|Draft Up||N/A||Person Capacity||N/A|
|Draft Down||N/A||Fuel Capacity||
|Air Draft||N/A||Water Capacity||none|
|Deadrise/Transom||N/A||Length on Trailer||N/A|
|Max Headroom||N/A||Height on Trailer||N/A|
|Bridge Clearance||N/A||Trailer Weight||N/A|
|Total Package Weight (Trailer,Boat & Engine)||N/A|
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||1 x 1812cc, four cylinder, four-stroke|
|Tested Power||1 x Yamaha 1812cc, four cylinder, four-stroke|
By Christopher Hughes
The Yamaha VXR was designed to be a no-frills performance watercraft at a reasonable price.
On the right side of the handle bar is just the throttle, no cruise assist. The display is simple and to the point – speed, RPM, and fuel. What more does one need to know?
What you don’t get in the VXR WaveRunner:
Yamaha designed this as a no-frills model, and with a starting price of $11,699. What has Yamaha left out of the VXR? The driver doesn’t have cruise assist, trip control, or an adjustable handlebar. But since this watercraft is intended to be driven hard, cranking and banking, those items are not needed.
One doesn’t get the supercharger with VXR, which at first left us wondering how this little package would perform. But after the test, we realized that there is no need for a supercharger on this unit. Since the design is shorter (128.7''), and thinner (46.1'') and less weight (728 lbs.), almost 10 lbs. lighter than the entry level VX Sport, the 1812cc power plant is more than enough to give any rider the thrill they are looking for. Further, as we often mention, all of the leading PWC builders purposely limit their units to a top speed of about 65 MPH.
The display has large numbers making it clear at a quick glance down.
There isn't a fancy multifunction display, but for the way the boater will ride the VXR, all that is needed is the speed and the gas gauge. Speaking of gas: Yamaha has optimized the VXR engine to run on 87 octane regular unleaded gas, and our tests showed an advantage to not having that supercharger -- a WOT fuel burn of only 13 gph.
15.1 gallon forward storage area under front bonnet also holds the fire extinguisher.
One also doesn’t get the large fuel tank -- the VXR sports an 18.5 gallon (70 L) tank -- but as mentioned above, fuel is not an issue on this watercraft as one can run it at WOT for over an hour. The rider's bottom will probably give out before the fuel does.
The VXR likes turns and carves them like a well-honed knife. She is also very forgiving and stable at all speeds.
What You DO Get:
First and foremost one gets performance; the VXR wants to go fast and wants to turn. In our test ride we spent half of our time standing and the other half sitting -- the VXR was equally comfortable in both positions. When turning the VXR is very stable and the hull's nose stays up with no plowing, even if the power is let off a bit after entering a turn.
There is some storage, but only 15.1 gallons in the forward compartment, just enough to bring along the essentials. And since the VXR is designed for three riders, there is a seat that is ergonomically contoured for three people.
She looks as bad as they come. The VXR reminds us of something out of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Styling and overall looks are always subjective, but we think the VXR delivers on that as well. The sharp angular bow has pleasing lines that look great even from the drivers seat, (which has a scalloped backrest). In fact, of all the vessels on the water, probably nothing is as futuristic and as fast-looking as the current models of PWCs.
Did I mention that the VXR is stable? Stability is probably this vessel's most outstanding characteristic, so pardon me if I repeat myself. And frankly, I can't think of any attribute for a PWC that is more important, particularly one this narrow. Stability is what keeps the rider out of trouble and it is the element that makes the VXR so "forgiving" when one does something stupid. Our test included hardover turns at 10 mph, 25 mph, 40 mph, and 55 mph, all delivering the same predictable stable, carved turns without sliding or digging in. Now it is a jet drive, a short-based watercraft, so we don’t suggest hard over turns below 10 mph with anyone else on board, unless one likes testing their balance.
Now, all of this is not to say that it is impossible to fall off the VXR. In fact, one of our crew managed that trick. That's when we put to the test the VXR's reboarding step -- this one swings down low enough to actually be helpful. Inadequate reboarding steps on PWCs have been a pet peeve of some of the crew at BoatTEST.com for years. I'm happy to report that the one on the VXR actually makes reboarding relatively easy.
If I couldn't find something to quibble about on the VXR I wouldn't be earning my paycheck. What I don’t like are these: First off are the rearview mirrors. I appreciate that they are set inboard of the rub rail and up out of the dock strike zone, but if one is going to have them, then they should be adjustable. Who ever heard of rear view mirrors that are not adjustable?
Another item is the latch to open the forward storage cover; we would like to see the small latch replaced with the same style as on the FX series. These are much easier to open while sitting in the driver’s seat and leaning forward.
Compact design yet enough room to get to all parts of the engine. We feel this will also benefit airflow around the engine.
The engine compartment is very well laid out; abaft the divider bulkhead is an easily accessed battery, which is protected and convenient. There is enough space between the engine and body of the PWC to allow one to get their hands on everything, especially the oil filter, which can easily be removed without spilling oil. The engine oil dipstick is convenient on the starboard side, forward of the engine, and the air filter is right on top. What could be better than that?
More than enough room to get a hand in and remove the oil filter pictured just in front of the exhaust manifold.
Another "must mention" is the VXR's speed and fuel consumption. Her top end speed of 68.4 mph is nothing to sneeze at and getting from 0-30 mph in 1.8 seconds is also commendable. Now add to that a starting price under 12K and the economical fuel burn (be sure to study the "Performance Tables") that one gets because there is no supercharger, and it is a nice package, indeed.
In the lower left hand corner note the hasp for the air filter cover.
Note the different textures of seat fabrics that Yamaha uses to make sure the material employed fits the task required of it. This is a level of attention to detail that is important in other more critical areas such as the fuel system.
Don't take Yamaha's "no-frills" approach to the VXR to mean that it has cut corners. It has not. Everything that is there with the exception of the two things I mentioned above are top notch. If the rider is a beginner or even a reasonably proficient PWC rider, and want something fast, simple, stable, and affordable that can hold three people, they won't go wrong with the Yamaha VXR.
If one is looking for the cheapest PWC on the market, the VXR at $11,699 isn't the least expensive, so perhaps the buyer should look elsewhere. Our suggestion is to take a look at the VXR first, so that one will be able to tell exactly what they are not getting with the lower-priced units. If one is a veteran PWC rider and like all of the bells and whistles on more expensive PWCs and won't be confused by them -- and will actually use them -- then the VXR might be too basic for them. Nevertheless, even in this case, I would recommend that one carefully examines the VXR and use its price as a benchmark when researching bigger, far more loaded PWCs.
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
|RPM||MPH||Knots||Total GPH||MPG||NMPG||Stat. Mile||NM||KM||KPH||LPH||KPL||dBA|
All speeds are measured by a hand held Stalker PRO radar gun and a hand help digital timer, so the human elements is a factor. Temperature, saltwater versus fresh, load, and water conditions are all a factor and the reason why test results may vary.
|Time To Plane||N/A|
|0 to 30||1.8 sec.|
|Test Power||1 x Yamaha 1812cc, four cylinder, four-stroke|
|Load||1 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, minimum gear|
|Climate||74.5 deg., 32% humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: min chop|