The Yamaha WaveRunner FX series is so well-executed, about all the company could do to improve its flagship three-passenger luxury models for 2014 was to add more power. Yamaha has done that with a vengeance.
Watch a short video overview of the Yamaha FX SVHO
An all-new Super Vortex High Output (SVHO) powertrain that includes an up-rated engine and a high-capacity pump assembly, is now offered in the FX SVHO and Cruiser FX SVHO. Both models offer legitimate 70-plus mph top speed and a powerband that is simply unrelenting throughout the mid-range. In the world of “go big or go home” PWC, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.
I was almost effusive in my review of the current WaveRunner FX platform when it debuted in 2012, citing a combination of performance, comfort, and features that left me wondering what Yamaha could do to make it better. Perhaps tweak the function of the cruise control. Sea-Doo offers more electronic bells and whistles on its premium GTX and RTX three-seaters, but gizmos don’t appeal to everyone. Yamaha says its Cruiser models, which feature a deeply bolstered touring seat and a few extra features, are their best-sellers, which tells you comfort is king for Yamaha owners.
We profiled the new four-cylinder, 1.8-liter SVHO powertrain in a review of the 2013 Yamaha WaveRunner FXR and Yamaha has dropped that same package into the FX SVHO models. To squeeze 20 percent more horsepower and torque from its 210-hp SHO engine, Yamaha fits the SVHO with a larger supercharger that delivers 60 percent more boost pressure through a 25 percent more-efficient intercooler. A larger oil cooler and forged pistons manage the added pressure and heat.
Yamaha does not publish official horsepower ratings for any of its engines, but the company has dropped enough hints for us to estimate that the SVHO cranks out about 252 horsepower. The real key to performance, however, is harnessing this power with a new 160mm eight-vane jet pump that replaces the 155mm six-vane pump found in lesser FX models, and has the capacity to the match the new engine. A new top-loader intake grate delivers a solid flow of water to the stainless steel impeller, and a revised ride plate dials in the running angle.
At its introduction I clocked a 2012 FX SHO at 65.7 mph. With a light fuel load and a single rider, the 2014 FX SVHO will bump 72 mph, and get there in about eight seconds, so this is not a machine for the beginner or the imprudent. Note that the fuel load in the bow-mounted, 18.5-gallon tank does have a significant effect on speed, and also know that to realize peak performance you’ll need to re-fill it with premium gas. Going really fast gets boring after a while, but acceleration never stops thrilling, which is why the FX SVHO is so much fun. From any speed in its mid-range, this boat offers explosive acceleration with just a squeeze of the throttle. It’s surprisingly agile for an 875-pound machine, and always predictable. Point the FX SVHO across the lake and it tracks straight and true at any speed, with a smooth ride to boot.
|Fuel capacity||18.5 gal.|
|Fuel Capacity, gasoline||225 gal.|
All other features of the FX line are unchanged and intact in the 2014 FX SVHO. The hull and deck are molded of lightweight Yamaha NanoXcel composite. A drive-by-wire throttle enables a 5-mph No Wake Zone setting and a speed-control function that’s especially handy for towing. I find the adjustable handlebars provide ideal ergonomics for riding while standing in rough water. Drive trim is adjustable through a twisting collar on the left hand grip. A key-fob remote controls both the security system and a “learning mode” that cuts engine performance by about 30 percent. The 33.2 gallons of combined stowage includes the deep bow well, a glove box with drink holders, and a very handy ski line compartment in the tail.
The FX SVHO is priced at $14,799. The FX Cruiser SVHO ($15,399) adds the Cruiser seat plus pull-up cleats, a lake water-temp display, a fuel consumption display, and a compass. For 2014 Yamaha will also offer the 160-hp FX/Cruiser ($12,899/$13,399) with no supercharger and the supercharged 210-hp FX SHO/Cruiser ($14,399/$14,999). I’m not sure who would consider the FX SHO when for just $400 more they could go for the SVHO gusto, except that SHO runs on regular gas and finding dockside premium for the SVHO might be a hassle on your lake. If it came to that, I would just find a better lake.
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