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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm new to the whole waverunner world and was hoping to gain some insight from my fellow experienced pwc owners.

My objective is to of course have fun, but looking for something economical, reliable, performance, easy to work on if necessary. Speed isn't that important, but would really like to pull a skier behind it. Weights ranging from 200-250lbs persons.

I don't know if all or only one will be able to accomplish this, but the choices are (3 seater category):

Honda Aquatrax F-15x
Honda Aquatrax F-12x
Kawasaki Ultra 250x
Yamaha VX

I do realize that theses skis are not comparing apples to apples, but that's the list I've come up with so far. The lake I go to isn't a constant level lake so I'm hoping the ski will make up for not being able to get the ski boat out during droughts.

Thanks in advance. :thumbsup:
 

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Hello,

I'm new to the whole waverunner world and was hoping to gain some insight from my fellow experienced pwc owners.

My objective is to of course have fun, but looking for something economical, reliable, performance, easy to work on if necessary. Speed isn't that important, but would really like to pull a skier behind it. Weights ranging from 200-250lbs persons.

I don't know if all or only one will be able to accomplish this, but the choices are (3 seater category):

Honda Aquatrax F-15x
Honda Aquatrax F-12x
Kawasaki Ultra 250x
Yamaha VX

I do realize that theses skis are not comparing apples to apples, but that's the list I've come up with so far. The lake I go to isn't a constant level lake so I'm hoping the ski will make up for not being able to get the ski boat out during droughts.

Thanks in advance. :thumbsup:
Dude, your kidding yourself if you think pulling a skier with a jet ski is a good idea, wake boards and tubes are pretty much it. If you tried to pull me sking behind a jet ski you would quickly find out it is a bad idea. Reason being the craft is not big or heavy enough to handle the drag resistance in turns, I am an ex-competition slalom skier and weigh 215 lbs, I could pull down a 16' whaler with a big outboard and pulled the transom sideways on hard cuts. Now imagine that on a jet ski using a jet drive instead of a prop, the jet drive is much easier to yank sideways because a prop will hold the water better in turns with a load on it. I would wreck you out and we both might get hurt. Also for legal purposes you must use a 3 passenger ski so the observer and skier can be transported. Taking kids wakeboarding or tubing is fine be cause the resistance and g forces in turns won't bother it, but the last thing you want is a good skier to turn on edge. The only ski I recognize on your list, that works is the Yamaha. Hondas aren't made any more so parts and service can be a nightmare(remember they didn't stop selling them because they couldn't keep up with production :laugh:) Kawasaki should stop selling the ultra very undependable (junk). So that leaves Seadoo and Yamaha, they will be here for the long haul, just my humble opinion:30p:
 

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Best machine out of those is the Kawasaki 250x, biggest reliability gamble though. Otherwise go for the Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Repair Shop Review

@Outlaw

Thanks for the review. I understand that there will be a bit of difficulty/concern with turns with a skier on the back. I’m sure as an expert skier as yourself, it doesn’t make any sense to you to ride behind a wave runner. I’m looking at it from a stand point that you can pull the skier on a straight. I’m not a great skier (beginner) so cutting won’t be an issue.

I did a little research for myself here with a new pwc repair shop close by.

He ranked all pwc’s as:
1) Yamaha FX SHO
2) Kawasaki 250X
3) Honda F15X

Yamaha - He liked the deep hull of both the Yamaha and Kawasaki. They both have a smooth ride on any type of water (choppy/smooth) and can part water with ease. Repairs are fairly easy. Economy is going to be not very good on all pwc’s with high performance, but the SHO is the fastest on the market. He recommended this ski, but it tends to be the priciest.

Kawasaki – Good ski. Quick, but not as fast Yamaha's. He liked the hull design and the way it cuts through water with ease and turns very quick. His only concern is with its super charger. The 250X & 260X both have “no name” brand superchargers on them. Now all of a sudden they started putting Eaton super chargers on the new 300X…so that begs the question why? What’s wrong with the other superchargers on the 250&260’s. Eaton has been around making superchargers since the 60’s so they know what they’re doing. It’s little redundant that Kawasaki made a d 250X, then a 260X, and now a 300X (300 hp) motors when there’s a speed cap for all pwc’s as I state at the end. Overall, he’d recommend a non-supercharged motor, but can’t fully endorse the supercharged motors since they haven’t been out that long enough.

