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1991-1995 Yamaha VXR 650 Review and Specs [Video]

1991-1995 Yamaha VXR 650 Review and Specs [Video]

The Yamaha VXR 650 was the sportier, 2-seater version of the proven 3-seater WaveRunner III 650. It featured a unique hull design, a more powerful 50hp engine configuration, and a more advanced, axial-flow jet pump.

Thanks to its great performance and handling, the VXR 650 instantly became popular among performance-minded buyers.

If you want to find out more about this 2-stroke performance WaveRunner, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha VXR 650 review!

Yamaha VXR 650 Review

Yamaha VXR 650 Hull and Top Deck

Yamaha introduced its 2-stroke VXR series in 1991 as its flagship performance runabout PWC line. This series included the VXR 650, the base VXR, and its top-of-the-line VXR Pro 700.

Each of these skis was built on the same VXR platform, measuring 109.1 inches in length, 40.2 inches in width, and 35.5 inches in height.

Even though the measurements of the shell on these skis were completely identical to the WaveRunner III 650, it featured a different design that was optimized for performance.

(Due to their similar body and features, these models were often confused, but they featured a different hull design and drivetrain.)

The key advantage of the VXR hull was its concave shape, which was less prone to slipping out in the corners. Therefore, it offered sharper turns and a more aggressive riding experience.

Thanks to its outstanding characteristics and a more powerful engine configuration, VXRs became some of the best-selling Yamaha WaveRunners in the early ‘90s.

The first model in this breed was the VXR 650, which was revealed in 1991. As the name suggests, this ski was powered by the lively 650 marine engine.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about this power source in detail!

Yamaha VXR 650 Engine

The engine of the Yamaha VXR 650 was a 2-stroke, 633cc, twin-cylinder Yamaha marine engine that built its reputation on its legendary durability and reliability.

It came standard with a wide range of innovative features, including CDI ignition, electric start, a Mikuni carburetor, and an open-loop cooling system.

According to its operator’s manual, this Yamaha 633cc marine engine in the VXR 650 delivered 50hp (37.3 kW) at 6000 RPM.

Even though the same engine was used in many other WaveRunners like the III 650, and the stand-up SuperJet 650, these models were only rated at 42hp at 5500 RPM.

They also featured an outdated mixed-flow jet pump, which produced a thrust of 385 pounds.

In contrast, the more powerful engine of the VXR 650 was paired with a more advanced axial-flow jet pump, housing a 5-blade aluminum impeller. This propulsion system provided almost 30 percent more thrust; 496 pounds to be precise.

The maximum fuel consumption of the VXR 650 was 5.5 US gallons at WOT, so its 7.9-gallon fuel tank only offered 1.4 hours of riding time.

The top speed of the ski was roughly 35-40 mph depending on environmental conditions.

Yamaha VXR 650 Features

Unlike today’s luxury PWCs, the VXR 650 was only designed with a few basic features, which were as follows:

  • Seat storage compartment (capacity: 14.5 lb)
  • Water-resistant storage container (capacity: 2.09 lb)
  • Fire extinguisher container
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Front
  • Engine stop switch with safety lanyard
  • Deck mats
  • Drain plugs
  • Rope holes
  • Grab handles
  • Fuel cock
  • Oil level gauge
Interestingly, the storage compartment of the ski was located under the seat.

This was no surprise since the engine was nestled forward in the hull, beneath the handlebar area. Because of this, the handlebar was mounted on top of the hood, which is quite a strange design from today’s perspective.

But back in the early ’90s, this “vintage snowmobile-like” platform design was standard in the PWC industry.

Yamaha VXR 650 Problems

Even though the VXR 650 was an extremely reliable 2-stroke WaveRunner, it also had some minor design flaws.

In a nutshell, the most common problems of the VXR 650 were as follows:

  • Aluminum impeller: The factory aluminum impeller was prone to getting damaged very easily by debris. Because of this, many owners replaced it with a stainless-steel aftermarket impeller.
  • Loud and “shaky” idle: The 2-stroke engine of the ski didn’t ensure smooth idling. Instead, it was quite loud and shook a lot while idling, but this was considered normal on these vintage power sources.
  • Aging oil lines: The oil lines were prone to aging and cracking on 2-stroke jet skis over time, and the VXR 650 was no exception. And only a little malfunction in the oil system could easily end in an engine seizure. Bypassing the entire oil system and switching to premix was the only way to prevent these issues.

