2012 Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO Review
For the year 2012, Yamaha has given a new design to the FX SHO series water craft. The hull is longer and it is also true mechanical neutral. The front end has been given a more aggressive like look. I got FX SHO and FX Cruiser SHO for testing and I put them through a lot of rigorous tests. Here I am blogging everything about it. Using the 1812 cc 4-stroke, 4 cylinder marine engine as the previous models, there is no problem of power. Instead, I was quite surprised by the handling.
- Two color options – Yacht Blue Metallic or Carbon
- Extended rear platform
- Hydro-Turf mats
- Chrome accents
- Tilt adjustable steering
- Ultra light weight NanoXcel deck and hull
- Dual mirrors
- Re boarding step
- Supercharged four cylinder, four stroke, Yamaha Marine Super High Output Engine
FX SHO Series is redesigned for the year 2012. There are several changes made here which did affect my test results. First change is in form of overall length and it measures about 140.4 inches. Second change here is reverse gate operation which is new and now comes with true mechanical neutral. Using the same 210-hp 1812 cc 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, super charged marine engine, the PWC here seems like it has reached its peak of performance evolution. My tests revealed almost all positive results.
All new styling
2 new Yamaha PWCs come with new design of edgy bow shape. Yamaha team isn’t really well known to lead when it comes to styling and it seems that they have tried something different here. Bow bumpers used here are familiar but the new profile is significantly lower. The front area has a more angular look and it goes straight up to the handle bars. I really liked this change as a lot of PWCs have turned homogenous in the past couple of years.
You get to plenty of storage space with more than 33 gallons in all. Most of it is located in forward compartment of the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO. Fire extinguisher too is located in forward compartment. It should have been located below aft seat just like that on older models as that place is quite easy to access.
Throttle lever is still retained on star board handle. Apart from that you also get the cruise assist here having three buttons. Lower button will turn the cruise assist on and here you can pull throttle back all the way for getting comfortable and firm grip on handle bar. From here, you can use the down and up arrow buttons for speed regulation.
No wake mode is blue button. Long pressing this will give you three beeps and the engine will go about five to seven miles per hour without the need of holding the throttle. The steerage speeds at the slower speeds.
On port side of handle bar, you get trim adjuster. For operating, just press lever and then twist it up or down. Doing this, the angle of jet pump nozzle will move. When nozzle is aimed up, the angle of bow will be raise while riding and while you are aiming down, the bow will be down. While testing the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO, I was riding in neutral.
Multi function display
This is the main difference between FX SHO and FX Cruiser SHO. The latter comes with a display on either side of analog display and it shows you water temperature, fuel flow, speed, and a lot of other points of data. Control button is located below handle bar in front of drive. FX SHO has 2 mode buttons and Cruiser SHO has 4.
On PWC it is very important that you keep dry storage very close while underway. Dry storage area is located on console’s top and while testing, I kept my wallet, cell phone, and keys here. It closes pretty securely and water can’t go inside.
Another area for storage is close to handle bars of the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO. I liked the fact that Yamaha had made it deeper and there is also removable insert which acts like cup holder. While testing, it was in nineties and hence having 2 water bottles was pretty handy.
One more major difference between the FX SHO and Cruiser SHO is the seating. Cruiser comes with scalloped back for each rider and driver and they are all arranged in tier design. This is for getting the passengers a bit higher to get better view while riding. FX SO comes with design of sporty seat which is smoother. There is no back rest support either.
Seats have a two part design and there is one more dry storing area below aft seat. There is pull out container which is water proof. Below the container, you get battery access and accessing it is pretty easy so you will have no problems while charging or changing it.
An Important New Feature
On console’s starboard side, there is reversing lever. This lever is the same one but has a new function. It is locked in to the position with safety latch. For moving lever in reverse position, you have to press then latch and then pull the aft. With mechanical linkage, reverse bucket will be moved to the down or deployed position and the thrust will be diverted. Here, you will be in reverse. On either side of reverse bucket, there are 2 ports and you get good agility for this mode.
Push the latch forward and it will get locked in natural position. This is shown by ‘N’ green which appears in site window on reverse lever. Here, you will be in mechanical true neutral. When I had this boat, I tested it for more than five minutes to see if there was stray thrust which would push the craft slowly in 1 direction or other. This system was working as it is advertised.
Depress the latch and push the reverse lever forward fully to go in forward regular mode of operation.
Remove section of forward seat and you will get access to heart of this machine. There is 210 hp 1812cc power plant. The room that you get inside engine compartment is really surprising and you can change air filter and oil filter easily. Just like that, changing spark plugs or doing any sort of after market or maintenance upgrades will be very easy.
There is tow point under aft seat. The manufacturer has given a new storage hatch for securing tow line and it can be left attached to tow point. In the lines top, there is cut out for fitting through. Aft deck is quite big and it measures around thirteen inches from back to front. There is new design on stern too which is really liked – step of re-boarding is a lot bigger as compared to what it was before. Also, it now goes deeper inside the water and this is the deepest I have ever seen. This along with hand holds on back makes re-boarding quite easy. This improvement is very important.
Business end is below aft platform. There is 155 mm jet pump assembly which is made from aluminum alloy entirely. What this means is that the corrosion issues are minimal and in my experience, it was much less as compared to the other systems of drive.
Sponsons are redesigned too and they now have an angular kinda outer rail edge. In my tests, the turnings were quite smooth, very tight, and predictable. I didn’t see any slipping and probably this is because of the sponsons.
Hull is made up of NanoXcel; it is a very composite light weight material. The manufacturer has used it because it lets them to decrease hull weight and also gives the company the ability to make the hulls with close process of mold. There is NanoXcel material placed in mold which is close and is put under vacuum and pressure. Hull is made and it creates perfectly shaped and detailed all the time.
The Basic specs
2012 version has length of 140.2’’ and weighs at 853 lbs (in dry). Beam is of 48.4’’ and over all height is about 48.4’’. Capacity of fuel is 18.5 gallons and this engine is tuned specifically to work perfectly on the regular octane 87 gas.
How significant is the horsepower?
There is plenty of marketing promotion in PWC world regarding horsepower. I don’t really get carried away by such debates and always try to keep myself aloof from them. Performance and speed isn’t just based on the horsepower. Performance, in fact, relies more on balance of a lot of factors like shape of hull and design, jet-pump, machine balance weight, and impellor.
My tests showed that you won’t yearn for more power and this machine has more than enough for propelling this craft at WOT with speeds of 65 miles per hour and this is what is targeted by all the PWCs. You’d be surprised to know that Yamaha has de-tuned the engines below their capacity. The manufacturer has done this to get high reliability.
In my tests, I got average top speed of about 66.7 miles per hour running at 7,500 rpm and burned 19.2 gph with 58 miles range. This is watercraft and isn’t driven like boat. Also, there is no specific best speed of cruise. I was averaging at thirty miles per hour at 5000 rpm approx burning about 5.1 gph.
My 0-30 times were averaging at 1.7 seconds and over all handling of the longer hull was excellent. If you are big water kinda rider who likes to be out for a long time period, then get this boat.