Gallery: RIVA Racing 2017 Yamaha GP1800R Limited Edition


“Last year’s [FZR] RIVA Racing Limited Edition was a big success,” RIVA Racing’s Dave Bamdas began. “Besides selling every one of the short 25 unit run, we also had a lot of customers inquiring about many of the parts developed for it.” The Limited Edition FZR Bamdas described was the first inaugural “RIVA Edition” Yamaha, first revealed here on The Watercraft Journal, and then exclusively test ridden only a few short months later. “The Limited Edition FZR 350,” as we stated, “is brutally precise, almost punishing anyone daring enough to mount it. The cornering force produced by this FZR on the human body will peel anyone less than a professional athlete from the grip of the Velcro-like seat.”

“It was built for a small percentage of true performance enthusiasts,” Bamdas teased. “It’s definitely not for the common rider.” True to that, the dyno-proven 350-horsepower Yamaha Super Vortex High Output engine was only mildly reworked, regulating much of its alterations to strictly bolt-on pieces. “It doesn’t need it,” Bamdas continued. “We can achieve significant performance gains with an ECU tune, an intercooler and some other non-invasive bolt-ons. Not only is it more than most riders can handle, but there’s that comfort of knowing the engine hasn’t been messed it. It’s a win-win.”


With the announcement that Yamaha’s new-for-2017 GP1800 will replace the FZ series, what does that spell for the Limited Edition? “We were very excited to learn about the return of the GP name, and very happy to find much of our current products worked on the SVHO engine within the VX platform.” As noted in The Watercraft Journal’s extensive reveal of the complete 2017 WaveRunner lineup, the new GP1800 rides on the durable-yet-lightweight NanoXcel2 hull and deck, putting the GP nearly 20-pounds below the existing VXR. “Of course, we had to develop several key components that are unique to the GP1800.”

In addition to a bevy of performance and handling additions to the Limited Edition units, RIVA sends out nearly two dozen components to be anodized and powder coated to match the custom orange/white/blue paint scheme. And adding to the overall aesthetic, RIVA took great efforts to carefully recreate the factory graphics kit that would match both the styling and lettering of the original GP1800 graphics, making the package look like it came from the factory floor this way. Even going so far as to include orange stitching in the custom seat cover.


As with last year’s Limited Edition FZR, this year’s RIVA Racing Limited Edition GP1800R will also see a short production run of 25 hand-built GP1800s modified with a venerable who’s who of RIVA go-fast parts. Central to the GPR’s big horsepower gain is the use of a RIVA Stage 2 ECU Reflash, a RIVA SVHO Power Cooler Kit, a life-saving RIVA/HKS SSQV Blow-Off Valve, an all-new RIVA GP1800 Power Filter Kit, a RIVA Engine Breather Upgrade Kit 1.8L, RIVA’s stellar SVHO Intake Manifold Upgrade Kit, a RIVA Valve Retainer Upgrade Kit, which can be considered the only “invasive” mod on the whole build, a RIVA Pro Series Engine Cooling Upgrade Kit, a RIVA SVHO Supercharger Shaft Upgrade Kit, and a RIVA High Flow Billet Fuel Rail.

Helping the big 1.8-liter breathe a little easier is a RIVA GP1800 Rear Exhaust Kit funneling the spent gases out of the transom, a entirely new RIVA GP1800 Performance Ride Plate, Stainless Intake Grate, RIVA GP1800 Pump Seal Kit and RIVA Pro Series GP1800 Sponsons (with the sponsons’ 5-position billet inserts having also been anodized orange), all of which were specifically designed for the new GP1800 model this year. A Solas 160mm Concord 13/20 Impeller was also uniquely designed for this application, helping transfer all that horsepower into thrust.


For improved rider input, RIVA Racing includes an entirely new and unique RIVA GP1800 Pro-Series Steering System, including a billet aluminum base and neck. A RIVA Pro-Bar 32-inch Runabout Bar retains the factory controls including Yamaha’s electronic trim control and RiDE braking and reverse system. The steering package is capped off with a pair of ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips. Finishing out the GPR’s new look and feel is a RIVA Limited Edition Rear Traction Mat, a RIVA Limited Edition Seat Cover and of course, the aforementioned RIVA Limited Edition Graphics Package.

While pricing has yet to be revealed, scarcity is already guaranteed as again, only 25 of these will be built in 2017. And if its performance you’re looking for, the GP1800R clicks off an impressive 80mph (sustained) at 8,300rpm. Again, the GP hull was designed for optimal handling in corners, so pushing this machine to a solid (and safe!) 80mph at 8,300rpm is a feat. Undoubtedly, The Watercraft Journal will be the first media outlet to get its hands on one of RIVA’s Limited Edition GP1800Rs, and we’ll have a comprehensive review of it shortly thereafter. Until then, enjoy ogling these images below.

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – 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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