BOAT TEST: YAMAHA FX 1.8 HIGH OUTPUT / YAMAHA FZS SUPER HIGH OUTPUT

By: DARREN SHIEL, Photography by: DARREN SHIEL


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Yamaha’s new waverunners are tipped to leave buyers speechless according to Darren Shiel

BOAT TEST: YAMAHA FX 1.8 HIGH OUTPUT / YAMAHA FZS SUPER HIGH OUTPUT
YAMAHA FX 1.8 HIGH OUTPUT / YAMAHA FZS SUPER HIGH OUTPUT

HIGH OUTPUT 
It's hard to beat the top of the range Yamaha FX SHO. But, their two new models in the Yamaha Personal Water Craft (PWC) range, the FZS Super High Output, and the FX 1.8-litre High Output could just do that.

While driving the FZS I realised the attraction so many PWC enthusiasts feel and I am sure they will not be disappointed with the new offerings as both models are destined to replace the ever popular FX160 models in the Yamaha stable.

DESIGN
The FX 1.8 HO uses the same NanoXcel hull and 1.8lt engine as the FX SHO, but is naturally aspirated without a supercharger. A three-seater PWC designed to cater to the family user who wants a comfortable, yet powerful ski; the 360kg FX 1.8 HO includes the bells and whistles standard on the FX SHO model, such as cruise assist, no wake mode, engine trim, learner mode, re-boarding step and engine immobiliser.

The FX 1.8 HO is also available in the popular cruiser version which is provided with extras on top of the standard model such as comfortable cruiser seats with extra back support, raised handlebars, fuel management system and pull up cleats.

The FZS is another breed all together. Using an all new rounded hull design suited more to performance use such as free styling and racing, and the same supercharged engine from the FX SHO, this one is set to become a popular choice with PWC enthusiasts.

With a new height adjustable steering column, this model is said to be the first stand up/sit down PWC. With a low position suitable for sport riders, and a high position for stand up riding in rough water, the set up certainly proves itself to be very versatile.

The 369kg FZS is designed to accommodate the buyer who wants the best and fastest three-seater PWC available while, a two-seater version (FZR SHO), is Yamaha's latest offering set to shake up the PWC racing scene.

FINISH
As with the FX SHO previously tested, Yamaha have done a great job by meeting all the requests of buyers in regards to extras with these two skis.

The FX 1.8 HO supplies the operator with watertight storage (89.6L), drink holders, dual mirrors, digital throttle control, reboarding step and learner mode.

The FX  1.8 HO is strikingly attractive in it's black colour scheme, while the sister ship model, the FX 1.8 HO Cruiser, is finished in a more sedate silver and black finish.

The FZS SHO is designed specifically to be scarce in extras, compromising extras for weight and top end speed. It does however provide 80.6 litres of watertight storage, dual mirrors, digital throttle control, engine trim, re-boarding step, engine immobiliser, height adjustable handlebars and an analogue Speedo gauge. The FZS SHO is notably missing extras such as cruise assist, learner mode and no wake mode.

CONTROLS
Suitable to its family and cruising origins, the helm position of the FX 1.8 HO is well set up to allow the operator to have all necessary information and storage at hand. A waterproof storage compartment is featured on the port side in front of the driver, while to the starboard is a drink holder.

A quick shift trim system is fitted on the port side handlebars, enabling the ski to be trimmed to perfection for the conditions with ease.

A digital and analogue dash cluster supplies speed, rpm, hours and volts on a digital gauge at the touch of a button, while the analogue gauge provides speed in both kilometres and miles.

The operator is supplied with an oversized analogue Speedo to the port side of the dash cluster, and an equally large analogue tacho to the starboard. A small digital hour meter is fitted to the centre. A small glove box storage compartment is fitted beneath the steering wheel, while the handlebars allow the driver to control the throttle, on/off button and engine trim.

The steering helm is adjustable up and down for comfort, and the seat is both comfortable and functional, with well-placed foot rests. On a two hour test in varied conditions, the seated and standing position was both comfortable and workable.

ENGINE ROOM
As with the top of the range FX SHO, packed into both of these craft is the biggest capacity engine ever fitted to a production ski, a whopping 1812cc.

