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2015-2016 Yamaha VXS Review and Specs [Video]

2015-2016 Yamaha VXS Review and Specs [Video]

The 2015-2016 Yamaha VXS was a worthy successor of the first-generation 2011-2014 model. The revamped VXS returned with the redesigned VX hull and top deck, as well as many innovative features, including an electric trim and all-new RiDE electric brake and reverse system.

If you want to find out more about this popular Yamaha WaveRunner, you’ve come to the right place.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this 2015-2016 Yamaha VXS review!

2015-2016 Yamaha VXS Review

The Yamaha VXR/VXS series debuted in 2011 as the larger-displacement version of proven VX WaveRunners. They borrowed their hull and most features from the base VX line, but enjoyed the much more powerful 1812cc, 180hp power option.

These models built their reputation on an outstanding pricer-per-value ratio and versatile design.

For the 2015 season, Yamaha completely redesigned the VX series, including the performance-oriented VXR and VXS. (These models were almost identical, except that the VXS had a flatter seat and lacked a reboarding step.)

In this review, we will take a closer look at the simpler and more affordable VXS, which was only part of the fleet in 2015 and 2016.

Compared to first-generation models, the key upgrades of the revamped 2015-2016 VXS were as follows:

  • A larger and more stable hull with an extended rear platform
  • New top deck design with integrated mirrors
  • New ride plate
  • RiDE electric brake and reverse system
  • Enlarged storage capacities (including an under-seat dry storage bin)
  • New two-tone, two-piece saddle
  • Redesigned multi-function LCD meter
  • Electric bilge pump
  • Revamped rear handlegrip
  • (Engine and pump remained unchanged)
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about each of these in detail!

Yamaha VXS Hull and Top Deck

As a rule of thumb, each 2015 Yamaha VX WaveRunner was built on the second-generation VX platform, and the VXS was no exception. Just like the hull, the top deck of these skis was completely redesigned.

The new VX deck had a much more aggressive design and graphics and came standard with large integrated mirrors.

Unlike lower-performance VX models, the VXS featured a more aggressive hood design, utilizing stylish chrome highlights.

Since the VXS lacked a reboarding step, its body was only 131.5 inches in length and 48 inches in width. This means that the second-generation VXS was 4.7 inches longer and 1.9 inches wider than its forerunner.

The intake area, strakes, and keel were redesigned, just like the chines, which were softened forward. The revamped hull was completed with a new ride plate.

All of these upgrades contributed to a better overall performance and greater stability.

While the body of the supercharged FZS SVHO and FZR SHO were already made of the more advanced NanoXcel2 material, the VX series was still being made of the heavier NanoXcel (a.k.a. NanoXcel1).

Because of this, the dry weight of the new VXS was 765 pounds, 44 pounds more than the previous year’s model.

Rated at a maximum load capacity of 530 pounds, the VXS could even carry 3 adult riders with ease.

The front storage of the ski was increased from 13.2 to 19 gallons, but its glovebox shrunk from 1.8 gallons to 0.9 gallons. In return, the ski got a third, 1.5-gallon storage compartment mounted beneath the rear portion of the rear seat.

The VXS shared its 18.5-gallon fuel tank with its siblings but had a flatter 2-piece saddle.

Unlike the bolstered, race-inspired seat of the VRX, this saddle was more suitable for passengers. This design was also more comfortable for a spotter when doing tow sports.

Yamaha VXS Engine

Unlike the hull, the engine of the VXS was carried over from 2014 without any noticeable changes.

This proven power source was the naturally-aspirated version of the 4-stroke, 1812cc, DOHC, 4-cylinder Yamaha marine engine rated at 180hp. It packed many proven technologies including a TCI ignition, fuel injection, and an open-loop cooling system.

Yamaha used this engine in many popular WaveRunners including the VXS, VXR, and non-supercharged FX models.

You could also find the supercharged configuration of this engine in the flagship FX SHO and FZ series (FZR and FZS).

Yamaha VXS Features

Unlike its predecessor, which featured a manual brake and reverses, the 2015-2016 VXS returned with an electric brake and reverse system. (Which was, let’s face it, heavily inspired by Sea-Doo’s iBR.)

Labeled “RiDE”, this innovative reverse system could also be used for deceleration and to precisely operate the craft in tight spaces.

Therefore, the new VXS became safer and more comfortable, which was a game changer for beginners, but experienced riders also appreciated its smooth, precise operation.

Another novelty was the five-position electric trim system, which was previously available only on the flagship WaveRunners.

This system was intended to adjust the vertical angle of the jet nozzle to adapt to changing water or load conditions. But it was useful in many other situations as well, like riding with passengers or towing a wakeboarder.

Other features of the ’15-’16 VXS were as follows:

  • Yamaha Security System
  • Remote control transmitter (With “L-Mode”)
  • Integrated dual mirrors
  • Front storage compartment (19 gal.)
  • Glovebox (0.9 gal.)
  • Under-seat storage bucket (1.5 gal.)
  • 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
  • Redesigned rear handgrip
  • Two-piece saddle for 3
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Ski tow eye
  • Sponsons
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Electric bilge pump
  • Cooling water pilot outlet
  • Visibility spout
Even though the VXS was intended for families and tow sport lovers, it lacked cruise control and a reboarding step. Fortunately, the latter could be easily added to the ski.

The digital information center of the VXS was also completely redesigned. The new unit came standard with several useful functions, including:

  • Trim indicator
  • Tachometer
  • Speedometer
  • Oil pressure warning indicator
  • Engine overheat warning indicator
  • Check engine warning indicator
  • Shift indicator
  • Fuel indicator
  • Fuel level meter
  • Hour meter
  • Voltmeter
  • WARNING indicator light
  • UNLOCK indicator light
  • L-Mode indicator light

Yamaha VXS Top Speed and Performance

Thanks to its enlarged and redesigned hull, the VXS offered more predictability and stability. Therefore, it could be used for many purposes like recreational riding, touring, and towing.

