January 16, 2008 As we mentioned a few weeks back, the Personal Watercraft market is currently in the grips of a horsepower war which was started last year when Kawasaki introduced a turbocharged, 1500cc, 250 horsepower PWC that’ll run 68 mph (60 knots) on water. Not surprisingly, all the other manufacturers have responded in kind, with Yamaha creating an all-new purpose-built craft of astounding technological prowess. The power plant for the new top-of-the-range SHO (Super High Output) WaveRunner models is a compact 1812cc, fuel-injected, supercharged, intercooled, four-cylinder engine. Perhaps even more importantly, the entire hull uses Nanotechnology to achieve a hull 25% lighter than the previous model, yet even stronger. Check out how the new SHO compares here.
The Super High Output engine uses a sophisticated fuel delivery system with four electronically controlled fuel injectors, a throttle position sensor (TPS) and air intake/air pressure sensors to supply the optimum air and fuel ratio. For improved strength and lighter weight, Yamaha used a one piece cylinder and crankcase assembly while twin engine oil pumps deliver lubrication to each moving part.
The Yamaha Engine Management System (Y.E.M.S) governs ignition timing, fuel injection mapping, engine diagnostics and off throttle steering through an integrated computerized management system. A Slant Detection Switch stops engine and oil pumps if the PWC overturns while a thermostat sensor automatically controls water flow through the engine for efficient cooling.
Driving the WaveRunner SHO models is a 155mm hyper-flow jet pump propulsion system. With a three-blade stainless steel impeller, the pump configuration and High Flow Intake Duct allows for greater water flow and intake to deliver better thrust, hook up and smooth acceleration.
Yamaha’s SHO models are also the first across the industry to use Reverse Traction Control which maintains constant RPM for effective manoeuvring in reverse. This reverse feature is also backed up by Yamaha’s proven Quick Shift Trim System (Q.S.T.S) allowing the trim profile to be mechanically adjusted to suit the driver for quicker acceleration or tighter turns.
The second jewel in Yamaha’s PWC crown is its award winning NanoXcel hull formula. Inspired by extensive Nanotechnology research, the hull and deck of each 2008 SHO and HO models are manufactured using a state-of-the-art, environmentally sound, high compression moulded process.
The new NanoXcel hull and deck is 25% lighter than previous Yamaha PWC models and delivers increased strength through the hull for superior power-to-weight performance. Adding to the NanoXcel hull advantage, the progressive Stepper Draft V-Hull design with integrated Bow Spray Guard further enhances manoeuvrability, handling and comfort.
According to Yamaha-Motor Company, Yamaha’s engineers used nanotechnology to create a hull material that utilises nano-created filler that is layered thousands of times over so the bonding surface is much larger and stronger than before. As a result, much less filler is needed in the manufacturing process resulting in a material that is both lightweight and stronger than before.
The exclusive NanoXcel formula developed by Yamaha engineers is the first major development in hull design and construction in the PWC industry for decades. Laser-guided water jets and advanced robotics construct each hull and deck to exact tolerances for maximum precision, strength and durability.
Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode
Yamaha’s thirst for innovation continues with the SHO WaveRunner’s Cruise Assist function. Another industry first, Yamaha has created a throttle control system similar to automobile cruise control where the PWC rider can set and hold speeds. Once the speed is set, the rider can raise or lower the speed at the flick of a switch.
When travelling through waterways with No Wake zones, the SHO WaveRunner rider can engage Yamaha’s No Wake mode which automatically adjusts the engine’s RPM to an optimum speed for minimal wake. Ideal for navigating through marinas and narrow channels, the No Wake feature is switched off the instant more throttle is applied.
The WaveRunner Advantage
Successful features like the Four-Step Adjustable Tilt Steering System have also been employed on the new SHO WaveRunner models along with the popular dash mounted Multi-Function Electronic Information Centre and the remote operated Yamaha Security System for peace of mind off the water.
A Yamaha SHO WaveRunner experience is made all the more enjoyable with creature comforts including an extra large rear boarding platform with retractable reboarding step, dual mirrors for improved rear visibility, glove box and self draining cup holders plus 100 litres of total onboard storage.
Yamaha has packaged two superb SHO WaveRunner PWC’s both with distinct styles and needs. Apart from colour choices, little separates the two fully loaded WaveRunner models with the FX Cruiser SHO receiving Yamaha’s Cruiser Seat with handlebars and extra features on the digital display including air/water temperature, fuel consumption, compass plus pop up cleats for easy mooring.
We’re due for a ride on the new machine later this month so stay tuned.