How to Identify the Model Year of a Johnson 2 HP Outboard Motor

Updated February 21, 2017

Identifying the year that your Johnson 2 HP (horsepower) outboard motor was produced depends on finding the model number for your motor. The model number is found on the Johnson nameplate on the motor or on the motor's mounting bracket. The nameplate will have both a model number and serial number embossed on it. The model number is the number that you will use to identify the year your motor was produced with one exception, from 1922 to 1924. The last 2 HP Johnson outboards were built in 1985. (See References 1)

Locate the manufacturer's nameplate on the motor or motor mounting bracket. If the plate is dirty or greasy, clean its surface with a grease-removing dish detergent and a rag.

Look at the manufacturer's name and information plate on the motor. If the model number is either A or BN, then your motor was built between 1922 and 1924, inclusive. These were the only two model numbers for that four-year period, making it impossible to be more specific as to the date of its manufacture. Model number A25 was built in 1925, and model number AB25 was manufactured in 1926. The 2 HP Johnson wasn't manufactured again until 1971. Between 1937 and 1951, Johnson manufactured 2.1, 2.5 and 2.8 HP motors (sometimes referred to as "2 HP Johnsons"); however, they were not strictly 2 HP Johnson outboards.

Look for a model number beginning with the number 2 and the letter R followed by two numbers. These motors were built between 1971 and 1979, and their model numbers give a clear indication of the year of manufacture. The 2R71 model was manufactured in 1971, the 2R72 in 1972, the 2R73 in 1973, right up to the 2R79 built in 1979. The two numbers following 2R are the last two numbers of the year of manufacture. After 1979, model numbers began with E2R or J2R followed by an additional three letters specific to the year of manufacture as follows: Model E2RCOC, Model J2RCOC, 1985; Model E2RCRS, Model J2RCRS, 1984; Model E2RCTD, Model J2RCTD, 1983; Model E2RCNE, Model J2RCNE, 1982; Model E2RCIB, Model J2RCIB, 1981; and Model E2RCSM, Model J2RCSM,1980.


Johnson was acquired by OMC/Evinrude in 1935. Bankrupt in 2000, Evinrude ceased production on December 21, 2000 and was acquired by Bombardier, Inc., the makers of the Sea Doo jet ski, on March 12, 2001. Evinrude returned to production in June 2001. (See References 2) Johnson is no longer in production.

Things You'll Need

  • Grease-removing dish detergent
  • Rag
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About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.