Preamble. The field of outboard motors does not belong to me completely. I therefore had less difficulty stepping into the role of “beginner” when I accepted Suzuki’s invitation to Ischia to test the new three outboard models DF6A, DF5A and DF4A and figure out whether they can actually be an ideal solution for a small tender (small spoiler: the answer is yes). The staff organized an innovative and special mode of testing: “Suzuki Without Borders,” a series of tests in the style of Games Without Borders in which journalists, while having fun and competing with each other (in the end I came second to last: not bad), could evaluate the characteristics of the outboards. I will not dwell on the “games” (suffice it to say that one of the trials consisted of performing a slalom course on Suzukino tenders blindfolded, another was engine reassembly choosing between good parts and “coquette” parts prepared by the organizers), merely expressing my feelings.
The main features of these engines are their low weight (23.5 kg in the short-stem version, which becomes 24.5 in the long-stem, with integrated one-liter fuel tank) ease of use and transport (thanks to two carefully placed handles) and quiet operation. They are really very light and handy, easy to assemble and maneuver. The handle, compared with the previous version, has been shifted from the center to the left, ensuring 180-degree maneuverability. Even in reverse, I found them responsive and reliable.
THEY STOW AWAY EASILY…
I liked a solution that facilitates the stowage of outboards, which are equipped with a fuel and lubrication system that allows the engine to be stowed on all three sides: right, left, and front, without having to worry about oil or fuel leaks. The new forced lubrication system uses an additional oil passage made to effectively lubricate the head, crankshaft and connecting rods. In addition, the introduction of an oil filter on engines of similar size increases their reliability.
… AND THEY DON’T DISTURB
Thanks to the offset crankshaft, which decreases vibration (a trait exclusive to the Suzuki range), the models are relatively quiet-I had a chance to test this at one of several games, where through loudspeakers songs were played at sea to journalists who were driving the dinghies. The engines are equipped with Suzuki’s corrosion protection system. A coating applied directly to aluminum surfaces that can increase both the protection of metal parts and the seal between the different layers leading from the metal to the exterior paint. I did not have a chance to test performance in terms of speed: tests were always conducted in pairs on the small 2.40-meter Suzukinos. It was very, very difficult to achieve glide: especially for someone who weighs 80 kilos like yours truly. But, with 90 to 100 pounds on the dinghy, glides are assured, as a couple of colleagues far thinner than me have shown me.
THE OTHER NEWS AND PRICES
The new fuel drop system no longer makes it necessary to fill and empty the fuel line. In addition, the self-winding starting system requires minimal effort (as I experienced). Prices? They range from 1,300 euros for the Suzuki DF4A to 1,640 euros for the DF6A and 1,490 euros for the DF5A: these are figures including VAT. www.suzuki.it