It’s the easiest starting device for outboards: with the Suzuki Keyless Start System you can start the motor while keeping the key in your pocket. It also works as an immobilizer / anti-theft device. And, it’s available on Suzuki electronically controlled outboards from 70 to 350 hp.
On cars, we have become accustomed to it for years (mine had it back in 2004): get inside, press a button and the engine starts. The key can comfortably remain in our pocket, which satisfies the tendency of the human being to make life easier and easier (not always with good results, but this is another chapter).
In boating, provided there has to be a safety cutout, it’s just as convenient, and in fact keyless technology has already landed onto outboard engines. Suzuki claim to have been the first manufacturer to adopt keyless starting for their engines, six year ago. A technology that the Japanese company calls – not very originally – Suzuki Keyless Start System, which allows to start the outboard without having to insert the key in the lock.
A dialogue in an electronic language that makes life easier
It was 2015 when Suzuki introduced the Suzuki Keyless Start System for the first time on the market, featured in the innovative 4-cylinder Suzuki DF200AP (which also introduced, let’s remember, the by-wire steering and gearbox control system, called Suzuki Precision Control).
Drive-by-wire, and keyless starting such as the Suzuki system,are borrowed from the automotive sector: a sector where Suzuki is a big player, as in motorcycles.
The keyless start uses a coded radio remote control that transmits a unique access code to the electronic engine management system (ECU). When the remote control is within one meter of the steering console, whether in a pocket, in the bag with the boat documents or elsewhere, the impulse is transmitted and recognized by a receiving unit installed in the steering box, which communicates with the ECU and enables the start procedure of the motor. Thus the user can start (and stop) the engine with the push of a button.
_When you get off the boat, and the connection between the remote control/transponder and the receiver is interrupted, the outboard can no longer be started. That is why the Suzuki Keyless Start System can be deemed also an anti-theft device: it works as an immobilizer.
Available on electronically-controlled Suzuki outboards, starting from the 70 hp up to top-of-the-range Suzuki DF350A, the Suzuki Keyless Start System adopts a waterproof, floating remote control. It is definitely swim-proof… even if you forget it in your swimsuit pocket.
Our recommendation, even with a keyless start, is always to use a detachable line tethered to yourself, to cut off the ignition. It may not be technological, it may not have ECUs or processors, but it can work wonders in the event of an incident.