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These small-hulled craft are driven by a jet-propulsion system and have a seat that you sit on like when riding a horse and an open stern that makes for easy mounting and dismounting on the water. These marine sport watercraft loved by people all over the world today were introduced by Yamaha in 1986 for the first time in the world. To this new type of watercraft that have no protruding parts on the bottom of the hull and are easily righted and ridden again should they happen to capsize, Yamaha applied its famous small-engine technology to make vehicles that are truly reliable, fun and functional. With its capability to run freely across great expanses of water, Yamaha named its revolutionary invention the WaveRunner, and it became a big hit product that let people experience a refreshingly exciting and fun form of sound marine recreation anyone can enjoy. Since their release, these WaveRunners have been continually refined and their popularity has spread to the point where they are now used in over 120 countries worldwide. Here is an outline of their history.
WaveRunner 500 (Marine Jet 500T)
Yamaha released the WaveRunner 500 (Marine Jet 500T), the world's first sit-down type open stern production PWC. This is the model that created today's PWC market. As an agile craft that many people could enjoy with a sense of assurance, it sent shockwaves through the small watercraft industry.
WaveJammer 500 (Marine Jet 500S)
The WaveJammer 500 (Marine Jet 500S) debuted as the world’s first sit-down type solo riding PWC. The combination of a fixed steering column and small hull made this an extremely agile model. Its concept would later be carried on by the WaveBlaster models.
WaveRunner III 650 (Marine Jet 650TL)
The WaveRunner III 650 (Marine Jet 650TL) was released as the world’s first 3-passenger PWC, featuring a larger hull and high-performance engine. With truly pleasurable running performance and great stability, it started a new rage and became the predecessor of the later family models. It became a standard that is still seen on the water today. Its reverse drive was also a first.
Super Jet 650
With the SuperJet 650, Yamaha made itself a presence in the stand-up model category.
The great balance of this model quickly spread the Super Jet name around the world, making the stand-up models accessible to more people.
WaveRunner VXR650 (Marine Jet 650TX)
The WaveRunner VXR650 (Marine Jet 650TX) was released as the deluxe model of Yamaha's tandem series. While the same size as the initial WaveRunners, the adoption of a new concave hull design gave it sharper turning with reduced slipping.
WaveBlaster 700 (Marine Jet 700TZ)
The WaveBlaster 700 (Marine Jet 700TZ) made its debut. With a motorcycle-like ride that let riders enjoy sharply banked turns, combined with its powerful engine, this model won the hearts of sports-minded riders. At the races it dominated the sport class competition. This is a model that still has many devoted fans today.
WaveRaider 700 (Marine Jet 700RA)
The WaveRaider 700 (Marine Jet 700RA) was released. PWCs entered a new era of speed racing, and runabout type models with "V" hulls became the standard.
In the same year, Yamaha also released the FX1 stand-up model.
WaveVenture 700 (Marine Jet 700VN)
The full-sized 3-seater model WaveVenture 700 (Marine Jet 700VN) debuted. Because this was a model that beginners could ride with assurance even in fairly rough waters, it became a hit at beaches with PWC rentals. This year the WaveRaider was also upgraded with a 1100cc engine for the increasingly high-speed PWC scene.
To help more people enjoy the fun of riding a PWC aggressively, the WaveBlaster II was released with a powerful 760cc engine and a hull designed for even greater stability.
The SuperJet was also upgraded with a 700cc engine.
WaveRunner GP 1200
The GP1200 was released as a runabout model with awesome performance. With the most powerful engine in the industry and a compact body designed for great agility, this model stole the hearts of riders who loved real speed riding.
WaveRunner XL 1200
The XL1200 debuted as Yamaha’s top model in the full-sized 3-seater category. It won popularity for its unbeatable combination of a powerful engine, a hull that delivered both great running performance and stability and contemporary styling. This model expanded the world of PWC sports to include touring, towing sports and family riding.
WaveRunner SUV 1200
WaveRunner XL 1200 Ltd.
The SUV1200 debuted as the world’s first 4-passenger PWC. With stability like no PWC before it and handling freedom that belied its size, this model became an industry legend. It further expanded the world of PWC enjoyment to long-distance touring.
This same year, Yamaha also introduced the XL1200 Ltd. powered by the industry’s highest horsepower engine at 155 hp.
WaveRunner GP 1200R
The GP1200R debuted with a 155 hp engine and newly designed hull and body. Its unsurpassed running performance and gorgeous design won it the crown as leader of the muscle craft. It quickly became the must-have machine for the performance-oriented rider.
