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Posted by on Aug 26, 2010 in Boat Reviews, Personal Watercraft, UK, US | 2 comments

2011 Yamaha VXR/VXS Revealed

Yamaha counters its personal watercraft competitors with high-performance 2011 models

The new Yamaha VXR and VXS WaveRunner models were introduced to dealers, along with the rest of the 2011 line, at a meeting in Atlanta on August 25. Using a classic high-performance formula, Yamaha has dropped a big engine in a little hull, specifically the 180-hp version of its 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine in a light-weight rendition of the VX-series hull, an econo-model previously powered by a 110-hp, 1.0-liter engine. The aim is to offer a high-performance model that takes enthusiast riders back in time, to the days when a fast PWC was smaller, lighter, and less expensive.

2011 Yamaha VXR

2011 Yamaha VXR

“We challenged ourselves to create a WaveRunner that could run out in front of the most high-performance watercraft on the market, and to do it at a price thousands less than anything else,” said Scott Watkins, Yamaha’s product development manager.  “We achieved it by matching our 1812cc engine, the largest displacement in the industry, with a lightweight compact platform.  By doing this, we didn’t need to rely on a supercharger or intercooler to meet the top end of our performance benchmarks, which helped keep the price low. ”

Pricing starts at $10,899 for the VXS, which has a traditional, stepped three-passenger seat and is only offered in Eclipse Black color. The VXR has a lower-profile, racing-style seat and metallic paint finish in blue or silver, and will cost $11,199. That’s about $2,000 less expensive than the sporty 2010 FZS models, which have a 230-hp supercharged version of the 1.8-liter engine.

A Yamaha spokesperson told me that the changes the company made to the 2010 VX models (see “PWC Expert: 2010 Yamaha VX Cruiser” ), including reshaping the deck and revisions to the pump intake area in the hull, were intended to accommodate the 1.8-liter engine in 2011. In the VXR/VXS, both the hull and deck are formed using Yamaha’s NanoXcel, a lightweight composite material developed for the FX and FZ series.  While Yamaha has not release an official weight spec for the VXR/VXS, one source is claiming the new models will have a dry weight of only 721 pounds. If that’s correct, the VXR/VXS will actually weigh less than the 736-pound VX models, despite coming loaded with 70 more horsepower. That’s possible in part because of the lighter composite, and because the 1.8-liter engine is more compact than the older 1.0 liter engine. One dealer who has had a chance to test the VXS on the water reports a top speed of more than 65 mph.

Other than some new colors, there are no other significant changes to the Yamaha WaveRunner line for 2011. And, as yet, I don’t have any information on the 2011 Yamaha sport boats.

Yamaha will make the VXS and VRX available for media testing in the next few weeks, and after I’ve had a chance to ride one I’ll be back with full details of features, specs and performance.

Charles Plueddeman is the PWC Expert.


  1. Good evening, I ecris you these some words because I would like to
    acquerir a jet-ski yamaha but I exite between vxr and fzr and fzs what
    difference has t it between them?
    I look for a jet general-purpose to go lakes riviere and possibilite sea 2
    has 3pers blue with walking(step) foot hook of towing these gadgets are
    possible on each of 3 jets, I thank you beforehand for your reponse which
    permetra can etre decider me, in more would like to know what differencie
    the fzr 2009 has that of the 2011? While waiting for your news(short
    stories) veuilez to accept my best regards such 0032496534327

  2. I recently purchase a new Vxs I have had several issues with it already. The ski takes a sudden nose dive and launches you off. This happens at various speeds. I check around and many people are having the same problem. Some one is going to get hurt