as well as 4-Front Corrosion Protection System and Stainless Steel Steering Arms, Tilt Tubes, and All Shafts. A Fresh Water Flushport functions to flush debris and salt water out of the engine, extending the life of the outboard, and a Built-In Pitot Tube in the gear case eliminates the need to drill holes in the boat for installation.

2020 Miami Boat Show Honda BF250 IST Engine Sea Star Joystick Honda Navico Op Box Honda Link Marine

Honda HP BFDXRA Outboard Motor

Honda HP BFDXRA Outboard Motor

We’ve redesigned our flagship BF models inside and out, adding features like longer 25&#; shaft, updates and improvements that make these acclaimed V6 outboards better than ever. From easier maintenance to tougher corrosion resistance, the new BF outboards take legendary Honda performance into new waters.

Of course, we’ve kept the famous technological advances Honda outboard owners love, many of which are shared with Honda’s renowned automobile engines. All three models feature BLAST™, for maximum holeshot performance, Lean Burn Control for remarkable fuel efficiency.



  • Engine Type: Honda BFDXRA Four Stroke
  • Horsepower: hp
  • Cylinders: 6 cyl
  • Shaft Length: 25&#;
  • Steering: Remote Mech
  • Starter: Electric
  • Weight: lbs
  • Full Throttle Range: &#; rpm
  • Displacement: cc
  • Induction System: EFI
  • Warranty: 5 years

Outboard honda review hp 200


Making The Best Even Better.

We’ve redesigned our flagship BF, BF, and BF models inside and out, adding features, updates and improvements that make these acclaimed V6 outboards better than ever. From easier maintenance to tougher corrosion resistance, the new BF, BF, and BF outboards take legendary Honda performance into new waters.

The BF, BF, and BF feature Honda’s exclusive Intelligent Shift and Throttle, or iST. iST provides all the features boaters are looking for, including:

  • Allows for up to 4 engines and 2 control stations
  • Effortless control
  • Fine tuning of throttle settings at any speed
  • Enhanced docking and slow speed control
  • User-programmable system defaults
  • Simple, easy to understand user interface

Of course, we’ve kept the famous technological advances Honda outboard owners love, many of which are shared with Honda’s renowned automobile engines. BF and BF models include VTEC® for explosive mid-range torque. All three models feature:
  • BLAST™, for maximum holeshot performance
  • Lean Burn Control for remarkable fuel efficiency.
  • A best-in class, automotive-style 90 amp alternator and our AMP+® electronic control that automatically increases amperage as needed at idle.
  • Multi-Port Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) consistently delivers the ideal fuel/air mix to the cylinders, for impressive starts, response, performance, and efficiency.
  • NMEA ® Certified, allowing the use of third-party electronic components without the expense of an additional gateway interface.
  • Honda’s industry-leading True-5, five-year, non-declining warranty
2005 Mako 21 with Honda 200Hp 4-Stroke, only 555 hours.

Honda Struts Its Stuff!

The final instalment of our ground-breaking engine testing program sees Honda’s brand spanking new BF four-stroke take on its hp rivals. By Jim Harnwell

AS detailed in previous editions, Boat Fishing has embarked on an ambitious testing schedule which has seen a range of hp outboards fitted to the Fishing World Stabi-Craft Super Cab project boat and tested for between hours. The aim of this project is to provide an independent and unbiased perspective on the pros and cons of the various outboard options available. So far we’ve put the E-TEC H.O. and the Yamaha F (Note - this engine has since been superseded) to the test (see full report in the February edition) and we compared those engines with Suzuki’s DF in the June issue. This was followed in August by Mercury’s Optimax DFI This year’s February issue saw Mercury’s unique supercharged Verado four-stroke take on its hp rivals. Now Honda’s brand new BF is the final engine tested.

The Honda @ 28 hours
Honda launched its new BF late last year. Fisho was the first Aussie fishing mag to get hold of one of these new donks and give it a serious workout. So what’s our opinion after 28 hours spent driving the engine in inshore and offshore fishing scenarios? Well, this is one sweet thing!

