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Which one?

Aug 1, 2011
3,494
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
In the 2.5 four stroke category, the two apparent front runners are the Honda and the Suzuki. Both tip the scales at about 30 lbs, and there appears to be one large difference, the Honda is air cooled, while the Suzuki is water cooled.
Does anybody have any input to either of these units?
If you own one, can you transport it on its side?
 
Dec 28, 2015
561
Laser, Hunter H30 Standard Tacoma
Water cooled wins regardless of brand. My Lehr has to layon it's tiller side if laid down
 
Sep 22, 2018
490
Hunter 216 Kingston
In the 2.5 four stroke category, the two apparent front runners are the Honda and the Suzuki. Both tip the scales at about 30 lbs, and there appears to be one large difference, the Honda is air cooled, while the Suzuki is water cooled.
Does anybody have any input to either of these units?
If you own one, can you transport it on its side?
My Hunter 216 came with the Honda. I believe it was sold with the boat in 2004 (I’m third owner) and I’m very impressed with it. Moves the 1400 lb 22’ft boat at 4-5 mph at less than wot. The centrifugal clutch can be a little tricky at first as there is no gear lever. Too much throttle at startup and your moving, not an issue once you get used to it. I like the air cooled feature as I can test run it anywhere. You can lay it on its side for transport, has two rubber feet to keep it from rolling around.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,272
Catalina 320 Dana Point
I've got a very old Honda 2 hp, you can lay it on one side only, there are little feet molded into the case as indicators and there are warnings against laying it the "wrong" way. Mechanically it has been faultless, but it's a noisy little beast, it was the only small engine available new in California at that time. A short time later Skipper got a small Suzuki I'm remembering as a 3.5 that really impressed me for quiet and it had forward, neutral, reverse vs the centrifugal clutch of my Honda and the akward swinging the engine around to reverse.
 
Sep 25, 2008
865
Macgregor & Island Packet VENTURE 25 & IP-38 NORTH EAST, MD
I have the Honda. Like the fact of less moving parts (no impeller, etc). Moves my 8' inflatable just fine. The only thing I dislike is the recoil mechanism of the pull start, sometimes tries to pull my arm off! It snaps back real fast as the motor starts, sometimes, so you never know when you're going to "get it".
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,228
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
the recoil mechanism of the pull start, sometimes tries to pull my arm off!
Think of it as the soul of the engine trying to pull you in so it can give you a little kiss on the cheek.
 
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dLj

Mar 23, 2017
532
Hunter 30 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I have the Suzuki. Great little motor. Moves my Trimaran very well. It's quiet and just sips fuel. You can transport on one side, identified on the motor. It seems to run quieter than the Honda.

dj
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,494
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
I like the air cooled aspect of the Honda. While it does not eliminate the need to rinse it off after being in the big lake, it does remove the need to rinse it out. They are both small and light, and apparently both can be laid on their side for transport. I am somewhat skeptical of this, as I had a Honda BF8 for my Mac that left a nice oil slick in the back of the truck once, and it was advertised as meeting that criteria.
 

dLj

Mar 23, 2017
532
Hunter 30 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
Don't know about the Honda, but I transport the Suzuki on its side all the time. My Trimaran is a trailerable boat and the motor is taken off the mount and put into the forward cockpit on its side Evey time I trailer the boat. It lives there when not sailing. I've never seen evidence of a problem.

dj
 
Jun 1, 2007
3,319
Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15 Denver, Colorado
People put small outboards on Hobie TI's and its usually the Suzuki 2.5 or the air cooled Honda. I have the Suzuki 2.5 that I occasionally use on my Hobie TI and its a lot quieter than the Honda and also has a rev limit (part of the electronic ignition) which can be important if you use it on a very low drag vessel. Stock prop on the Suzuki is about perfect for the Hobie TI as the outboard stays under rev limit but gets somewhat close at full speed (about 6.9 knts).. Dont have experience with the Honda but I think the stock prop is also just fine for whatever application you have.

Suzuki has a neutral and in gear shift but you have to rotate the outboard for reverse. If I run the gas completely out of the carb I have a hard time starting it so I dont (always use Seafoam). The Suzuki normally starts easily if I dont run the gas dry. Might be some mechanical issue with the fuel system as I dont think it did this when new. With Seafoam, no problem with just whatever is available at the gas station. .

The Suzuki says it can be transported on its side and I have had no problem doing this for "short" drives.. But just about every time I do this for a long drive where the outboard might be sitting on its side for several days and traveling near 1000 miles, I get oil in the cylinder head and have to remove the spark plug and pull a few times to get the oil out. Not a huge deal. but this has happened several times in the past. When I have had this issue, the outboard was right side up and the head even propped up a little..

The Suzuki 2.5 puts out a little more power compared to the Honda based on top speed when used on the Hobie TI. Both come in short of long shaft.

Overall.. the Suzuki 2.5 has been a great little outboard, I would buy it again. But I think everyone I know who has the Honda also likes that motor. Reminds me that I need to change out the water impeller.. serious neglect as I have had the outboard for many years (maybe 10 now) and have never bothered to change the impeller and its been trouble free.
 
Last edited:
Sep 25, 2018
127
Catalina Capri 22 Capri EXPO 14.2 1282 Serenity Too Stony Point
I have a air cooled 2 HP Honda. Very reliable and moves my Capri 14.2 easily even in windy rough weather. Love the low weight and no pump impeller to worry about. I'm still on my first gallon of gas after 3 years. barely sips gas.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,494
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Thanks for the input folks. It’s not making the decision any easier!
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,494
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Something else has crept into the equation. After much pondering and webcrawling, and video and some beer to numb the perspective, we settled on the Suzuki. Ya think that there’s one available within 800 miles? There’s one. $350 more than msrp because apparently the advertised dealership isn’t exactly a marine dealer.
What’s with these people.......
So, unless there’s something missed, there’s another Honda toy in the future, cuz at least the dealers have the product.
 
Dec 27, 2012
452
Precision 22 (Sold), O 240 (Sold), Precision 28 Somers Point
I have the Honda 2.3. It runs great, light and simple. The centrical clutch takes a little to get used to. The motor has no reverse so you swing the tiller 180 degrees for reverse. That may take a little time to get used to. I really haven’t had a need for reverse because it powers my dinghy.