2009 Yamaha FZR Review

Race-bred power and superb handling

Straight from the shores of Lake Allatoona in beautiful Kennesaw, Ga. comes the newest WaveRunner in a long history of Yamaha personal watercraft. Using the code name ‘Edgemaster’ the engineers at Yamaha have cornered a breed of competitive and performance-based riders as their basis for the creation called the FZR.

According to history the Edgemaster wants a very nimble handling craft with a finely tuned powerplant to propel him to championship status among his peers. This persona will also want to become one with his machine and create a seamless juncture to make him the pure performance rider with nothing left behind.  Where the persona ends pure performance begins.

Yamaha has created a beautiful line of performance machines for 2009 but the beauty isn’t just skin deep. The makeup on this machine tells the story of racing heritage and reliability that many cannot compete with. Starting with the new technology lets look into the NanoXcel hull and its reason for being.

NanoXcel is designed to reduce weight while improving handling. The hull of each Yamaha FZ series watercraft is produced time and time again to exacting standards so every hull gets the same precise maneuverability with quick yet nimble turning capability. Yamaha gets the precise replication by using high compression closed molding and the NanoXcel material. Every single hull created with the Nano Technology is a mirror image of the next. This NanoXcel material is lighter yet stronger than typical construction materials used on their competitors’ crafts. Yamaha was able to reduce the weight of the material used to construct their hulls by 25 percent. This is truly a milestone by racing and performance standards.

A telescopic steering column is among the new features on the FZR. The bars on the FZR will accommodate sit down riders or cruising as well as the rider who just cannot get enough of the fire-breathing four cylinder under the seat and who just has to stand up to be in control of the madness. I personally felt right at home standing on the FZR so getting the bars up for me was a huge bonus.

There are three levels of steering control height. The bars can be full bottom for a sleek performance feel to get the rider closer to the action and make him or her feel a part of the machine. Then there is the middle setting, which allows for a comfortable cruising ride and ultimate control. However, my favorite is the full up position that lets me stand and be the king of the hill for a while without sacrificing any control of the chariot beneath me.

Another great feature is the race-inspired gauges on the FZR. These large, twin analog dials give up your true speed and engine rpms with just a glance. At first I wondered why the gauges were not digital and if a more mechanically friendly decoder wasn’t in order for such a high tech machine.

The bar mounted Trim control was my next sighting. Adjusting the trim for maximum performance is fairly simple. The quick shift trim system, or QSTS for short, is mounted on the left of the bars for quick tuning of the craft’s trim for more rider preference and handling. This gets even more agility and tighter turning out of a machine that handles like its on rails already.

Truly a musclecraft this machine runs like the wind and dances across the water with little effort. Giving all the credit to the hull, however, would be a mistake. Beneath the two-passenger seating on the Yamaha FZR you will find a race inspired assembly that creates more than 200 horsepower. Even though engineers were reluctant to divulge the true horsepower ratings they did claim at least one pony more than two hundred. From a gear head’s point of view I can tell you it is well over the 200 mark. The 1,812cc supercharged, intercooled 1.8liter four-banger has more than enough power to keep you on your toes at all times. This is the largest displacement engine available in the marketplace.

Stretching this beast out on the water did not get me to 70mph, but it was very close. I will tell you this, in its stock form it gets up and blasts in a very short period of time. With a twitch of the throttle the motor rips open and tears away at the surface of the water so fast I just held on and soaked up the rush of adrenaline. I sat in amazement of the sheer torque this machine had. Being fed by electronic fuel injection and breathing through a high volume intake box there is plenty of room for more ponies down the road.

So what else do we have here? With Yamaha’s technology comes corrosion protection throughout the craft from fasteners to the copper-zinc alloy called YDC30 that the pumps are made of as well as a stainless steel impeller housing. There is also the FZR’s 155mm hyperflow jet pump propulsion system. This maximizes water flow and provides smooth acceleration with awesome hook-up to the surface.

One last feature that I found interesting is the remote control, which can be used to disable the craft if you decide to leave it sitting shore side for a while. This device can also activate the low rpm mode to save fuel and control newer riders from up to thirty feet away. There is 21.3 gallons of storage, including a true water tight and sealed compartment under the fastback style seat at the rear of the FZR and a glove box with self-draining cup holders. Dual mirrors let you see the competition as they fade away and with plenty of room for a passenger you can prove all day that you are ‘Tha Man’!

What do we think of the 2009 FZR from Yamaha?

Well I guess by now you can tell that I’m an enthusiast. I’m a person who loves sheer power and I can sit in amazement of it all day long. I’m also performance driven and I have a highly competitive spirit. I want to blend with my ride and become part of it. Heck, I guess in a way I could be considered the ‘Edgemaster’.

The engineers at Yamaha have designed a machine that not only handles like it has a magnetic charge holding it to the surface of the water but it reacts to almost just my thoughts of direction.

Yamaha’s FZR has SHO on the side of the craft for a reason and it truly is a Super High Output machine that will be noticed in the competitive world of PWC racing. It’s also a craft that many enthusiasts will purchase to show their buddies just how good things can be!

This craft could be a bit narrower in the center for me but I understand that there has to be some forgiveness if I want the displacement that the FZR carries in the hull. The seating is comfortable and roomy with sleek fastback look and plenty of storage. The sponson design makes for more comfortable straightline riding with two passengers.

With awesome colors, overall looks, handling and unbelieveable power, we found a new product for our Christmas wish list! So go try one today and you be the judge of what’s fast and furious.

Click here for a video walk-through of the 2009 Yamaha WaveRunner FZR.

2009 Yamaha WaveRunner FZR Specs
Engine 1.8 liter, 1812cc, supercharged 4-stroke engine
Impeller 3 blade, stainless steel (17º pitch)
Length 131.9 in.
Beam 48.4 in.
Height 45.7 in.
Fuel Capacity 18.5 gal.
Combined Stowage Capacity 21.3 gal.
Hull Material NanoXcel high-compression molded compound
Price $12,599

Related Reading:
2009 Yamaha WaveRunner Lineup