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Brief Summary

The Yamaha FX series of WaveRunners is by far the company’s best-selling thanks to its combination of luxury and performance. With five models in the lineup, the choices range from comfort and value to race performance matched with luxury. Now the line has been enhanced with new technology at the operator’s station, factory-installed speakers and improved handling.

Captain's Report

Yamaha’s FX Series of WaveRunners are the company’s best-selling by far.  And for a good reason. 

Captain’s Report by Capt. Steve.

Mission

We met with Winona Mack, Yamaha’s Digital Marketing Specialist, who describes the FX series as based around increasing levels of luxury and performance.  It starts with the FX HO, which she says combines comfort and value.  The FX Cruiser HO increases the comfort for distance cruising while adding some technology.  The FX SVHO ups the ante on performance and brings race-inspired features to the table.  The FX Cruiser SVHO adds luxury to that performance machine.  The FX Limited SVHO is the culmination of everything Yamaha offers all rolled into one glorious luxury-performance watercraft that will have everyone drooling.  As Winona puts it, it’s “the best of the best!”

Major Features (Including Distinguishing Features)

  • Enhanced infotainment system provides audio controls, phone and text notifications and GPS-ready mapping in addition to enhanced DRiVE Control function.
  • Premium, factory-installed audio speakers come standard on FX Limited SVHO models. Optional on all other FX Series models.
  • New, larger glovebox with a smartphone holder, 12V outlet, USB and LED lighting.
  • Enhanced DRiVE Control limits top speed, sets acceleration modes and controls Auto Trim for performance or comfort riding.
  • New steering column design includes sleeker handlebars, one-button start/stop, and two tie-up points.
  • New ride plate design and sponson location reduce hull packing and bow spray.

FX Limited SVHO

  • The flagship of the FX Series.
  • Comes standard with an Accessory package that includes a Single-Rider Tube, Tube Inflator, Tube Holder, Tow Rope, Soft Sided Cooler, 12V Outlet, Matching Cover and two Fenders.
  • Features an Accessory Tech Package that includes two factory-installed speakers, Garmin Striker GPS Fish Finder with Transducer and RAM Mount Hardware.
  • Powered by supercharged Yamaha SVHO Marine Engine.
  • Color 7" (17.78 cm) GPS-ready Connext touchscreen instrumentation.
  • Comes with Yamaha's premium Cruiser three-tier seat.
  • Advanced graphics package.

FX SVHO/FX Cruiser SVHO

  • Full-featured luxury-performance WaveRunners.
  • Powered by supercharged Yamaha SVHO Marine Engine.
  • Features Yamaha's RiDE dual throttle system.
  • Comes standard with a RAM Multi-Mount System (accessories not included).
  • Color 7" (17.78 cm) GPS-ready Connext touchscreen instrumentation.
  • Comes with Yamaha's premium Cruiser three-tiered seat or premium bench seat.
  • Metallic paint and advanced graphics package.

FX HO/FX Cruiser HO

  • Full-featured luxury-performance WaveRunners.
  • Powered by normally-aspirated Yamaha HO Marine Engine.
  • Features Yamaha's RiDE dual throttle system.
  • Comes standard with a RAM Multi-Mount System (accessories not included).
  • Color 5" (12.7 cm) GPS-ready touchscreen instrumentation.
  • Comes with Yamaha's premium Cruiser three-tiered seat or premium bench seat.
  • Metallic paint and advanced graphics package.

Engines

The SVHO models are powered by Yamaha's Supercharged, Super Vortex, High-Output 1.8L Marine Engine, while the HO models are powered by Yamaha's 1.8L normally-aspirated High-Output motor. Both engines are made by Yamaha and they're renowned for their performance, reliability and durability.

Technology

The improvements to the FX series start with technology. Depending on the model chosen, there’s both a 5” (17.7 cm) and a 7” (17.78 cm) screen size available.  Even with the smaller version, it’s bigger than what was previously available, and both have the same features.  Let’s go over them. 

The main screen shows speed, RPM, fuel level, trim, time of day, gear and much more.  Icons at the top go to different pages. 

  • Audio Controls. With your phone tucked away in the watertight compartment, it only made sense to bring the controllability outside the compartment.  So right from the screen, we can scroll through our music library, pause, rewind, fast-forward…etc. 

The music controls allow for scrolling through a music library and then full control through each song. 

