Major advancements in outboard technology are big news, but the latest and greatest improvements are typically in higher-horsepower models. Granted, major technological leaps tend to start at the top, but they are often slow to trickle down to midrange outboards.
With the introduction of the 115-hp DF115BG and 140-hp DF140BG 4-strokes, Suzuki is the first to bring drive-by-wire benefits to these popular engines, which are typically used on smaller boats in single and twin applications.
Drive-by-wire allows cleaner installations and simplified rigging, along with smoother shifting, quicker throttle response and more responsive helm control. Prior to these new engines, drive-by-wire was available only on Suzuki’s 150- to 350-hp models.
Both engines are based on a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder powerhead with an upgraded 10.6-to-1 compression ratio that generates improved thermal efficiency for increased acceleration and higher top-end speeds. The engines also are more fuel-efficient compared with the DF115 and DF140 models they replace. In-house testing showed as much as a 5 to 7 percent improvement across midrange and high-end cruising speeds.
The outboards sport a high-output, 40-amp alternator that delivers increased electrical output and improved charging capabilities to provide electronics and accessories with ample power — even during periods of extended idling or when trolling.
Suzuki revamped the engines’ styling with a redesigned cowling that incorporates a new air intake structure and silencer-resonator system to reduce noise. The oil filter was relocated for easier maintenance and incorporates an oil-spill catcher to keep drips out of the engine pan. A fuel filter with a water-detection sensor and alarm was also added.
“We are pleased to bring new technology and performance to this important class of outboard motors,” says George “Gus” Blakely, vice president of sales for Suzuki. “In addition to drive-by-wire, they feature a new design, a new look and enhanced performance for a wide range of boats, just what the market and boatbuilders have told us they want in midrange outboards.”