The Honda represents the new breed of four-stroke outboards. Smaller, lighter and much more responsive than traditional outboards, the new generation four-strokes compete with DI two-strokes in offering excellent performance and fuel economy.

The new Honda BF is a litre V6 24 valve single overhead camshaft engine with a narrow 60 degree “v” profile. This gives the engine cowl a slightly “wedgy” look, but cuts the bulk and weight of long intake runners and multi-camshafts.

The test unit runs an inch SS four-blade Solas prop and was installed by Amara Boats, on the NSW South Coast. At just over 28 hours of use involving bay and offshore fishing, the Honda has proven to be a smooth and powerful modern outboard. Like all the other test engines, the Honda has proven per cent reliable in regards to starting, although when you turn the key the engine turns over twice before actually firing up. This is in contrast to other engines (such as the Verado, E-TEC and Optimax) which start immediately when you turn the key.

Responsiveness and general performance is on a par with the other engines tested. Like all the four-strokes tested, the Honda doesn’t have the “rip off your head” instant acceleration of the E-TEC H.O. (which remains, in my view, the clear leader in regards to power to weight ratio) but it is certainly no slow poke, especially out of the hole. In my view, the Honda demonstrated the smoothest progression from stationary to planing – there was no abrupt surge of power as you find with DI two-strokes, nor was there any sense of “wallowing” or “winding up” – just a very smooth progression up out of the water until you were cruising along. Like the other engines tested, the Honda boasts a comprehensive digital engine data system via two dedicated gauges. After coming from the innovative SmartCraft system used by Mercury’s Verado and Optimax, I thought the Honda’s gauges were a bit fiddly but all the info – RPM, speed, fuel use etc – was readily available. Oddly enough, the gauges wouldn’t record fuel use at neutral or idle – the engine would only be using a litre or two an hour at most but I would have thought the software would have been sensitive enough to record usage.

Honda uses technology generated by its world-class automotive division in its marine engines. The BF ’s engine is actually based on that used in Honda’s Acura NSX sports car. The features what Honda calls “Lean Burn Control” to “automatically adjust the engine’s air/fuel mix according to speed and load for maximum fuel efficiency in cruise mode”.

A new feature on this engine is Honda’s much-vaunted “Boosted Low Speed Torque”, aka BLAST. This, according to Honda, “dramatically improves holeshot and acceleration by advancing ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock limit during ‘hammer down’ acceleration. The Engine Control Module (ECM) then 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. The ignition spark timing is appropriately adjusted under slower throttle advancement, ensuring a leaner air/fuel mix and class-leading fuel efficiency”.

Cool-sounding anachronisms aside, the tweaking and refining of engines is the reason four-strokes are becoming more responsive, more compact and much lighter than in previous years. Mercury went for supercharger technology with its Verado; Suzuki and Honda have played with torque, gearing, timing and so on; and Yamaha is releasing an updated range of new-age four-strokes which reportedly offer similar levels of performance and technology. Interestingly, the Yamaha F, tested more than a year ago, is the sole example of “old” four-stroke technology. It was big, heavy, slow and unresponsive compared to the other engines tested. But it was great on fuel and very quiet. The challenge for Yamaha – and the other four-strokes – is to keep the quietness and fuel economy traditionally associated with four-stroke technology on their new engines and also to equal or better the power-to-weight performance benefits of new age DI two-strokes. 

Performance observations
• Like the other engines tested so far, the Honda maintains speed in a variety of ocean conditions without having to adjust the throttle (ie, minimal surges in a following sea).

• GPS measured top speed at WOT in calm water was 40 knots; the Optimax and the E-TEC both recorded 42 knots in the same conditions; the Suzuki 40 knots; and Yamaha recorded 37 knots. A top speed of over 35 knots is more than adequate, in Fisho’s view, for any offshore fishing boat. Interestingly, the Honda required a lot of positive trim to achieve high speeds/revs. This is probably because of the big four-blade prop.

• The Honda ranks with the Suzuki in being very quiet at idle and low speed. Engine noise at WOT is about the same for all five engines tested so far. The Honda and Suzuki are the quietest engines tested, followed by the Verado, the Yammie, the E-TEC and then the Optimax.

