Obviously, Yamaha has several models of its popular waverunners to choose from, and all have varying features. Some are entry level, some high performance, and still others are focusing on luxury. With the FX Limited SVHO Yamaha just pulled all the stops and combined the best of all of its many models into one luxurious, high tech, high performance ride and combined it with all the accessories available to boot. Turns out we really can have it all. Let’s take a look and see what we get with each of these categories.
We can’t have a discussion about the level of luxury achieved with the FX Limited without starting with the seat. It’s the first impression we are presented with when we first mount this multi-faceted machine.
It starts with being contoured to hold three riders in a well-padded comfortable position. All three rider positions have raised, wrap-around seatbacks that further add to that comfort level. It’s so well padded that we really don’t sit on the seat as much as we sit in the seat. The rear position includes a wraparound grab handle for safety and this also comes in handy for rear-facing riders observing the end of the towline.
The entire rear deck and side foot wells feature upgraded custom cut non-skid mats. Being that the FX Limited SVHO is likely to be used by barefoot riders, these mats are soft to the touch, but more importantly also repel heat from the continual onslaught of the sun.
Further back is a flip down reboarding step making it easier to reboard the FX Limited without having to climb and pull ourselves out of the water. The task is made even easier with the inclusion of a convenient grab handle at the front of the aft deck. We can really appreciate this as it’s a feature that most others simply neglect to consider.
The FX Limited SVHO has an amazing amount of available storage... a full 33.2-gallons (125.68 L) spread throughout four separate compartments.
The first of which is also the largest, up front under the visor. This one can be conveniently opened from the rider’s position and it’s cavernous. The front of it holds the onboard fire extinguisher.
Our next storage compartment is just behind the handlebars, and this time it is a dry storage compartment so drop the cell phone in here. To the opposite side, is another first for a WaveRunner… a beverage holder.
Next we have the most convenient storage just ahead of the driver, and behind the handlebars. This is the area where we usually see the only beverage holders, and they’re still here. But Yamaha also includes a much-appreciated feature as well. Inside is a 12-V accessory plug for powering an air pump when tubing.
Under the removable aft seat section, there’s another compartment. This one has a cap that is fine threaded to keep the interior watertight. It’s also removable so we can put our valuables in and take them with us up to the marina or restaurant.
Finally at the stern is a wet storage trunk compartment that is convenient to the aft deck. The sides of this compartment are ever-so slightly off the deck so that any water falling off of wet gear will drain away onto the deck and overboard. A snap to either side closes the cover securely.
Now let’s take a look at the technology behind the FX Limited. It starts on the right side handlebar with the cruise assist. With a trigger throttle, it can be difficult to hold a speed short of full throttle. Yamaha provides an easier way. Just get to the speed you like, and then hit the “set” button to enter Cruise Assist, you’ll hear a series of beeps, and then you squeeze the throttle all the way. Now, just a tap of the up and down arrows will allow you to make incremental adjustments to that speed. When it comes time to override, simply give the throttle trigger a quick release and squeeze and blast off to full speed.
No Wake works the same way only you don’t have to start with a fixed speed to set. Just hit the button without touching the throttle and she’ll stay in a speed that won’t get you into trouble no matter how far you advance the speed adjust buttons.
Command Link Gauges
Yamaha’s Command Link instrumentation allows the driver to control the instrumentation functions on the right side of the panel. We can cycle through many features including speed, RPM, fuel level, fuel flow, low fuel warning, hour meter, and even water temperature.
RIDE Technology is completely controlled from the left side trigger and it offers three significant advantages.
Reversing. The throttle is still on the right side, and probably always will be. Now, however, we add a trigger to the left side of the handlebar for the RIDE technology. Squeeze it and the FX Limited shifts (actually the reverse bucket drops down, there’s no shifting in jet watercraft) into reverse. Now we can maneuver around the dock and even back off of the trailer or beach. Steering is reversed so when backing, we steer the bow, not the stern.