Yet, it still offered aggressive rides and race-style turns, which made it widely popular among performance-minded riders.

It’s safe to say that the key advantage of the VXS was its outstanding power-to-weight ratio of 0.235 hp/lb.

Although this ratio was a slight step back compared to its predecessor (0.25 hp/lb.), it was still significantly better than you could expect on the bulky touring FX line.

Even though it had a much more reliable naturally-aspirated engine, the VXS offered almost the same performance as its supercharged brothers.

The top speed of ’15-’16 VXS was electronically restricted to 66-68 mph, which could be pushed up to 70-75 mph with some easy mods. You could also expect the ski to hit 30 mph in 1.8 seconds, which was an amazing acceleration on a PWC.

In comparison, the supercharged FX SHO did the same run in 2.2 seconds while smaller-displacement VX models did it in 2.4 seconds.

Thanks to its non-supercharged engine, the VXS was not only more reliable but it had a much better fuel economy as well.Its claimed fuel consumption was 12.9 gph at WOT, which meant that its 18.5-gallon fuel tank lasted about an hour and a half.

Cruising at an economical speed of 24-26 mph, the fuel usage could be tamed back to 3 gph / 8 mpg.

Yamaha VXS Problems

Early (2011-2012) VXS WaveRunners were known for their initial design flaws like a cracking jet nozzle and leaking seals on the bottom of the hull.

These issues were fixed in later models, making them even more reliable.

Therefore, the only problem with the second-generation VXS was the lack of a reboarding step and cruise control.

VXS Comparison Chart

For a better comparison, we’ve listed the specifications of first- and second-generation VXS head-to-head:
Specs2011 - 2014 VXS2015 - 2016 VXS
Length (in)126.8131.5
Width (in)46.148.0
Dry Weight (lbs)721765
Front storage capacity (gal)13.219
Glove box capacity (gal)1.80.9
Under-seat storage (gal)-1.5
Electric TrimNoYes
Reboarding stepNoNo

2015-2016 Yamaha VXS Spec Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the key specs of the 2015-2016 Yamaha VXS in these charts:

Yamaha VXS Engine Specs

2015 Yamaha VXSEngine 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 VXS Drive Unit

2015 Yamaha VXSDrive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise
Jet Thrust Nozzle Trim Angle-6, 3, 0, 3, 6 degree
Jet Thrust Nozzle Horizontal Angle24 + 24 degree

Yamaha VXS Performance

2015 Yamaha VXSPerformance
Maximum Output180hp (132.4 kW) @ 7600 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption12.9 US gal/h (48.7 L/h)
Cruising Range at full throttle1.44 hr.
Trolling speed1300 +/- 100 r/min

Yamaha VXS Dimensions

2015 Yamaha VXSDimensions
Overall Length131.5 in (3340 mm)
Overall Width48 in (1220 mm)
Overall Height46.9 in (1190 mm)
Dry Weight765 lb (347 kg)
Maximum capacity3 riders/530 lb

Yamaha VXS Fuel and Oil

2015 Yamaha VXSFuel 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 capacity18.5 US gal (70 L)
Engine oil quantity (w/ oil filter replacement)3.81 US qt. (3.6 L)
Engine oil quantity (w/o oil filter replacement)3.70 US qt. (3.5 L)
Engine Oil Total Quantity5.6 US qt. (5.3 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 ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS:

What is a Yamaha VXS?

The VXS was a “budget” high-performance WaveRunner built on the lightweight VX platform.

When did the Yamaha VXS Come Out?

The Yamaha VXS was revealed in 2011.

What Years Did Yamaha Manufacture the VXS?

Yamaha offered the VXS from 2011 to 2014 with the first generation, and form 2015 to 2016 with the second generation VX hull.

What Size was a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS?

The ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS measured 131.5 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 46.9 inches in height.

How Much Did a ’15-’16 VXS Weigh?

The dry weight of the ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS was 765 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS?

The Yamaha VXS was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS?

The Yamaha VXS had a 4-stroke, 1812cc, fuel-injected, DOHC, inline-4 Yamaha Marine engine.

Was the ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Supercharged?

The Yamaha VXS utilized a naturally aspirated engine configuration.

Was the ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS a 2-stroke?

The Yamaha VXS had a 4-stroke engine.

Was the ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha VXS featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Have?

The Yamaha VXS delivered 180hp at 7600 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Hold?

The 2011-2014 Yamaha VXS held 5.6 US quarts of engine oil, of which 3.81 quarts were replaceable (w/ filter).

How Much Fuel Did a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Hold?

The ’15-‘16 VXS was designed with an 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Use?

The claimed fuel consumption of the ’14-‘15 Yamaha VXS was 12.9 gph at full throttle.

What was the Cruising Range of the ’15-’16 VXS?

The cruising range of the Yamaha VXS was 1.44 hours at WOT.

How Fast Did a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha VXS was 66-68 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the ’15-’16 VXS Tow a a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its three-seater seat and stable hull, the VXS could tow a wakeboarder with ease.

Did the ’15-’16 VXS Have a Trim System?            

The ’15-’16 VXS was designed with an electric trim system.

Did the ’15-’16 VXS Have a Reverse?     

The VXS came standard with a RiDE electric brake and reverse system.

Did the ’15-’16 VXS Have a Brake?         

The Yamaha VXS featured a brake system.

How Much Does a ’15-’16 Yamaha VXS Cost?

The asking price of a used 2015-2016 Yamaha VXS varies between $5,000 and $11,000 depending on the year and its condition.