Last Updated on

Yamaha GP1800R Review: Top Speed, HP, Prices, Specs

Home/News/Yamaha GP1800R Review: Top Speed, HP, Prices, Specs

Last Updated on

Yamaha GP1800R is one of the most wanted personal watercraft (PWC) year after year, and for good reason. If you are looking for the highest performance ski off the shelf, you can’t go wrong with the GP1800R.

Do you know that “R” in its name is for racing? Specially designed for closed-course racing, this WaveRunner is nimble, fast and responsive. The GP1800R made its reputation by dominating several classes year after year since it was released in 2017!

According to the manufacturer, this model is the #1 choice for championship riders which makes it so attractive for many other performance-minded buyers. That’s why the GP1800R has tons of fans and is one of the best-selling performance PWCs each year!

What’s more, now you can choose from two different models. If you’d like to discover and compare the new GP1800R HO as well as the SVHO, don’t hesitate to read more.

We, at JetDrift, have collected the most recently available information, specs as well as pictures and test videos into this Yamaha GP1800R review!

Yamaha GP1800R Review

GP1800R HO vs. SVHO

If we’re checking Yamaha’s performance and race-class WaveRunners, we can find three different models in this line.  The first is the legendary Yamaha Superjet (which is a stand-up model), and beyond this, there are still two sit-down WaveRunners in this family, namely the GP1800R HO and GP1800R SVHO.

First things first, we need to clarify the names, as they can be confusing for even experienced PWC enthusiasts. In the past, Yamaha released these models under different names, as the former VXR was renamed, so now this model arrives as GP1800R HO.

Renaming like this is not uncommon in the industry, and Yamaha probably wants to take advantage of the good reputation of the GP1800. Based on other information, Yamaha just wants to clarify that these models belong to the same family, as the different names caused some confusion on the market.

The name of the bigger brother also changed slightly, as it went from GP1800 to GP1800R SVHO referring to its 250 HP, high output, supercharged engine. In a nutshell, since they arrive on the same platform, the main differences between the two GP1800 models are the engine performance (180 HP non-supercharged vs. 250 HP supercharged) and the painting options:

2021 Yamaha GP1800R HO

2021 Yamaha GP1800R HO-1

2021 Yamaha GP1800R HO-2

2021 Yamaha GP1800R HO-2

2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO-1

2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO-1

2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO-2

2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO-2

Hull and Dimensions

As mentioned previously, both the GP1800R HO and the SVHO arrive on the same platform.  The high-end racing WaveRunner hull and deck are made of the lightweight NanoXcel2 material, which is the key to the low net weight of the GP1800 models.

Compared to its predecessor, the NanoXcel2 is no less than 18% lighter while its quality has not diminished. So it means you can expect the same rigidity and strength just as with any previous NanoXcel hulls, and it’s just as easily repairable.  Beyond the much better power-to-weight ratios, the new hull ensures a more responsive riding experience and easier handling.

While the two models are basically the same, you can notice slight differences in their weights, as the GP 1800R HO weighs in at 739 pounds (curb weight: 865 pounds), while the SVHO is slightly heavier.  Its net weight is 769 pounds (curb weight: 895 pounds).  This small difference comes from the different engine sizes and weights.

Speaking of the GP1800R dimensions, it’s not the biggest WaveRunner in Yamaha’s fleet. It’s just 131.9” long, while 48” wide and 46.9” high. Compared to the FX series, the GP1800R is 9” shorter and 2” slimmer.

Because of the shorter hull, you can expect a slightly smaller swim platform, but it’s not the priority of any race PWC. Fortunately, the manufacturer didn’t forget to install a tow-hook into the rear side of the deck, so if you’re considering wakeboarding or pulling a tube, you can attach your tow rope easily to it.

But let’s face it; this is not the best PWC for wakeboarding, as you can find specially designed crafts for this purpose, like the Sea-Doo Wake series.  The GP1800R also features professional and convenient, two-tone deck mats in the footwells and on the swim platform.

Fuel Capacity and Storage

The fuel capacity of the GP1800R series is also remarkable, as it has 18.5-gallon fuel tank, and offers a total of 24.6 gallons of storage capacity.  It is divided into three different storage compartments; a 19 gallon bow storage with a smaller,1.5 gallon removable, watertight storage compartment under the rear seat and the glovebox. This is the smallest storage with 0.9 gallons of capacity, and it also features two cup holders.

What’s more, you can extend the GP1800R’s storage capacity with the optional accessory bag. According to the owner’s manual, the machine can carry 3 riders while the weight capacity is 530 pounds.

Yamaha GP1800R HO vs. SVHO

Yamaha GP1800R HO vs. SVHO

Features and Accessories


Just like many other WaveRunners in Yamaha’s fleet, the GP1800R is also equipped with an electric trim system and the user-friendly brake and reverse system (called RiDE).

