The Yamaha VXR is the top-of-the-line in Yamaha’s VX series with a normally aspirated 1.8-liter high output engine. For 2019, Yamaha added race inspired features, including a top-loading intake, a newly designed ride plate, grippy seat, and NanoXcel 2 construction that reduced the weight of the VXR by 30-lbs. (14 kg). It is set up for towing with a tow ring mounted below the aft most seat. The Yamaha VXR is a high-performance machine that is fun for the whole family.
- 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, High Output Yamaha marine engine
- 1 to 3-persons rider capacity
- 24.6-gallons (93.1 L) of storage capacity
- NanoXcel®2 lightweight hull and deck
- Reverse RiDE™ with traction control
- Dual sideview mirrors
|Length Overall||131.9'' / 3.35 m|
Currently no test numbers
1 x 1812cc 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, 1.8L High Output Yamaha Marine Engine
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Contents of Report
Yamaha has combined their knowledge and experience into making the VXR a high performance, normally aspirated personal watercraft in the industry. It is intended for thrill seekers who are experienced operators, but when used with reasonable attention to passenger comfort it can be a machine for the whole family. The Yamaha VXR offers class leading performance and race inspired features for owners to enjoy exhilarating experiences and to claim bragging rights on the water.
1.8-Liter, 4-Cylinder, 4-Stroke High Output Jet Drive. Yamaha’s largest naturally-aspirated engine.
Digital Display. The center mounted digital display with speed readout, hour meter, fuel level, and other basic engine functions.
Race Inspired Seat. Textured and bolstered for grip and comfort when making hard turns.
Race Inspired Intake and Ride Plate. The 2019 VXR features a new race inspired, top-loading intake grate and newly designed ride plate for improved performance.
Lighter and Stronger Hull and Deck. The 2019 VXR’ hull and deck is built with Yamaha’s exclusive NanoXcel 2 construction technology making it 30-lbs. (14 kg) lighter.
Deceleration, Neutral and Reverse Control. Yamaha’s RiDE system allows the operator to switch from forward to neutral to reverse, resulting in easier deceleration, reversing and docking.
Integrated Fold Down Re-Boarding Step. Yamaha built in a wide drop-down re-boarding step to make it even easier to get onboard.
Two-Tone Deck Mats. Custom cut rubberized non-skid deck mats add function and comfort when riding.
The Yamaha VXR has a length of 131.9” (3.35 m) and a beam of 48.0” (1.22 m). With an empty weight of 739 lbs. (335 kg), a full tank of fuel, one person onboard, and 50 lbs. (23 kg) of gear, there was an estimated weight of 800 lbs. (363 kg).
Top Speed. With a single Yamaha 1.8-liter naturally aspirated High Output turning the internal impeller jet-drive, the test boat reached a top speed of 66.8 mph (107.6 kph) at 7400 rpm.
Best Cruise. The best cruise came in at 4000 rpm running at 20.08 mph (33.4 kph). At that speed, the 2.6 gph (9.84 lph) translated to 8.1 miles per gallon (3.31 kpl) and a range of 135 statute miles (218 km) while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 18.5-gallon (70 L) total fuel capacity.
Acceleration and Conditions
At Speed. Although the Yamaha VXR has a naturally aspirated engine, the 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, 4-stroke high performance engine accelerated onto plane virtually instantly, going from a standing start to 30 mph in 1.7 seconds. Influenced by modifications by those who race the VXR, Yamaha upgraded the intake grate to a top-loading intake that allows water to more readily enter the jet-drive causing more thrust. Yamaha has the steering dialed-in and the seat keeps the rider in place during more aggressive maneuvers, which are easily achievable.
Low Speed Maneuvering. Equipped with the Yamaha RiDE system, the Yamaha VXR decelerates quickly with a flick of the left-hand trigger putting it in neutral and reverses when the left hand trigger is subsequently squeezed, rapidly slowing the VXR. The RiDE system also allows for easy handling in low-speed maneuvering, such as docking. The reverse-bucket drops down providing lateral thrust. The lateral thrust acts like side thrusters.
