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SUZUKI DF200A FOUR-STROKE OUTBOARD

There’s a lot going on for Cali-based Suzuki Marine, celebrating 50 years in the USA this year with the introduction of the new DF200A 200-horsepower inline four-cylinder outboard motor leading the charge.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
SUZUKI DF200A FOUR-STROKE OUTBOARD

Suzuki offers boaters and coastal anglers a next-gen spin on four-stroke power, as the new DF200A delivers the kind of performance one would expect from a V-6 engine, but in an (I4) in-line four cylinder power package that’s 100 pounds lighter. The DF200A is based on Suzuki’s proven 2.9-liter/175 cubic inch I4 block that’s been in service on the DF150 and DF175 outboards over the past few seasons. This newbie shares similar features like direct air intake and lean burn control technology for improved fuel economy, plus knock, O2 and water detection sensors and systems to monitor and control internal engine operating parameters and improve reliability. But the new DF200A is a step up the evolutionary ladder, with variable valve timing, a redesigned cowling and air intake system and a higher compression ratio for impressive acceleration and low end torque.

The design of the DF200A’s cowling and the special baffling underneath work together to provide a semi-direct air intake system that provides cooler air directly to the engine’s long track tuned intake manifold. The engine breathes even more efficiently thanks to Suzuki’s proven Variable Valve Timing system and twin intake and exhaust valves for each cylinder. By allowing the engine to breathe cooler air, both acceleration and top end speed are improved. Another contributing factor to these improved performance numbers is the 10.3:1 compression ratio. By increasing compression of the fuel/air mixture by almost 10 percent, Suzuki engineers have dramatically improved the power output from its 2.9L dual overhead cam (DOHC) powerhead.

With the DF200A weighing just 498 pounds, boaters can choose a lighter, inline-4 cylinder engine without sacrificing power or performance. For those boaters in the market for a new boat/motor, or considering repowering from heavier V6 four-stroke outboards or older two-strokes, the new DF200A provides an attractive choice in terms of size, weight, fuel economy and cost of purchase, plus it easily fits on older 26-inch mounting centers for twin installations. Suzuki’s new I4 should be an excellent solution for breathing new life into an experienced coastal sportfisher, especially when you consider that competitive V-6 or I6 four-strokes can weigh anywhere from 75 to100 pounds or more per engine.

The addition of knock and O2 sensors helps keep the engine running smoothly using regular 87 octane gasoline. The DF200A also features a water detection sensor to warn of moisture in the fuel system, a common concern given today’s use of ethanol-blended gasoline. With the introduction of their Lean Burn Control Technology, Suzuki engineers have made their fuel efficient four-stroke outboards even more economical. By taking full advantage of the ECM computer control and through the use of engine sensors monitoring everything from engine timing to ambient temperature, the system is able to provide the precise amount of fuel needed throughout the rpm range. By utilizing Lean Burn Control Technology, the inline-4 DF200A enjoys a significant improvement in fuel economy over Suzuki’s bulkier V-6 585-pound 200-horsepower outboard, with factory testing showing a 33 percent improvement at top cruising speeds (5000 rpm). Suzuki’s popular Troll Mode is available on the DF200A as an optional feature. When operating in Troll Mode, the driver can control speed in 50 rpm increments from idle to 1,200 rpm for precise speed control when fishing.

The Suzuki DF200A works well in both single and twin counter-rotating configurations. This inline four’s 2.5:1 gear ratio allows the use of large blade, aggressive pitch props that really grab the water and offer excellent performance, especially out in the briny. Recent factory tests on a Key West 219FS center console indicated that the DF200A can hold her own with V-6 four-strokes, hitting a top speed of 44.8 mph at 6,000 rpm, with three adults onboard and a half tank of fuel. If you are not consistently lugging around a crew of six and 150 gallons of fuel onboard, I4 four-strokes like the Suzuki DF200A are a viable option on coastal fishing boats 22 feet and less. When looking at new or refreshed twin power, this motor really struts her stuff as a cruiser-weight performer that can compete with the heavy weights, with a bonus of less weight on the transom and the potential for improved fuel efficiency. Factory tests on a 31 Twin-Vee catamaran show that the DF200A can get up and go, with a top speed in excess of 43 mph at wide open throttle.

Offered in both an analog (DF200A) and a digital fly-by-wire electronic version (DF200AP) that also features a unique selective rotation feature for seamless twin power installations, both DF200As are available in either the standard dark gray charcoal coloration, or a cool new white motif.