With this feature, you can switch from forward to reverse or even spin the WaveRunner easily and precisely with the dual handlebar controls. It results in safer rides and easier operating around docks and in tight places.  If you want to learn more, you can discover Yamaha’s RiDE system and compare it to the Sea-Doo’s iBR here.

Moreover, the GP1800R arrives with dual remote transmitters, which can be used to activate Security mode and Low RPM mode, which are great safety feature for beginners or inexperienced riders. Alternatively, this mode helps you to achieve the greatest fuel economy.

The Security mode can be activated with the other button, which can prevent unauthorized startups.


The ergonomic, textured, racing-style saddle is designed for maximum comfort and grip, while the well-designed bolster secures you in the right position.  Removing the rear part of the 2-piece saddle allows you to access the watertight storage (1.5 gallons).

It’s also spacious enough to offer comfortable rides for 3 adults, unlike some smaller PWC models, where the rear seat is mainly comfortable for children.

Yamaha GP1800R HO: 180 horsepower, SVHO: 250 horsepower

Yamaha GP1800R HO: 180 horsepower, SVHO: 250 horsepower

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is quite simple, but it does the job well as it provides the most important information you need on the water. It features a huge speedometer, tachometer, boost and fuel gauge, check engine light, and the trim settings.

Reboarding Step and Mirrors

Just like many other high-end Yamaha PWCs, the GP1800R features dual mirrors and a wide, retractable reboarding step which is a great addition to help you get back on the WaveRunner after watersport or a swim.

Bilge Pump

You can find an automatic bilge pump in the hull, which is a great help if there’s some water in the bilge, or even if the WaveRunner starts to sink for any reason.

Yamaha GP1800R Top Speed and Fuel Consumption

How Fast Does a Yamaha GP1800 Go?

Beyond the factory performance specs, every performance-minded buyer asks: How fast does a Yamaha GP1800 go?

Being the fastest WaveRunner on the market, the Yamaha GP1800R SVHO’s top speed is 67-69 mph, thanks to an electronic speed limiter, which is installed in every US model by default. Overriding the limiter, you can expect around 78-80 mph!

Although it’s powered with a (180 HP) naturally-aspirated engine, you can expect the stock Yamaha GP1800R HO’s top speed to be in the same range, around 67-69 mph. When it comes to acceleration, both models can reach from 0 to 30 mph in under two seconds, however the SVHO is noticeably more aggressive.

2020 Yamaha GP1800R top speed: 67-69 mph

Yamaha GP1800R top speed: 67-69 mph

Yamaha GP1800R Horsepower

How Much HP Does the Yamaha GP1800R Have?

This is one of the most common questions among PWC enthusiasts and for good reason, as Yamaha surprisingly doesn’t release the official performance specifications for their models. But the sticker in the hull clearly states all of these specifications, so based on these specs, the Yamaha GP 1800R HO has 180 HP, while the GP1800R SVHO offers 250 HP.

Speaking of the Yamaha GP1800R’s engine, it’s safe to say that this model has the largest displacement in the industry. The 1812cc, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, DOHC High Output Yamaha Marine Engine is still cooled with the industry-standard open-loop cooling system, and has the highest displacement in the PWC industry (which makes it perfect for modifications).

While the HO is powered with a naturally aspirated (non-supercharged) engine, the SVHO is powered with the supercharged variation of this power source, offering an extra 70 horsepower.  It’s an interesting fact that if we look at the offerings of each manufacturer, the GP1800R HO is the only model which is considered a performance model, but it’s powered with a naturally-aspirated engine.

Below the waterline, we can notice some differences in the pumps as well, as the SVHO has a bigger 160mm high-pressure pump. (The HO’s pump is slightly smaller, as it’s just 155mm.)

Beyond the 8-vane jet pump, the redesigned top-loader intake grate, as well as the new ride plate, ensure more aggressive acceleration and handling.   The outstanding power-to-weight ratio and the rest of these features make the GP1800R a race-ready WaveRunner even without any modifications.

GP1800R Fuel Consumption

Speaking of the GP1800R SVHO’s fuel consumption, you can find its best cruise speed at 4,000 RPM which means 25.5 mph cruising speed and 7.8 mpg according to BoatTest. At this speed, you can expect around 5 hours of riding time.

But please note that the WaveRunner’s fuel consumption depends on several factors, like weather conditions, curb weight, and many others. What’s more, when you’re planning your tours, it’s always wise to keep in mind the 1/3-1/3 fuel management rule for safety reasons.

If you want to go faster, riding with 37.6 mph at 5,000 rpm will lead to less fuel efficiency, resulting in 5.9 mpg, and the endurance also drops dramatically, as it’s just 2.6 hours.

The WaveRunners are less fuel-efficient at top speed, just like any other vehicle powered with an internal consumption engine. What’s more, supercharged engines are known for burning tons of gas, so that’s why you can expect to burn around 20+ gallons every hour on the supercharged GP1800R at WOT.