The stern of the Yamaha VXR is designed for easy boarding from in the water with custom-cut, rubberized non-skid that is easy on bare feet. The non-skid surface also deters the heat from the sun. Further back is a flip down re-boarding step, making it easier to re-board the Yamaha VXR without having to climb and pull oneself out of the water.
Captain’s Note. A handle at the base of the seat, like on Yamaha’s FX Limited SVHO model, would make boarding even easier.
The side decks on the Yamaha VXR also have custom-cut, rubberized non-skid for comfort and security.
The level of comfort and security that Yamaha has achieved on the Yamaha VXR WaveRunner begins with the seats. The operator’s seat is more like a saddle when you sit in it and not on it. The textured upholstery and wrap around saddle backs hold all three riders securely.
The Yamaha VXR has 24.6-gallons (93 L) of storage capacity situated throughout several separate compartments.
Forward-most compartment is the largest of these compartments. It can be conveniently opened from the operator’s position. This is a relatively large space which could easily accommodate a soft side cooler.
Water-tight Compartment. Hidden beneath the removable aft seat section there is a compartment with a fine threaded cap to keep the interior water-tight. The entire compartment is removable, allowing people to take their valuables with them.
The hand grips on both sides are ergonomically designed and padded to help the operator stay comfortable. Dual rear-view mirrors are well placed outside the display dash housing.
RiDE Technology. Yamaha has designed a reverse-bucket that drops down over the jet nozzle and vectors the flow to both or either side to create better control when reversing. It can also create a braking effect when at speed. There is actually no shifting or reversing the jet drive. However, RiDE provides a neutral position to stop forward or reverse motion.
Reverse. By flicking the left-hand trigger and subsequently squeezing the left-hand trigger, the Yamaha VXR reversing bucket drops down over the jet nozzle, effectively putting the VXR in reverse. Turning the handle bar vectors the thrust. Reverse steering is opposite of forward steering. Consider steering the bow not the stern.
Neutral. A quick squeeze of the left-hand trigger puts the Yamaha VXR into neutral. This effectively keeps the VXR from moving forward or backward but turning the handlebars will cause the boat to pivot rather than turn.
Braking. A big benefit of the RiDE technology is braking. At any speed, squeezing the left-hand trigger slows the engine while simultaneously dropping the reverse bucket, effectively creating a braking effect without putting the VXR into a nosedive. Keep squeezing and the braking begins reversing.
The VXR has the biggest naturally aspirated engine Yamaha makes. The High Output (HO) engine is an 1812cc, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 16-valve motor.
The hull and deck of the VXR is built with Yamaha’s proprietary NanoXcel 2 construction process which produces a stronger, lighter watercraft with a superior finish.
1 year warranty.
Options to Consider
Optional accessories are available from Yamaha or third-party manufacturers. Accessories from Yamaha to consider include:
Yamaha WaveRunner Starter Kit
• Two U.S. Coast Guard Approved/UL Listed PFDs that are adjustable to fit most adults (sizes small to large)
• Nylon case for storage
• Whistle to clip on your PFD to meet requirements for a sound signaling device
• Easy-to-pack first aid kit
• Two black 10" (.25 m) personal watercraft fenders
• Two white 12’ (3.66 m) dock lines
• Available with Yamaha branding and without
Kwik Tek® Yamaha Dock Lines.
WaveRunner Handlebar Pack.
Yamaha soft side cooler.
Yamaha tube tow rope.
Yamaha Branded tow tube.
The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Yamaha VXR is $12,299.
Yamaha is well-known for their wide range of WaveRunner models and there is a lot to like throughout their model lineup for varying reasons, economy, budget, performance, and luxury. BoatTEST.com has tested virtually every WaveRunner model Yamaha has to offer.
The racing inspired Yamaha VXR has Yamaha’s most powerful naturally-aspirated engine, with a new top-loading intake grate and new performance inspired ride plate and seat design that makes this model hard to beat in its race class. We think it is an excellent value priced under $13,000 and its performance will not disappoint even the most experienced riders.