Honda AquaTrax R-12X Review and Specs [Video]

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The Honda AquaTrax R-12X was a turbocharged variant of its less powerful non-turbo R-12 sibling. These skis were built on the sporty R AquaTrax platform and housed 4-stroke engines that delivered 165 and 125hp, respectively.

If you want to find out more about this turbocharged AquaTrax, this post is for you.

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

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Review

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Hull

The Honda Aquatrax R-12X was one of the few factory-built turbocharged PWCs.

It was built on the lively R AquaTrax hull, which measured 120.6 inches in length, 45.4 inches in width, and 40.8 inches in height. This body was made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic, so the dry weight of the R-12X was only 746 pounds.

It featured a different, more aggressive hull design than the 3-seater F-12 series. The R-12X was also 3.6 inches narrower and 5.4 inches shorter while having a smaller, 2-seater saddle.

In terms of capacities, this machine underperformed its 3-seater brothers, since its weight capacity was only 338 pounds.

The storage capacity of the ski was also surprisingly little, the tiny glovebox and front storage unit could only accommodate 5.8 gallons of gear.

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Engine

As a rule of thumb, the AquaTrax R-12 and R-12X were completely equivalent, except the latter featured a turbocharged engine while the R-12 had a naturally aspirated heart.

Both of these engines were based on the same 4-stroke, 1235cc, DOHC, fuel-injected, inline-4 Honda marine power source. But while the naturally-aspirated variant delivered 125hp at 7000 RPM, the turbocharged model cranked out 165hp at 6100 RPM.

These jet skis enjoyed many advanced technologies, including:

  • 4-stroke, inline-4 architecture
  • DOHC valve system
  • Electronic keyless ignition system
  • Side-mounted, silent-type cam chain
  • IMR9D-9H Iridium-tip spark plugs
  • Honda Ignition Control System (ICS)
  • Off-throttle steering system (OTS)
  • High-pressure programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI)
  • Four 43 psi fuel injectors with 38mm throttle bodies
  • ECU-provided fuel injection maps for each cylinder
  • Stainless steel oil cooler
  • Dry-sump oil system

Engine power was delivered to a 147mm Solas jet pump. This axial-flow, single-stage propulsion system was designed with a polished stainless-steel, 3-blade impeller.

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Features

The standard features on the AquaTrax R-12X include:

  • Electronic keyless ignition system
  • Engine shut-off switch
  • Safety lanyard
  • Bow storage
  • Glovebox
  • Tool kit compartment
  • Fire extinguisher compartment
  • Sponsons
  • Trim system
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Manual reverse
  • One-piece seat for 2
  • Bow and stern eyelets
  • Deck mats
  • Drain plugs

(Unlike the 3-seater F-12 series, this model lacked some convenience features like a ski-eye, reboarding step, and dual mirrors.)

The multifunction gauge of the R12-X provided a lot of valuable riding information, and its most important features were as follows:

  • Tachometer
  • Speedometer
  • Fuel gauge
  • Low fuel indicator
  • Multifunction meter
  • Low battery voltage indicator
  • Engine overheating indicator
  • Limit mode indicator
  • Low oil pressure indicator
  • PGM-FI malfunction indicator lamp
  • Warning lamp

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Top Speed and Performance

Thanks to its high-performance turbocharged PWC engine, the top speed of the AquaTrax R-12X was 60-62 mph under ideal conditions. In contrast, its non-turbo variant was 5-7 mph slower but much better on gas.

The claimed fuel consumption of the R-12X was 13.84 gph at full speed, which could be decreased to about 4 gph at cruising speed.

Its fuel capacity was 16.64 gallons, so the cruising range at these speeds was 1.2 hours and 4.1 hours, respectively.

Besides its amazing top speed, the R-12X was also known for having an amazing throttle response, smooth operation, and great maneuverability.

Compared to the larger F-12, it was quicker and much more nimble, yet it remained more predictable in tight turns.

Due to its different platform and high-positioned seat, the R-12X offered drier rides but it did have a higher center of gravity, which made it tippy with an adult passenger onboard.

Therefore, this ski was primarily recommended for solo rides, just like its competitors like the Sea-Doo RXP 215 and the Yamaha GP1300R.

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Problems

Even though Honda AquaTrax PWCs built their reputation on reliability and durability, they weren’t completely bulletproof.

One of the most common problems with the R-12X was that its turbo and waste gate solenoid were prone to getting stuck.

A stuck turbo was easy to recognize since it instantly decreased the top speed of the ski to 20-30 mph.

This issue could be typically fixed by spraying the turbo with a penetrating lubricant. After waiting 15 minutes you could free up the turbo by spinning it using shop rag or glove.

However, best practice was to prevent these issues by spraying down the waste gate actuator and the turbo after each ride.

Another drawback of the R-12X was its complex electrical system. Compared to simple 2-strokes, this ski utilized many sensors that were prone to fouling the ECU.

On top of that, it took premium gas and lacked a lot of important features like a ski eye and a reboarding step. Consequently, this PWC couldn’t be used for tow sports.

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the main specs of the 2006 Honda AquaTrax R-12X in these charts:

(Please note that the specs may vary by the model year.)

