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2011-2014 Yamaha VXR Review and Specs [Video]

2011-2014 Yamaha VXR Review and Specs [Video]

The Yamaha VXR was a more powerful version of the proven Recreation VX WaveRunner. These models were designed with the same hull and features, but with vastly different engines. While smaller VX models housed an economical, 1052cc, 102hp MR1 engine, the VXR enjoyed an 1812cc power mill rated at 180hp. Its simpler sibling was the VXS, which came with a different seat and color scheme but lacked a reboarding step.

If you want to find out more about this high-performance Recreation Yamaha PWC, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha VXR review!

2011-2014 Yamaha VXR Review

The Yamaha VX Line

The history of the Yamaha VX line started with the introduction of the 2005-2006 VX110 Sport and Deluxe.

In 2007, these modes were rebranded to VX and completed with the top-of-the-line VX Cruiser.

As a rule of thumb, each of these models shared the same body and the 1052cc, 102hp engine option.

In contrast, the 2011-2014 VXR and VXS were designed with the 1812cc, 180hp power source and enjoyed a slightly different hood and seat design.

In summary, first-generation VX WaveRunners were as follows:

Yamaha VXR Hull and Top Deck

Each VX WaveRunner in the early 2010s was built on the same “first generation” VX hull, and the VXR was no exception.

This mid-sized WaveRunner platform was specifically designed for 4-stroke Yamaha marine engines.

The Japanese manufacturer used this shell in building every VX model from 2005 through 2014, including the VX110, VX, and VXR/VXS lines.

Regarding dimensions, the VXR measured 128.7 inches in length, 46.1 inches in width, and 45.7 inches in height. The advertised dry weight of the 2011-2014 model was 728 pounds thanks to its special hull material.

Labeled NanoXcel, this material was a High-Compression Molded Compound, which was stronger yet lighter than the standard SMC.

While the VXR and VXS enjoyed this lighter material from 2011 onwards, the rest of the VX family continued being made of standard SMC until 2013.

Just like any other VX WaveRunner, the VXR also had a maximum capacity of 530 pounds and could carry 3 riders.

While it shared its hull with lower-performance VX WaveRunners, it enjoyed a more aggressive hood with a chrome air inlet.

Unfortunately, it had less storage capacity than the VX deck, which featured a 16.4-gallon front storage.

As a comparison, the front storage of the VXR could only accommodate 13.2 gallons of gear while its glovebox was rated at 1.8 gallons. The latter housed a removable beverage holder.

In the 2011-2013 seasons, the fuel capacity of the ski was 15.9 gallons, which was enlarged to 18.5 gallons in 2014.

In 2015, this model was replaced by the more advanced, second-generation Yamaha VXR, which remained in production through 2019.

Yamaha VXR Engine

While the VXR shared its hull and most features of smaller VX models, it enjoyed a much more powerful engine option.

In terms of specifications, the power source of the VXR was a naturally-aspirated configuration of the 4-stroke, 1812cc, DOHC, inline-4 Yamaha marine engine rated at 180hp. The VXR shared its engine with many other high-performance WaveRunners including the VXS and non-supercharged FX models.

In a nutshell, the key features of this purpose-built PWC engine were as follows:

  • 4-stroke, Inline-4 architecture
  • Bore x stroke: 86 x 78 mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.0:1
  • Wet sump lubrication
  • DOHC
  • TCI ignition system
  • Fuel injection system
  • Electric start
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • LFR6A spark plugs
This engine was said to be the largest displacement PWC engine in the industry and kept this title until the introduction of its 1.9L successor in 2024.

The propulsion system of the VXR was a standard axial-flow, single-stage 155mm jet pump featuring a 3-blade, stainless-steel impeller and a manual reverse system.

Yamaha VXR Features

Except for its engine and seat design, the Yamaha VXR shared most of its features with the VX Cruiser and Deluxe, including:

  • Yamaha Security System
  • Remote control transmitter (With L-Mode)
  • Dual mirrors
  • Front storage compartment (13.2 US gal)
  • Glovebox (1.8 US gal)
  • Removable beverage holder
  • Fire extinguisher container
  • Tool kit
  • Deck mats
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Engine cut-off switch
  • Engine shut-off cord (safety lanyard)
  • Tilt steering
  • Drain plugs
  • Rope holes
  • Rear grab handle
  • One-piece saddle
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Ski tow eye
  • Sponsons
  • Reboarding step
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Cooling water pilot outlet
  • Visibility spout
The VXR was also equipped with a digital information center, which had many useful functions, including:
  • Tachometer
  • Speedometer
  • Hour meter/Voltmeter
  • Fuel level meter
  • Check engine warning indicator
  • Fuel warning indicator
  • Oil pressure warning indicator
  • Engine overheat warning indicator
  • WARNING indicator light
  • SECURITY indicator light
  • L-Mode indicator light

Yamaha VXR Top Speed and Performance

There’s no question that the main advantage of the VXR was its outstanding power-to-weight ratio.