WaveRunner XLT 1200
The XLT1200 debuted as a re-designed version of the XL1200 Ltd. with a completely new front look. This was a model that made many performance-minded customers look to the 3-seater category for the first time.
The FX140 was released as the world’s first 4-stroke engine PWC. Its smooth engine feeling, clean exhaust and great fuel economy revolutionized the world of PWCs. It also became popular for its new hull design that provides good stability even on rougher waters.
WaveRunner GP 1300R
Raising the displacement of the highly-acclaimed 1200cc engine and adding fuel injection and a high-performance catalytic converter, Yamaha introduced the GP1300R as a revolutionary muscle craft that offered both performance and environmental friendliness. This model made Yamaha the leader in environment-friendly models in both 2- and 4-stroke PWCs. An FX Cruiser version of the FX140 with hip-support seats was also introduced.
WaveRunner FX Cruiser High Output
The FX High Output and FX Cruiser High Output appeared with higher performance 4-stroke engines. With these models the much talked about 4-stroke models entered the high-performance arena. Yamaha 4-stroke models are now praised throughout the industry for their smooth-running engines, great reliability and outstanding hull performance.
WaveRunner VX Deluxe
The VX Sport and VX Deluxe are released with the aim of getting more customers to experience the wonderful performance of 4-stroke engine models by offering an irresistible combination of high quality and an affordable price. The engine is a masterpiece of engineering based on the proven high-performance 4-cylinder engine used on the FX High Output models. Combined with a new-design hull, this model opens new horizons for the PWC.
WaveRunner FX Cruiser High Output
WaveRunner VX 700
The flagship model FX Cruiser High Output appears with improvements that further heighten its unique cruiser concept and a boldly impressive new colored hull. A number of new features like the sporty analog meter panel accentuate the new world of cruising pleasure this model offers the rider.
Also, as the successor to the popular XL700 that has been the craft of choice at PWC rental operations around the world, Yamaha presents the new model VX700. Mounting the proven, highly durable Yamaha 700 cc 2-stroke engine on VX hull, known for its exciting handling, this model sets a new standard in the entry-level model category.
WaveRunner VX Cruiser
To the worldwide best-selling VX series we add the new model VX Cruiser with a newly developed "Cruiser Seat." The excellent sense of fit that the riding position of the seat provides makes it possible to experience the fine handling performance of the VX hull even more fully.
WaveRunner FX Cruiser SHO
Yamaha's flagship combines a 1.8 liter supercharged engine that is compact and yet the largest in the industry with a NanoXcel SMC body that is 25% lighter than earlier SMC hulls to carve out a new age of WaveRunner. It is loaded with electronic control functions such as cruise assist to aggressively add extra value as a cruiser model.
The SuperJet reigns as the byword for stand-up models. Yamaha has added a brand new hull with one aim—to give you the potential to win. This new high-performance hull reflects the ideal shape that top riders desire for sharp turns and neutral handling.
WaveRunner FX High Output
Yamaha invented the light, smooth-turning hull for the pursuit of sports riding. We coupled it with a 1.8 liter Supercharged engine to increase the excitement of riders on the water. Then we took stand-up riding position concepts and added revolutionary telescopic steering.
This model has a 1.8 liter Naturally Aspirated Engine. The large engine displacement creates superb high performance output with unmatched acceleration. At the same time, it achieves remarkable environmental performance with clean emission and low fuel-consumption. The FX High Output points the way to the future of PWCs.
WaveRunner VX Sport
The world's best-selling PWC since their debut in 2005, VX Series has been renewed for 2010. Yamaha has kept the industry's best fuel efficiency and the quality, and upgraded its premium look with newly designed deck and black hull. The VX Sport is the best machine to simply enjoy riding with excellent cost performance.
The VXR was first released using a VX hull which utilized the ultra lightweight material "NanoXcel" and was powered by a 1.8L High Output Engine. Out of all existing runabout models, the VXR laid claim to the lightest body in the industry.
This new package refines the speed and agility of the model even further. With the new VXR, riders are reminded of the true nature of sports riding.
WaveRunner FX Cruiser SHO
WaveRunner FX Cruiser HO
The FX Cruiser SHO and FX Cruiser HO now come with an all-new body lineup. The remarkably lightweight and longer NanoXcel hull offers better handling and is able to deliver the most stable ride so far, while the instantly activated mechanical neutral enables the craft to start in place and move easily around built up areas. The craft’s Theater-Style Cruiser Seat is an invitation to a flawless 3 – passenger luxury riding experience.
The industry’s only 2 stroke runabout model with its 701cc engine is now the VX700S, with a VAR-MAX body. This significantly lighter body with revised weight balance has also achieved further improvements in agility, turning and acceleration performance.