Neutral. Just a quick squeeze of the left trigger drops the FX Limited into neutral. This is pretty intuitive. If we think of pulling the trigger back to back down, it’s just as easy to think of pulling the trigger back briefly as a means of stopping the forward motion, but not causing reverse motion. Try it once and it clicks forever. Now again, there’s no shifting of gears going on here, the reverse bucket simply is dropping down just enough to deflect the thrust that is always coming out when the engine is running, down instead of forward or back. That keeps us from moving but turning the wheel will still cause us to pivot, rather than turn.
Braking. This is the biggest benefit of the RIDE Technology. When cruising at speed, squeeze the left trigger and intelligent braking kicks in. We say intelligent because imagine cruising at full speed and hitting reverse. What would likely happen is the reverse bucket would drop down, the driver, and passengers would then be launched over the handlebars, as both the reverse thrust and plunging bow would contribute to the subsequent deceleration trauma.
Instead, when squeezing the RIDE trigger at full (or any) speed, the engine slows (regardless of how much we’re holding the throttle trigger) while simultaneously dropping the reverse bucket. Now we can stop the FX Limited in the shortest distance possible while still remaining onboard and in full control. We tried it over and over again and it worked flawlessly. Keep squeezing and the braking reverts to reversing.
Another great feature is the electronic trim. Located on the left handlebar, the thumb is used to make incremental changes to the trim angle of the jet exhaust to compensate for both prevailing conditions and uneven distribution of weight when additional riders are aboard. Best of all is that these adjustments can be done on the fly instead of having to scroll through a menu on an instrument panel.
The Belly of the Beast
Yamaha took the biggest engine it makes and dropped it into FX Limited SVHO. So what we have here is the 1812cc supercharged and intercooled, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 16-valve Super Vortex High Output engine. That’s the top of the food chain… there is no higher.
The SVHO engine features a high-performance intercooler, increased supercharger air intake capacity and boost, and a modified fuel injection system for increased fuel flow.
Add to that the fact that it’s driving the 160mm, 3-blade, 16.4-degree pitch, stainless steel impeller through an 8-vane high pressure jet pump and you start to get a feel for what we’re talking about.
Finally there’s the NanoXcel 2 hull. The Yamaha-only, nanotech-engineered material that shaves more than 70 pounds off the total weight of the unit compared to SMC (Sheet Molded Compound) fiberglass. The end result is an engine and driveline that produces extraordinary power and thrust in an extremely lightweight package, delivering a superior power to weight ratio. And since we have the power, there’s a tow point under the seat for using the FX Limited for tubing… which leads us to accessories.
The FX Limited comes loaded with all the accessories needed for making the most of your day on the water. Basically, Yamaha took all the items customers purchased when buying waverunners and went ahead and included them all in the package. It includes a solar battery charger, dry bag, towrope, tube, and inflator.
On the water, the FX Limited SVHO is an exciting WaveRunner with instantaneous, and predictable response. It’s got the race inspired engine so if there are passengers, take advantage of the Cruise Assist to keep everyone comfortable.
When alone… wring it out and she’ll take whatever you want to dish out. Her performance really belies the fact that this has the sole of a luxury watercraft. But there’s no getting around the fact that this is pure fun. Stability is also the key word here as no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t get the FX Limited to roll over or even dump us in the water. Just wasn’t gonna happen. Overall, we found the FX limited to be a comfortable, predictable, fast and fun ride that comes complete with enough accessories for the whole family to enjoy.
In all of Yamaha’s waverunners, there’s a lot to like… we’ve driven them all. But when you can combine the best features of every one of the members of the product lineup, and put them all into one WaveRunner it becomes a compelling argument to skip ahead to the front of the line.
It’s got the largest engine, the most luxury, and the most technology that Yamaha has to offer. And at $16,899 it also has a compelling price.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)