This Double Overhead Cam, four cylinder, 16 valve EFI engine alone produces around 180hp in the FX 1.8 HO. The lack of supercharger compared to the FX SHO equates to an engine with great fuel consumption and excellent performance. On a two hour test, pretty much flat out running (both inshore and offshore); the FX 1.8 HO used a total of 20lt of unleaded fuel, quite frugal for a ski with this level of performance. On an average of 10 litres per hour, this ski comfortably has around six hours worth of cruising time in its range.

Strapped to the 1.8lt engine in the FZS SHO is a supercharger, as used in the FX SHO. The supercharger pushes the engines output to approximately 210hp and provides amazingly fast response and performance. On the same trip as the FX 1.8 HO, the FZS SHO used a respectable 29 litres of unleaded fuel.

PERFORMANCE AND RIDE
As you would expect from the non-supercharged engine, the FX 1.8 HO provides a great balance between performance skiing and social use. The response from the digital throttle is excellent, and the ride is smooth and dry.

At a top speed of 103kmh on calm water the ski felt happy cruising along at around 60kmh, while offshore, the hull was predictable and comfortable, with plenty of power on tap.

The FZS SHO truly showed its performance pedigree in every aspect.

Buyers moving up from a ski two to three years old will simply be amazed at the amazing difference in power that supercharged PWC supplies. The slightest application of the throttle shows a huge delivery of smooth power and an immediate increase in speed. Applying the throttle to lift the bow allows the rider to tackle each wave in the best possible position.

Achieving a flat-out speed of 110kmh in flat water proved effortless for the engine and aftermarket kits are available to wring more power from this engine with ease. The adjustments provide more direct horsepower, a higher top end speed and a better fuel efficiency.

Both watercraft felt rock solid at all speeds as rough water pulled back my speed, not because the ski couldn't handle it, but because I am fast becoming a sedate old man.

The engine in the FX 1.8 HO is smooth and quiet, and well suited to its family and cruiser market. The sound emulating from the FZS is like a muscle car. It is definitely not built to be quiet, and has a special note, similar to a V8 in a sports car.

Forward, neutral and reverse gears on board both skis make docking onto a jetty or driving onto a trailer simple.

CONCLUSION
Superb. Fantastic. Awesome. Gnarly. Words cannot explain how good these skis are.
If you are looking for a ski for the family to spend their weekends together on the water, or a sportsman looking for immense speed and fun, Yamaha has just answered your prayers.

With the ability to be towed behind a small to moderate sized vehicle, taken anywhere, a PWC could be the answer for your boating needs.

 

WHAT WE LIKED: FX 1.8 HO
Great fuel economy
Excellent versatility
Heaps of storage
Great range

NOT SO MUCH: FX 1.8 HO
Flimsy front bonnet assembly

WHAT WE LIKED: FZS SHO
Awesome performance
Awesome sound
Very responsive

NOT SO MUCH: FZS SHO
Small amount of storage
Higher fuel consumption


Specifications: Yamaha FX1.8 HO

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $18,480

GENERAL
Construction: NanoXcel
Length: 3.37m
Length: on trailer 4m
Beam: 1.23m
Weight: (dry ski only)360kg
Weight (BMT)  550kg approx.

CAPACITIES
Fuel:………..70lt (unleaded)
People:…….1 to 3
Storage:……89.6lt

ENGINE
Make: Yamaha
Type:  four-stroke Jet
4 Cyl, DOHC 4-Valve
Displacement: 1812cc


Specifications: FZS Super High Output

HOW MUCH
Price as tested…$24,500 on trailer incl
rego, three life jackets and pre-delivery

GENERAL
Construction: NanoXcel
Length: 3.37m
Length on trailer: 4m
Beam:    1.23m
Weight:  (Dry ski only) 369kg
Weight: (BMT) 550kg (approx)

CAPACITIES
Fuel: 70lt (unleaded)
People: 1 to 3
Storage: 80.6lt

ENGINE
Make: Yamaha
Type: Supercharged
four-stroke jet DOHC four cylinder four valve
Displacement: 1812cc

SUPPLIED BY
Gold Coast Waverunners
7 Gateway Drive,
Labrador, Qld, 4215
Phone: (07) 55 291 855
Websites: www.yamaha-motor.com.au;
www.waverunner.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat 243

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