Get the Flash Player to see this player.Yamaha has made a significant technological leap in 2008 with its brand new FX Cruiser SHO—and people are taking notice.
Popular Science has chosen the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO for its ‘Best of What’s New’ award in the recreation category, and it’s not because of the beefed up engine and unique standard features–we’ll get to those later.
In fact, the most striking aspect of the FX Cruiser SHO isn’t even a moving part at all.
Yamaha’s new luxury cruiser is the first personal watercraft to incorporate nanotechnology into its manufacturing. Called NanoXcel, the new technology is featured in the vehicle’s hull, deck and liner. Each of those components is 25% lighter than what Yamaha used previously, providing what the company says is increased density and strength.
With the lighter components, riders will find the FX Cruiser SHO a swift and nimble ride, with improvements in performance and handling, acceleration, top speed and power-to-weight ratio.
As groundbreaking as the NanoXcel technology is, the FX Cruiser SHO’s engine is also worthy of some ooohs and aaahs. The machine comes equipped with the industry’s largest engine, a 1.8-liter, 1,812cc, supercharged, intercooled, super high output behemoth. According to Yamaha, it is 300ccs larger and 45 lbs lighter than the nearest competitive engine. This is also the only engine in the high-performance, 4-stroke category optimized to run on regular unleaded fuel.
"This is a brand new engine that has been specifically designed for watercraft application," Yamaha’s marine product manager Jean-Francois Rioux told PersonalWatercraft.com. "The turbine is gear-driven for compactness and to reduce the need for maintenance."
With its new lighter hull and impressive power plant, Yamaha claims the FX Cruiser SHO is quicker from 0 to 30 mph than a Corvette Z06.
Another first for the FX Cruiser SHO is Yamaha’s cruise assist–the industry’s only electronic throttle. This allows the driver to set and hold a particular engine speed without having to hold the throttle in the exact same spot. Once set, the driver can alter the engine speed in increments of 250 RPM at the push of a button.
To change the handling of the FX Cruiser SHO on the fly, Yamaha’s quick shift trim system offers an instant change in the attitude of the watercraft, allowing for tighter turns and quicker acceleration on the plane. The system provides 24 degrees of total trim range.
Once in a while we all find ourselves in a situation where backing up is the best option. With the FX Cruiser SHO’s reverse traction control, the vehicle will maintain optimal RPMs for maneuvering in reverse.
"When engaging the unit in reverse, if you hold the throttle wide open the computer will automatically control the engine speed for the best thrust without getting to the point where it reaches major cavitation where you’re going nowhere," says Rioux.
For those who are docked in no-wake speed zones, the FX Cruiser SHO comes equipped with no wake mode. This sets the engine at an optimal speed to avoid wake–approximately 5 mph.
With the touch of a button on the remote controlled transmitter, you can activate the digital Yamaha security system. While activated, the FX Cruiser SHO can’t be started. The remote can also control the low RPM mode, which cuts the top speed by about 30 per cent.
Yamaha provides foot chocks on the FX Cruiser SHO, which, when combined with the cruiser seat and handlebars, helps create a three-point contact system to reduce tension on the driver’s arms and legs.
Speaking of handlebars, Yamaha has included a four-step adjustable tilt steering system that allows the driver to adjust the steering column angle from 55 to 35 degrees. This comes in quite handy when you’ve got a couple of passengers behind you and you’re pressed up closer to the handlebars.
As with other WaveRunners, the FX Cruiser SHO comes equipped with features like slant detection switch (SDS) and off throttle steering (OTS). The SDS will cut the engine and oil pumps immediately if the watercraft becomes overturned. OTS comes into play when you release the throttle and attempt to steer while decelerating.
|FX Cruiser SHO Specs|
|Engine Type:||4-Cyllinder, 4-Stroke|
|Bore/Stroke:||86 x 78mm|
|Type of Exhaust:||Wet|
|Type of Lubrication:||Wet Sump|
|Carburetor/Injection:||EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection)|
|Ignition Timing:||20° BTDC|
|Pump:||155mm, Axial Flow|
|Transmission:||Direct Drive from Engine|
|Impeller:||3-Blade, Stainless Steel|
|Dry Weight:||841 lb (355 kg)|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.5 gal (70 L)|
|Oil Capacity:||1.1 gal (4.2 L)|
|Vehicle Capacity:||3 Persos/ 529 lb (240Kg)(4.2 L)|
|Storage Capacity:||26.4 gal (100 L)|
|Warranty:||1 year limited warranty|
|Color:||Crimson Red Metallic; Platinum Metallic|