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Old 12-06-2024, 04:47   #1
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Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

Deciding which small lightweight motor to get for an auxilluary for my 20' Discovery trimaran (1,000 lbs).

Pros and cons for each, from those with experience of both or either, please

About the same new price point, $850 for the Suzuki, $950 the Honda. Both long shaft.

Light weight is crucial - under 30# desired.
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Old 12-06-2024, 05:18   #2
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

I don't have long term experience with either, but one big difference is that the Honda is air cooled, the Suzuki is water cooled. So the Honda will have a little less maintenance over time (no impellers, no cooling passages to accumulate scale), but the Honda will be louder.
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Old 12-06-2024, 05:22   #3
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

Thanks, I'm aware. More concerned about reliability and maintenance issues. The Honda has no water pump but does have a centrifugal clutch which is a question mark for service if needed.
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Old 12-06-2024, 05:23   #4
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

The Honda has a centrifugal clutch while the Suzuki has a real neutral forward shift. Reviews are generally better for the Suzuki. It would be my choice.
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Old 12-06-2024, 05:24   #5
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtriad View Post
Thanks, I'm aware. More concerned about reliability and maintenance issues. The Honda has no water pump but does have a centrifugal clutch which is a question mark for service if needed.
On the topic of that centrifugal clutch, I've met a few people with the Honda 2.3 that found the centrifugal clutch annoying, as there was no concept of just idling forward, so minimum forward speed can be a bit higher than some other outboards. It might be worth seeing if there's any opportunity to test one out and see if you like or dislike the behavior of the centrifugal clutch.
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Old 12-06-2024, 06:53   #6
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

I've owned a Honda for six years. The clutch is not a big deal. You get used to it.


The big issue is that the fuel jets are tiny. You need to run the motor dry by shutting off the fuel at the end of every day. If you don't, the jets will clog and the motor will run erratically or not at all.


Also, Honda says you can use ethanol fuel. My experience is that it worsens the clogging problem for some reason. The motor runs much better with non-ethanol fuel.
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Old 12-06-2024, 07:19   #7
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

Thanks all for the feedback. All things considered, I'm going for the Suzuki. I need good control and a reliable start on the rare occasions when I use the motor, like on and off the trailer, and approaching a dock. A Tohatsu 6 Sailpro came with the boat and although reliable, is heavy at 58 lbs, and another 20 lbs for a tank full of gas. I no longer need the charging circuit as I installed a solar panel.
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Old 12-06-2024, 08:22   #8
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

I have the Suzuki (well, technically it's my brother's). I've had it apart because it went for a swim and also because it turned out he bought the long-shaft version and needed short, so I converted it.

I like it although it is not as smooth as the older two-cylinder two-stroke 3HP I have.

There have been some reports that the small Suzuki motors don't do well over the long term in salt water. I'm not sure whether that's a pervasive problem or a couple of isolated incidents. You decide.

For the Honda, on the other hand, I have reliable reports that the cylinder is only good for 1000 hours, maybe less, and that the parts and labor cost to replace it approaches the cost of a new outboard. Most <3hp outboards are really lightly used, often seasonally for duck hunting or for canoe trips, and for those uses it doesn't matter much.
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Old 12-06-2024, 08:28   #9
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

Tohatsu makes a 3.5hp, and a derated version that's 2.5 hp. They're heavier at 40 lbs. Yamaha makes a 2.5hp, 37 lbs. Both worth considering depending on how much of a problem the extra weight is in your situation.
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Old 12-06-2024, 23:58   #10
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

Have had both. The Honda was extremely reliable but with a vicious kick back when starting. It lasted 10 years being knocked about on and off the tender to yacht. If you treat all the fuel and run the carb dry, then the jets did not block. But that is the same for both engines.
The suzuki is quiet and smooth, and I had no problems. But it was flushed running in a water tank">fresh water tank at our club after every cruise. My concern would be salt blocking the coolant channels without flushing regularly.
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Old 13-06-2024, 09:12   #11
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Re: Honda BF2.3 or Suzuki 2.5DH

I have a Honda and use it on a Walker Bay 8' plastic boat. The clutch is not that much of an issue on that light boat so I would think you would be fine pushing 1000 pounds. In the Walker Bay if you goosed it you had a good chance of doing an endo flip.
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