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2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Review and Specs [Video]

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Review and Specs [Video]

In the late 2010s, Yamaha offered its popular VX Cruiser with two engine options. The base VX Cruiser was powered by the 1.0L, triple-cylinder, TR-1 marine engine rated at 115hp. Its more powerful variant, the VX Cruiser HO enjoyed the 1.8L, inline-4 engine option that delivered a whopping 180hp. The sportier variants of this ski were the deservedly popular VXR and VXS.

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

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Review

Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Hull

Just like any other VX WaveRunner in the late 2010s, the VX Cruiser HO was built on the second-generation VX platform.

This hull replaced its outdated predecessor in 2015 and remained in production through 2020.

The dimensions of the new VX body were extended by 5.1 inches in length and 1.9 inches in width, so it grew to 131.9 inches in length and 48 inches in width.

Its large deck featured modern lines with impressive capacities. The overall storage capacity of the ski was 21.4 gallons, including a 0.9-gallon glovebox, a 1.5-gallon under seat storage, and a 19-gallon front storage.

Made of the Yamaha-exclusive NanoXcel, the dry weight of the VX Cruiser HO was 767 pounds.

Even though it was 99 pounds heavier than the TR-1-powered VX Cruiser, it had a significantly better power-to-weight ratio (0.235 vs. 0.172 hp/lb.).

This was not surprising since the former enjoyed a much larger 180hp power source.

Let’s talk about this engine in detail!

Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Engine

Unlike the rest of the VX series, housing the 115hp TR-1 engine, the VX Cruiser HO had a much more powerful, 1.8L heart.

While the TR-1 was a marinized Yamaha snowmobile engine, the 1.8L HO was a purpose-built WaveRunner power source. This 4-stroke, naturally-aspirated, 1812cc, DOHC, fuel-injected, inline-4 engine delivered a whopping 180hp.

Combined with the lightweight VX platform, this 1.8L engine ensured very lively behavior.

Besides the VX Cruiser HO, Yamaha used this hull-engine combination in VXR and VXS WaveRunners as well. What were the differences between these models?

In a nutshell, the lighter VXR and VXS were designed to be performance PWCs while the Cruiser HO was tuned for comfort. Hence, it came standard with more convenience features but lacked a trim system.

Let’s move on and talk about these features in detail!

Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Features

As a rule of thumb, the Cruiser HO came standard with some model-specific features, which were only available on VX Cruiser and Limited models.

To summarize, the list of these was as follows:

  • Bolstered “theater style” seat
  • Reboarding step
  • Yamaha security system
  • Remote control transmitter
  • Custom color scheme
  • Extra gauge functions: low RPM mode, no-wake mode, cruise assist

Other standard features of the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO were as follows:

  • RiDE brake and reverse system
  • 19-gallon front storage compartment
  • 1.9-gallon glovebox
  • 1.5-gallon seat storage
  • Fire extinguisher holder
  • Hydro-Turf deck mats
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Engine cut-off switch
  • Safety lanyard
  • Drain plugs
  • Rope holes
  • Rear handgrip
  • Two-piece seat for three riders
  • Dual mirrors
  • Padded handlebars
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Sponsons
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Cooling water pilot outlet
  • Visibility spout

The ski also housed a digital information center that displayed a lot of useful riding information. The main functions of this advanced dash included:

  • Tachometer
  • Speedometer
  • Oil pressure warning indicator
  • Engine overheat warning indicator
  • Check engine warning indicator
  • Shift indicator
  • Fuel indicator
  • Fuel level meter
  • Low RPM mode
  • No-wake mode
  • Cruise Assist

Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Top Speed and Performance

As one might expect, the VX Cruiser HO was significantly faster than its TR-1-powered variant.

Powered by the 1.8L, 180hp engine option, the Cruiser HO could reach a top speed of 65 mph. At this speed, its fuel consumption was roughly 13 gallons per hour, which could be reduced to 3.3-3.5 gph while cruising at 25 mph. The acceleration of the ski was also impressive, it could do the 0-30 mph sprint in 1.8 seconds.

In contrast, base VX models with the 115hp TR-1 engine could do the same run in 2.5 seconds and topped out at 52-54 mph.

Thanks to its amazing power and relatively small to midsize hull, the VX Cruiser HO offered an amazing riding experience.

This ski offered almost as much fun as its supercharged relatives but for a far more reasonable price tag with lower maintenance costs as well. (As a comparison, the supercharged FX SVHO reached 30 mph, which is only 0.3 seconds faster!)

