Excerpted from the May 2015 issue of Boating World Magazine, Story by Alan Jones
When I tested the Yamaha FZ WaveRunner last year with an SHO (Super High Output) engine, I had a hard time imagining how the designers could improve on its performance. Then I was handed the keys to the FX Cruiser SVHO (Super Vortex High Output).
Both engines share a common 1.8L block, but the SVHO employs a number of high-performance items that would be at home on racing machines. The intercooler for the supercharger was redesigned to be larger and 25 percent more efficient. The supercharger itself has a new 86mm seven-blade impeller and larger intake to make it 20 percent volumetrically superior. Although Yamaha doesn’t publish horsepower ratings, it’s estimated to produce around 270 hp, which, as it turns out, is exactly enough. But as you would expect from Yamaha, it still keeps reliability as its core design element and uses forged pistons that are 30 percent stronger than cast pistons and has an oil cooler that’s twice as efficient.
More Powerful and Lighter
Yamaha improved performance with its new-gen NanoXcel2 hull, which shaved a whopping 46 pounds off the 2014 NanoXcel hull and deck, for a total dry weight of just 836 pounds. NanoXcel2 is made by compressing microscopic nano-clay and glass micro-bubbles to create a new material that uses less mass without sacrificing strength. The surface is ultra fair, so the automotive-quality paint looks really shiny in either Pure White or Torch Red Metallic.
So what’s it like to drive? Highly controllable fury is a pretty good description. The FX Cruiser is deceptive; it looks big, and at 140.2 inches long it’s no illusion. When you step aboard, it’s really stable. But once you start flinging it around in corners and feeding the power on, it feels more like a racer. Zero to 30 mph was knocked off in a mere 1.5 seconds, and the power kept coming on strong until it peaked out just shy of 70 mph. Yamaha also includes the revolutionary RiDE twin-throttle system, which allows the rider to always start in neutral, use the right throttle for forward and the left finger throttle for reverse. It stops really quickly, even from a high speed, without burying the front end or loss of steering. Around the dock, you can spin it around in its own axis. It has about a one-minute learning curve.
It handles a number of tasks really well. Cruisers have four storage compartments with a combined capacity of 33.2 gallons and a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons. The theater-style Cruiser seat has three well-defined tiers for triple-rider comfort and all have a pronounced rear bolster to keep you in place when the driver hammers the throttle. To nail your favorite riding position, the FX Cruiser comes with a tilt handlebar and has features such as Cruise Assist, which makes the long haul easy on your throttle trigger finger. For interminably long idle-only zones, No Wake Mode allows you to bump the throttle up and down to give you maximum no-wake velocity.
The FX Cruiser SVHO is an awesome watersports machine with the power to easily extract any size rider with ease.