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2015-2019 Yamaha VXR Review and Specs [Video]

2015-2019 Yamaha VXR Review and Specs [Video]

It’s safe to say that the 2015-2019 Yamaha VXR was one of the most popular mid-sized performance WaveRunner ever built. It was built on the second-generation VX hull, housed an 1812cc, 180hp engine, and a RiDE brake and reverse system. Even though the VXR was discontinued in 2019, its successors, like the GP HO and the VX Cruiser HO remained part of the fleet.

If you want to find out more about this budget performance WaveRunner, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this 2015-2019 Yamaha VXR review!

2015-2019 Yamaha VXR Review

The Yamaha VXR and the simpler VXS were released as performance models in the Recreation “VX” Yamaha PWC line. They were built on the standard VX platform but featured a more aggressive design and a more powerful, 180hp engine option. (Base VX models only had 102hp engines.)

These skis offered a race-inspired riding experience along with great reliability for a really attractive price tag.

The VXS and the VXR were almost identical, except the latter came standard with a different color scheme, a bolstered seat, and a reboarding step.

Yamaha revealed these models in 2011 (’11-’14 VXR and ’11-’14 VXS) and heavily upgraded them for the 2015 model year.

The upgrades of second-generation VXR and VXS models were as follows:

  • Enlarged and redesigned hull
  • Extended swim platform
  • Redesigned top deck with a more aggressive style, integrated mirrors, and ride plate
  • All-new RiDE electric brake and reverse system (the forerunner had a manual reverse)
  • Larger front storage bin (13.2 to 19 gal.)
  • Under-seat storage bin
  • New two-piece saddle for 3 riders
  • A new dashboard with more functions
  • Redesigned rear handle grip
  • 5-position electric trim system
  • Electric bilge pump
  • (Engine and pump remained unchanged)
The second-generation VXR was manufactured from 2015 through 2019 without any significant changes.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about this ski detail!

Hull and Top Deck

The Yamaha VX WaveRunner line was manufactured from 2005 through 2014 with the first-generation VX hull. As a rule of thumb, each VX model was built on this platform, including the VX110, VX, VXR, and VXS.

This shell, just like the VX top deck, was completely redesigned for the 2015 season.

Compared to its forerunner, the second-generation VX hull was larger and heavier, which ensured better stability and larger capacities. It also had a much more modern, sportier design with integrated rearview mirrors and sharp lines.

There’s no question that the most advanced model in this breed was the VXR, which featured the most bells and whistles and the 180hp engine option.

In terms of dimensions, the ski measured 131.9 inches in length and 48 inches in width, so it was 1.9 inches wider and 4.7 inches longer than the first-generation model.

The new hull was not only larger but also many of its details had been redesigned for better performance, including:

  • Intake area
  • Intake grate
  • Ride plate
  • Keel
  • Strakes
  • Chines
Just like the top deck, this hull was also made of NanoXcel1, since the manufacturer reserved the lighter and stiffer NanoXcel2 for the high-end FZ line (including the FZR and the FZS).

Despite the heavier material, the advertised dry weight of the VXR was 767 pounds, which meant a 39-pound weight increase compared to 2014.

In return, the new model offered far greater capacities; the bow storage was enlarged from 13.2 to 19 gallons, but the glovebox became slightly smaller.

A nice addition was the waterproof under-seat storage rated at 1.5 gallons.

The VXR was engineered with an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, pretty much the same as you could find in any other WaveRunner at that time.

While the VXS came with a much flatter seat designed with passengers in mind, the VXR enjoyed a highly bolstered seat.

This race-inspired seat locked the operator to the deck, ensuring a more aggressive riding experience. In return, it was less comfortable for passengers, even though it was intended for three people.

As we’ve discussed, aside from the seat design, color scheme, and the presence of a reboarding step, the VXS and the VXR were completely identical.


The engine of the VXR was a naturally-aspirated, 4-stroke, 1812cc, DOHC, inline-4 Yamaha marine engine. This power mill delivered a whopping 180hp at 7600 RPM, which was more than enough in the small VX hull.

It was widely used in many high-performance Yamaha PWCs, including the VXR/VXS and the naturally- aspirated FX line.

What’s more, it became the base of the first supercharged Yamaha PWC engine, which debuted in SHO models like the FX SHO, as well as the FZS and FZR.

Back to the VXR, it had almost the same power-to-weight ratio as the aforementioned supercharged FZs.

With the smaller Gen1 VX hull, the VXR offered 0.25 hp/lb., which decreased to 0.235 hp/lb. with the heavier Gen2 VX platform.

Besides its great performance, this 1812cc under-stressed Yamaha PWC engine was known for its outstanding reliability and moderate fuel economy.

Unlike thirsty supercharged models, the VXR only burned 12.9 gph at full speed, so you could expect a cruising range of 1.44 hours from its 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

But if you were light on the throttle, the fuel usage dropped to 3 gph while getting 8 mpg at a cruising speed of 24-26 mph.

