A LEADER in advanced four-stroke engine technology, Honda has earned a reputation in rural Australia for its reliable, high quality and long-lasting engines.
The easily recognised red Honda engines figure prominently at Australian agricultural field days as the small engine of choice for a wide range of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
However, according to Honda OEM Manager, Ray Briffa, the brand's popularity and success has also seen it become the target of copy manufacturers keen to leverage sales on the back of the Honda name.
"It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in the small engine industry some prospective buyers will experience first hand that an imitation or copy engine is not as good as the original," Mr Briffa said.
"For some buyers who knowingly purchase a copy Honda-engined product, it's a gamble they may be prepared to take, for the short term gain of saving a few dollars on the initial purchase price.
"When all other things are considered, this is of course false economy as a Honda engine will continue to offer lower whole of life costing long after the paint has faded.
"Honda is more concerned about those buyers who unknowingly buy a copy, misled by a copy engine's similar appearance, including, colour, size and even decals."
To help consumers get what they pay for, Honda has developed a double sided swing tag that will feature on all genuine Honda-powered OEM products both at field days and on showroom floors.
"The swing tag is reassurance for those who realise the benefits of Honda power and will not settle for anything less than a genuine Honda engine in their OEM product," Mr Briffa said.
The easily distinguishable swing tag features a photo of a Honda GX160 engine on one side, and a list of seven key benefits associated with a Honda engine, on the reverse side.
Mr Briffa said that as well as providing the convenience and peace of mind of reliable and easy-starting, advanced four-stroke engines, Honda also offered superior aftersales service and support.
"The Honda engine range is sold complete with a two year domestic warranty on all engines, and a two year commercial warranty on selected engines," Mr Briffa said.
"When it comes to servicing, Honda has a nationwide network of over 480 factory trained dealers - it's a level of support that copy engine manufacturers cannot come close to matching."
Mr Briffa said that with the agricultural field days season underway, consumers needed to keep an eye out for the swing tags and to take note of a few key identifiers to ensure they got the real thing.
"Honda engines feature prominently as a power source for a host of OEM machines such as pumps, generators, grain augurs, conveyors, seed bins, pressure washers, compressors, concrete mixers and trench diggers just to name a few, so look for the swing tag," he said.
"And also be mindful that 'Honda' will be the only brand name on our engines - please be cautious of similar trademarks and names."
Honda's engine model line-up consists of single cylinder and V-twin horizontal and vertical shaft engines, as well as diesel engines.
In total there are over 200 model configurations including both air and water-cooled variants ranging in capacity from light and compact 25 cc, 1 hp (.81 kW) units, to powerful 1,235 cc 24 hp (17.7 kW) systems.
The engines are available in a wide variety of different output shaft sizes, reduction gearboxes, centrifugal clutches, charge coils and more.