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news release: honda marine combat rising fuel price by honda
Dated: 26 October, 2005
The inquiry rate of Honda outboard engines has increased over the past two to three months as consumers considered the technology of an advanced four-stroke

The recent dramatic rise in fuel price is not only affecting motorists and seeing a shift toward economical cars, but also boat owners who realise that outboard engine selection is critical to keeping running costs down, according to Honda Marine Manager, Tim Davies.

Mr Davies said there had been a notable increase in Honda outboard engine sales and a high inquiry rate over the past two to three months as consumers considered the technology of an advanced four-stroke engine as a way to combat petrol price pain.

"Honda's range of four-stroke engines provide significantly better fuel economy than carburettor two-stroke models and even direct injection two-strokes," Mr Davies said.
"While motorists are disgruntled about the price of fuel at the bowsers, bear in mind that boat owners refuelling at a marina can add at least another 10 cents per litre to the already high prices.

"For this reason, it's no wonder that boat owners are becoming more willing to pay an initial price premium for a four-stroke engine to gain much improved whole of life running costs.

"A further advantage of a Honda four-stroke is that there is no need to mix or inject oil and petrol as per two-strokes – not only is oil mixing or injecting inconvenient, but the cost of the specialist oils used can cost around $20 per litre."

Respected journalist and professional marine engine tester, Andrew Norton, concluded after recent on-water testing, that even the more modern direct injection two-stroke engines failed to match the fuel efficiency of Honda's advanced four-strokes engines.

"On a Cruise Craft 575 Outsider and pushing a total of 1650kg including three adults, the Honda BF135 used only 6.4 lph (litres per hour) @ 2000 rpm compared to 7.8 lph at the same revs for a comparable DFI (direct fuel injection) two-stroke tested under similar conditions," Mr Norton said.

"At 4000 revs, the Honda BF135 used 20.6 lph compared to 21.9 lph at the same revs – the Honda was also much quieter than the DFI two-stroke out to wide open throttle and much more pleasant to operate on long runs."

When Honda's flagship BF225 was compared to an equivalent DFI two-stroke, the difference was even greater.

"On a Haines Hunter 680SF and pushing a total of 2050kg, the BF225 used only 7.2 lph @ 2000 revs compared to 13.2 at the same revs for a recently released DFI two-stroke," Mr Norton said.

"At 4000 revs the Honda used 35 lph compared to 53 for the DFI two-stroke and at wide open throttle the Honda returned 77 lph compared to 88 for the DFI engine."
Upgraded earlier this year, Honda's high horsepower range comprising the BF175, 200 and 225 now feature a revised Electronic Control Unit (ECU) with an air feedback sensor and Honda's industry exclusive Lean Burn Feedback System, which delivers fuel consumption figures five per cent better than the previous models.

Honda's Lean Burn Feedback System adjusts the engine's air-fuel ratio according to speed, load, barometric pressure and air temperature to maximise efficiency throughout the entire rpm range.

This technology is aided by a top mounted Linear Air Fuel sensor which operates with the engine command system to help return the impressive fuel efficiency.
Mr Davies said that after a day on the water, using a Honda four-stroke would have saved the owner significant dollars on a conventional carburettor 2-stroke outboard. Savings of up to 70 per cent can be experienced depending on the rev range the engine is being operated at.

"I'd urge regular boat users to do the maths," Mr Davies said, "over the course of weeks and months, the premium price of a Honda four-stroke is recuperated relatively soon, particularly at today's petrol prices.

"A recent spike in Honda outboard sales and feedback from our dealer network has confirmed that discerning outboard engine buyers are taking into consideration the high price of fuel when making their purchase decision.

"There has been a definite shift from two-stroke and DFI two-stroke engines to four-stroke engines as buyers begin to favour a Honda four-stroke's reduced running costs and lower whole of life costing."

"With no petrol price relief in sight, an outboard engine's efficiency is now more important than ever and there is no doubt the most efficient engines available are four-stroke," Mr Davies said.

Honda Marine the leader in advanced four-stroke outboard technology.
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