  • GPS Ready Mapping. We all know the benefits of having a GPS at your fingertips.  So there’s little reason to ask why we need one on a WaveRunner.  The simple answer is because we can.  So what does this one bring to the screen?  A lot actually.  In addition to the usual features like breadcrumbs and waypoints, this one also adds geofencing.  Create a circle around an area and if the WaveRunner (read “your 15 yr old”) strays outside of it, an alarm sounds to warn that it’s time to turn around. 
  • Enhanced DRiVE control functions.  Since the operation of the FX WaveRunners is fly-by-wire it’s a simple matter of controlling the zero’s and one’s that those wires carry.  In this case, the operator to set and save different trim modes for performance or comfort, set top speed limits, and designate preferred acceleration curves.
  • Phone and Text Notifications.  Since we’re connecting to the smartphone via Bluetooth for audio controls, it only makes sense to add the phone functionality.  Not only can we now get phone and text notifications on the screen, but we can also use the Voice Assistant to make phone calls using the VoiceCommand button and integrated microphone conveniently positioned just below, and to the left of, the steering column. 

Once the phone is paired, go to the settings page to enable calls and texts. 

Lifestyle Additions

  • Factory Installed Speakers.  Now all those audio controls we were just talking about tie right into the option of 4.5” (11.43 cm) factory-installed speakers. They’re connected to a 2-channel amplifier and they seamlessly integrate into the unit right at the front of the footwells.   

Speakers that drop into the beverage holders are an option, but these factory-installed models are a far better way to go. 

  • Handlebar Tie Downs.  Since everybody ties their WaveRunner to a fixed dock by securing a line to the handlebars, Yamaha finally stepped up and added tie-down rings to the handlebars.   

Handlebar tie-downs were a long-overdue item and it’s a sure bet we’ll see them in competitors' models after this. 

  • Glove Storage. The most convenient go-to storage on the WaveRunner is now bigger and includes a dedicated spot for the cellphone.  There's also USB connectivity and a 12-Volt plug plus LED lighting inside. 
  • RiDE Technology. This probably should have gone into the technology section but it’s been around for a long time and it’s made life easier for everyone.  RiDE allows for using the left trigger for stopping and reversing and it’s remarkably intuitive.   Right trigger means go, left trigger means stop or back up.  That’s it.
  • Cruise/No Wake Modes.  Press this button, listen for three beeps and you're in cruise/no wake mode, depending on the speed at which it was pressed.  Now press the up/down rocker to incrementally increase/decrease speed without having to hold the trigger and have your index finger go numb. 

The Cruise/No Wake button will become anyone’s favorite when making long runs either at speed or meandering through a channel. 

  • Removable Storage. Under the seat is a carryout storage bin. It’s just another part of the 44.5-gallon (168.45 L) total storage total on this unit.
  • Better Handling. The sponsons have been moved forward 50 millimeters for a more comfortable ride and less bow spray.
  • Fit and finish. There’s no denying that Yamaha WaveRunners are just awesome-looking machines. They have quality craftsmanship and stunning overall styling.  And thanks to their closed molded manufacturing process, each WaveRunner combines symmetry, balance and sleek flow to the curves and design styling. 

Aside from all that, these machines are just flat-out fun to drive.  They have excellent ergonomics that make them comfortable to be on for the long haul whether riding alone, two-up or three up.  They are also remarkably stable to those cranking and banking maneuvers, so they never feel unsafe.   They are designed so that the knees and arms can lock into the machine and really allow the rider to become part of the ride.  And with so much storage, one can even pack a lunch, cruise to a remote hidey-hole and relax under a shade tree for the afternoon. 

When it’s time to let loose, the FX is more than up to the task.  The more the rider dishes out, the more the FX can take. 

Options to Consider

  • FX RecDec $999.99
  • FX RedDec Multi-Use Rack $599.99
  • FX Premium JetFish Package $1,199.99
  • FX JetFish Package $499.99
  • FX Lounge and Beach Package $499.99
  • FX RecDec Towsports Package $199.99
  • Under Hatch Storage $59.99
  • Glovebox Organizers $49.99
  • FX Stern Storage $369.99
  • FX EXOXGEAR Bluetooth Speakers $399.99
  • Integrated Audio System $800

Price Range

  • FX HO $14,299
  • FX Cruiser HO $14,799
  • FX SVHO $16,799
  • FX Cruiser SVHO $17,499
  • FX Limited SVHO $19,099

Observations

For years now, the FX series has been the pinnacle of everything that Yamaha has to offer in terms of performance, handling and comfort all rolled into one stylish WaveRunner.  With five levels to choose from, it’s no wonder that it’s the bestselling line for the company.  Now, with the RecDec accessories, the FX models offer fishing, tubing, wakeboarding, freestyling, open water riding and even extended cruising.


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