Yamaha VXR 650 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 1992 Yamaha VXR 650 into these charts:

Yamaha VXR 650 Engine Specs

1992 Yamaha VXR 650Engine Specs
Number of cylinders2
Displacement633 cm³ (38.61 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke77 × 68 mm (3.03 × 2.68 in)
Compression Ratio7.2
Lubrication SystemOil-injection/Pre-mixed
Cooling SystemWater-cooled
Starting SystemElectric Starter
Ignition SystemC.D.I.
Spark Plugs TypeNGK BR-8HS
Spark Plug Gap0.6 - 0.7 mm (0.024 - 0.028 in.)
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Charging systemFlywheel magneto

Yamaha VXR 650 Drive System

1992 Yamaha VXR 650Drive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounter-clockwise (Rear view)
TransmissionDirect drive from engine
Steering (nozzle) Angle21° +/- 1°

Yamaha VXR 650 Performance

1992 Yamaha VXR 650Performance
Static Thrust496 lb (225 kg)
Maximum Output50 HP (37.3 kW) @ 6000 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption5.5 US gal/h (21 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle)1.4 hours

Yamaha VXR 650 Dimensions

1992 Yamaha VXR 650Dimensions
Overall Length109.1 in (2,770 mm)
Overall Width40.2 in (1,020 mm)
Overall Height35.4 in (900 mm)
Dry Weight374 lb (170 kg)
Maximum load capacity353 lb (160 kg)

Yamaha VXR 650 Fuel and Oil

1992 Yamaha VXR 650Fuel and Oil
FuelRegular Gasoline
Recommended engine oilYamalube Two-cycle Outboard Oil
Fuel tank capacity7.9 US gal (30 L), inc. 1.32 US gal (5.0L) reserve
Oil tank capacity0.95 US gal (3.6L)
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 1992-1995 Yamaha VXR 650:

What is a Yamaha VXR 650?

The VXR 650 was a 2-seater performance WaveRunner featuring a 2-stroke, 633cc,twin-cylinder engine option.

When did the Yamaha VXR 650 Come Out?

The Yamaha VXR 650 debuted in 1991.

What Years Did Yamaha Make the VXR 650?

Yamaha marketed the VXR 650 from 1991 through 1995.

What Size was a Yamaha VXR 650?

The Yamaha VXR 650 measured 109.1 inches in length, 40.2 inches in width, and 35.4 inches in height.

How Much Did a Yamaha VXR 650 Weigh?

The dry weight of the (1992) Yamaha VXR 650 was 374 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha VXR 650?

The Yamaha VXR 650 was rated for two riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha VXR 650?

The Yamaha VXR 650 was powered by a 2-stroke, 633cc, twin-cylinder Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha VXR 650 Supercharged?

The Yamaha VXR 650 utilized a naturally aspirated engine configuration.

Was the Yamaha VXR 650 a 2-stroke?

Yes, the Yamaha VXR 650 was powered by a 2-stroke engine.

Was the Yamaha VXR 650 Fuel Injected?

No, the Yamaha VXR 650 featured a Mikuni carburetor.

How Much Horsepower Did a Yamaha VXR 650 Have?

The Yamaha VXR 650 produced 50hp (37.3 kW) at 6,000 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha VXR 650 Hold?

The Yamaha VXR 650 had an oil injection system featuring a 0.95-gallon oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha VXR 650 Hold?

The Yamaha VXR 650 was equipped with a 7.9-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha VXR 650 Use?

The maximum fuel consumption of the Yamaha VXR 650 was 5.5 gph at full throttle.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha VXR 650?

The claimed range of the Yamaha VXR 650 was 1.4 hours WOT.

How Much Weight Could a Yamaha VXR 650 Hold?

The total weight capacity of the Yamaha VXR 650 was 353 pounds.

How Fast Did a Yamaha VXR 650 Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha VXR 650 was about 35-40 mph under ideal conditions (claimed: 38 mph).

Could the Yamaha VXR 650 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Due to its two-seater configuration, the VXR 650 couldn’t legally tow a wakeboarder or skier in states where a spotter was required.

Did the Yamaha VXR 650 Have a Reverse?        

No, the Yamaha VXR 650 came without a reverse system.

Did the Yamaha VXR 650 Have a Brake?            

No, the Yamaha VXR 650 was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Yamaha VXR 650 Cost?

The asking price of a used Yamaha VXR 650 varies between $500 and $2,000 depending on the year and its condition.