In the sport performance PWC category, details matter. In our review of the new FZR we found quite a few major features we would like to point out. First are the color scheme and graphics which blend very well to create a balance of aggressiveness and modern style. Next, the color is not gel-coat, it is high-end automotive paint. We have always been fans of paint over gel-coat for watercraft and boats alike as this adds to the durability and means the color fading that happens with gel-coat is delayed by years.
But perhaps most important of all is the "next generation" SVHO 1.8 L supercharged engine. Added to that are a new jet pump unit, ride plate and sponsons. This is the exact machine that the race team drives. (See below for more details.) But there are many more important refinements in the FZR, so let's take a look--
Deck and Seating
The deck and seating are other areas we like to scrutinize, since these are going to take the brunt of the wear and tear. Yamaha has used Hydroturf for years which we have found to keep the deck and footwells from ever being slippery. They also provide a soft comfortable foamy feeling. The seat is what takes the majority of the wear and here Yamaha uses a high-end textured marine vinyl which is slightly thicker than what will be found on most other PWCs. We also like the overall ergonomics with the narrow knee grab area forward, the backrest for the driver and raised passenger area with grab handles.
The display is designed to look like a throwback to the muscle car days with simple round, deep-set analog gauges that provide speed, rpm, fuel level with low-fuel warning, low oil pressure warning, hour meter and check engine light with self-diagnostic functions. But let’s be honest, how often are we looking at the gauges on a PWC? There is also a digital display between the two larger gauges.
Just above the display is the release button to open the forward storage area which has plenty of room for additional PFD’s, towels, snacks, and lines for a day on the water. There is additional storage aft of the handlebars as well as dry-storage under the aft seat for a total of 21.3 gallons (81 L). Also notice the positioning of the wing mirrors -- they are in close for better visibility and that also prevents them from striking the dock.
A Racing Hull
The hull of the FZR SVHO is often an overlooked detail, but this is actually one of the most important. The design, with its curving elliptical chines on the bow and strakes leading aft of the running surface are what provides the handling and turning performance that the FZR series has become known for. The images on this page demonstrate very well the vehicle's water contact profile as the driver is powering out of a turn. The design also distributes the contact area in a way that provides a relatively softer ride. With more power from the SVHO engine, Yamaha has also added new sponsons to the FZR, for additional control in aggressive turns.
Heart of the Beast
It sounds cliché, but the heart of the FZR SVHO really is the engine, and the new Super Vortex High Output 1.8L supercharged 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, purpose-built watercraft engine has several advancements over previous engines. Yamaha tells us the SVHO produces more than 20% more power and torque than its predecessor, the SHO engine. This has been achieved through engineering which includes a larger intercooler, larger supercharger intake, redesigned oil cooler, newly designed forged pistons, and a race-inspired 8-vein 160mm pump impeller. This engine is fed by an 18.5 gallon (70 L) fuel tank tucked up neatly under the forward console, leaving excellent room and access in the engine compartment. For a full report on the SVHO engine -
New Water Intake
Yamaha has redesigned the intake grate with what it calls a new top loader version intended to increase water flow to the jet pump to increase pump output and efficiency. The jet pump unit has a diameter of 160mm and its 8-vein impeller mounted in a 75mm hub, provides more thrust than the previous pump units. All of the drive components are manufactured from an aluminum alloy and have no painted surfaces, which helps to reduce the threat of corrosion, according to Yamaha.
Some of the standard features of the FZR SVHO include:
Given the track record of the Yamaha watercraft engines and the 1.8L block, we expect that the FZR SVHO will continue to add to the reliability legacy that Yamaha enjoys. In fact, the vast majority of PWC rental companies choose Yamaha vehicles for their reliability.* Given the FZR's overall quality and design, and it’s improved performance over her predecessors, we feel it is worth the nearly $15k price tag. Our overall impression is that this is a machine that allows all weekend-warriors to feel like they race. *Source, BoatTEST.com 2012 dealer/rental survey
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha FZR (2014-) is 69.1 mph (111.2 kph), burning 18.65 gallons per hour (gph) or 70.59 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha FZR (2014-) is 26.6 mph (42.8 kph), and the boat gets 6.32 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.69 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 105 miles (168.98 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 270-hp Yamaha 1.8L SVHO (est. hp).
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Yamaha FZR (2014-) is 1.3 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
1 year limited warranty