Yamaha Waverunner – THE EARLY YEARS



Production of the first marine jet – the WaveRunner 500 (Marine Jet 500T) – began in 1986, generating a huge reaction among marine fans across the globe. We talked with the man known as “WaveRunner Papa”, the development manager at that time, Neil Kobayashi.

I was stationed in Shonan, the center of Japan’s marine leisure in the 1970’s. At this time, as there was no need for licenses or certification on small watercraft, people were free to use the water areas how they felt taking responsibility for themselves.

Shonan, being close to Yokohama and Yokosuka, made it easy to launch boats and other W/V type craft off into the ocean very freely. There were many different types of craft available such as scaled-down versions of small boats, surfboards fitted with propelling devices and underwater wings etc.

At the time, marine leisure was thought of not being available for everyone and really only the elite – I remember thinking about possibilities to provide this type of enjoyment in easier ways for the more average person. However, as I had only just joined the company, on a technical level, I was not in a position at which I could exercise any authority.

Even so, I felt that I would one day like to make a craft of this type. This was the opportunity to create the WaveRunner.

Yamaha Unveils New 2017 WaveRunner Line

Yamaha WaterCraft Group introduced its 2017 WaveRunner line that includes the exciting new EX™ Series starting at just $6,599, as well as a new reincarnation of Yamaha’s legendary GP® racing series, the GP1800. The products were unveiled at the company’s annual dealer meeting being held in Chicago, IL, where Yamaha also set out its strategy to be the #1 global marine brand.


New Yamaha’s EX Series, starting at $6,599

The EX WaveRunner® Series is designed for buyers seeking an affordable entry into the sport of personal watercraft, but demand the durability, reliability and quality that only Yamaha can deliver. Key features include:

  • Yamaha’s award-winning TR-1™ engine, representing the latest in Yamaha engine technology.
  • Best performance, stability, and reliability in the Rec Lite category.
  • EX Deluxe equipped with RiDE dual throttle handlebar control system.
  • Assembled in the USA in Newnan, GA.
  • Series MSRP starts at $6,599.


New High-Performance GP1800 WaveRunner

Born out of Yamaha’s deep race heritage, and designed for closed-course racing and experienced high-performance enthusiasts, the new GP1800 is the quickest, fastest, most precise handling WaveRunner that Yamaha has ever designed. Key features include:

  • Powered by the ultra-performance Yamaha SVHO® marine engine.
  • Features Yamaha super-lightweight NanoXcel2™ hull and deck material.
  • Comes equipped with Yamaha’s award-winning RiDE® system, the industry’s first dual handlebar throttle controls that deliver the utmost control moving forward or in reverse.

Yamaha’s Award-Winning RiDE System

Featured on all WaveRunner models except the SuperJet™, EX and EX Sport, Yamaha’s RiDE dual handlebar throttle controls deliver the utmost control moving forward or in reverse.

RiDE could not be more intuitive. The right handlebar lever is forward. The left is reverse. At speed, the left handlebar lever will also slow you down. Release both right and left levers and the watercraft is in neutral. No shifting. No gears. The only thing to think about is how much fun it is to RiDE.

Yamaha FX Series, VX Series and SuperJet

Returning for 2017 is the luxury-performance FX Series that includes the FX Cruiser SVHO, FX SVHO, FX Cruiser HO and FX HO. New to the FX line is the FX Limited SVHO that comes with a complete water sports accessory package. Joining the FX Series is the full-featured budget-friendly VX Series, the race-performance VXR, and the venerable Yamaha SuperJet, the only stand up watercraft on the market.

Yamaha Wave Runner Receives NMMA Innovation Award for New Engine


Yamaha WaterCraft Group, today announced that its WaveRunner product line received one of the boating industry’s most prestigious awards recognizing excellence in design from the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association (NMMA).

Honored for innovation by the NMMA in the Personal Watercraft category is the new TR-1 High Output marine engine that is featured in Yamaha’s 2016 V1 and VX Series WaveRunners.

The Yamaha TR-1 HO marine engine is the pinnacle of engine innovation. The TR-1 motor is 13 percent more powerful than the Yamaha MR-1 engine that it is replacing while being 40 percent smaller in size and 20 percent lighter in weight.

Yamaha achieves this by eliminating a reduction gear, integrating the oil tank, and using fewer and smaller parts. The result is quicker acceleration, higher top end speeds, with better fuel economy and more fun for the rider.

This is the second time in as many years that Yamaha WaveRunners have been honored by the NMMA for innovation. Last year, Yamaha’s RiDE system received the innovation award in the Personal Watercraft category. RiDE is the world’s first handlebars with dual throttle controls and is available on Yamaha’s 2016 FX and VX Series WaveRunners.

The Innovation Award honors manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products for the boating industry to market.