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Engine Specs

2006 AquaTrax R-12XEngine Specs
Type4-stroke, inline-4
Number of cylinders4
Displacement 1235 cm³ (75.3 cu. in)
Bore and Stroke79 × 63 mm (3.11 × 2.48 in)
Lubrication systemDry sump
Cooling SystemWater-cooled, open circuit, direct flow from propulsion system
Starting System Electric starter
Spark Plug Gap0.8-0.9 mm (0.031-0.035 in)
Spark Plugs Type IMR9D-9H
Valve clearance (cold) – Intake0.006 in (0.16mm)
Valve clearance (cold) – Exhaust0.01 in (0.26mm)

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Propulsion

2006 AquaTrax R-12XDrive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump Type Axial flow, single stage
Minimum level for jet pump operation3 feet (90 cm)
Impeller3-blade, stainless steel

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Performance

2006 AquaTrax R-12XPerformance
Maximum Output 165hp (121.4 kW) @ 6100 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption 13.84 US gal/h (52.4 L/h)
Cruising Range at full throttle 1.2 hours
Idle speed1200 +/- 100 r/min

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Dimensions

2006 AquaTrax R-12XDimensions
Overall Length 120.6 in (3062 mm)
Overall Width 45.4 in (1154 mm)
Overall Height 40.8 in (1036 mm)
Passenger capacityOperator and one passenger
Cargo capacityFront storage compartment: 6.6 lbs (3 kg), glove box: 1 lbs (0.5 kg)
Maximum weight capacity338 lbs (153.5 kg) rider, passenger, all cargo

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Fuel and Lubricant

2006 AquaTrax R-12XFuel and Oil
Fuel Unleaded Premium Gasoline
Pump octane number91 or higher
Fuel capacity16.64 US gal (63.0 L)
Recommended engine oil typeAPI Service Classification SG or higher except oils labeled as energy conserving on the API service label SAE 10W-40 JASO 4T Standard MA or MB Pro Honda GN4, HP4 (without molybdenum additives) or HP4M (with molybdenum additives) 4-stroke oil or an equivalent motorcycle oil
LubricantWater-displacement corrosion-proof lubricant (without Teflon or molybdenum additives, such as CRC 6-56 or equivalent)
Engine oil capacity – after disassembly5.6 US qt. (5.3 L)
Engine oil capacity – after draining4.4 US qt. (4.2 L)
Engine oil capacity – after draining & oil filter change4.5 US qt. (4.3 L)

Honda AquaTrax R-12X Electric System

2006 AquaTrax R-12XElectric System
Battery12 V – 18 Ah
Generator0.31 kW/5,000 RPM
Main fuse30 A
Other fuses5 A, 7.5 A

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 Honda PWC:

What is a Honda AquaTrax R-12X?

The AquaTrax R-12X was the first 2-seater 4-stroke turbocharged PWC ever built.

When did the Honda AquaTrax R-12X Come Out?

The Honda AquaTrax R-12X was introduced in 2003.

What Years Did Yamaha Manufacture the AquaTrax R-12X?

The R-12X was marketed from 2003 through 2007.

What Size was an AquaTrax R-12X?

The R-12X measured 120.6 inches in length, 45.4 inches in width, and 40.8 inches in height.

How Much Did a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Weigh?

The dry weight of the AquaTrax R-12X was 746 pounds (2004 model).

How Many People Could Ride on a Honda AquaTrax R-12X?

The Honda AquaTrax R-12X was rated for two riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the AquaTrax R-12X?

The engine of this ski was a turbocharged, 4-stroke, 1235cc, fuel-injected, inline-4, Honda marine engine.

Was the Honda AquaTrax R-12X Supercharged?

The Honda AquaTrax R-12X enjoyed a turbocharged engine option.

Was the Honda AquaTrax R-12X a 2-stroke?

The Honda AquaTrax R-12X was powered by a 4-stroke engine.

Was the Honda AquaTrax R-12X fuel-injected?

The Honda AquaTrax R-12X featured a fuel injection system.

How Much HP Did a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Have?

The AquaTrax R-12X delivered 165hp at 6100 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Hold?

The R-12X held 5.6 US quarts of engine oil, of which 4.5 quarts were replaceable (w/ filter).

How Much Fuel Did a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Hold?

The R-12X housed a 16.64-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Use?

The claimed fuel economy of the AquaTrax R-12X was 9.25 gph at full speed.

What was the Cruising Range of the Honda AquaTrax R-12X?

The range of the Honda AquaTrax R-12X was 1.2 hours at WOT.

How Fast Did a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Go?

The top speed of a Honda AquaTrax R-12X was 60-62 mph in stock condition.

Could the AquaTrax R-12X Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Due to its 2-rider seat, the AquaTrax R-12X couldn’t legally be used for tow sports.

Did the Honda AquaTrax R-12X Have a Trim System?   

This Honda PWC was designed with a quick-shift trim system.

Did the Honda AquaTrax R-12X Have a Reverse?           

The PWC featured a manual reverse system.

Did the Honda AquaTrax R-12X Have a Brake?

This Honda PWC was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Honda AquaTrax R-12X Cost?

The asking price of a used Honda AquaTrax R-12X varies between $4,000 and $7,500 depending on the year and its condition.

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