Small motors like the new 2016 Suzuki DF6A are usually not big news, but in this case Suzuki has made some significant changes to its little portable that deserve a report. In this class, portability has to be the number-one goal–or else you’d buy a 9.9 HP outboard instead of this little pea-shooter. To that end, Suzuki has shaved the DF6A down to svelte 51.8 pounds, which is 3.2 pounds less than the DF6 model it’s replacing and more than five pounds lighter than the Mercury and Evinrude 6 HP outboards. To make it even more comfortable to carry, the new Suzuki DF6A has a big handle on the back of the pan in addition to a grab point on the transom bracket. That makes it easier to both tote to your boat and also to set down or lift off the transom.
The Suzuki DF6A receives other updates aimed at convenience. The one-liter fuel tank has been redesigned so that it’s located above the carburetor and is thus self-priming. On the previous Suzuki 6 the tank was lower and fuel would drain back from the carburetor if the motor sat for a while, which meant starting the motor required lifting off the cowl and squeezing a little primer bulb. That monkey business has been eliminated. The motor also has a new pressurized oiling system that feeds a steady flow of lube to the upper crankshaft bearing and to the big end of the connecting rod, which should reduce wear and help this little motor run cooler. The improved DF6A now also has a cartridge oil filter. The redesigned fuel and oiling systems allow this new motor to be stored on its port, starboard or front sides.
A final new feature is an intake silencer that Suzuki says, combined with new plain main bearings and tighter tolerances in general, quiets down the new DF6A. I can’t comment on the sound level because we didn’t get to run the motor at its debut, but listen in as Suzuki Expert Dave Greenwood points it out.
The Suzuki DF6A has a single-cylinder, four-stroke powerhead and a carburetor, with F-N-R shifting, the standard set-up for this class of outboard. Displacement is 138cc, more than all but the 60-pound, 139cc Yamaha F6. It has a fresh-water flush fitting, tension adjusters for throttle and steering, and a digital CDI ignition that makes a hot spark for easier starting. You can get the Suzuki DF6A with a 15- or 20-inch shaft and an optional 5 amp charging system is available. And if 6 horsepower is more than your dinghy can handle, all the features discussed here apply to the new Suzuki DF4A, which is the same motor detuned.
Suzuki would not lavish engineering hours and talent on its portable motors if they weren’t important, and the truth is that globally, a lot of 6 HP outboards get sold. Now Suzuki can offer one of the lightest and slickest examples of this miniature breed.
For more information, visit Suzuki Marine.