(As a comparison, the claimed fuel economy of the supercharged FZR was 20.2 gph at WOT, which is a significant difference.)

Yamaha VXR Features

The 2015 VXR not only had an all-new body but it was also designed with a 5-position trim, and the innovative RiDE brake and reverse system.

These were key improvements since the ’11-’14 forerunner lacked a trim system and only had an outdated manual reverse. (Note that Sea-Doo’s iBR brake and reverse had been around since 2008!)

Other features of the ’15-’19 VXR included:

  • 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
  • Reboarding step
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Ski tow eye
  • Sponsons
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Electric bilge pump
  • Cooling water pilot outlet
  • Visibility spout
The dashboard of the VXR was also heavily redesigned for 2015, returning with many useful functions, including:

  • Tachometer
  • Speedometer
  • Trim indicator
  • 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 VXR Top Speed and Performance

As we’ve discussed, the VXR offered almost the same power-to-weight ratio as flagship supercharged performance models.

This converted into arm-stressing accelerations; the ski did the 0-30 mph run in only 1.8 seconds. Even though its top speed was electronically limited to 65 mph, the VXR could even hit 66-68 mph with a light load.

With some performance modifications, its speed could be increased up to 70-75 mph.

When it comes to riding experience, the VXR was known for its versatile abilities.

Its stable and predictable behavior made it suitable for towing and touring but was also capable of sharp, race-style turns.

Compared to the first-generation VXR, the new model was more responsive and handled noticeably tighter. Its highly bolstered seat was also wrapped with a special cover that ensured great traction.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that the VXR was one of the most versatile WaveRunners in the lineup.

On top of that, the ski came with an affordable price tag, which made the model very popular.

VXR Comparison Chart

For a better comparison, we’ve compared the specs of the first and second-generation VXRs head-to-head:
Specs2011 - 2014 VXR2015 - 2019 VXR
Length (in)128.7131.9
Width (in)46.148.0
Dry Weight (lbs)728767
Front storage capacity (gal)13.219
Glove box capacity (gal)1.80.9
Under-seat storage (gal)-1.5
Reboarding stepYesYes

2015-2019 Yamaha VXR Spec Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the key specs of the 2015 Yamaha VXR in these charts:(Please note that the specs may vary by the model year!)

Yamaha VXR Engine Specs

2015 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

2015 Yamaha VXRDrive 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 VXR Performance

2015 Yamaha VXRPerformance
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 VXR Dimensions

2015 Yamaha VXRDimensions
Overall Length131.9 in (3350 mm)
Overall Width48 in (1220 mm)
Overall Height46.9 in (1190 mm)
Dry Weight767 lb (348 kg)
Maximum capacity3 riders/530 lb

Yamaha VXR Fuel and Oil

2015 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 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-’19 Yamaha VXR:

What is a Yamaha VXR?

The Yamaha VXR was a “budget musclecarft” utilizing the 1812cc, 180hp engine, and the lightweight VX hull.

What Years Did Yamaha Manufacture the VXR?

Yamaha marketed the first generation VXR from 2011 to 2014 while its second-generation successor was available from 2015 to 2019.

What Size was a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR?

The ‘15-’19 VXR measured 131.9 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 46.9 inches in height.

How Much Did a ‘15-’19 VXR Weigh?

The ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR weighed 767 pounds dry.

How Many People Could Ride on a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR?

The Yamaha VXR was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR?

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

Was the ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Supercharged?

The Yamaha VXR utilized a naturally aspirated engine.

Was the ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR a 2-stroke?

The Yamaha VXR had a 4-stroke, Inline-4 marine engine.

Was the ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha VXR featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Have?

The engine of the Yamaha VXR cranked out 132.7kW (180hp) at 7600 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Hold?

The engine of the 2015-2019 Yamaha VXR held 5.6 US quarts of engine oil, of which 3.81 quarts were replaceable (w/ filter).

How Much Fuel Did a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Hold?

The ’15-’19 Yamaha VXR featured the standard 18.5-gallon WaveRunner fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Use?

The fuel consumption of the ’14-‘15 Yamaha VXR was 12.9 gph at full throttle and 3 gph at cruising speed.

What was the Cruising Range of the ‘15-’19 VXR?

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

How Fast Did a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha VXR was 66-68 mph in stock condition.

Could the ‘15-’19 VXR Tow a a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its stable hull, powerful engine, and built-in reboarding step, the VXR was a great towing machine.

Did the ‘15-’19 VXR Have a Trim System?          

The ‘15-’19 VXR came standard with a 5-position electric trim system.

Did the ‘15-’19 VXR Have a Reverse?    

The VXR had a Yamaha-exclusive RiDE brake and reverse system.

Did the ‘15-’19 VXR Have a Brake?        

The ’15-’19 Yamaha VXR featured an electric PWC brake system (its predecessor lacked this feature).

How Much Does a ‘15-’19 Yamaha VXR Cost?

The asking price of a used 2015-2019 Yamaha VXR varies between $5,000 and $11,000 depending on the year and its condition.