Honda IMTEC98 Coverage
Honda had a nice booth featuring their new BF130. Wow, I would have named it "The Whopper !" It a huge 130 HP four-stroke outboard. Its the first mass production four-stroke outboard in excess of 100 horsepower. The press sheet says it provides offshore fishing boats, bass boats, work boats and larger runabouts with the horsepower they need, while retaining all the environmentally responsible benefits of a 4-stroke outboard design.
Its an in-line four-cylinder, single overhead cam, 16 valve engine with 137.5 cubic inches producing full horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Crankshaft, pistons, rings, connecting rods and valve springs come from the Honda Accord automobile engine. Multi-port programmed fuel injection assures quick starts and minimal emissions.
Innovative features include: twin balance shafts, putting the flywheel on the bottom of the engine and non-linear rubber engine mounts all of which contribute to reducing the already low vibration of the four-stroke engine. Four valves per cylinder and forced air ventilation are also used.
This thing looks huge now, but as one of their competitors mentioned at the show - just give them some time and its size will come down. They are cautious at first to make sure the reliability is built it. As experience goes up, size will come down.
Honda Marine has a very colorful product brochure that when opened full flat, is an artist's rendition of two dolphins swimming behind and below a boat powered by their new 130 HP four-stroke outboard. The full two page cover does a nice job of tying in the environmental issue promoted by their four-strokes, but I'm not too sure how many people are going to open it up and then fold it flat to see the whole picture? The brochure does include a nice chart indicating how much further you can go in a 90 HP four-stroke than in a 90 HP two-stroke. I also liked the nice cutaway drawing on the first pair of mating pages. Most of the product pages are two page spreads with 5 to 7 photos of various sizes, a watery background on the left side and printed with 8 different fonts. The font used for the heading is even shadowed. They put a lot of effort into it, but 7 photos and 8 fonts on a double page spread is too much for me. Especially when you print some of them over a watery background. Maybe I'm all alone on this one, but it gave me a headache just thumbing through it.
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