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2016-2020 Yamaha VX Review and Specs [Video]

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Review and Specs [Video]

The 2016 Yamaha VX was built on the revamped, second-generation VX platform made of lightweight NanoXcel. This ski also enjoyed the all-new 115hp TR-1 Yamaha marine engine, which replaced the outdated MR-1.

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

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX review!

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Review

Yamaha VX Hull

The 2016-2020 Yamaha VX was built on the upgraded VX hull, which debuted on its 2015 predecessor.

Compared to its first generation, this platform was noticeably larger with better capacities. What’s more, it was much more stable and predictable.

The body of the base VX was made of traditional fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) since Yamaha was reserving the innovative NanoXcel for the more advanced VX models.

In terms of dimensions, the ski measured 131.5 inches in length and 48 inches in width.

Its top deck was designed with modern lines and a rectangular nose that resembled the bow of the iconic “Square Nose” 701 SuperJet.

You could expect the total weight capacity of the ski to be 530 pounds.

This was not surprising since it could accommodate three adult riders, 18.5 gallons of gas, and 21.5 gallons of gear.

Storage compartments included a standard 19-gallon bow storage, a 0.9-gallon glovebox, and a 1.5-gallon removable watertight storage compartment. The latter was located under the rear saddle.

Yamaha VX Engine

There’s no question that the key advantage of the 2016 VX was its entirely new TR-1 engine.

Unlike its MR-1 forerunner, which was a marinized R1 motorcycle engine, this unit came from the manufacturer’s snowmobile division.

Besides WaveRunners, this unit has been used in a lot of Yamaha jetboats since 2016.

In a nutshell, the key specifications of the TR-1 engine were as follows:

  • 4-stroke, inline-3, DOHC architecture
  • 115hp engine power
  • Displacement: 1049cc
  • Bore x stroke: 82 x 66.2 mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.0:1
  • Dry sump lubrication
  • T.C.I. ignition
  • Fuel injection system
  • Electric start
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • NGK CR9EB spark plugs

Yamaha VX Features

The base VX was released to be the simplest and most affordable VX WaveRunner available. This means that it lacked some of the bells and whistles that came standard on the Deluxe and Cruiser models.

Nevertheless, the entry-level VX still enjoyed many advanced features, the most important of which were the following:

  • RiDE brake and reverse system
  • Front storage compartment (19 gal.)
  • Glovebox (1.9 gal.)
  • Under-seat storage (1.5 gal.)
  • Fire extinguisher holder
  • Hydro-Turf deck mats
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Engine cut-off switch
  • Engine shut-off cord (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 VX also housed an innovative digital information canter that displayed a lot of very useful watercraft information, including:

Yamaha VX Top Speed and Performance

Even though the Yamaha VX built its reputation on simplicity and an affordable price tag, it offered just as good a performance as its more advanced VX relatives.

Under ideal conditions and with a light load, it could accelerate from 0 to 30 mph in just 2.4-2.6 seconds and it topped out at 52-53 mph on GPS.

At this speed, its claimed fuel consumption was 8.8 gph, which could be reduced to 3.3-3.5 gph when cruising at 30-32 mph. The fuel ranges at these speeds were about 2 and 5.5 hours, respectively.

Thanks to its enlarged hull, well-designed sponsons, and RiDE brake and reverse system the VX offered a smooth and safe riding experience.

Its simple features and naturally aspirated engine were also known for having great reliability and easy maintenance.

This is why the VX series became the No.1. choice of many PWC rental shops and beginner PWC enthusiasts.

Yamaha offered the VX in the same configuration from 2016 through 2020. For the 2021 season, the entire VX series was refreshed, and the base VX was no exception.

2016-2020 Yamaha VX Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the most important specifications of the 2016-2020 Yamaha VX into these charts:

Engine Specs

2016-2020 Yamaha VXEngine Specs
Type4-stroke, TR1 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 VXDrive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise
Jet Thrust Nozzle Angle24 + 24 °


2016-2020 Yamaha VXPerformance
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 VXDimensions
Overall Length131.5 in (3340 mm)
Overall Width48 in (1220 mm)
Overall Height46.9 in (1190 mm)
Dry Weight708 lb (321 kg)
Maximum people on board3 person
Maximum load capacity530 lb (240 kg)

Fuel and Oil

2016-2020 Yamaha VXFuel 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 the 2016-2020 Yamaha VX:

What is a Yamaha VX?

The VX WaveRunner was an entry-level runabout Yamaha PWC.

When did the Yamaha VX Come Out?

The second-generation Yamaha VX was introduced in 2015 and was upgraded with the TR-1 engine in 2016.

What Size was a ’16-’20 Yamaha VX?

The ’16-’20 Yamaha VX measured 131.5 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 46.9 inches in height.

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

The ‘16-‘20 Yamaha VX weighed 708 pounds dry.

How Many People Could Ride on a VX?

The VX WaveRunner was rated for three riders.

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

The hearth of this ski was a 4-stroke, naturally-aspirated, 1049cc, fuel-injected, inline-3, TR-1 Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha VX Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha VX featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX Have?

The 2016 Yamaha VX produced 115hp out of the box.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha VX Hold?

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

How Much Fuel Did a ‘16-’20 VX Hold?

The Yamaha VX featured an 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a VX Use?

The claimed fuel economy of the TR-1-powered VX was 8.8 gph at WOT and about 3.5 gph at 30 mph.

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

The claimed cruising range of this WaveRunner was 2.09 hours at full throttle.

How Fast Did a ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX Go?

The top speed of a ’16-‘20 Yamaha VX WaveRunner was about 52-53 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the Yamaha VX Tow be a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its three-seater saddle and ski hook, the VX could legally tow a wakeboarder or skier.

Did the VX Have a Trim System?             

The Yamaha VX was designed without a trim system.

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

The VX came standard with a RiDE brake and reverse system.