Originally Posted by TQA
If tempted by the Honda 2 or 2.3hp 4st make sure you try it on the water first.
They are NOISY little suckers.
As others have said the best lightweight is the old Yam 2hp 2st.
The sound on of the Honda seems to vary. I have an 80s model (before the clutch, it is always in gear) that is reasonable in sound level and not much different than the Suzuki 2.5. I bought it used for $350 and for the price have been very happy with it. Spark plugs are unique to this old one and are hard to find, but still available.
A friend has a modern Honda with the clutch (I don't remember if it is a 2.3 or 2) and it has a different and lounder tone.
If you buy one used just ask to run it first. You can pull off the blade (one cotter pin) and run it in a bucket of water. Even though the motor is air cooled the motor does water cool the exhaust.
If I were buying new I'd probably get the Suzuki. By all accounts it is a nice little motor and $700-800 delivered is a great price for it.