The Presidential Suite: 2017 Yamaha FX Limited SVHO WaveRunner (Videos)


What if you could check every box, order every option and add every accessory that a manufacturer had available all on to one personal watercraft? One would think it 1. impossible and 2. extraordinarily expensive, right? That is pretty much what we thought and we were wrong. Two years ago, Yamaha Motor Corp. introduced the VX Limited WaveRunner, a specially-optioned 125-horsepower, TR-1 powered three-seater in Torch Red Metallic and white accents. The VX itself included some nice touches like raised chrome badging, spring-loaded drop-in cleats and Yamaha’s Cruise Assist and No Wake Modes. On its own, the VX Limited was a fine entry in the brand’s middle segment, but what set it apart was its included avalanche of accessories.

On the machine itself, the VX Limited includes a folding reboarding step, a 12-volt socket in the glove box (although ideal for charging a cell phone, GPS or VHF radio), the plug was incorporated to power an electric air pump – an air pump to inflate a specially-made one-passenger towable raft and tow rope (all color matched to the Limited), a special rope bag that attaches to the helm, a dry bag, a special edition ski cover with a zipper access door to the glove box, and a hard case solar panel that powers a battery tender as the Limited is parked alongside or behind the house. Best of all, the combined retail value of the accessories added to a similarly-equipped VX literally was half the cost than what it would be to purchase everything individually.

As expected, the 2016 VX Limited was a hit, selling every unit produced. In fact, the success of the package resonated so loudly that executives at Yamaha pushed to apply the same tactic towards its full-sized runabout, the FX. Yet, unlike the entry-point friendly VX, the FX unit slated for the Limited package was the supercharged-and-intercooled Super Vortex High Output 1,812cc four-stroke, 4-cylinder FX Cruiser SVHO. The unit itself was already the brand’s highest-priced, highest-optioned machine, and the Limited package pushes the envelope even further. Bathed in an absolutely mesmerizing Yacht Blue Metallic and white livery, the new-for-2017 FX Limited SVHO is as equipped as one can imagine, and yet, strikes a very unique chord despite being considered little more than an accessory group package.

Regarding the king’s ransom of additions and add-ons, the accessories attached to the FX Limited SVHO are little different from the similarly-equipped VX Limited; the ropes, ski covers and one-passenger raft are all color matched to their respective machines. Only the addition of a waterproof phone case the only addition. We found that pretty much everything but the rigid-case solar panel can be stored on the runabout itself; the raft tucks neatly into the vinyl bag attached to the stern, the inflator fits within the glovebox or front stowage, and the tow rope coils nicely in the rear “wet storage” bin. Even the ski cover can wedge into the front bin when properly motivated. On the ski itself, the battery tender and 12-volt socket are identical, as are the drop-in cleats and the chrome “Yamaha” emblems on the rearmost rails. The graphics package are unique to the FX Limited, with futuristic script running the length of the hood, fairings and deck.

Likewise, gone are the traditional grooved traction mats, this time replaced with custom CNC-cut two-tone carpets. Equally, the scalloped, tiered auditorium-style two-piece Cruiser bench seat is wrapped in a top-of-the-line quality-stitched material. Other niceties are standard on the FX Cruiser SVHO but worth noting like electric trim control, pistol-style hand grips, Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode, an upgraded Multifunction Information Center LCD dash (with an analog gauge), drop-in cup holders for the glove box, and an upgraded true tow-eye hook. Recently, Yamaha engineers went about finessing its dual throttle brake and reverse system, RiDE by adding what they call “Traction Control.” Sensing cavitation when reserving too aggressively, the fly-by-wire system will dial back allowing to maintain smooth operation.

As a SVHO-equipped FX, the Limited is built using Yamaha’s NanoXcel2 lightweight materials, shaving the full-sized, 11-foot, 8-inch runabout’s total curb weight to a svelte 836-pounds. Add to that a 18.5 gallon fuel capacity, and 33.2 gallons of storage (a large portion of that being sealed watertight storage), and the FX Limited SVHO is sure to impress. Yet, if that doesn’t wow them, the power and performance of the SVHO certainly will. Top speeds tickle 69 miles per hour, with 0-to-60mph acceleration times at 4.9-seconds. While we wished the wide saddle pinched far more narrow at the knees, the long neck and lowest setting of the 5-point tilt steering places the handle bars comfortably in the driver’s reach.

Riding the FX Limited SVHO by itself, it’s quick to forget all of the accessories it comes with. Throttle response is immediate, rising effortlessly to plane – its 160mm pump biting the water with deft accuracy. On glass, the stepped hull feels flatter than it truly is, as rider input can push and wag the FX when coaxed. Yet, when asked of it, the FX Limited SVHO can lean in hard, and snap a turn like a runabout half its size. Professional racers have demonstrated that the FX hull can aptly tackle the brutality of offshore conditions at speed as well as carving a serpentine along shoreline of your favorite riding spot.

In our experience, towing with a performance-bred supercharged watercraft can be far more tricky than a naturally-aspirated one, as the onset of acceleration can jostle the rider(s) aboard a raft, or yank the arms of a wakeboarder. Gratefully, the torque curve of Yamaha’s SVHO is nowhere near as “punchy” as say, a Kawasaki Ultra 310X, so towing with the SVHO required slightly less feathering. That being said, we can imagine a “tow mode” similar to what Sea-Doo’s Wake models offer as being beneficial for a runabout targeting the towing market. Nevertheless, with all that the 2017 FX Limited SVHO WaveRunner offers, it’s amazing the machine isn’t priced above its $16,899 price tag. For being the brand’s highest ticket item, it doesn’t feel bloated, weighted down with unnecessary frills or otherwise encumbered; rather it remains lean, purposeful and precise, just the way we like it.

The Watercraft Journal's Kevin Shaw Takes on the Yamaha FX Lim…

Kevin Shaw from The Watercraft Journal doing his thing on this aquatic playground while taking the #Yamaha FX Limited SVHO out for a spin. Check out https://www.yamahawaverunners.com/fx-series/fx-limited-svho/

Posted by Yamaha WaveRunners on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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