Nick Burnham explains the significance of Honda’s new Sport White range of outboard motors, which is much more than just the colour…
You might have heard of British Racing Green, and the reason for this expression is that many years ago motor racing teams painted their cars in colours specific to their country of origin.
For Britain, it was of course green, hence the term, Italians had bright red (which is why the colour is so synonymous with Ferrari), and Japan had white. And that piece of otherwise useless trivia explains why Honda, in finally deviating from the iconic metallic silver that has always been used for its outboards, has chosen this hue.
Honda says that its new Sporty White motors ‘exude power and performance, paying homage to Honda’s prestigious motor racing heritage’. So there you go.
But there’s a lot more to these new engines than a colour change. Available in 150hp, 200hp, 225hp and 250hp variants, all feature iST Technology, which is what Honda has chosen to call its electronic single lever throttle/shift control (the BF150 also has the option of Mechanical, a conventional cable operated analogue control).
Also common to all four is VTEC™ (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control), BLAST™ (Boosted Low Speed Torque) System, and PGM-FI electronic fuel injection technology ‘enabling rapid acceleration and incomparable performance’.
Honda VTEC technology (available on all but the 200hp version, strangely) is not new, but it is effective. It uses separate camshaft profiles that are optimised for either low-end torque or high-end performance, and the engine computer selects between those camshafts as appropriate.
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The PGM-FI electronic fuel injection optimises BLAST and ECOmo, which balance the needs for performance or economy, prioritising as appropriate.
So when you want to accelerate harder, BLAST ensures immediate response thanks to PGM-FI increasing the air to fuel ratio. Honda says that fuel consumption does not increase significantly despite the impressive power output.
When you enter cruise mode, the engine automatically enters the ECOmo function, which reduces the petrol to air ratio for more fuel efficient cruising.