Yamaha unveils F25 and F90 four-strokes

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Scott Thomas checks out the latest Yamaha outboards at a media launch on the Gold Coast.

Yamaha has set the bar high for modern outboard technology with the release of its F25 and F90 four-stroke outboards unveiled at a media and dealership event last week on the Gold Coast.

Both engines are lighter, smaller, more economical and responsive than their predecessors, a trend that's set to continue with modern four-stroke technology. Yamaha says the two new engine releases complete the full line-up of modern four-stroke outboards in the company’s extensive line-up. The F25 and F90 unveiling follows on from the 130hp, 115hp, 175hp and 200hp four-strokes released over the past few years.

The F25 is an ideal four-stroke for small tinnies and tenders. With an impressive 25% weight reduction compared to its predecessor, the new F25 is the lightest four-stroke engine in its class at 57kg. The 25hp’s light weight and small size comes down to a redesigned engine configuration.

Yamaha will be selling four model variations of the 25hp in Australia with options for fully manual, power tilt & trim and steering or tiller. The good news is each variation is based on exactly the same engine, meaning retrofits are easy with a simple and affordable upgrade.

Other features of the 25hp include the company’s Y-Cop, a clever anti-theft system, plus an increased alternator charge output which keeps up to date with power hungry modern electronics. The 25hp also features NMEA 2000 connectivity and a RPM adjustment for small rev increment changes when slow trolling.

On the water the new 25hp was noticeably small in size and quiet. I test drove several tiller steer boats fitted with the F25 and found it smooth, quiet and responsive. Of course it’s only a 25hp and would hardly set any speed records, but even so, the advancements in modern four-stroke technology was easily noticeable.

On-water tests from Yamaha reveal the new 25hp four-stroke to be just as powerful as the company’s carby two-stroke model. With emission standards on their way, this is good news for boaters who expect the performance of two-stroke, but appreciate the fuel savings and clean running of four-stroke.

The new 90hp replaces the old 100, 90, and 80hp models. Coming in 10kg lighter than the old 100hp and featuring a modern new look, the F90 is sure to be a popular choice in the mid-range outboard market. Yamaha had several boat models available to test from Bar Crusher, Sea Jay and Stabicraft. Most boats were between 4.8 and 5.35m. This is a popular boat segment, and as such, an ultra competitive market between outboard manufacturers. Yamaha expects the new release will hold its own against some of the other major players. And going from my test runs in the Sea Jay and Bar Crusher, I think Yamaha is onto a winner.

The hole-shot and mid-range power is impressive, something which four-strokes even a few years ago couldn’t deliver. At idle the 90hp is very quiet and even at full speed it remained low in noise, allowing conversations without shouting.

Running the boats around 3500 RPM provided optimum fuel economy with the Bar Crusher delivering a respectable 11.45 litres per hour.

The F90 also shares most of the above features of the F25 including Y-Cop, improved alternator output and RPM control. Its shift dampening system in the prop creates smooth transition between gears - no more clunking! On that note, Yamaha has come up with a new aluminium prop which covers the needs of most boaters and performs well, especially given most people prefer stainless for optimum performance.

If you’re interested in hearing about each engine’s extensive list of technical improvements, visit the website here. Watch the video above to hear from Yamaha’s Grant Binskin and see some of the engines in action.

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