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Discussion Starter #1
I am a newbie and have an opportunity to buy a 2004 Honda F12x turbo and a 2005 Honda R12x turbo. I have never owned a ski and am primarily looking for something to cruise around a lake with. Not looking for a speed demon or something for tricks, etc. Yet, we do want a fun machine and something that is reliable. Are these skis a good fit, or should I look elsewhere?

Thanks, Dave
 

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Those skis will do fine.

Honda makes very reliable PWCs. The F-12X and R-12X are also very good on fuel when compared to other skis. They are Turbocharged, and make about 165 horsepower. They will be relatively low maintence, but you do need to keep the wastegate on the Turbos well lubricated. Depending on where you live, you will also want to get them winterized. Prices vary from dealer to dealer, but I get my Kawasaki Ultra 250X winterized at my dealer for like $35.

The F-12X is a 3 seater and is able to tow a tube/skier. Remember, the R-12X is a two seater, so it doesn't weigh as much. It will be easier to tip over when idling. Also, the F-12X will be smoother and probably a little faster on the top end. The R-12X will "skip" more on the surface, where the F-12X will plow through. In my experience, the Honda hull isn't the smoothest, but its not the roughest. The R-12X will be a little bit more nimbler, and turn quicker. When the waves pick up, it will also jump easier. Also, the Turbocharged engines have some turbo-lag. Thats when it takes time for the exhaust gases to spin the turbo faster. So, when you gun it from a dead stop, it will take off, but it will be kind of slow for a second or two. After that, the exhaust is spinning the turbo, and it will take off and start to pull harder. Just a minor annoyance really. It only affects performance if you like to do donuts and such. The regular F-12 don't have turbo-lag, and will easily beat a turbocharged F-12X out of the hole. After that the F-12X will easily pass it.

To sum it up, yes those skis will do what you want. Best of both worlds, really. You have the F-12X for pulling a skier, or cruising. You also have the R-12X to play on. You could cruise on it too, but the ride will be a tiny bit rougher.

If you don't need the Turbocharged performance, take a look at the naturally aspirated F-12 and R-12. They make about 130 horsepower, and aren't as fast. But, the throttle is snappier and they will plane out quicker. They will use a little less fuel and will also be a little bit cheaper. Remember, Honda skis don't offer alot of "luxury" features. I don't believe they have a rear-boarding ladder, for example. Which comes in handy if you happen to fall off the R-12X, which is a little "tippy." You can order step ladders and install it yourself, if you want. If your want more features, you want to check out the Yamaha FX and FX H.O. (High Output) Since you don't seem to have those things high on the priority list, I think the Hondas will suit your needs fine.

Be happy to answer any other questions...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Allen,

Thanks for the great overview of the two Honda skis. The guy wants $12,500 for both skis and a tandem trailer. I was going to maybe offer $10K for them. I am glad you brought up the rear-boarding ladder, because I was wondering how you would get back on one of the skis if you fell off. Again, I have never ridden one of these before. I would probably buy the step ladders and install. I have read a lot of good things about the Yamaha skis. You mention the FX model, is that a better cruiser than the Honda? Also is it a 4 stroke engine, which I understand are more reliable and save gas?

Thanks again, Dave
 

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Four stroke engines are more reliable, and do use less gas. Unlike 2-stoke engines, which use oil, 4 strokes do not. It is more like your car engine. Put oil in to lubricate the moving parts, and it only burns gas. After so long, change the oil and add in fresh. Gas and go, thats about it. In 2 strokes, you have to fill the gas tank and there is a tank for oil. It burns them both, so instead of just putting in gas, you have to refill the oil too. After a day or so, the prices start to add up.

The seller is trying to rape you by selling those for 12.5K. DO NOT BUY THOSE FOR THAT PRICE. Depending on condition and amount of hours, fair price for those, (figuring average condition i.e., a few scratches, and with a fair amount of hours for those years, i.e., around 60 or so) would only be about 8K for both. Maybe 9K if the skis and trailer are in really good condition and there are about 30 hours on each ski, and there are OEM Honda covers for both skis. Covers are pretty expensive new. For example, the one for my Kawasaki lists for $365. Again, I think that 8K is a fair price for those two. Has the maintence been done on them? Have they been used in saltwater? Is the engine bay clean? How many hours? Excessive hull scratches? All the keys to the machines? All of those things affect the price.

If you don't need two skis, check out some Honda dealers. Most Honda dealers still have some F-12/X and R-12/X models from previous years in stock. Some of them will be leftover 06's, I've even seen some leftover R's that were 05's. They will usually give you a better price on the older skis, but they are still brand new with 0 hours. I was offered an 05 R-12X without a trailer for $5,100 once. Before I got my Ultra 250X, I almost got an 06 Honda F-12X with trailer, 3 lifejackets, cover, anchor, and a 4 year warranty for $9,000. It was brand new with 0 hours, but it was an 06 and it was 2008. Check out some of the dealers and see what they are offering. The stock of leftovers should be dwindling now. You may have to drive further to get a ski, but it will be cheaper than others and it will be brand new. For the $12,500 the other guy is asking you could probably get a new 05/06 R-12X and 06 F-12 if you look hard enough. You will have the R-12X Turbo for a go fast fun craft, and the F-12 for long cruises.

