KENNESAW, Ga. — Long known by industry observers to be in development , the Yamaha WaveRunner FX140 four-stroke personal watercraft will be unveiled to the media and Yamaha dealers in August. According to a press release from Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., the FX140 uses "leading edge technology that delivers more power per displacement, consumes less fuel making that power, and produces less exhaust emission than any PWC on the market in 2001."
"The FX140 is the culmination of Yamaha's 45 years experience as one of the most prolific engine manufacturers in the world, " said Mark Speaks, Yamaha Watercraft Group company president in the release. "As the world leader in the development of four-stroke motors, we are proud to lead the personal watercraft industry in this new direction."
The timing of the FX140's release likely was spurred, at least in part, by Honda's late fall 2000 announcement that it would offer a four-stroke personal watercraft for the 2002 model year. That model, which has yet to be released, would be the first watercraft from the motorcycle manufacturer.
Increasingly stringent Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board exhaust emissions standards, however, drove the development of the FX140. Yamaha and other watercraft companies first addressed those standards with direct fuel-injection system on their two-stroke engines — because of their excellent-power-to-weight ratio and other factors, two-stroke engines have powered watercraft since they were mass-introduced in the 1980s. Despite significant strides in emissions reductions, the move toward cleaner-burning four-strokes was inevitable. (CARB also is currently reviewing more stringent restrictions for all marine four-stroke motors.)
Designed for personal watercraft, the Yamaha MR-1 engine will power the X140, which will be built in Newnan, Ga. The four-cylinder motor features dual overhead cam design with fuel injection and Yamaha's five-valve technology. According to Yamaha, it exceeds 2006 EPA exhaust emissions regulations and is
"noticeably quieter" and 30 percent more fuel-efficient than other personal watercraft.
The Yamaha FX140 will arrive at domestic Yamaha dealerships in early 2002.
Editor's note: Yamaha will introduce the FX140 to the media August 21. A review of the new watercraft will appear on boats.com the following week. — MT