Ease of use
There are some differences between all the engines tested relating to ease of use.

• I found the Honda’s gearbox to be fairly stiff and it was occasionally hard to find neutral. I didn’t like the positioning of the trim button on top of the control lever. As far as the other engines were concerned, the E-TEC had by far the smoothest gear shift, with the Suzuki being less “clunky” than the Yammie and the Optimax. The Verado’s DTS shift was surprisingly “clunky” going in and out of gear, although it was very smooth and responsive when engaged.

• The Honda’s tilt/trim hydraulic system matches the Suzuki and E-TEC in being marginally quieter than that on the Yammie and the Optimax. The Verado’s tilt/trim system was surprisingly noisy.

• At low revs/idle, the Verado, Optimax,  Suzuki and Yamaha vibrate slightly, causing a rattle in the portside cabin window. This is not evident with the E-TEC or the Honda. It needs to be noted that the Verado’s innovative electric-hydraulic steering system would negate any rattle or vibration from the engine, but this was not fitted to the test boat.

• There are no noticeable fumes or smoke from any of the four-strokes, but the E-TEC and the Opti sometimes produced a burnt oil smell when trolling with the wind.

• All four engines feature innovative engine and fuel data systems to provide incredibly accurate fuel use and engine system information via dedicated gauges. Mercury’s SmartCraft system available with the Verado (and the previously tested Optimax) is particularly informative and easy to use. The Verado and the Opti engine management systems can also be used with Northstar units and, as from just recently, any NMEA compatible unit. As noted above, the Honda’s gauges did not record fuel use at idle.

 • All the engines tested have factory backed warranties. Honda offers a five-year warranty with the BF All the engines tested comply with the latest international pollution control regulations. Like the Yamaha, Suzuki, E-TEC and Verado, the Honda is CARB 3 star, rated as “ultra low emission”.

Size & weight
Despite being a relatively compact size, at kg dry the Honda weighs only two kilos less than the Yammie. The Verado is the lightest of the four-strokes tested so far, coming in at kg dry. The Optimax is the lightest and most compact engine all up. At kg dry weight, it is 42 kilos lighter than the Honda, 44 kilos lighter than the Yamaha, 38 kilos lighter than the Suzuki, 13 kilos less than the DI two-stroke E-TEC and 6kg less than Verado.

Fuel & oil
The Honda used LPH in the key “cruise” rev range of rpm, compared to the class-leading Verado using LPH. The Honda beats Suzuki, which used LPH at rpm. At rpm (L per hour) the Suzuki beats Honda () and Verado (LPH).

In the same rev ranges, the Yamaha records and LPH, the E-TEC 29 and 44 LPH and the Optimax and 40LPH.  The E-TEC retains its lead in the low rev range of idle and rpm (slow trolling/jigging) while the Yamaha just retains its superiority at Wide Open Throttle (WOT), beating the Honda by a miniscule .9 of a litre, the Suzuki by almost 5 litres, the E-TEC by 14 litres, the Opti by litres and the Verado by litres. The E-TEC and Opti share the No.1 position for top end speed at 42 knots. The Honda, Verado and the Suzuki are neck to neck at about 40 knots while the Yammie maxed out at 37 knots. The Verado holds the No.1 spot at the marlin trolling speed, using LPH at rpm and knots. The DI two-strokes previously held this benchmark performance figure with the Opti using LPH at RPM and 8 knots compared to the E-TEC’s  LPH at rpm and 8 knots.  The Verado beats the Yamaha by LPH and the Suzuki by LPH. The Honda used litres at 8 knots and rpm.

Based on these figures, we maintain our previously published view that none of the engines tested so far has a significant advantage in regards to fuel use when used in typical offshore fishing scenarios.  Most boats either troll or travel at a cruise of about knots – it’s rare you can go flat out for extended periods out at sea – so average use between long periods spent trolling and shorter periods spent travelling would, in our view, see overall fuel use to be similar. The Yammie would offer benefits if you travel more than you troll and vice versa with the E-TEC and Opti if you troll more than you travel. The Honda, Verado and the Suzuki are impressive in that they perform well across the board, especially at cruise speeds. All six engines use significantly less fuel than a traditional two-stroke hp outboard.

