Heading into the fall boating season and preparing for the 2023 International BoatBuilders Exhibition & Conference (IBEX), Honda Marine announced the launch of the all-new BF350 outboard, the first Honda V8 motor to be available commercially.
Honda Marine, an operating unit of Honda Power Sports & Products (a business unit of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.) markets a complete range of marine outboard motors. Its product line is powered exclusively by four-stroke engines. Honda Marine pioneered four-stroke engine technology and has been designing and building four-stroke outboard motors for nearly 60 years, setting the benchmark for fuel efficiency, quiet operation and low emissions.
The Honda Marine advantage draws on the technological prowess of its parent company—from generators to motorcycles to automobiles to jets, Honda produces millions of engines per year. The technology applied to the all-new Honda BF350 is inspired by the very same that powers Honda automobiles, gaining from years of proven Honda engineering, precision manufacturing and reliability. This cross-platform integration illustrates the Honda commitment to high performance, fuel efficiency and environmental excellence—providing increased value and benefit to consumers.
The Honda BF350 is an all-new, high-power V8 outboard, marking the newest evolution in the company’s product line. The BF350 offers the target sector of 25-feet+ boats (for both pleasure and utility applications) a number of benefits including a broader, flatter torque curve; smoother power delivery throughout the engine’s operating range; ergonomically designed controls; excellent fuel efficiency; and improved reliability, ease-of-use, maintenance and ownership.
The all-new Honda Marine BF350 5-liter V8 outboard delivers 350 hp at the propeller shaft while operating on 86 octane unleaded gasoline (vs. premium unleaded octane).
Adapted from Honda automotive platforms, VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) is an exclusive Honda technology incorporated into the design of the all-new BF350 outboard. Lending itself to improved power, VTEC uses a mild cam profile to operate intake valves at low rpm and engages a high-output cam profile for higher-RPM operation. The result is a broader, flatter torque curve and the delivery of smooth power throughout the engine’s operating range (across all RPMs for peak power).
In addition, the BLAST (Boosted Low Speed Torque) System, another Honda technological advantage, improves the performance and acceleration of the BF350 by advancing ignition timing during ‘hammer down’ acceleration. The Engine Control Module (ECM) steps in to increase injector timing, creating a more potent air/fuel mixture. The resulting boost in available torque at low rpm contributes to a strong holeshot rapidly getting the boat up on plane.
The model’s performance stems from the integration of Lean Burn Control technology, which automatically adjusts the air/fuel mixture according to speed and load while maximizing power throughout the acceleration range. This combination of features optimizes fuel efficiency in cruise mode (2,000 to 4,500 RPM).
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) also delivers precise amounts of fuel and air to each cylinder, resulting in quick starts, instant throttle response and low fuel consumption. Further, PGM-FI employs microprocessor technology to accurately control the ignition timing during start-up and across the entire RPM range.
Further, the new Friction Reduction Technology, achieved through advanced plateau honing on the engine’s cylinder bores and application of ion plating on the piston rings, also contributes to increased fuel efficiency of the motor, extending its range, resulting in fewer stops for refueling and more time to enjoy boating.
This superior fuel efficiency, along with the use of 86 octane unleaded gasoline (vs. premium unleaded octane) reduces operating costs for owners, while low noise at cruising speed (especially for larger boats) provides a more pleasant experience and benefits the environment by reducing noise pollution. The engine also delivers improved high thrust at medium and high speeds, resulting in superior boat maneuverability and easier positioning and stopping of larger, heavier boats.
An additional complement to the outstanding performance of the BF350 outboard is the Honda Intelligent Shift & Throttle (iST) command and control system, providing control and plug-and-play installation of Honda Marine products and third-party controls and devices. The iST system enhances operability and performance, including effortless shift and throttle control; fine tuning of throttle settings at any speed; and enhanced docking and slow-speed control.
The iST system on the Honda BF350 incorporates an all-new, ergonomic, top-mount, easy-to-operate and intuitive controller with five buttons for control of functions including trim support, automatic tilt, cruise control and trolling mode. This controller also integrates with an all-new, HD-5 multi-function gauge with menu options (in English plus six other languages) that allows customers to monitor engine parameters; set and activate auto trim limits; customize and select trim support maps; monitor cruise control settings; and view enhanced engine fault notifications. Breaking down several of these options in more detail, users can easily operate and control:
Trim Support—the trim operates automatically according to engine speed or boat speed; there are three factory presets, customizable by the user, and presets can be fine-tuned with the power trim tilt switch, adapting to changing sea conditions every time.
Automatic Tilt—two button presses produce easy tilt-up/down operation when storing or mooring; the motor design allows for a quicker full tilt, even in cold temperatures, improving the operating speed (as compared to the Honda BF250 model).
Cruise Control—allows boaters to maintain their preferred cruising speed or RPM for tow sports, while trolling for fish, taking tight turns or boating in rough water.
For multi-engine installations, iST provides one-switch trim control on the throttle handle, trimming all engines simultaneously. Individual trim switches allow for the fine tuning of each engine’s trim position. The system also provides engine speed synchronization and single-handle control of all engines while synchronized. In addition, Honda Marine multi-engine configurations equipped with iST are compatible with the Optimus 360 by Dometic joystick system.
The Honda BF350 is available with an immobilizer ignition system that requires a remote transponder key to start the engine. The theft-deterrent immobilizer is designed to prevent the engine from being started without the owner’s smart key. If an attempt is made to start the engine without the smart key, the immobilizer disables the engine.
In early 2024, Honda Marine will announce availability, on-sale dates and pricing for the all-new BF350 V8 outboard.