The Outboard Expert: Yamaha Reveals Second-Generation F115 Outboard

A replacement for the original Yamaha F115 outboard that put four-strokes on the map is lighter, more powerful, and more sophisticated than ever.

26th March 2014.
By Charles Plueddeman

A new Yamaha F115 outboard will be lighter and more powerful than the motor it replaces, according to Yamaha, which released specs in January and debuted the four-cylinder four-stroke at the Miami International Boat Show. The new F115 will reach dealers sometime in the second quarter of 2014, with an MSRP of $11,445 for the 20-inch remote control version.

Yamaha F115 four-stroke outboard

The new Yamaha F115 four-stroke outboard should be ideal for powering small runabouts and fishing boats.

The original Yamaha F115A recalibrated our expectations for four-stroke outboards when it was introduced in 1999, proving that the weight and size of a four-stroke outboard could be paired down to compete with two-stroke motors. The F115 was still a bit heavier than a two-stroke, but its fuel economy, reliability, and quiet operation were advantages that off-set any weight penalty. In designing the F115, Yamaha used new engine design and casting techniques developed for its ground-breaking line of off-road motorcycles, which started a four-stroke revolution in that market.

Except for minor updates in 2011, which we showed you in the video Sneak Peek at the New Yamaha F115, this engine was unchanged since its debut in 1999. While not a radical redesign, the new F115B offers improvements from top to bottom. Displacement is increased to 1832cc from 1741cc. The double-overhead cam cylinder head has larger-diameter intake and exhaust valves that boost mid-range torque, and flow through the engine is further enhanced by a new 60mm throttle body, revised intake with a tuned resonator, and a new exhaust design. The compression ratio is increased to 10:1 from 9.7:1, but a more sophisticated knock sensor allows the new motor to run well on 87-octane fuel. The WOT range is bumped up, too, from 5000-6000 rpm to 5300-6300 rpm. Yamaha says the new F115 is more powerful than the previous model, which was rated right at 115 hp, so I’m guessing the motor makes near the industry tolerance of 126 hp.

Yamaha has developed an all-new lined of Talon three-blade aluminum propellers specifically for the new F115, and those props feature the Yamaha SDS (Shift Dampener System) hub, which quiets the “clunk” of gear engagement. Other Yamaha props will also fit on the F115, but will not offer the SDS feature. Note that these Talon SDS props will also fit the Yamaha F70, F75 and F90 models, plus the T50/60. The 13.5-inch diameter Talon will be available in nine- to 16-inch pitch models.

Yamaha F115

Yamaha is stressing the repower potential of the F115, and the instrument compatibility and its cable controls are part of that equation.

To keep up with today’s electronics-laden boats, the new F115 has a 35 amp charging system that cranks out 46 percent more power than the alternator on the previous motor. The new F115 is compatible with Yamaha Command Link digital instruments and analog gauges, can be rigged with NEMA-2000 compatible displays when a gateway is installed, and can be rigged with the Yamaha Y-COP anti-theft system. The Yamaha VTS (Variable Trolling RPM Switch) is a standard feature with the F115, and can be used to adjust trolling speed in 50-rpm increments from 600 to 1000 rpm, through a button on the Command Link tach or the tiller handle. The F115 can be mounted on 26-inch centers for twin-motor installations, and a counter-rotation model is available.

This motor’s light weight will also make it attractive in all kinds of applications. Yamaha claims the 20-inch F115 weighs 377 pounds (an estimate based on pre-production models), 24 pounds less than the previous F115, thanks to the combination of a new single-ram trim/tilt system, a light-weight mounting bracket, and new composite materials used to form the cowl and pan. Mercury and Suzuki 115 four-stroke models weigh about 400 pounds. And get this: both the Mercury Optimax 115 and the Evinrude E-TEC 115 DFI low-emissions two-stroke outboards weigh 375 pounds. So much for the four-stroke weight penalty.

Yamaha seems to have checked all the boxes on the outboard wish-list with this new F115. It’s a worthy successor to the outboard that launched the four-stroke revolution.

For more Information, visit Yamaha.


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About the author:

Charles Plueddeman

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Charles Plueddeman is Boats.com's outboard, trailer, and PWC expert. He is a former editor at Boating Magazine and contributor to many national publications since 1986.

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