Are Honda Outboard Motors Any Good? (Explained)

Honda Outboards has helped to set the standard for customer satisfaction within the boating industry and beyond.

In addition, and unlike some of their competitors, Honda Marine only produces 4-stroke outboards; 4-stroke engines are known to run quieter, are more fuel-efficient, and burn cleaner than their 2-stroke equivalents.

This makes a Honda 4-stroke engine better for the environment, making them a better choice for your recreational boater.

Here’s How Good Honda Outboard Motors Are:

Honda was one of the first outboard manufacturers to offer a complete range of 4-stroke outboard engines in the American market. The company still leads the market today with a rich history of innovation, a dedication to quality, and a commitment to customer service.

A Brief History Of Honda Marine

Honda Marine’s long history of building and distributing outboard motors began in 1964, and the first Honda outboard motor was introduced in the USA in 1967.

By 1985, Honda Marine was one of the first companies to offer a complete range of Honda outboard engines to the boating community. They became known for their quality and innovation, which went on to win them many awards.

The first award was for the BF45 outboard model, which won the International Marine Trades Exhibit & Conference (IMTEC) Innovation Award back in 1990.

Nowadays, Honda Marine still wins awards and offers a range 0f 20 different models of outboard engines.

The range includes 6 different high power models, 8 mid-range models, and 7 lightweight, portable outboard motors. You can say that Honda Marine offers an outboard engine for every occasion!

How Durable Are Honda Outboard Motors?

Honda outboard motors have an industry and customer reputation for being durable and dependable.

Many Honda outboards models are designed and built on the same engine blocks used in their cars. These engine blocks have proven themselves over millions of hours and miles of use.

So based on their experience building cars, Honda applies these same principles and manufacturing quality to their marine products. You can rest easy knowing you’ve purchased a durable outboard motor.

In addition, Honda has won the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) CSI Award for Customer Satisfaction fifteen years in a row! So, if you are in the market for a new outboard engine, it’s good to know that a company takes its customer satisfaction and service seriously.

How Long Do Honda Outboard Engines Typically Last?

How long a Honda outboard engine will typically last depends on how well you look after your engine and how often you use it.

A typical four-stroke Honda outboard engine should provide you with approximately 1,500 hours of running time. According to industry studies, the average use of an outboard engine is 200 hours per year, so, in principle, your engine should last 7-8 years.

However, changing the oil after every 50 hours of operation and regularly flushing the engine with freshwater can see your outboard engine last longer, with some lasting up to 10 or even 20 years.

In addition, Honda has made its engines easier to maintain. Their company collected data shows that at least 25% of boaters like to do their essential maintenance like changing the oil or filters to have access to change the spark plugs, which is not so easy on some other brands.

So, taking this into account, Honda has developed their engines so that their customers will have easy access to allow them to do these small but essential tasks themselves.

Has Honda made any Recalls?

While Honda Marine strives to produce quality, durable and reliable outboard engines, they have made a few recalls over the years.

The following table illustrates these recalls:

