|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||1 x 1812cc four-stroke four-cylinder|
|Tested Power||1 x 1812cc four-stroke four-cylinder|
By Christopher Hughes, BoatTEST.com's COO---
On the back deck you can see the safety waterspout and how the new design of the bow area adds to the sleek looks. The entire top deck is painted in a metallic flake silver and not gel-coat.
The FX HO has a low profile, smoother design which in my opinion is better suited for the more aggressive sporty type rider. With a lower, flatter profile the FX HO looks like she means business. I especially liked how Yamaha incorporated the wing mirrors into the overall design.
Seen here is the FX Cruiser version with the scalloped backrests. Also notice the pull-up cleats located within easy reach of the drive while seated, offered on the Cruisers version only.
Yamaha FX HO has a low profile sport seat.
Seating Is Key
Before we look at what propels these PWCs through the water, we need to look at the seats, which happen to be one of the differences between the FX Cruiser HO and the FX HO. Both have a two part seating design, with an aft and main section. The FX HO has a low profile smoother seat design that's better suited for a sporty style of riding. The FX Cruiser HO on the other hand has seating designed more for comfort and support, with defined sections for all three riders and fully scalloped back support.
When you remove the aft seat section you have access to storage. When you remove the storage bucket, you have access to your battery which can easily be removed and replaced. Also located in the area are your sump pump and exhaust/muffler components.
The engine compartment for the Yamaha FX HO series has plenty of room all around the engine and most components can be accessed easily.
Checking the Beast's Ticker
When you remove the main seat section you have access to the belly of the beast -- the engine compartment. The engine is a purpose-built 1.8L 4-stroke, 4-cylinder high output marine engine. This engine is naturally aspirated and tuned to run on regular 87 octane gasoline. There is a fair amount of room around the engine and getting to the oil filter, the air filter, the spark plugs and most every component is quite easy.
155mm jet pump nozzle, pump assembly and ride plate are all manufactured from an aluminum alloy.
The engine is connected via direct drive to the jet pump. What this means is that there is no transmission, no extra parts to go wrong or wear out, and no reduction gear. The drive shaft comes out of the engine and connects directly to the impeller which is incased in the jet pump unit.
The impeller is stainless steel and has three blades with a 17.5-degree pitch forcing the water out a 155mm jet pump nozzle. The entire jet pump unit is manufactured from an aluminum alloy which significantly reduces corrosion issues. The only non-metal component is the reverse gate.
The reverse level is ergonomically designed to the shape of your hand.
Back in the driver’s seat is where an important new feature comes in to play. On the starboard side of the console is your reversing lever, right where you expect it, but this one is different. To operate it, you must first squeeze the release handle, and then you can pull the level back. Now you are in reverse and the bucket is deployed in front of the jet nozzle.
The reverse bucket is seen in the deployed position. The bucket diverts the flow of water from the nozzle to allow for reversing. See how the sides have ducted cut-outs, these provide nimble directional control in reverse.
The new feature is a mechanical neutral. Push the reverse lever forward and it will lock into place and in the new sight window on the lever will be displayed a green “N”. You are now in neutral.
During my test, I left it in the position for several minutes while I finished off a few bottles of water. As advertised, it was a neutral; I didn’t drift forward or aft. By squeezing the release handle and pushing the lever full forward, you are now in regular forward operating mode; a clever yet simple solution.
When driving, you have very good visibility of the display, even in direct sunlight as you can see here.
Back on the console we have our multifunction display which consists of a large easy to read analog gage with a digital display on the port side. The function buttons are located under the handlebars on the aft section of the console, this way you are not reaching over the handlebars to set your display modes. To the right of these button is your handlebar tilt lever, allowing you to raise and lower the handlebars to your preferred setting.
The control button are located under the handlebar which means you do not need to reach over the handlebar when driving should you want to change the display modes or function.
Room For Lunch and More
There is a total of over 30 gallons of storage spotted around the FX HO series with the largest being the forward compartment. It can be easily opened one-handed with a simple pull handle centered on the top of the cover. There is watertight storage on top of the console to port, ideal for your keys, wallet, cell phone, etc.
The forward storage compartment has a good size cover, which has a gasket to help keep the contents dry. On my test I had my papers, and some test gear inside and they stayed dry.
Just forward of the driver is another storage area, large enough to fit a marine radio, and two bottles of water. We already touched on the rear storage under the aft seat.
The storage forward of the driver is large enough for a GPS, radio and two beverages.
There is a small storage compartment under the tow point which Yamaha said they added as a place to store your tow line. It has a convenient cut-out which allows the tow line to stay connected while stored. Notice the hand hold area built into the aft seat support.
The foot wells are padded with Hydra-Turf and provide a secure feeling when riding. I would like to see a seat strap for your passengers to hold onto.
The FX HO series measures in at 140.2” in length, has a beam of 48.4” and a height of also 48.4”. Each version has an 18.5 US gallon fuel tank but the weights are slightly different. The FX Cruiser HO weighs in at 825 lbs. and the FX HO weighs in at 822 lbs, but these are dry weights, so your operating weight will be just north of 938 lbs.
The re-boarding step seen here is one of the largest we have seen on a PWC. When fully down, it is much deeper in the water allowing you to get your foot on it much more easily.
In our test we recorded an average top speed of 62.6 mph at 7400 rpm while burning 13.6 gph which translates into 4.60 mpg for a range of 77 statute miles. Since there is no best cruise on a PWC, mainly because we don’t drive them like boats, I did find myself at 5000 rpm most of the time which gave me an average speed of 32.6 mph, burning only 5.1 gph for a range of approximately 107 statute miles. We tested our time from 0-30 and recorded an average of 2.0 seconds.
As far as handling during the test, I did notice that the longer hull was a little more forgiving than the shorter previous model. The new units turn very aggressively when you want them to if you are on the power, but they are also easily controllable and more stable in less aggressive turns.
Something else I noticed was the smoothness of the ride. There is a smoother transition when crossing wakes and the hull throws the water and spray out to the sides, instead of bashing it into submission head-on.
OK, so now you want to know how much. Well the MSRP for the FX Cruiser HO is $13,199 and the FX HO is $12,699. They are offered in Silver Metallic or Crimson Red Metallic, respectively.
= Standard = Optional