2018 Yamaha VX Limited Review

The 2018 Yamaha VX Limited comes with a package of watersports extras designed to keep the whole family entertained.

Fast Facts

Engine: Three-cylinder 1,049cc

Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gal.

Stowage Capacity: 24.6 gal.

Seating Capacity: 3

MSRP: Starting at $11,099

Consumers often look at “limited” craft in one of two ways. One is that the manufacturer has provided a set of extras that many buyers will likely add within their first year of ownership. The other is that the manufacturer has provided a non-customizable list of extras that a buyer could better, and more affordably, fine tune at their dealer or local marine supply.

I’d argue the 2018 Yamaha VX Limited veers toward the former. By limiting its “limiteds” to just several items — and taking a decided watersports focus with much of those extras — the VX Limited isn’t just a craft loaded with bells and whistles, it’s a craft ready to propel you into PWC ownership right off the showroom floor.

LimitedWith a Theme

Why take a watersports focus? Because statistics show people tow with their craft, and the all-purpose, everybody-can-have-fun towable is the inflatable. With the VX Limited, that included inflatable is Yamaha branded and color matched to the craft. Paired with it are a color-matched towrope, an actual ski-tow eye (many low-end models simply feature a U-bolt to attach the towrope), and a strap to keep the tube attached to the swim platform when not in use. Beyond the watersports items, the Limited package adds a 12-volt receptacle in the glovebox. Use it to power the included inflator to blow up said tube (although truth be told I’d suggest an electric inflator at home to save battery power). Rounding out the 2018 Yamaha VX Limited package are dual bumpers to protect your paint job at the dock, a storage cover with convenient zippered glovebox access, pop-up cleats, and a storage bag that can be secured to the aft platform to hold the deflated tube when not in use.

2018 Yamaha VX Limited Towing

And yes, no Limited would be complete without a custom colorway. For 2018, it’s Black Metallic with a Crimson Red Metallic accent panels.

Standard Yamaha amenities don’t need the Limited moniker to further enhance the craft. Cruise control and no-wake mode are beneficial for extended cruising or slow-speed zones. Cruise control is also a relationship saver when towing, as it maintains a steady speed and eliminates surges, something most drivers will be hard pressed to duplicate on a PWC. Other features include a tiered Cruiser saddle, grooved traction mats, 24.6 gallons of storage capacity split between three storage compartments (bow, glovebox, and under-seat locker), and flip-down boarding step.

And then, of course, there’s RiDE, Yamaha’s dual throttle system. Think of RiDE as adding a secondary throttle to the lefthand side of the handlebars. That throttle serves dual purposes. When applied under significant power it acts to rapidly decelerate the craft, avoiding potential problems or just scrubbing off speed before a turn. At slower speeds it applies reverse thrust, making forward a simple pull of the righthand throttle, reverse a pull of the lefthand throttle, and neutral a release of both. RiDE has proven quite intuitive over the years, with riders getting the hang of the system after just a brief learning curve. It truly enhances the craft’s overall control and makes docking, launching, pulling up to the marina, etc a breeze.

2018 Yamaha VX Limited 4

Other features of note on the 2018 Yamaha VX Limited include Yamaha’s keyfob-style remote transmitter for both security and to activate a low-RPM mode, a two-piece Cruiser-style saddle for long-distance comfort (and welcome back support), handy cupholders in the glovebox, two-tone deck mats and a spring-loaded reboarding step.

Versatile VX Platform

Beyond the Limited extras and standard Yamaha features, the VX Limited is the familiar VX, Yamaha’s middle child in the FX/VX/EX hierarchy. Under the seat awaits a compact three-cylinder 1,049cc TR-1 engine. The NanoXcel-construction hull and deck are lightweight, weighing in at only 668 pounds. Punch the throttle and the craft responds with a quick, agile feel en route to a top speed of 52-54 mph, depending on conditions. The ride is typical Yamaha, with a confident, surefooted feel in rough water, excellent agility in the turns, and above-average stability.

2018 Yamaha VX Limited 3

As to competition of the 2018 Yamaha VX Limited, Sea-Doo’s GTI Limited 155 ($12,499) comes in at a higher price point, but goes a similar limited-edition route. The GTI Limited’s extras consist of adding high-performance variable trim to quickly change the hull attitude, including additional readouts — including time/distance to empty and altitude — to the info display, a dry bag, safety kit, cover, and exclusive metallic color combo. Sea-Doo also features dual acceleration profiles (the familiar touring and sport “modes”). Kawasaki’s Ultra LX ($11,199) doesn’t offer any form of “limited” extras, nor the advanced reverse/deceleration systems of its competitors, but it’s a bigger hull with far more storage, a cruiser seat, solid power and its own upscale paint scheme.