Speaking of the Yamaha GP1800R HO’s gas consumption, it’s safe to say that this model is much better on gas at higher speed thanks especially to the lack of the supercharger and the slightly lower curb weight.

If you ride it at full speed, it burns around 13 gallons of gas every hour, and that translates to 5 miles per gallon. The best cruise speed of the GP1800R HO is 20 mph (at 4,000 rpm) which means much better consumption figures: 2.6 gph, and 8.1 mpg.

Performance and Riding Experience

There are no doubts that the GP1800R is an out-of-the-box racing WaveRunner, designed to win championships. Currently, this is the most aggressive, fastest WaveRunner on the market, which has become a legend already in the year of its appearance.

Even if it has the same size and many similarities to the VX series, the riding experience is completely different. The GP1800R also surprises you with a much more lively and agile behavior than the bulky cruisers.  You can expect precise and fast turning thanks to the unique design of the hull, as well as the custom sponsons.

The accelerations are also amazing and smooth, as the design of the new ride plate helps to reduce the bow-rise, while the top-loader intake grate delivers more water to the impeller. In this way, you can expect maximum thrust while turning or even on choppy water.

Considering the GP1800R’s performance, it’s definitely not for beginners.

Even if you’re an experienced rider, this doesn’t mean that you should test its limits on the first day, as you can find yourself quickly in the water or in an even worse situation.  Although the GP’s size and capacity makes it perfect even for families, if you’re looking for a “family WaveRunner” you should instead take a look at the FX series.

Yamaha GP1800R Price Tags and Competitors

For those who stick to this amazing PWC, their next question is probably this:

How much is a Yamaha GP1800R?

If we take a look at the 2021 Yamaha GP1800R price tags, we are surprised to find that these are among the most affordable performance PWCs in this current year. It means the GP1800R HO is available for $12,549, while the GP1800R SVHO’s price is higher due to its supercharged engine; it costs $14,749.

Are you wondering what are the competitor models from the other manufacturers?   The flagship racing-class Sea-Doo, the RXP-X is considered a worthy opponent. This PWC offers more power, but a higher net weight (843 pounds), which translates into decreased power-to-weight ratio. You can purchase this high-end Sea-Doo for $15,799 in 2021.

Kawasaki’s racing-class Jet Ski, the Ultra 310R, also deserves a look. Being the most powerful Jet Ski on the market, the Ultra 310R comes with 310 HP and 1,047 pounds of curb weight (net weight: 908 pounds). The Kawasaki’s list price for the Ultra 310R is $16,499, which makes it the most expensive performance PWC on the market.

SpecsGP1800R SVHORXP-X 300RXT-X 300ULTRA 310R
MSRP ($)$14 749$15 799$16 799$16 499
Performance (HP) 250300300310
Displacement (cc)1812163016301498
Top Speed (mph)67676767
Acceleration 0-30 mph (s)1,52,21,5NA
Net Weight (Lbs)772843829908
Curb Weight (Lbs)898952 954 1 047
Fuel Capacity (Gal)18,515,918,520,6
Power to Curb weight ratio HP/Lbs0,280,320,310,30
Length (")131,9130,6135,9132,7
Width (")48,849,249,447,0
Height (")47,245,345,245,3

You can discover these models here:

Yamaha GP1800R SVHO

Sea-Doo RXT-X 300

Sea-Doo RXP-X 300

Kawasaki Ultra 310R


The GP1800R SVHO is a racing-ready WaveRunner that you can buy off the shelf. Whether you want to race it or just create great adrenalin rushes on the weekends, the GP1800R is one of the best choices for you.

This is the fastest WaveRunner with the most aggressive attitude released by Yamaha ever. It arrives with the lightweight NanoXcel2 hull and deck, which ensures the outstanding power-to-weight ratio.

Beyond the 1.812cc supercharged (250 HP) engine, the new GP1800R features several race-inspired parts like the top-loader intake grate, the redesigned ride plate, or the unique sponsons, which offer great handling and amazing performance.

According to the manufacturer, this is the most dominant race personal watercraft since it was released, winning several World Championships in several classes.  If you’re happy with less power but still want to ride GP, the GP1800R HO is for you.

With the naturally-aspirated, 180 HP engine this model needs less maintenance and is more fuel-efficient, especially at higher speeds.

Although these WaveRunners are amazing, they’re definitely not for everybody (especially the SVHO). If you’re a beginner, you should take a look at the FX or the VX family, as these models are known for more comfort and ease of handling.

Last but not least, WaveRunners’ reliability is legendary, so if you want to spend more time on the water than in the repair shops, you can’t go wrong with any Yamaha watercraft. Moreover, it’s good to know that all WaveRunners are manufactured in the United States.

This was our short Yamaha GP1800R review, we hope you like it!

Kawasaki, Sea-Doo, Yamaha, Krash…

Discover models
Discover models