Review: Yamaha Enduro 60 outboard

By: Andrew Norton

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  • Trade-A-Boat

Arms a bit flabby? Andrew Norton recommends you try the Yamaha Enduro 60 outboard motor to bulk up.

Review: Yamaha Enduro 60 outboard
The Yamaha Enduro 60 outboard is easy to start, but earlier generations certainly had a lot of torque steer.

When I first reviewed Yamaha's incredibly popular Enduro 60 outboard motor a decade ago, I was initially struck by how amazingly easy the engine was to start, especially when considering its not insignificant piston displacement. For a first-generation engine with mechanical ignition timing advance and manual chokes for the three carbies, it seemed remarkably refined. At least that's what I thought until I opened the throttle to plane the test hull, at which point I thought the workout was much better than going to a gym and using a rowing machine.

As we came out of the hole, the torque steer from the massive gear-case ratio was trying hard to pull my left arm from its socket, and I could imagine going through life after the Yamaha Enduro 60 experience with one arm much longer than the other. As I opened the throttle further and put the hull through tight turns, it was just a matter of hanging on and thanking God the kill-switch lanyard was around my wrist for when the pain became too much to endure. But, as gym junkies say, no pain, no gain.

So why re-visit the Enduro 60 after all these years? Because, arm stretching aside, it's a damned good engine.

 

YAMAHA ENDURO 60

Based on the Yamaha 60F, which has been around since 1983, the Enduro 60, or E60H, is an OEDA one-star two-stroke that develops 59.1hp at 5000rpm from its three-cylinder 849cc loopcharged powerhead, and it has a wide open throttle rev range of 4500-5500rpm. A rev limiter is also fitted.

The engine features a 6A alternator without voltage regulation, so you shouldn't even consider using anything but a car battery - otherwise it will be fried on long runs to and from your favourite fishing spot. As for charging capability, it will power navigation lights, but little else.

The wonderful workout gear ratio is 2.33:1 and a 16in stainless steel prop is standard issue. This is great for sandy estuaries, but stay away from rocky shores. With Hydro Tilt, or hydraulically-assisted tilting, the dry weight is only 102kg so you get a lot of power and torque for relatively little weight. The 24L plastic remote fuel tank provides adequate range for lake fishing, though at WOT it will be empty within an hour.

Since the E60H is a 50:1 premix engine (after 10 hours on 25:1) it lacks the oil tank of the 60F, giving even better powerhead access. The spark plugs, fuel filter, carbies and ignition / throttle advance linkages are easily reached and Yamaha recommends servicing the engine every 100 hours, or annually after the first 20 hours. The recreational-usage warranty is for three years.



PERFORMANCE

Mounted on a fibreglass Southwind SD500 Classic Dory, swinging the standard prop and pushing a total of 940kg (including a friend, plus fishing tackle and myself), the demo E60H was well matched to this beautiful deep-vee hull. A firm two-handed pull fired up the engine and, while a bit smoky running on the 25:1 mix, very little oil smoke occurred above fast idle.

Neither tilting nor lowering was too much of a stretch, with the Hydro Tilt taking away most of the effort. The upfront gearshift makes low-speed handling very easy and leaves your rod hand free when trolling (not that you'd buy an E60H for extended trolling when engines like the brilliant four-stroke Yamaha F60C are available).

Idling out from our base on NSW's Lake Macquarie, the E60H had reasonably low levels of vibration, though excess oil meant it was a bit "chuggier" than the 60F. There was the usual two-stroke carbie outboard roughness on transition from idle to main carbie jets, but the engine smoothed out at more than 2000rpm and was no rougher than the oil-injected 60F.

Playing around with the trim pin makes a big difference to prop torque steer so, like any good gym machine, you can tailor the arm workout according to your pain tolerance. However, if the leg is trimmed out past vertical the planing speeds will be higher due to less hull skin friction, but the hull will be a dog to get out of the hole. So it's best to leave the leg in neutral trim and shift passenger weight aft once planing.

There is also no prop ventilation through tight turns on neutral trim, with the stainless steel prop retaining plenty of bite.

 

THE WRAP

The E60H has a proven reputation for reliability, which is why it's so popular on longboats in the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea. It's a simple, gutsy engine that requires minimal maintenance and suits a wide range of hulls. And, given it's a Yamaha, it offers excellent resistance to saltwater corrosion.

As of October 2012, the Yamaha E60H had a price of $7600 - only $400 more than what it cost a decade ago - with a spare SS propeller around $800.

 

YAMAHA ENDURO 60 PERFORMANCE

2.6kts (4.8kmh) @ 700rpm (trolling) - 1.8L/h

12.5kts (23.2kmh) @ 3200rpm (clean plane)

18.0kts (33.4kmh) @ 4000rpm (cruise) - 12.5L/h

25.3kts (46.9kmh) @ 5200rpm (WOT) - 24L/h

 

COMPETING OUTBOARD ENGINES

Engine

Mercury Sea Pro 55

HP / rpm

55.1 / 5250

Cyl / displ

3 / 967cc

Dry weight

100kg with gas assist tilt

Price

$6,800

Warranty (yrs)

5

OEDA stars

1

 

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Originally published in TrailerBoat #289, December 2012.

 


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