By Christopher Hughes
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.
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 the aft seat section is removed, the rider has access to storage. With the removal of the storage bucket, there's access to the battery which can easily be removed and replaced. Also located in the area is the sump pump and exhaust/muffler components.
Checking the Beast's Ticker
When removing the main seat section, there's 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.
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.
Back in the driver’s seat is where an important new feature comes in to play. On the starboard side of the console is the reversing lever, right where it would be expected, but this one is different. To operate it, first squeeze the release handle, and then pull the level back. Now the PWC is in reverse and the bucket is deployed in front of the jet nozzle.
The 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”. The PWC is 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.
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 the operator is not reaching over the handlebars to set the display modes. To the right of these button is the handlebar tilt lever, allowing one to raise and lower the handlebars to their preferred setting.
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, that's ideal for keys, wallet, cell phone, etc.
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 FX HO series measures in at 140.2” (3.56 m) in length, has a beam of 48.4” and a height of also 48.4” (1.23 m). Each version has an 18.5 US gallon (70 L) fuel tank but the weights are slightly different. The FX Cruiser HO weighs in at 831 lbs. (377 kg) and the FX HO weighs in at 829 lbs. (376 kg), but these are dry weights, so your operating weight will be just north of 938 lbs. (425 kg).
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 to 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 the rider wants them to if 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 $13,599 and the FX HO is $13,099. They are offered in Pure White with Carbon or Black Metallic and Deep Blue Metallic or Black Metallic, respectively.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO (2018-) is 62.6 mph (100.7 kph), burning 13.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 51.48 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO (2018-) is 32.6 mph (52.5 kph), and the boat gets 6.46 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.75 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 107 miles (172.2 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 1812cc four-stroke four-cylinder.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO (2018-) is 2.0 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
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