History, innovation, and Design
Our Story

POWER AND SOUL

Revolutionizing fun on the water. Empowered by a passion for innovation, we create exceptional value and experiences that enrich the lives of our customers.

SPIRIT OF CHALLENGE

The founder of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Genichi Kawakami, set a clear standard for Yamaha brand engineering and manufacturing when he said, “It isn’t a product if it isn’t world class.” 60 years later, Yamaha continues its endeavors to create diverse value through products and services, and we promise to keep delivering excellence in order to create a more fulfilling life for people all over the world.

ORIGINALITY IN INNOVATION

Our principles are founded on a continuing desire to produce value that moves people, and are based on the evolving wants and needs of our customers. We strive to build a corporate culture that encourages enterprise, innovation and creativity. Our corporate mission of being a “Kando Creating Company” is an expression of our desire to offer our customers around the world products and services that bring joy and unexpected exhilaration that enriches their lives with new fulfillment.

OUR

HISTORY

Neil Kobayashi, the "WaveRunner Papa" invented the WaveRunner® in 1986, forever changing how people access and enjoy their time on the water. Walk through the evolution of the WaveRunner® to learn how the global phenomena began.

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01

The Early Years

During the 1970's, Neil Kobayashi was stationed in Shonan, Japan, where marine leisure was really only available for the elite. Taking inspiration from a variety of small watercraft that were being used, including surfboards fitted with propelling devices, he knew that one day he'd like to make a craft that would be accessible for everyone to use.

02

Development in Tough Times

Development of small watercraft became very popular overseas but they hadn't gained traction in the US quite yet. Around 1983, an opportunity emerged within the company to create new products with a more competitive edge, which shifted Yamaha's motorboat-only perspective. Through trial and error the "Power-Ski" prototype came to life and Yamaha Motor Corporation USA requested a presentation.

03

Set-backs in America

In late 1984, Yamaha Motor revised the boat for the American Market and changed the 15 horsepower engine for a 25 horsepower option. However, this was not enough power for the American driver. In post test meeting, and with help from locals, Yamaha realized the weight of the power-ski could be increased from 65kg to 130kg to improve rideability. Then, in early 1985, with backing of YMUS, the Mini Marine Vehicle (MMV) project formally began.

04

Jet Engine Creation

With an upper limit of 30 horsepower, we had to get creative. To increase speed with less horsepower, we decided to use double chines incorporated into the Shallow V model at optimum width. The hull was then crafted for static stability, controllable high-speed turns, and sharp edge turning. With repeated cruising adjustments thereafter, we finally resulted in a new type of mobility that captivated the world.

05

Path Toward Success

In 1985, at a presentation to YMUS, we tested with the same riders that tried the tandem models the first time. The feedback was excellent and abundant. The tandem model became a tentative production project, with "WaveRunner®" chosen as the name. We coordinated across all departments at the company to create the best product we could. After much accumulated effort, production began on the WaveRunner® 500 in 1986 and it soon became a popular addition to beaches everywhere.

06

Moving Forward

My wish is that Yamaha's traditional attitude and "Spirit of Challenge" endures, but also overhauls the concept that has been used until now to create something new and exciting. Something else that Revs Your Heart.

OUR

INNOVATION

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As Seen in the EXR

TR-1® Engine

The TR-1 motor is 13% more powerful, 40% smaller in size and 20% lighter in weight than the previous engine in its class.
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As Seen in the EXR

TR-1® Engine

The TR-1 motor is 13% more powerful, 40% smaller in size and 20% lighter in weight than the previous engine in its class.

The TR-1® Engine

The Yamaha TR-1® marine engine is the pinnacle of engine innovation. Yamaha set out to build a more powerful engine than its predecessor, while also making it smaller, and lighter. The TR-1® motor achieves just that. The result is quicker acceleration, higher top-end speeds, with better fuel economy and more fun for the rider.

Connext® Touchscreen

Yamaha's Connext® touchscreen includes Drive Control, all vital display functions, and security mode to prevent unauthorized use.

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As seen in the FX SVHO

SVHO® Engine

A purpose-built 1.8L, four-stroke, four-cylinder supercharged engine with an intercooled motor.
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As seen in the FX SVHO

SVHO® Engine

A purpose-built 1.8L, four-stroke, four-cylinder supercharged engine with an intercooled motor.

1.8L Super Vortex High Output Engine

The Yamaha Super Vortex High Output (SVHO®) engine advances the performance gains made possible by its predecessor, the Yamaha Super High Output (SHO) engine. The SVHO® engine is the most technically-advanced motor ever designed for personal watercraft use and the most powerful engine ever in a Yamaha WaveRunner®

Our

Design

RiDE® Technology

DUAL-THROTTLE HANDLEBAR CONTROLS

RiDE® offers the world's first dual throttle handlebar controls on a personal watercraft. Pull the right handle lever and you accelerate, pull the left lever and you go in reverse. Pull the left lever at speed to decelerate. Pull them both, or in any combination, and the system recognizes your intentions and provides precise control at all speeds all the time. Release both levers and you shift to neutral. There's no manual shifting, no gears, no complicated process.

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Open Loop Cooling System

RELIABLE COOLING TECHNOLOGY

All Yamaha WaveRunners utilize open loop cooling, which is used by 99% of marine manufacturers. It’s the most effective, reliable and maintenance-free way to cool your engine. This is in sharp contrast to closed loop cooling systems used by competitive manufacturers, which is more difficult to maintain and more expensive to upkeep.

NanoXcel® Technology

INNOVATIVE HULL AND DECK DESIGN

Few innovations have the ability to reshape an entire industry, but that is exactly what Yamaha’s NanoXcel® hull and deck technology has done for the personal watercraft. Yamaha engineers innovated at the microscopic level using nano clay plus glass microbubbles to create a new, stronger resin system that uses less material. As a result, Yamaha hulls and decks are the lightest in their class while maintaining the strength and durability they’ve come to be recognized for.

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Bring Joy to Your Life

CREATING KANDO

Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feeling of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that people experience when they encounter something of exceptional value.

For over 50 years, Yamaha has endeavored to create diverse value through products and services, and we promise to continue delivering excellence in order to create a more fulfilling life for people all over the world.

We strive to use our ingenuity and passion to realize peoples' dreams and always be the ones they look to for “the next Kando.”

Assembled in

the USA

Yamaha WaveRunners®

Proudly assembled in Newnan, GA

Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation is a 280-acre facility that employs more than 1,500 people and is renowned for its technological innovations, commitment to high quality manufacturing and environmentally forward-thinking practices. YMMC is committed to reducing our impact on the environment, and supporting employee/community programs through the Environmental Recycling Fund Program (ERFP).

Find Your

Waverunner

We’ll help you narrow down the perfect Yamaha for your family