Recall Date Model(s) Affected Units Description
June 2020
Single Engine Dual Station Key Panel Kit
Part number 36552-ZW7-521AH Improperly Wired
November 2017
BF115DK1
BBHJ-1104216 ~ BBHJ-1104990 (standard rotation)
BBHJ-8100101 (counter-rotation)
Fuel Overflows from Vapor Separator Air Vent Tube
BF135AK2
BARJ-1401950 ~ BARJ-1402231 (standard rotation)
BASJ-1400241 ~ BASJ-1400293 (counter-rotation)
BF150AK2
BANJ-1408100 ~ BANJ-1409567 (standard rotation)
BAPJ-1400925 ~ BAPJ-1401084 (counter-rotation)
BF200AK3
BAEJ-1801233 ~ BAEJ-1801618 (standard rotation)
BAFJ-1800147 ~ BAFJ-1800178 (counter-rotation)
BF225AK3
BAGJ-1801801 ~ BAGJ-1802220 (standard rotation)
BAHJ-1800720 ~ BAHJ-1800883 (counter-rotation)
BF250A
BBJJ-1006127 ~ BBJJ-1007197 (standard rotation)
BBJJ-8001539 ~ BBJJ-8001763 (counter-rotation)
April 2017 BF250A Standard rotation
BBJJ-1002287 through BBJJ-1005310 and BBJJ-1001590, BBJJ-1001608, BBJJ-1001732, BBJJ-1001878, BBJJ-1002142Counter-rotation
BBJJ-8000723 through BBJJ-8001126 and BBJJ-8000153, BBJJ-8000181, BBJJ-8000252, BBJJ-8000258
BF250A Outboard Motor Equipped with iST Unintentional Shifting
May 2013 BF2.3 BAVJ-2300008 – BAVJ-2312793 Gas Cap Vent Leak
July 2012 12 L Portable Fuel Tank Date Stamp Range: 4/29/11 thru 4/5/12 A leak may develop around the fuel outlet/gauge
July 2012 25 L Portable Fuel Tank Date Stamp Range: 4/21/11 thru 3/28/12 A leak may develop around the fuel outlet/gauge
May 2011 BF2D BZBF-2314503 ~ 2314878 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF5A BADS-2305425 ~ 2305566 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF(P)8D BAAJ-1603522 ~ 1603608 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF(P)9.9D BABJ-1608499 ~ 1608644 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF15D BALJ-1405681 ~ 1405782 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF20D BAMJ-1408244 ~ 1408354 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF25D BATJ-1301923 ~ 1301938 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF30D BAUJ-1302598 ~ 1302686 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF40D BBDJ-1006633 ~ 1007003 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF50D BBEJ-1013317 ~ 1014021 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF60A BBFJ-1003087 ~ 1003326 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BFP60A BBFJ-8000655 ~ 8000720 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF75D BBAJ-1006096 ~ 1006367 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF90D BBCJ-1019128 ~ 1019981 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF200A BAFJ-1600066 ~ 1600074 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF200A BAEJ-1600439 ~ 1600519 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF225A BAHJ-1600722 ~ 1600762 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
May 2011 BF225A BAGJ-1602167 ~ 1602369 Emergency Stop Switch May Crack
December 2007 BF15D • BFP15D BALJ-1000001~1402293 Fuel Chamber Recall
December 2007 BF20D • BFP20D BAMJ-1000001~1403159 Fuel Chamber Recall
May 2005 BF8A BACL-1213392-1700048 Flywheel Breakage
May 2005 BF8A BACS-1210688-1700084 Flywheel Breakage
May 2005 BF8A BACU-1000958-1402544 Flywheel Breakage
May 2005 BF8A BZBC-1300001-1800582 Flywheel Breakage
May 2003 BF200A BAEJ-1000001-1199999 Main Engine Wiring Harness
May 2003 BF225A BAGJ-1000001-1199999 Main Engine Wiring Harness
March 2003 BF135A BARJ-1000001~1200961 Shift Arm May Break
March 2003 BF135A BASJ-1000001~1200090 Shift Arm May Break
March 2003 BF150A BANJ-1000001~1202105 Shift Arm May Break
March 2003 BF150A BAPJ-1000001~1200322 Shift Arm May Break
September 1996 Remote Controls Units were built between June 1, 1994, and September 1, 1995. The units affected do not have the RKFW Label. Remote Controller

Table courtesy of  Honda Marine

This list of recalls may seem long, but we need to remember that the number of outboards Honda has manufactured and sold runs into the millions!

What Are the Most Popular Honda Outboards?

Honda outboards are easily recognizable by their sleek, silver color and simple branding.

