Many thought that last year’s introduction of the Super Vortex High Output (SVHO) powertrain package was a major game changer for the brand. And to a degree, they were right. But it’s what Yamaha did with the SVHO – namely charging the Pro Watercross National Tour with a complete roster of top level racers, many of whom publicly defected from Sea-Doo’s X-Team – that first chummed the waters. It’s what’s happening for 2015 that will ignite the air raid sirens.
This weekend was awash with Yamaha Blue on the podium, with Factory Yamaha racers sweeping National Titles in Pro Runabout Open, Limited and Stock, Runabout Naturally-Aspirated, Amateur Runabout Stock, and Expert Runabout Stock. Additionally, SVHO-powered Yamaha bested the offshore favorite Kawasaki Ultra to grab world championships in both the KaruJet and Russki Jetracer offshore enduros.
Emboldened with this unparalleled lead in top end performance, Yamaha is now turning its sights on safety and convenience for 2015, but with a huge splash of improved performance too boot. It’s hard not to just shout out what’s new without mentioning how Yamaha has come to this point:
As the whole PWC industry has improved in overall sales by 25-percent in the last year, Yamaha accounts for 15-percent of that increase. This number makes even more sense when you learn that 80-percent of all Yamaha WaveRunners produced are sold in the US. As sales increase, so does Yamaha’s confidence, and thereby allots us, the enthusiasts, to reap the rewards. What rewards, you ask? Hang on tight:
Replacing Yamaha’s right-hand reverse lever is RiDE, an intuitive “dual throttle control system, ” which deploys the reverse bucket in a gradual motion, overriding the throttle progressively. When both throttles are released, the reverse bucket is shifted into a neutral position, letting the runabout idle in place. Controlled by Yamaha’s new Boat Control Unit (BCU), each RiDE unit is specifically tuned to the model to factor for weight and power.
Although Yamaha would really like not to compare it to Sea-Doo’s iBR (Intelligent Brake & Reverse) system, it’s almost impossible not to. Heck, they even have the same little “i” in the name. But, in comparing the two is where Yamaha’s RiDE shines, so we’re gonna do it anyways. Unlike iBR, whose left lever acts as a gear shift, RiDE allows you to reverse freely without the right throttle, as Yamaha’s left-hand trigger is a throttle.
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