PowerSports Business editor in Chief Dave McMahon walks through the complete 2019 WaveRunner Lineup.
[Excerpted from PowerSports Business Mag August 14, 2018]
Yamaha WaterCraft Group, a division of Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., tonight introduced its 2019 WaveRunner line that includes a ground-up redesign of the brand’s luxury FX Series, an all-new entry-level, high-performance EX model, and major performance upgrades for the race-ready Yamaha GP1800R and VXR.
The products were unveiled at the company’s annual dealer meeting being held in San Diego, where Yamaha also set out its strategy to remain the fastest-growing personal watercraft brand in the industry.
“Personal watercraft sales were strong this summer, and we exceeded expectations across the board, selling out of several of our most popular models,” said Bryan Seti, Yamaha WaterCraft’s general manager. “With this product introduction that highlights many new features and technologies never seen before in the industry, we expect to build on our momentum and continue to bring customers the best experiences on the water.”
Yamaha’s FX Series All-New from the Ground Up
Yamaha’s best-selling luxury performance personal watercraft series returns with an all-new deck and hull design, the industry’s first color touchscreen instrumentation, self-draining footwells, and an innovative multi-mount system that makes affixing accessories to the FX a snap.
For 2019, the FX Series includes five models; the flagship FX Limited SVHO, supercharged FX SVHO and FX Cruiser SVHO, and normally-aspirated FX and FX Cruiser HO.
The new deck of the FX Series is aggressive and bold, featuring stylish gunwales and an entire look that is supercar-sleek. The new hull design favors stability, predictability, and comfort in choppy water conditions.
Industry’s First Color Touchscreen Instrumentation
The FX Series is the first personal watercraft to feature a multi-color LCD touchscreen.
Yamaha’s Connext touchscreen offers all vital system information, customized features and includes a new Drive Control technology for personalizing riding experiences. Drive Control allows operators to program engine speeds and acceleration curves.
New RAM Multi-Mount System to Support New Accessories
All 2019 FX WaveRunner models now come standard with a new RAM Multi-Mount System to support a range of accessories (including RAM mounts).
These accessories (sold separately on all FX models except the FX Limited SVHO) include ECOXGEAR Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speakers and a Garmin Striker GPS Fish Finder w/ Transducer. You can take the speakers with you to the beach, and the Fish Finder can be removed quickly and stowed away when not in use.
The flagship FX Limited SVHO comes standard with two ECOXGEAR Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speakers, Garmin Striker GPS Fish Finder w/ Transducer, and RAM Mount Hardware.
“As the flagship of the line, we really put some thought into how to update the FX series to create unbelievable experiences on the water for our customers,” said Scott Watkins, Yamaha WaterCraft’s WaveRunner product planner. “The new touchscreen puts more control than ever in the fingertips of the rider, with more detailed information and customization than any other watercraft in history. In addition, we know that customers like to customize their ride, and the multi-mount system allows them to make their watercraft their own, for how they plan to use it, whether they’re cruising, making videos, beaching, touring, or fishing, the capability is all there.”
Yamaha’s Entry-Level EX Series Gets Performance Boost with All-New EXR
For 2019, Yamaha’s most affordable series of WaveRunner personal watercraft now includes the high-performance EXR that is the most powerful and lightweight Rec Lite watercraft on the water today.
Powering the EXR is Yamaha’s award-winning, three-cylinder TR-1 HO marine engine that comes with a modified engine control unit (ECU) that increases horsepower by ten percent compared to the rest of the EX line.
The EXR becomes the most affordable WaveRunner to feature Yamaha’s high-performance, super-lightweight NanoXcel 2 hull and deck material. The EXR weighs in at a mere 540 pounds, which is 60 pounds lighter than the EX Deluxe. It also features a top-loader intake grate and a 40mm pump extension for more agile handling and performance.
Completing the new EXR is Yamaha’s RiDE dual throttle system for exceptional maneuverability (also available on the EX Deluxe model).
“No one has developed a watercraft quite like the EXR,” continued Watkins. “With its combination of high performance and ultra light weight, it offers the best power to weight in its class, and customers are going to find that it’s a blast to ride, unlike anything else on the water today.”
Yamaha’s Race-Ready GP1800R and VXR Get Performance Upgrades
The industry’s best-selling high-performance runabouts return in 2019 with upgraded top-loader intake grates and race-designed ride plates for sharper and more predictable handling in rough water.
The new intake grate features a foil that feeds water to the top end of the impeller to improve prop traction and keep the pump hooked up to maintain maximum thrust when turning, and in rough water.
The new race designed ride plate is longer to reduce bow rise when accelerating quickly. The planning surface is angled slightly for just the right amount of rocker to give the GP1800R the right riding attitude for optimum top speed. Also, the edges of the planning surface help the GP1800R track straighter at higher speeds.
For 2019, Yamaha is taking the VXR to the next level with similar performance upgrades to the intake grate and ride plate like the GP1800R, along with the addition of a NanoXcel 2 hull that significantly reduces overall weight.
“With the 2019 performance upgrades, we took designs that were proven on the race course by the best riders in the world, and made it something customers can get right out of the box,” said Watkins. “The result is a whole new character to these WaveRunners, that recreational riders and racers alike will find fuels their desire for ultra high performance experiences on the water with unbelievable handling.”
2019 Yamaha WaveRunner Lineup
- Yamaha FX Series: FX Limited SVHO, FX Cruiser SVHO, FX SVHO, FX Cruiser High Output, FX High Output
- Yamaha VX Series: VX Limited, VX High Output, VX Cruiser, VX Deluxe, VX, VX-C
- Yamaha EX Series: EXR, EX Deluxe, EX Sport, EX
- Yamaha Race Series: GP1800R, VXR, SuperJet