Review: Yamaha VX Waverunner

By: Kevin Smith, Photography by: Jack Murphy


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Yamaha VX Waverunner 07 Yamaha VX Waverunner 07
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Worried about price? Fear not, the Yamaha VX WaveRunner packs plenty of features into its value-for-money frame. This is no entry-level jetski.

The Yamaha VX WaveRunner ought to be classified as an entry-level PWC. When I first lay my eyes on it, I was expecting something fairly standard and simple in design and features. However, that view quickly changed…

 

NOT AN ENTRY-LEVEL JETSKI

Yamaha VX Waverunner

Besides having the classic WaveRunner style and looks, Yamaha has gone a good few extra miles to incorporate some pretty fancy features into the Waverunner VX. Namely, the new RiDE system, as well as a redesigned sharper-handling hull and deck with larger rear swimplatform, multifunction instrument panel, new integrated mirrors, more internal storage, all-new chrome accents, a 1052cc four-stroke Yamaha Marine engine and an attractive $12,999 price RRP.

Boasting the same spec as top-of-the-range Yamaha WaveRunners, and as mentioned above, the entry-level VX incorporates RiDE (Reverse with Intuitive Deceleration Electronics), it’s by far one of Yamaha’s best and most valuable features I’ve seen in a WaveRunner for years.

So just what is the new RiDE system? Well, gone are the days of operating the bulky standard Yamaha gearshift system below the handle bar – it’s only found on a few other WaveRunner models now. The RiDE is a throttle on the left bar controlling forward, neutral and reverse functions. Start it up and the Yamaha VX WaveRunner sits in neutral, accelerate and it automatically kicks into forward. Jam the left throttle in while in forward gear at any speed and the jetski decelerates, in my opinion, up to 40 per cent faster than before, while maintaining a level attitude and safe feel.

 

YAMAHA RiDE SYSTEM

Yamaha RiDE  Waverunner

Technically, Yamaha RiDE is a throttle system controlled by an electronic Boat Control Unit, or BCU, specifically tuned at the factory to account for the power and weight of each individual model. This is to ensure optimum performance across the range, delivering a completely smooth experience when docking or slowing down. The BCU is also programmed to understand driver input and intention when both levers are pulled simultaneously, applying the appropriate level of acceleration or deceleration to maximise control. It’s absolutely remarkable, it works and well at that too, and again is one of the best features added to the WaveRunner in years.

Although Yamaha RiDE is on top of the new features list for me, the other new additions are also pretty impressive. For instance the new integrated mirrors sit closer to the dash and definitely produce better rear vision. Then there is the new multifunction instrument panel with a specially designed meter providing a wide range of information in a clear, easy-to-read format. On the tachometer, the rider can keep tabs on engine RPM, speed, gear selection, fuel gauge and hour readouts, as well as having warning functions integrated.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Yamaha VX Waverunner turning

Most entry-level PWCs ride well but nothing like the top-of-the-range brutes. This is due to different designs of the hulls, as well as having a lot less in the horsepower department. Interestingly, 2015 has been a big year for performance changes in the entry-level jetski department and the VX is most certainly one of those packing a healthier punch on the water.

The Yamaha VX WaveRunner hull has had a full makeover, featuring a cutting-edge design with a deeper vee-shape keel, modified hull strakes and softer bow chines. The new hull provides better stability for three-up riding and towing, as well as precise responsiveness and predictability for the single rider chasing a bit more thrill.

On the water the VX definitely has a sporty feel to it, with a nice holeshot and quick response up to wide open throttle. A full 1052cc of grunt will keep those chasing a bit of speed happy, as well as providing enough power to run three-up without a struggle – ideally two average-size adults and a youngster. For those looking to tow the odd wakeboarder around, well the VX also has a tow-hook as standard.

 

FISHABILITY?

With PWC fishing becoming quite a popular sport, I reckon the VX could be a good one to add a few fishing accessories to, as it now has extra space and improved stability from the new hull design.

Also, economy would be substantially less than the big powerhouse supercharged versions – another plus for those who constantly pull lures around. Chuck a stainless steel frame with icebox and rodholders on the rear platform, add a GPS-sounder up front, and away you go.

 

THE TRADE-A-BOAT VERDICT

Yamaha VX Marine Engine

For an entry-level PWC, you can’t complain about what the Yamaha VX WaveRunner has to offer. The new features, the well-balanced performance, a reasonable price tag for something that’s more mid-range than entry level and of course, Yamaha’s typical refined looks and finishes, are just a few things that make the VX an attractive option.

 

HIGHS

• Well priced

• New RiDE feature is a big bonus on an entry-level model

• Better visibility from new mirrors

• Good finish throughout

 

LOWS

• A few more revs added to the RiDE system would be good

 

YAMAHA VX WAVERUNNER SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

Yamaha VX WaveRunner price: $12,999

Yamaha VX WaveRunner Deluxe price: $13,499 (w/ lightweight NanoXcel hull and Cruise Assist)

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE PWC / jetski

LENGTH 3.34m

WIDTH 1.22m

WEIGHT 349kg dry

 

CAPACITIES

FUEL 70lt

STORAGE 93lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Yamaha VX Marine Engine

TYPE Four-cylinder four-stroke DOHC petrol

DISPLACEMENT 1052cc

 

SUPPLIED BY

Yamaha Motor Australia

Website yamaha-motor.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #464, April / May 2015. Why not subscribe today?

 


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