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TOHATSU'S NEW FOUR-STROKE LINEUP

As we briefly discussed in this year’s Boat Buyer’s Guide, the Tohatsu Motor Corp recently joined into a partnership with Honda Motors back in August of last year and has quickly become a major player in the high-horsepower four-stroke outboard power competition.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
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TOHATSU'S NEW FOUR-STROKE LINEUP

INSTANT CREDIBILITY
It takes many years of expensive and time-consuming research and development to create a lineup of big-block, high-horsepower outboard motors. Looking back in time to the change of the millennium, we had been hearing rumors about the coming of these big four-strokes for 3-to-4 years before the first products began to come to market in 2001/2002. Major players like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Mercury have global resources that can call upon the R&D and intel from other divisions like motorcycles, cars, inboard boats, etc., which creates a tremendous helping hand when developing their four-cylinder, six-cylinder and V-8 four-stroke outboards. Although Tohatsu has a great reputation for decades in the global marketplace making small and midsized two-stroke and four-stroke outboards, you just can’t snap your fingers and suddenly be a major player with the larger engine manufacturers…but that’s just what they did!

By entering into a partnership with the Honda Motor Corp, Tohatsu now has a lineup of eight new four-strokes that include 60, 75, 90, 115, 150, 200, 225 and 250HP models. But this collaboration with Honda has not stripped Tohatsu of its historical identity. In the popular mid-range horsepower market, Tohatsu will still offer both four-stroke and direct-injection two-stroke models, providing consumers with more ways than ever before to select the optimum fuel-efficient outboard powerplant for their ride.

Q&A

According to Tohatsu’s National Sales Manager Kurt Gardner, the eight new Tohatsu/Honda four-strokes, “Are made to Tohatsu specifications”, but what does that mean? Are they just Hondas with blue Tohatsu paint, or are their substantive differences? A quick Q&A session with Kurt cleared that up, in addition to a few other details.

By entering into a partnership with the Honda Motor Corp, Tohatsu now has a lineup of eight new four-strokes that include 60, 75, 90, 115, 150, 200, 225 and 250HP models.
According to Kurt, “These eight new four-strokes are Honda manufactured outboards using Tohatsu’s color schemes and decals. We have many dealers in areas where Honda does not have a presence and vice versa, and we are not trying to compete against Honda dealers. Tohatsu’s area of strength in the US market is much different than Honda’s, so this was a perfect fit for both companies. This allows us to offer Honda’s world class four-stroke outboards to our loyal Tohatsu dealers and customer base, using proven technology developed over the course of many years by Honda.”

When I asked Kurt about the exchangeability of internal and external parts between similar horsepower Honda and Tohatsu four-strokes, he mentioned that the internal parts are, “Essentially identical and the external parts are the same, except for color and the corporate decal.”

I also asked Kurt about how these new motors would be priced. Kurt responded that they were not looking to compete with Honda dealers with their pricing, but were serving markets where Honda might have a reduced presence. Sparing you the details of the pricing of every variation of every model, The MSRPs of the new Tohatsu four-strokes will range from $11,857 to $26,591. When I did a quick check of the corresponding MSRPs of the Honda outboards of the same horsepower and shaft lengths, the Hondas were priced a few dollars less. It’s important to realize that MSRPs are literally the “manufacturer’s suggested retail price”, not the dealer’s selling price, so I wouldn’t get hung up that one is higher or lower on paper. The important fact is that your local Tohatsu dealer can now offer you a complete array of four-stroke outboards up to 250 HP, something which they couldn’t do before.

From a tech/spec standpoint, the new Tohatsu four-strokes are summarized as follows:

  • BFT60 20-inch shaft, 3-cylinders
  • BFT75 20-inch shaft, 4-cylinders
  • BFT90 20-inch & 25-inch shaft, 4-cylinders
  • BFT115 20-inch & 25-inch shaft, 4-cylinders
  • BFT150 20-inch & 25-inch shaft, 4-cylinders, counter rotation on 25-inch shaft
  • BFT200 20-inch & 25-inch shaft, 6-cylinders, counter rotation on 25-inch shaft
  • BFT225 20-inch & 25-inch shaft, 6-cylinders, counter rotation on 25-inch shaft
  • BFT250 20-inch & 25-inch shaft, 6-cylinders, counter rotation on 25-inch shaft


All eight of these new outboard models, along with their various interations, are available at your local Tohatsu dealer now, so get on out there and check them out. All Tohatsu outboard motors are backed by a limited 5-year warranty.