The F-15 has a traditional muscle craft look at first glance, but when we inspected the unit closer, we started to appreciate how clean the lines are and how well executed Honda made the fit and finish. When you climb on board, you find that your natural position is unusually ergonomic and comfortable. Other machines sometimes give you the feeling that you will need to manhandle the watercraft around, but not the F-15X AquaTrax. It is easy to imagine that you are part of the machine. Something we are a big fan of on the seat is that the companion rider has a strap that runs across the seat to hold onto. There are also hand holds for the rider under the aft seat support.
The display just forward of the handlebars is a very cool pyramidal shape and we have to say it’s unobtrusive, but quite visible at the same time. Let’s face it, how often do you actual look down when out on a PWC, other than to see how much go-go juice you have left. The speed indicator has very large numbers which means you can easily register the number with a quick, nano-second glance.
Details in Design
If you look at the F-15X from the side, you notice that the forward hull design differs quite a bit from other builders’ units. The new Honda has a flatter design and has a much greater freeboard height with the deflector notch positioned just over six inches below the bow handle.Something else we are a big fan of is the positioning of the gas cap on the post side, not tucked away inside a compartment under a hatch. Something we are not a fan of is the positioning of the reverse gate handle on the port side. In our opinion, it is safer to have the reverse gate lever on the same side as the throttle lever. This will force an operator to let go of the throttle in order to change from forward to reverse.
The team at Honda seems to be immune from the horsepower battle some builders are fond of, and instead, have focused on making an all-around well-handling, well-built watercraft. The F-15X AquaTrax is the turbocharged version of the F-15 introduced last year and it produces 200-hp from its 1470 cc engine, directing the thrust through the standard 155 mm waterjet. However, we noticed that the jet was positioned a bit lower than most other PWC’s.
How Does She Ride?
Although we did not have our test gear hooked up on our ride, we can report that the handling was smooth and the hull actually pushed though boat wakes and light chop very well with little or no pounding or bumping. In hard turns she tended to over steer, but a little deeper lean usually compensated for that. The spray pattern also caught our attention; it was flat and stayed out even with the handlebars, it felt as if you were riding on a slightly higher plane than some other machines.
With a curb weight listed as 955 lbs, she had a respectable acceleration feel and seemed to get on plane just fine. She tops off with 18.5 gallons of fuel, and has an overall length of 133.8 inches. Designed as a three person vehicle, we would suggest two or one regular sized and two smaller riders. The hull and deck are made from Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and when you look under the seat you will find the same compact engine design Honda puts in all of its vehicles.Our last observation is the overall look of this new Honda machine: You will notice there are no flashy graphics splashed all over, instead, Honda has let the lines of the design do the talking. So if you are looking for a new PWC, you really should add the Honda F-15X AquaTrax to your consideration list. Hopefully we will have some test numbers on the vehicles for you in the near future.
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