This ski combined the smallest WaveRunner hull available with the largest displacement PWC engine of that time.

Smaller VX models were equipped with a significantly smaller, de-tuned 1052cc MR1 engine rated at 102hp. The power-to-weight ratio of these skis averaged between 0.135 and 0.152 hp/lb. depending on their hull material and features.

In contrast, the power-to-weight ratio of the VXR was an amazing 0.247 hp/lb., which was 63-83% better than the rest of the VX series!

Believe it or not, the high-performance supercharged FZR and its FZS sibling offered only slightly better numbers than the VXR (cca. 0.26 hp/lb.).

But what did all this mean on the water?

In short, a thrilling riding experience!

To the greatest regret of many performance-minded riders, the top speed of the VXR was electronically limited due to safety reasons. Yet, the ski topped out at 66-68 mph, which could be easily increased to 70-75 mph with some aftermarket mods.

The acceleration of the VXR was also impressive since it could reach 30 mph in just 1.8 seconds in stock condition. (The 0-30 time of 1052cc VX models was 2.4 sec.)

At this speed, the claimed fuel consumption of the ski was 12.8 gph. Its cruising range was 1.24 hours with the 15.9-gallon tank which increased to 1.44 hours with the 18.5-gallon unit.

Sure, these numbers could be significantly improved if you were light on the throttle. Cruising around 24-25 mph at 4000 RPM, the VXR only burned 3 gph, which converted to 8 mpg.

Thanks to its outstanding price-value ratio, the VXR became one of the bestselling performance PWCs in the 2010s.

Yamaha marketed this model with the first-generation VX hull until 2014. For 2015, it was upgraded with a revamped shell that offered a different attitude.

This second-generation VXR was manufactured from 2015 to 2019 when it was rebranded to GP HO.

Yamaha VXR Problems

Even though the first-generation VXR was known as a reliable Yamaha WaveRunner, it had some common problems, including:

  • Weak jet nozzle: The jet nozzle on the 2011 (and early 2012) VXRs was prone to cracking or even breaking, causing dangerous handling issues. In the worst-case scenario, a sudden speed change could throw the rider off the saddle. To solve this problem Yamaha issued a recall on the affected models.
  • Water leaks: The ride plate and intake grate of early (2011-2012) VXRs were not properly sealed by the factory. Therefore, water often leaked inside the hull around the mounts. This issue could be fixed by simply resealing the stock inserts.
  • Defective bilge siphon valve: The bilge siphon system of 2011 and early 2012 VXRs featured a valve that allowed water to enter the hull when the ski moved backward. Replacing this unit with a proper one-way valve solved the issue.
  • Porpoising: The VXR was prone to porpoising on smooth water, especially at higher speeds. This could be reduced or even eliminated by adjusting or replacing the intake grate and ride plate with aftermarket units.
  • Poor fuel level accuracy: Yamaha’s dashboards were known for being inaccurate, and the information center of the VXR was no exception.

Yamaha VXR Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the main specifications of the 2011 Yamaha VXR in these charts:(Please note that the specs may vary by the model year.)

Yamaha VXR Engine Specs

2011 Yamaha VXREngine Specs
Type4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, DOHC
Number of cylinders4
Displacement1812 cm³
Bore and Stroke86 × 78 mm (3.39 × 3.07 in)
Compression Ratio11.0:1
Lubrication systemWet sump
Cooling SystemWater cooled
Starting SystemElectric starter
Ignition SystemT.C.I.
Spark Plug Gap0.8-0.9 mm (0.031-0.035 in)
Spark Plugs TypeLFR6A
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Charging systemFlywheel magneto

Yamaha VXR Drive Unit

2011 Yamaha VXRDrive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise
Jet Thrust Nozzle Horizontal Angle24 + 24 degree

Yamaha VXR Performance

2011 Yamaha VXRPerformance
Maximum Output180hp (132.4 kW) @ 7600 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption12.8 US gal/h (48.6 L/h)
Cruising Range at full throttle1.24 hr.
Trolling speed1,300 +/- 100 r/min