While Honda Marine offers a complete range of outboard engines, the following are some of their most popular models:

  • Honda BF2.3hp – the Honda BF2.3hp outboard engine is the smallest in the range, but that doesn’t mean it lacks power! This entry-level portable outboard is a good option for people starting in boating and can be used on a canoe, a small dinghy, or even on small fishing or ‘Jon’ boats.
  • Honda BF90hp – the Honda BF90hp outboard engine is a mid-range engine that combines powerful acceleration with best-in-class fuel efficiency. The design of this engine was inspired by the engineering design of the Honda Fit car and included all the latest technology, such as Honda’s patented BLAST and VTEC systems.
  • Honda BF250hp – the Honda BF250hp outboard engine is the flagship engine in the Honda range and the most powerful. This engine is packed with all the latest technological advances that Honda owners have known and loved, including high fuel efficiency and exceptional performance.

Where Are Outboard Honda Engines Manufactured?

Except for one or two of their smaller models manufactured in China, Honda outboard engines are manufactured in their Hosoe outboard engine factory in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

From there, they are distributed to both North America and Europe (their two main markets) and other smaller markets around the world.

How Is the Warranty On Honda Outboards?

Honda Marine offers one of the best warranties in the business with their ‘True 5 Year Limited Warranty.’

Any new Honda Marine outboard engine purchased for purely recreational use from an authorized Honda Marine dealer will be warranted against any faults in the materials or workmanship for up to five years from the date of purchase. This warranty is fully transferrable to a new owner at no extra cost.

In addition, Honda outboard engines used for commercial boating are now covered by a two-year warranty, including the rental business. Plus, Honda offers a warranty for outboard engines purchased by the state, local, and federal governments in the US, which has recently been extended from 24 to 36 months.

For that extra peace of mind, and if you do need to claim on your warranty, Honda Marine has a network of more than 1,000 dealers just in the US alone. Each dealership is highly trained and equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment.

Honda Marine prides itself on its customer service, which is why they have won the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction for their outboard engines for 15 years in a row.

Which Brands Produce Engines Similar to Honda?

While Honda is considered one of the leaders in producing outboard engines, the following companies produce a range of 4-stroke outboard motors similar to Honda:

Evinrude Outboard Motors

Evinrude outboard motors were built by a Canadian company, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), and they offered a line of 2 and 4-stroke direct-injected engines ranging from 25hp to 3.4 liter V6 300hp.

Unfortunately, the company stopped making Evinrude outboard motors back in 2020, citing the impact of the Coronavirus.

However, Evinrude outboard motors are still available to purchase. The company has said that it will continue to supply customers and their dealer network with spare parts. They will still honor any limited manufacturer warranties.

Johnson Outboards

Johnson Outboards was an American manufacturer of outboard motors which was founded back in 1903.

It was started by four brothers who built a 3hp combustion engine that they installed on their 18′ rowing boat. In 1936 the company merged with the Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC).

By the year 2000, OMC had gone under, and in 2001 the company was also bought by Canadian company BRP.

BRP stopped selling Johnson outboards under the Johnson brand after 2007 and moved all sales to Evinrude Outboard Motors until they were discontinued in June 2020.

Tohatsu

Tohatsu is a Japanese company that first started manufacturing outboard engines in 1956, although the company began developing internal combustion engines as early as 1922.

Today they are the second biggest manufacturer of outboard engines in the world.

They not only produce their brand but also manufacture outboard engines for other brands such as Nissan.

Yamaha

Yamaha is another long-established Japanese company known for manufacturing motorized products such as motorcycles, snowmobiles, industrial robots, and marine outboard motors.

The company began in 1955 with a 125cc motorcycle and only started with outboard engines in the 1960s. Today Yamaha is the biggest manufacturer of outboard motors with a range of engines from 2.5hp to a whopping 5.3 liter V8 425hp!

Plus, they have dealership networks all over the world.

Final Thoughts

When choosing an outboard engine for your boat, there are a lot of things to consider.

These include (but are not limited to) what is the size and weight of your boat, and what is the main activity you want to do?

However, Honda has a range of marine outboards that will suit every (small) recreational boating activity, and they are not shy to boast about their superior quality.

“Superior quality, reliability, technology, and fuel efficiency have made Honda an automotive legend. You’ll find those same strengths in every Honda Marine outboard.”

Sources:

Honda Marine

How Reliable Are Honda Outboard Engines?

Are Honda outboards any good? – The Hull Truth

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