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

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

The 2016 Yamaha VX Cruiser was released as a midrange model in the deservedly popular VX series. Its simpler siblings were the base VX, VX Deluxe, and VX Limited, while the top-of-the-line model in this breed was the VX Cruiser HO with the 1.8L engine option. Yamaha manufactured the VX Cruiser from 2016 through 2020 without any significant changes.

If you want to find out more about this popular Yamaha PWC, this post is for you.

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

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser Review

Yamaha VX Cruiser Hull

As a rule of thumb, each 2015-2020 Yamaha VX model was built on the same second-generation VX platform, and the VX Cruiser was no exception.

Compared to its first-generation predecessor, this shell was 5.1 inches longer and 1.9 inches wider.

While the body of the base VX was made of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), the VX Cruiser enjoyed the Yamaha exclusive NanoXcel material.

Thanks to this lightweight hull material, the dry weight of the Cruiser was only 668 pounds, 40 pounds less than its FRP-based base sibling.

The top deck of the VX was also heavily redesigned for a more modern look and greater capacities.

The maximum load capacity of the ski was 530 pounds, which could accommodate three riders, 21.4 gallons of gear, and 18.5 gallons of fuel.

Yamaha VX Cruiser Engine

Interestingly, the second-generation VX Cruiser debuted in 2015 with the proven 102hp MR-1 engine option.

This unit was a marinized motorcycle engine that found its way from the R1 motorcycle to the WaveRunner series.

After one year of production, the VX Cruiser was upgraded with the more advanced TR-1 engine, which came from Yamaha snowmobiles. This all-new marine engine was a naturally-aspirated, 1.0L, DOHC, fuel-injected triple that delivered 84.6 kW (115hp) at 8000 RPM.

Yamaha used this engine across its entire VX line except for the VX Cruiser HO, which was designed with the 1.8L power source.

According to the operator’s manual, the key specifications of the Yamaha TR-1 engine were as follows:

  • 4-stroke, inline-3 architecture
  • Displacement: 1049cc
  • Bore x stroke: 82 x 66.2 mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.0:1
  • Lubrication: Dry sump
  • Valve system: DOHC
  • Ignition: TCI
  • Fuel system: fuel injection
  • Start: Electric
  • Cooling system: Open loop
  • Spark plugs: NGK CR9EB

Yamaha VX Cruiser Features

Unlike the base VX, the Cruiser came standard with more bells and whistles. To be more precise, these model-specific features were as follows:

  • Bolstered Cruiser 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 2016-2020 Yamaha VX Cruiser 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 Cruiser was also marketed with an innovative digital information center, of which the functions were as follows:

  • 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

Interestingly, the VX Deluxe and VX Cruiser were almost equivalent, except the latter had the highly bolstered “theater-style“ seat and a custom color scheme. Aside from these dissimilarities, these skis were completely identical.

Yamaha VX Cruiser Top Speed and Performance

Even though it wasn’t a performance ski, the VX Cruiser delivered a remarkable performance. Under ideal conditions, the ski topped out at 52-54 mph and accelerated from 0 to 30 mph in 2.5 seconds.

The claimed WOT fuel consumption of the ski was 8.8 gph, so its 18.5-gallon fuel tank ensured 2 hours of play time. This fuel usage could be decreased to 3.3-3.5 gph at a cruising speed of 30-32 mph.

Its relatively small VX platform ensured a lively attitude, yet it remained stable even with one adult passenger onboard. (Even though this ski was rated for three riders, it proved to be tippy with three adults onboard.)

Featuring the innovative RiDE brake and reverse system, the Cruiser offered a smooth easy operation.

Wakeboard lovers also appreciated its extended rear platform, which was equipped with a tow hook and reboarding step.

Thanks to its easy handling, reasonable price tag, and legendary reliability, the VX Cruiser became one of the most popular PWCs ever built.

While the VX Cruiser was intended for everyday customers, its lower-level variants were designed with rental companies in mind.

2016-2020 VX Cruiser Specs Charts

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

Engine Specs

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


2016-2020 Yamaha VX CruiserPerformance
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 CruiserDimensions
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 CruiserFuel 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?

The VX Cruiser is a recreational runabout PWC built on the second-generation VX platform.

When did the Gen2 Yamaha VX Cruiser Come Out?

The second-generation Yamaha VX Cruiser was released in 2015 with the MR1 engine and was upgraded with the new TR-1 engine in 2016.

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

The ’16-’20 VX Cruiser measured 131.9 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 46.9 inches in height.

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

The ‘16-‘20 VX Cruiser weighed 668 pounds dry.

How Many People Could Ride on a VX Cruiser?

The VX Cruiser was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX Cruiser?

The power source of the ’16-’20 VX Cruiser was a 4-stroke, naturally-aspirated, 1049cc, inline-3, TR-1 Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Gen2 VX Cruiser Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha VX Cruiser featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a Gen2 VX Cruiser Have?

The 2016 Yamaha VX Cruiser delivered 115hp (84.6 kW) at 8000 RPM.

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

The Yamaha VX Cruiser held 3.91 quarts of engine oil, of which 3.59 quarts were replaceable (w/ filter).

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

The Yamaha VX Cruiser held 18.5 gallons of fuel.

How Much Fuel Did a VX Cruiser Use?

The fuel economy of the TR-1-powered VX Cruiser was 8.8 gph at WOT.

What was the Fuel Range of the ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX Cruiser?

The cruising range of the VX Cruiser was 2.09 hours at full throttle.

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

The top speed of the ’16-‘20 VX Cruiser was 52-54 mph out of the crate.

Could the Yamaha VX Cruiser Tow a Wakeboarder?

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

Did the VX Have a Trim System?             

The Yamaha VX Cruiser was manufactured without a trim system.

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

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