Yamaha VXR Dimensions

2011 Yamaha VXRDimensions
Overall Length128.7 in (3270 mm)
Overall Width46.1 in (1170 mm)
Overall Height45.7 in (1160 mm)
Dry Weight728 lb (330 kg)
Maximum capacity3 riders/530 lb

Yamaha VXR Fuel and Oil

2011 Yamaha VXRFuel and Oil
FuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum Octane Rating86 PON /90 RON
Recommended engine oil typeSAE 10W-30, 10W-40, 20W-40, 20W-50
Recommended engine oil gradeAPI SE, SF, SG, SH, SJ, SL
Fuel tank capacity15.9 US gal (60 L)
Engine oil quantity (w/ oil filter replacement)3.28 US qt. (3.1 L)
Engine oil quantity (w/o oil filter replacement)3.17 US qt. (3.0 L)
Engine Oil Total Quantity4.55 US qt. (4.3 L)
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.


As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the ’11-’14 Yamaha VXR:

What was the Difference Between the Yamaha VXR and VXS?

It’s safe to say that the Yamaha VXR and VXS were almost identical since they shared the same hull, top deck, engine, and pump. The only differences between these models were that the VXR came standard with a reboarding step, a removable beverage holder, and a different color scheme. (It was also 7 pounds heavier and 1.9 inches longer than the VXS due to the reboarding step.)

What was the Difference Between the Yamaha VXR and VX?

Simply put, the VXR was a more powerful version of base VX models. The VXR featured a slightly different hood and seat and its whole body was manufactured of NanoXcel from 2011 onwards. (Other VX models got this material in 2014). While standard VX models housed a 1052, 102hp engine, the VRX enjoyed an 1812cc, 180hp powerhouse.

As far as features go, the VX Cruiser and the VXR were almost identical, except the latter utilized a different seat, hood, and smaller bow storage.

The seat of the VXR featured a large single bolster designed to lock the operator to the ski. In contrast, the bolsters on the VXS seat were much smaller and offered more comfortable rides for three people.

How Much Does a Yamaha VXR Cost?

The asking price of a used 2011-2014 Yamaha VXR varies between $4,000 and $10,000 depending on the year and the condition it’s in.

What is a Yamaha VXR?

The VXR was a high-performance Recreation Yamaha WaveRunner featuring the VX hull and the 1812cc, 180hp Yamaha marine engine.

When did the Yamaha VXR Come Out?

The Yamaha VXR was revealed in 2011.

What Years Did Yamaha Manufacture the VXR?

Yamaha manufactured the VXR from 2011 through 2014 with the first-generation VX hull. The second-generation model was marketed from 2015 to 2019.

What Size was a Yamaha VXR?

The ’11-’14 Yamaha VXR measured 128.7 inches in length, 46.1 inches in width, and 45.7 inches in height.

How Much Did a Yamaha VXR Weigh?

The dry weight of the ’11-’14 Yamaha VXR was 728 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha VXR?

The Yamaha VXR was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha VXR?

The Yamaha VXR was powered by a purpose-built, 4-stroke, 1812cc, fuel-injected, DOHC, inline-4 Yamaha Marine engine.

Was the Yamaha VXR Supercharged?

The Yamaha VXR utilized a naturally aspirated engine configuration.

Was the Yamaha VXR a 2-stroke?

The Yamaha VXR was powered by a 4-stroke engine.

Was the Yamaha VXR Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha VXR featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a Yamaha VXR Have?

The Yamaha VXR delivered 180hp at 7600 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha VXR Hold?

The Yamaha VXR held 4.55 US quarts of engine oil, of which 3.28 quarts were replaceable (w/ filter).

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha VXR Hold?

The 2011-2013 Yamaha VXR was designed with a 15.9-gallon fuel tank which was increased to 18.5 gallons in 2014.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha VXR Use?

The claimed fuel consumption of the Yamaha VXR was 12.8 gph at WOT.

What was the Cruising Range of the Yamaha VXR?

The cruising range of the Yamaha VXR was 1.24-1.44 hours at full throttle.

How Fast Did a Yamaha VXR Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha VXR was a limited 66-68 mph.

Could the Yamaha VXR Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its three-seater saddle, stable hull, and powerful engine, the VXR could tow a wakeboarder or skier with ease.

Did the Yamaha VXR Have a Trim System?         

The VXR was engineered without a manual trim.

Did the Yamaha VXR Have a Reverse?   

The VXR came standard with a manual reverse system.

Did the Yamaha VXR Have a Brake?       

The Yamaha VXR was designed without a brake system.