Videos: What a Difference a Turbo Makes; 310R vs. FZR SVHO


In case you weren’t aware, we’re living in the middle of a horsepower war. Kawasaki was first to come out of the gate swinging, punching out 250 ponies back in 2007. Next was 260 and a square 300 horsepower in 2011. In 2014, Team Green dove into the 300’s 1,496cc supercharged engine and dramatically improved internal oiling capacity, opening up water journals and dropping intake charge temperatures via a new composite air intake and separate intercooler water passage. The result was an added 10-horsepower as well as greater efficiency.

Likewise, 2014 was a big year for Yamaha with the introduction of the Super Vortex High Output performance package. Similarly, Yamaha greatly improved their SHO plant by increasing cooling capacity, redesigning lightweight pistons, increasing the supercharger’s volume and upping boost pressures. Dropping internal temperatures, increasing boost upped the newly coined Yamaha to a dyno tested 260 ponies. Not exactly the sky-high output of the Kawasaki, but well enough to get the jump on the brand’s rival, Sea-Doo.

When compared side-by-side, the two are impressively (although not altogether equally) matched. Below we’re going to show the difference aftermarket parts make on some already impressively-powered PWC. In our first video, the 310R has already been modded with a reflashed ECU and a few “other goodies” primarily consisting of a prop, intake grate, ride plate, etc. from R&D Racing. The FZR, on the other hand is complete stock. As per JayJayPie’s own description, “If you pause the video at 35.5 seconds, you will see how far behind the FZR is (as it should be).”

A short while later, the SVHO has been radically improved. Now equipped with a R&D Turbo Package, the 310R with its R2 reflash a stock supercharger is handily beaten. Although both skis “pretty much have the same upgrades” (again, a prop, intake grate, ride plate, etc. all from R&D), the FZR pulls away from the green-and-black 310R. Filmed on California’s Modesto Reservoir, the FZR topped out at 85.4mph, well ahead of the tweaked Kawasaki. JayJayPie does admit that, “I said in the video that my 310R had the turbo as well. [I] didn’t mean to say that. However, an R&D Turbo will be installed in the near future!

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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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