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You can also learn all about the most popular vintage Yamaha WaveRunner models through the following links:
But if you want to find out even more about these models and the entire history of these iconic machines, keep reading.
We’ve listed the key facts and major milestones of Yamaha WaveRunners into this summary:
The History of Yamaha WaveRunners
To get the full history of Yamaha WaveRunners you have to start in the 1970s when the chief boat and water vehicle designer at Yamaha, Neil Kobayashi (a.k.a. “WaveRunner Papa”), came up with the original concept of these machines. In 1986, after many years in development, the first WaveRunner was ready to be launched. So, this was when Yamaha made its official entrance into the PWC market.
Yamaha introduced the WaveRunner 500, which ended up being the first commercially successful sit-down PWC. This model was the forerunner that actually created today’s booming PWC market. The agility of this craft was such that many levels of riders could feel a sense of assurance. This opened the market to practically everyone, which sent shockwaves through the relatively small watercraft industry. Because the WaveRunner 500 was so successful, Sea-Doo
were motivated to develop their own sit-down models.
As an encore, Yamaha introduced the world’s first sit-down solo riding PWC, the WaveJammer 500. This too was an incredibly agile model due to a small hull and a fixed steering column. This concept of combining these two features would later be incorporated into the WaveBlaster models.
This is when the WaveRunner III 650 was introduced, which was the world’s first PWC built to hold 3 passengers, thanks to a high-performance engine and larger hull
. With a remarkably enjoyable running performance and extraordinary stability, it became the new rage and ultimately the predecessor of family models, which came later.
When Yamaha released the SuperJet 650 it declared its presence in the stand-up category.
This model had incredible balance, which quickly made the SuperJet a familiar name around the world. Stand-up models were now accessible to many more people.
Yamaha came out with the WaveRunner VXR650 as the deluxe model of its tandem series this year. It was still the same size as the first WaveRunners, but Yamaha adopted a new hull design for the VXR650 that allowed it to make sharper turns with less slipping.
This is when the WaveBlaster 700
was first introduced. Sports-loving riders were enthralled with its motorcycle-like ride, which allowed them to enjoy the thrill of sharply banked turns. In races the WaveBlaster 700 was the dominating force in the sport class category.
As an encore, Yamaha released the WaveRaider 700 this year. The era of PWC speed racing had begun and runabout models with V-shaped hulls were now the standard. This was the same year that Yamaha introduced the FX1 stand-up model as well.
Not wanting to leave beginners behind, Yamaha released the WaveVenture 700, which was a full-sized model with 3 seats. Since beginners could easily ride this model, even in rough waters, it became quite popular at beach resorts with PWC rental shops.
In an effort to allow more people to experience the thrill of riding a PWC more aggressively, Yamaha next came out with the WaveBlaster II. It was built with a specially designed hull for more stability and paired with a powerful 760cc engine.
Continuing to innovate, Yamaha introduced the GP1200
the following year, which was a high-performance runabout model. It was built with a compact body specially designed for amazing agility, but it also had the most powerful engine
so far in the industry. As expected, speed riding enthusiasts loved the GP1200!
With a desire to grow the sport, Yamaha released the XL1200
as its top model in this year’s full-sized 3-seater category. This model was designed to be used for family rides, tow sports and touring, and succeeded in expanding the universe of PWC sports.
Never willing to rest on its laurels, Yamaha blew the industry away when it released the SUV1200
the following year. This was the first 4-passenger PWC ever developed, and it had better stability than all other PWCs. Despite its size it was incredibly easy to handle, making the SUV1200 an industry legend.
This is when the upgraded GP1200R was released with a newly designed body and hull along with a 155 HP engine. Beautifully designed with unparalleled running performance, the GP1200R assumed leadership of the muscle crafts.
This year Yamaha came out with an upgrade on the XL1200 Ltd., introducing the XLT1200 with a completely redesigned front.
Yamaha introduced the FX140
as the world’s first WaveRunner with a 4-stroke engine. This model revolutionized the industry with its smooth feeling engine, amazing fuel economy and clean exhaust.
As a follow-up Yamaha released the GP1300R
, a muscle craft that provided great performance while being environmentally friendly, which was revolutionary at the time.
This was the year that 4-stroke PWCs joined the high-performance arena with Yamaha’s release of the FX HO
along with the FX Cruiser HO.
For Yamaha to reach its goal of getting more riders interested in 4-stroke engine models and how wonderfully they performed, it introduced the VX Sport and VX Deluxe. Both models offered high quality at an affordable price
, which people found irresistible.
The FX Cruiser HO, the company’s flagship model, was now released with enhancements that make the cruiser concept even more unique, plus it has a bold newly colored hull.
Yamaha took its flagship model, the FX Cruiser SHO,
and adds a compact 1.8-liter supercharged engine, which is still the largest engine on any PWC, and combined it with the body of a NanoXcel SMC.
2010: The VX Series
is renewed for 2010, and why not? It’s always been the bestselling PWC in the world since Yamaha first introduced it in 2005.
The VXR was initially introduced with a VX hull, made of “NanoXcel” an ultra-lightweight material. It was also equipped with a 1.8L High Output Engine. Of all runabout models that existed in the industry at the time, the VXR had the lightest body.
This year the FX Cruiser HO and FX Cruiser SHO both had an all-new body lineup. The NanoXcel hull is both extremely lightweight and longer, which meant improved handling while providing the most stability in the industry so far.
Yamaha was now ready to introduce its Super Vortex High Output (SVHO) marine engine, which is the most technologically advanced engine ever developed for PWCs.
Continuing to innovate, Yamaha introduced its ingenious “RiDE” Dual Throttle Control System
along with a more advanced lightweight NanoXcel 2 hull material.
This was the 30th
Anniversary of WaveRunner, which deserved to be celebrated. So, the company introduced its brand new TR-1 engine on its VX model line.
Never wanting to be outdone, the company released the all-new Yamaha EX series
to compete in the Rec-Lite category with the extremely popular Sea-Doo Spark.
After 30 years in production, the legendary Superjet was completely redesigned
and finally released this year with a 4-stroke TR-1 engine.