Some Hondas do have the reboarding ladder already attached. Most didn't, but you can buy the OEM Honda one to install yourself. Remember, to install one you have to drill into the hull. If you don't feel safe doing that, there are other options. One option is a "rope style" ladder. It is like rope material that is very thick. It attaches at the tow loop at the back of the ski and falls into the water. Its just as easy to use, but you have to remove it or tuck it in everytime you get ready to take off. You get a better picture of what I'm talking about at overtons.com Thats where they sell them. It will also be cheaper than the OEM one.

The Honda skis are okay cruisers, but not the best. If the waves start to pick up, it won't be the smoothest ride. Especially not the R-12X. I've also heard that the Honda skis splash alot too, but I haven't experienced that, I've just been told. If you do end up getting a Honda, there is a splash deflector that fits on the front to deflect splashing water. You can buy them at overtons.com If you are looking for more of a cruiser, the Yamaha FX may be a better ski. There is a natural aspirated model that makes about 140 horsepower. It is the base model, so I'm not sure if has the reboarding ladder and such. The higher model is the FX H.O. which stands for High Output. It makes about 165 horsepower, and would be the equivalent of the Honda F-12X. It doesn't have a supercharger or turbocharger, and will probably use less fuel than the F-12X but it will be a close race. Both skis will probably be the same on acceleration and top speed. Both skis are pretty good on fuel. If you are looking for more of a cruiser and just want a fun ski, I wouldn't worry about the F-12X or FX H.O. I would instead look at the regular Yamaha FX and Honda F-12. They will still be fun to play on, but will get better gas mileage than the others. Both of those are known to have long fuel ranges. If you can deal with a little bit of a slower craft, check out the Yamaha VX. It has a smaller engine than the FX and only makes about 110 horsepower. It is not speed demon, but it probably has the best cruising range of any PWC on the market. It will still be fun to play on, but it doesn't look as good as or faster than the FX or F-12/X. There are even "cruiser" versions of the FX and VX. They have a unique seat that has a mini back support. The FX has more features that make cruising better like tilt steering. Save yourself some money and buy a regular FX and just buy the seat from a cruiser model. It should fit and gives you the better seat without buying the entire cruiser model.

From what you've said it seems your more interested in a cruiser. The Honda's will probably be more fun, but won't be as comfortable on the long cruises. I would lean more for the Yamaha FX or VX. Both are 3 seaters. If the regular FX isn't fast enough for you, go for the FX H.O. You can buy the cruiser seat for the FX or VX if you get those. But, if you could get a leftover Honda for a really good deal, it may be better to get a Honda. The Yamaha's are going to be higher in price. To get a Yamaha for the same price as a Honda, your going to have to buy used, unless you get a VX. Cliff notes:

Best cruiser = Yamaha FX or VX
More fun = Honda F-12X or R-12X
Uses least amount of gas = Yamaha VX
Fastest = Yamaha FX H.O. ties with Honda F-12X
Slowest = VX
Cheapest = Honda
Best features = Yamaha

It just comes down to a bargain (leftover Honda) vs. a ski that has more options (Yamaha)

Happy to answer any other questions...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again for all the great information. I feel much more informed. I did a KBB search on the two skis and they came up at $7,500 for trade-in value and $10,250 for "dealer price". So I can now see that the $12K price is a screw job. I think I will look around for a while and maybe focus on Yamahas.

I appreciate your help very much.

Dave
Raleigh, NC
 

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Honda still makes a good PWC. If you could find two for a really good deal, <$9,000 for both in good condition, I would go for those.

If you can find a Yamaha for a better price, that may be good also.

Your choice in the end, good luck!
 

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two honda aquatraq turbo jetskis

Are these your skis?

The F-12X has been upgraded. It will go faster than a stock F-12X. That could be a good thing, and a bad thing. I would be a little beware of buying a ski that has performance mods installed on it. Why are they selling them? What if they installed it themselves? Those look to be in good condition and have covers and a new trailer, but price is still steep at 12.5K. If you could get them for maybe 8K it might be worth it.

But for that price, you could get 1 brand new Yamaha FX H.O. Or you could possibly get two brand new leftover Honda's.
 

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2006 Yamaha Waverunner
I do believe this is what you want. Cruiser model, take note of the seat. Under 20 hours is pretty good for that year. See if it has cover. Offer $5,500 and see what you can get.

2006 FX Wave Runner
This is another good option. Unlike the one above, this is a H.O. Cruiser. It is a cruiser model, but has the H.O. engine which means ~160hp. vs. 140. It will also have a few more features. Depending on hours, offer $5,500 like above. This is the one I would pursue the most. Check hours, and report back.
 
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