This is about as good as it gets in the Yamaha WaveRunner lineup with regards to performance. It's the GP1800R SVHO. The "R" stands for racing and the SVHO stands for Super Vortex High Output... the biggest and most powerful engine Yamaha makes.
Supercharged 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, Super Vortex High Output Yamaha Marine Engine
Supercharged 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, Super Vortex High Output Yamaha Marine Engine
Yamaha GP1800R SVHO: Yamaha’s Answer to the Adrenaline Rush
By Capt. Steve
This is about as good as it gets in the Yamaha WaveRunner lineup with regards to performance. It’s the GP1800R SVHO. The “R” stands for racing, and the SVHO stands for Super Vortex High Output… the biggest and most powerful engine Yamaha makes. Without a doubt, this machine isn’t for everyone. Beginners have many other choices in the lineup. But for the pure adrenaline junkies that can never get enough performance… well, now you have your chance. This is a pure racing machine and it’s won enough titles in the closed course racing circuit to prove it.
First off, it’s got killer looks. This is an all-new design for this model year and Yamaha’s given it a much more stylized look. There are clearly more design contours giving it a more modern look, ala Tranformers. Additionally, the center of gravity has been moved back and that subtle change has given it improved handling characteristics, from the hole shot to the top end speed and everywhere in between. She’s also built with Nano Xcell2 technology giving her a superior power to weight ratio.
This machine isn’t just about the speed, but nearly every feature either enhances performance or complements it. Let’s start with the handlebars. They were clearly inspired by the closed-course racing circuit. Naturally, there’s a tilt feature so feel free to customize the height for best comfort. Contoured grips are to both sides adding even more comfort. As usual, the trigger on the right ride controls the throttle. The one on the left is for RiDE.
With the engine running, give the left trigger one quick pull to put the GP1800R SVHO into neutral. Squeeze and hold it to put the machine into reverse. This is actually very intuitive and natural. And it works both at idle and at speed. On a flat out run, hold that left trigger to decelerate quickly, and there’s still active steering while decelerating. Keep holding it and the WaveRunner will then start to reverse. Or just turn the wheel to spin around and blast off in the opposite direction if desired. The real benefit of this is that both hands can remain in position on the handlebars throughout the maneuvers.
Speaking of maneuverability, the GP1800R SVHO also has the trim TDE or Thrust Directional Enhancer. This is really only noticeable at low speed. It basically gives you more control at times of low thrust, and therefore at low speed. It will also add a little more thrust when backing the unit off a trailer.
This unit also has the Cruise/No Wake button. When operating at idle speed, press and hold this button until the three beeps sound. Now the unit is in No Wake mode. Now, the unit will hold that no-wake speed, about 1200 RPM, without having to keep a finger on the throttle trigger. This is a remarkably convenient feature as no-wake zones tend to go on and on. Now we can cruise through them while having our throttle hand free.
When at cruise speed, if this same button is pressed and held again, the same three beeps will occur. Now the unit is in Cruise mode. Squeeze the throttle trigger all the way and the speed at which the button was pressed will be maintained. Much easier than trying to hold a mid-range pull on that throttle trigger for a long time. It gets even better. A +/- rocker is in reach of the right thumb. That allows for incremental speed adjustments. To get back to regular running, just a quick release and squeeze of the throttle is all it takes.
Next is the 4.3” (10.92 cm) LCD Connext screen controlled by a touchpad right underneath the right side of the handlebar. This is an all-new feature for the GP series of WaveRunners. It provides all vital display functions, along with a security mode to prevent unauthorized use.
The LCD screen also allows control of the DRiVE features. This offers many user-adjustable enhancements to improve performance and dial it in for specific riders.
One of the more significant is the Auto Trim feature. This is an industry first and it's very cool. When auto trim is turned on, it improves launch and cornering control. Launch control will adjust the trim of the nozzle to give a more level acceleration for faster holeshots. Cornering control will also trim the nozzle so that the rider can put the bow down and dig into the corners a lot better. And it all happens automatically.
Additional GP Series Features
So much for technology. Now let’s get into the general features of the GP series of WaveRunners.
Sound System – this is an $800 option and very few come down the line without it. And why wouldn’t they? When financing, it works out to be about $4.00/month. That said, our test model was one of the ones delivered without that option. Just to the left, and under the handlebars, is a space where the audio control touchpad would go that allows for total control of the system… from volume adjustments to changing songs and everything in between. There are also installed speakers that go right alongside the hull and into the footwell seamlessly integrating into space much like the mirrors do.
And those speakers are kind of a big deal. They're 4.5” (11.43 cm) and connected to a 2-channel (50-watts per channel) amplifier. Naturally, it includes Bluetooth connectivity so we can play music off of a Smartphone. The sound system even includes a low-voltage regulator to protect the battery. Even though it wasn’t installed on our test model, it was installed on other units we were exposed to and the sound is outstanding.
Locking Mounts – just forward of the handlebars there are mounting positions for adding a host of accessories such as beverage holders or phone holders.
Storage – There are 28.4 gallons (107.51 L) of total storage in three compartments and frankly, the center one is huge. It goes considerably deep, down into the hull structure in fact. So on previous models where we were limited to putting so much into the forward storage that wouldn’t fit in the center compartment, now we can pack much more into the more easily accessible center compartment.
Powerplant – The GP1800R SVHO is powered by the biggest engine that Yamaha makes. It does a fine job with the much heavier boats, so it’s more than capable here. We’re talking about the 1.8-liter supercharged, super vortex, inter-cooled engine and combined with the nano XL2 technology there's an impressive power to weight ratio going on here.
Performance Enhancements – A couple of additional features for the performance-minded will be attention-getters. There are new race-inspired sponsons for improved capacity to carve into the turns. A new design to the intake grate allows a larger volume of water to be injected into the upgraded jet pump. This, along with the auto-trim, significantly improves the holeshots, top-end performance, and most important… it practically eliminates cavitation in choppy conditions.
Comfort Enactments – The GP series of WaveRunners also includes some of the upscale features we’ve come to appreciate from Yamaha. There’s the scalloped seat, the wider aft deck with the nonskid matting, a spring reboarding step. and improved tow ring, just to name a few.
The GP1800R SVHO has a length overall of 131.9” (335.03 cm), can carry from one to three people, has a dry weight of 772 lbs. (350.17 kg) and holds 18.5 gallons (70.03 L) of fuel.
As stated before, this model is the same used in the racing circuit having virtually won every major world, national and endurance racing title last year and is ready for racing right off the showroom floor. It has deeper, wider and self-draining footwells and improved rider ergonomics than before. It’s also got a new muscular appearance that goes well with her performance. The center of gravity is been moved aft so she is much more responsive for this model year and it’s exciting to drive with blistering speeds up to 69 MPH and the ability to cling to the water in turns.
While it’s also fun for more docile riding and cruising, it's not for beginners but for intermediate to advanced riders. Frankly, it's hard to keep your heart from beating out of your chest as the throttle trigger squeezed. For those looking for the same hull design, but with a little less kick in the giddy-up… take a look at either the GP 1800 HO, which is the same unit with the naturally aspirated engine, or the VX series built on the same hull design and platform.