Hi guys I am looking at buying my very 1st yamaha waverunner and am wanting to know thoughts on going for 2018 models or 2019? o
Perhaps my own experience will be of use to you. Perhaps a little background will give you some perspective & help you evaluate my comments.
In 1993 we bought the "biggest, most powerful, fastest and meantest" jet ski avail. A 3 seat Seadoo GTX. It continues to give great performance, easy to handle, starts & runs as new. So fast & powerful it has easily pulled our 28 ft. 8,000 lb. Bayliner ocean-going cabin cruiser when it broke down on Lake Mead ( all the way from Sandy Point down to the Temple Bar Marina)
Problem, even tho it is "direct injection" (no oil mixed with fuel) , dosnt smoke or leave an oil film, it can no longer be used on most public lakes. So I am in the process of trying to unload it, as we now have a brand-new Yamaha.
Our brand-new Yamaha is an example of how the industry is changed. Bought it last month - it is a 2018 EX Sport, advertised as about the smallest, cheapest jet ski avail. today...a so-called "entry level".
"Entry level" my hindquarters ! The typical jet ski offered today is MUCH larger, heavier, more powerful than years gone by. My 2018 EX Sport is some 100 lbs. heavier, about four inches longer, much much faster & more powerful than my old GTX - which, again, was the "King Kong" of its day.
I personally gravitated towards Yamaha for their well-deserved reputation for absolute reliability ( Bombardier sold / re-located its PWC mfg. to Mexico with foreign-sourced parts....Yamaha is assembled here in the USA with exclusively Japanese-sourced parts....).
I would suspect either the Kawasaki or Yamaha of today would be of equal quality and reliability. I have turbochargers on both my airplane and construction equipt; not convinced they add anything to maintainence issues.
As fast and as exciting as my '93 GTX is to play with, my Yamaha EX SPORT offers a whole new and much more dramatic level of performance. I am not convinced that spending more money for a even bigger even heavier jet ski would serve the typical consumer any better.
A couple of words of caution. You may wind up loving jet skiing as much as I do, meaning you will "play rough" !
One of the first things I installed in '93, and again last week in my new one, is the largest standard bilge pump I could fit down in the bottom of the hull, with a switch on the dash so I can turn it on as needed. Jet skis then and now don't come with "real" bilge pumps, just a "mickey mouse" suction deal that is useless unless you are in motion and going fast.
Virtually all jet skis made in recent years carry warnings in the small print not to tow them at more than very slow speeds ( 5 mph in the case of mine; 13 mph in the case of some other makes). Violate that and you will, at best, just destroy the motor - good chance you will sink your ski. NOT covered by warranty!
The solution - an ordinary automotive hot water heater control valve installed with a "bowden cable" so you can change the cooling water flow depending on whether you are riding under power, or simply towing.
I suspect whatever you buy will give you a lot of fun!
Added later - as a side note, the only difference between my brand new 2018 and the 2019 Yamaha Sport is slight differences in paint color - I know mine is brand new 'cause I saw them take it out of its shipping crate !