Boating Bits

Suzuki launches DF60

Competition in the popular 60hp outboard class looks set to escalate with Haines Suzuki holding an official media launch for its new generation DF60A four-stroke this week. The Haines Group’s 2010 media day also saw the unveiling of new generation Suzuki DF8 and DF9.9 outboards and Haines Signature fishing friendly 602F and 543F boat models.

The Suzuki DF60A was the main focus of the launch. Weighing in at 104kg the four-stroke outboard has trimmed some serious fat to be an impressive 42 per cent lighter than its predecessor. This also makes the Suzuki DF60A the lightest in its class. The closest competitors from Yamaha and Honda each weigh 108kg, Evinrude E-TEC’s DI-two-stroke, 109kg, and Mercury’s four-stroke, 112kg. First released in 1997, the DF60 has received a swag of engineering niceties to bring it up to 2010 state-of-the-art status. As with the DF70/80/90 released last year, the new gen DF60 shares specifications with its lower output DF40 and DF50 siblings, with the different horsepower figures achieved via engine re-mapping and camshafts.

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The DF60A features Suzuki’s computer-controlled Lean Burn Control system as seen on the DF70/80/90. Via electronic sensors the Lean Burn system monitors and adjusts air to fuel mixture at various engine revolutions for optimal performance and economy. Suzuki claims a 53 per cent reduction in fuel consumption at a “cruising” speed of 4500-5000rpm and a consumption reduction of 37 per cent at wide open throttle – in comparison with Suzuki’s previous generation 60. The DF60 meets tough US EPA exhaust emissions standards, and has a CARB 3-star ultra-low emissions rating.

In a busy on-water schedule at the launch, the Fisho crew had minimal on-water time on three boats equipped with the new F60A, but were still impressed by the holeshot performance and overall responsive of one of the engines fitted to an Anglapro Outlaw 444 side console – see test on this boat in July’s Fishing World magazine. We also sampled a tiller version of the F60 fitted to a new Allison Alloy open dinghy. In this case we found the engine trim adjustment fairly clunky (requiring two handed operation) and the engine height was in need of adjustment for better turning performance.

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Other features of the inline 941cc three-cylinder (Siamese bore) engine, include a double overhead camshaft arrangement (DOHC), four valves per cylinder, maintenance free self-adjusting timing chain (no belts used in the engine), integrated oil pump drive, and multi-point sequential fuel injection.

In a game of centimetres the DF60 is notably compact, being 2.5cm shorter overall than its closest competitor and 12.5cm less than the tallest of the competition. It also features a new electronic Tilt Limit System that allows users to pre-program the exact position the engine should be safely trimmed up to – handy for boats fitted with overhanging bait boards, etc. – and easier fitment to a variety of boats.

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Another new feature is Suzuki’s Easy Start system for more trouble free key starts; turn the key and release and the engine’s starter system stays engaged until the engine fires.
Fishos with plenty of on board 12 volt accessories will be looked after by the DF60’s 19amp alternator that’s capable of supplying 11.5 amps at 1000rpm.

Servicing intervals for the DF60A are typically at 20hrs (1st service, for oils and filter), 50, 100 and 200 hours with 100 hour intervals from then on. The DF60 is covered by a 5-year warranty.

Watch a video of Haines Suzuki’s national service manager Chris Guppy demonstrating the engine’s key features below.

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Suzuki’s DF8A and DF9.9A four-stroke outboards are squarely aimed at the tender and small RIB market as well having appeal for the car topper fishing boat market. Weighing in at 39.5kg – 4.5kg than predecessor models – they feature a multi-function tiller control with integrated shift and throttle.

Power comes from a completely new 208cc twin cylinder engine design, new powerhead, CDI digital ignition and redesigned mid section and lower unit. A wide cavitation plate design is claimed to provide improved ease of planing.

These portable outboards come with manual pull-start and a conversion kit is also available for electric starting.

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For more information on all of the outboards in the Suzuki range go to:

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