• An important point to note is that the above performance and fuel data has been compiled using different propellers on each test engine: a inch high cup on the E-TEC, a incher on the Yammie, a incher on the Suzuki, a incher on both the Opti and the Verado and a inch four-blader on the Honda. Engine performance, speed and fuel use can vary radically depending on the prop used. The props used in our tests were selected by dealers and manufacturers to provide what they regarded as “typical” offshore fishing boat performance. Fishing World invited all manufacturers involved to thoroughly “prop” the boat to ensure maximum performance. The above data needs to be assessed with that in mind. Consideration also needs to be given to engine performance/speed at stated RPMs. For example, one engine may be going slower or faster than another at the same RPM and thus using differing amounts of fuel.

• All three engines have been operated with 91 octane unleaded fuel with fuel data for the E-TEC and Yamaha provided by NMEA connections between engine EMMs and a Lowrance X37c sounder/chartplotter for maximum accuracy. The DF was tested using an interface with Suzuki engine management data on a laptop computer operated by a Suzuki technician, the Optimax and Verado via the SmartCraft gauges and the Honda by its proprietary gauges.

See comparison chart below for detailed fuel use data.
• The Honda, Yammie, Suzuki and Verado offer a benefit over the E-TEC and the Optimax in that as four-stroke they have wet sumps and thus don’t require the addition of expensive XD or OptiMax/DFI Synthetic Blend 2-Cycle Outboard Oil, the synthetic DI two-stroke oils recommended for use with E-TECs and Optimax engines. Both of these oils are expensive, retailing for about $65 for four litres (or more than $16 a litre).

• The cost of oil needs to be considered when comparing fuel use between DI two-strokes such as Evinrude’s E-TEC and Mercury’s Optimax and their four-stroke competitors. The DI engines use very little oil compared to traditional two-strokes, but the cost of the new-age synthetic oils is far more than what you’d pay for a bottle of standard marine two-stroke oil. Our data indicates that the Fisho E-TEC used about ml of XD, worth about $, per litres of fuel with the Opti recording similar figures.

• The Suzuki requires about eight litres of engine oil when the sump oil is changed annually or once every hours. Based on current prices for engine oils, this involves a cost of about $70 (or $9 a litre). The Yamaha and Verado both require six litres each service (about $54 worth of oil). The Honda requires litres (about $70 worth of oil).

Evinrude’s main claim to fame is that its E-TEC engines only require servicing once every three years, or hours. This gives the Canadian outboard company a significant advantage over its competitors in regards to savings on servicing costs and reducing time off the water.

The Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Optimax and Verado all require an initial 20 hour service and then a service once a year or every hours.

A typical hour E-TEC service would cost about $ (including impeller change), Nowra-based E-TEC specialist Noel Hill, from Dave Hill Marine, said. According to South Coast Yamaha dealer Abby’s Autos & Marine, a hour service on an F would be about $ (not including impeller). An annual service for the Suzuki is also about $ (including impeller), according to Suzuki. An annual Opti service would be about $, according to the service guys at Nowra Marine. A Verado service would cost $ (including impellor), according to Mercury. Gavin Daly, of Sydney Honda dealer Webbe Marine, said the BF would cost around $ to service in the first year (plus parts).

Extrapolated over a three-year period, the Verado would cost $ to maintain, both the Yamaha F and Suzuki DF would cost about $, the Opti would set you back about $ and the Honda around $ An E-TEC would cost $, resulting in an $ saving over both the Yamaha and the Suzuki and more than a grand over the Optimax, Verado and Honda.

You need to think about oil use, however, when considering these figures. The $$70 of oil used in a year by the Yammie, Suzuki and Verado is included in the above service cost but DI engines’ oil use isn’t.

Sum up
Like most of the other outboards tested, the Honda BF is an impressive engine. Overall performance is excellent and its quietness and lack of fumes makes it very pleasant to use. It’s hard, in fact almost impossible, to fault this prime example of Japanese outboard technology.


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