What’s more, the naturally-aspirated 1.8L engine tended to be more reliable and durable than its supercharged variants.

Besides the arm-stretching accelerations and thrilling cornering abilities, the VX Cruiser HO ensured a smooth, easy operation.

This is not surprising since it was equipped with the advanced RiDE brake and reverse system.

2016-2020 VX Cruiser HO Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the key specs of the 2016-2020 VX Cruiser HO in these charts:

Engine Specs

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HOEngine Specs
Type4-stroke, TR-1 Yamaha marine engine
Number of cylinders3
Displacement1049 cm³
Bore and Stroke82.0 × 66.2 mm
Compression Ratio11.0:1
Lubrication systemDry sump
Cooling SystemWater cooled
Starting SystemElectric starter
Ignition SystemT.C.I.
Valve clearance-intake (cold):0.15-0.22 mm (0.0059-0.0087 in)
Valve clearance-exhaust (cold):0.26-0.32 mm (0.0102-0.0126 in)
Spark Plug Gap0.7-0.8 mm (0.028-0.031 in)
Spark Plugs TypeNGK CR9EB
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Charging systemFlywheel magneto

Drive Unit

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HODrive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise
Jet Thrust Nozzle Angle24 + 24 °


2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HOPerformance
Maximum output84.6 kW (115hp) at 8000 r/min
Maximum Fuel Consumption8.8 US gal/h (33.5 L/h)
Cruising Range at full throttle2.09 hr.
Trolling speed1500 +/- 100 r/min


2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HODimensions
Overall Length131.9 in (3350 mm)
Overall Width48 in (1220 mm)
Overall Height46.9 in (1190 mm)
Dry Weight668 lb (303 kg)
Maximum people on board3 person
Maximum load capacity530 lb (240 kg)

Fuel and Oil

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser HOFuel and Oil
FuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum Octane Rating86 PON / 90 RON
Recommended engine oilYAMALUBE 4W or 4-stroke motor oil
Recommended engine oil type SAESAE 10W-30, 10W-40, 20W-40, 20W-50
Recommended engine oil grade APIAPI SG, SH, SJ, SL
Fuel tank capacity18.5 US gal (70 L)
Engine oil quantity (w/ oil filter)3.59 US qt. (3.4 L)
Engine oil quantity (w/o oil filter)3.38 US qt. (3.2 L)
Total Amount3.91 US qt. (3.7 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 this popular Yamaha personal watercraft:

What is a Yamaha VX Cruiser HO?

The VX Cruiser HO was the most powerful Yamaha VX WaveRunner powered by the 1.8L, 180hp engine option.

When did the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Come Out?

Yamaha introduced the VX Cruiser HO in 2016.

What Size was a ’16-’20 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO?

The ’16-’20 VX Cruiser HO was 131.9 inches long, 48 inches wide, and 46.9 inches high.

How Much Did a ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Weigh?

The ‘16-‘20 VX Cruiser HO weighed 767 pounds dry.

How Many People Could Ride on a VX Cruiser HO?

The VX Cruiser HO was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO?

The power source of the VX Cruiser HO was a 4-stroke, naturally-aspirated, 1812cc, inline-4 Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Gen2 VX Cruiser HO Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha VX Cruiser HO featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a Gen2 VX Cruiser HO Have?

The 2016 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO delivered 180hp at 7600 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a ’16-‘20 VX Cruiser HO Hold?

The Yamaha VX Cruiser HO held 3.91 quarts of engine oil, of which 3.60 quarts were replaceable (w/ filter).

How Much Fuel Did a VX Cruiser HO Hold?

The Yamaha VX Cruiser HO held 18.5 gallons of fuel.

How Much Fuel Did a VX Cruiser HO Use?

The fuel economy of the VX Cruiser HO was 12.8 gph at WOT.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO?

The cruising range of the VX Cruiser HO was 1.44 hours at full throttle.

How Fast Did a ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Go?

The top speed of the ’16-‘20 VX Cruiser HO was 65 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Tow a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its three-seater saddle, the VX Cruiser HO could legally tow a wakeboarder.

Did the VX Have a Trim System?             

The Yamaha VX Cruiser HO was manufactured without a trim system.

Did the ’16-’20 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Have a Brake or Reverse?           

The ’16-’20 VX Cruiser HO came standard with a RiDE brake and reverse system.