Were Roger Penske willing to sell you a ALMS-spec Porsche for less than what it would take for you to build one, would you even blink an eye? That is the argument for Dean’s Team new Limited Edition WaveRunner GP1800RS. Built to exacting specifications, thereby earning its “RS” RaceSpec moniker, every RS is hand-built, tested and fine-tuned by the same hands that have assembled the same skis to rack up dozens of World Titles; including, as Dean Charrier wrote, “the last three years of IJSBA Pro Runabout Stock, the 2015 P1 AquaX Team of the Year with wins in the 200 and 300 classes, wins at the HydroDrag World Championships in Stock, Spec, and SuperStock classes, and many more.”
Only now have many who bemoaned the replacement of the FZ Series Yamahas with the new GP1800 WaveRunners started to come around, particularly through the efforts of Dean’s Team, as well as RIVA Racing and Greenhulk.net. Only yesterday did The Watercraft Journal report that a box stock GP1800 was capable of a staggering 79.2mph with only the aid of an ECU reflash. The GP1800RS sprints comfortably to 82-to-83mph in its closed course arrangement, and when pressed and slightly tweaked, can reach a maximum 84mph. “When we loosen it up for top speed, it gets upwards of 85 mph,” Dean told The Watercraft Journal, with all testing done locally in Orlando, FL.
Again, that is in IJSBA Stock Class trimming, as well as compliant with AquaX Pro Enduro regulations. As Dean continued, “[It’s] the perfect set up for someone who wants to be the fastest on their lake or the fastest around buoys,” continuing, “[When] set up for closed course racing it has great acceleration like the skis we won the World Finals on.” Until recently, Charrier and his Dean’s Team ECU reflash was a well-kept secret. Charrier’s relationship with Yamaha proffered the tuner exclusive access to not only early GP1800 prototypes (confessing, “We’ve had the GP1800 for over a year now and have been developing and tuning longer than anyone for it.”), but also access to sensitive engine mapping software.
Coupled with a uniquely repitched Single Prop, every GP1800RS is tuned and tested to Dean’s specs and standards. Of course, much more is included in the RS than just a custom Dean’s Team Reflash and Repitched Prop; but also includes a custom aluminum Worx steering neck and 32-inch race bars with ODI Ruffian Grips, Worx air intake and filter, a custom-shaped intake grate, a Worx ride plate and special, adjustable “Billet Insert Edition” sponsons, RIVA Racing water strainer, a custom-stitched, grippy Jettrim seat cover with contrasting-colored stitching to match the corresponding red or blue Yamaha, and a unique Dean’s Team GP1800RS vinyl graphics kit to match.
As per our initial review of the factory GP1800 for 2017, the new WaveRunner shines brightest when pushed through the corners. Lightweight and precise, the stock GP handles like a slot car, and the Dean’s Team RaceSpec configuration only magnifies that. The added traction provided by the sponsons, grate and ride plate, combined with the improvements to rider comfort and input thanks to the new steering system and seat, all make for a machine that is all but unmatched on the water. Although Charrier didn’t disclose a cut-off number, the GP1800RS will be a limited edition machine sold for $17,800 – and a quick breakdown of the MSRP of the craft, all of the parts and labor shows that at that cost, you’re paying less than retail.
Even if you’re not pursuing a career in racing, but just looking to get your hands on a race-ready machine that is sure to upset everybody else on your lake, the Dean’s Team GP1800RS (RaceSpec) looks to be the perfect weapon to bring to that fight. But if you are chasing podium finishes, we can’t think of a better watercraft package available on the market today.