Honda – Honda’s are ok, but very sluggish. As we all may notice, production has been stopped on them. I’m unaware of any plans to start making them again. I’m sure as, Outlaw stated, parts will be hard to come by just like the Polaris. Honda’s hull sucks on design as you’ll mostly be wiping water out of your eyes while you’re ridding which is a huge inconvenience to the rider and this is where Kawasaki & Yamaha excel. Also, the “floorboard” if you will, catches and holds water. A bad design on Honda’s part. Of course we all ride to have fun and get wet, but just be ready to constantly have your feet in the water.

Seadoo – He said to just steer clear of. He can’t make any sort of recommendations of their products. He’s had too many issues as it relates to them as a company as a whole, their pwc’s, and boats.

All skis have a cap speed of roughly 65-70mph as an agreement with the coast guard and the manufacturers. The ski’s were just getting to be too fast and dangerous. So now that there’s a cap the manufacturers will most likely be moving towards honing in on economy, performance, options.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@YamaDoo

Thanks for your thoughts. I'll need to see what options each have next between the Yamaha vs. Kawasaki.
 

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Kawasaki is the best riding rough water ski due to the heavy weight and deep "V" hull, but it is historically the least reliable brand of ski, and is not known to be easy on fuel. You are right about the insurance industry limiting top speed of skis to around 68 mph stock. Therefore, the 260 and 300 HP Kaw. skis, you are just wasting fuel on the extra HP, unless you plan to modify the ski from stock to go faster.

Rather than the Yamaha SHO, I'd recommend you look at a Yamaha FX HO. It has the same hull, and same engine, but without the supercharger to worry about. You only lose a couple of mph (around 64 mph max. speed), but it gets significantly better fuel mileage, and still has all the bells and whistles; cruise control, etc.., that make it good for towing. If you are looking for a used ski, look at the pre-2009 model FX HOs which have a smaller engine (60 mph max.), with the same hull. Even better fuel economy, and a very reliable ski for a very good price used.
 

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@ Ernest T

Thanks for your thoughts. I totally agree with you. I’ve been watching youtube videos advertising the Kawasaki. I do agree that the ride does look very comfortable and I do like the deep “V” design.

After making a list of priorities and needs I’ve actually narrowed it down to two, at this point, Yamaha FX HO just as you suggested and the Yamaha VX Cruiser or Deluxe. I’ve excluded the turbo and supercharged motors all together as possibilities.

High performance has been eliminated for these reasons:
1) Premium fuel isn’t readily available at the lake
2) If I venture to the other side of the lake I don’t want to worry about getting back. There are two marinas on the lake and both take approx 15 min to get to and do not sell premium.
3) Longevity of the supercharger. Superchargers seem to have more wear & tear then do turbos.
4) Spending $60/day on fuel sounds a lot better than $300/day doing the exact same thing. Falling off at WOT going 55-70 mph hurts no matter what, and there are plenty of stumps to dodge.

I’m still looking into the FX HO and the VX’s. Essentially 1052cc vs. 1812cc (Civic vs. Accord). I really like the sharp design of the Yamaha’s all around and hull design seems in good comparison to Kawasaki. I did find out (not sure how accurate it is) that the VX has a range of 146 miles @ 30mph. I don’t know the range of the HO just yet, but I’m sure I can backwards calculate once I get all the figures in. Chances are it will be the HO since I will be splitting the cost with my father and he wants something that can carry 3 people without an issue (grand kids). Though, I don’t see ever carrying more than two and being that it will be our first I may push for the VX. Assuming that gph burned is a large variation from 1052cc vs 1812cc. I do like the cruise control and other options as well. Helps make that decision easier.
Thanks for the heads up on the pre-2009 models FX HOs. I noticed that they did change their motor size. I may venture that way and see if I can find a good price for one. I’ll post my findings and selection later on. Maybe someone else will find it helpful…the information is out there, but it’s not all in one place.
 

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If you are going to be riding 2-3 or towing, I'd definitely recommend the FX model over the VX. I've ridden and towed with both, and although the VX is a 3 person ski, it is not as stable as the FX when you deal with more than 1 passenger. If you are looking for the best gas mileage, the VX is the most economical 4 stroke ski on the market. At optimal cruising speed you get around 7 mpg on the VX versus maybe 5.5 mpg on the FX HO. The ride of the VX is what I'd call sporty, which equates to bouncy and a little wet. The FX model skis will plow through the rough stuff and gives a very dry ride for a ski, while the VX will bounce over the top. My brother owns both an FX HO and a VX. His wife refuses to ride the VX............she just doesn't like the way it handles, and the fact that it gets her hair wet????.............she is on a jet ski in the middle of the lake, and doesn't want to get her hair wet???..............my wife is the same..........what can you do???

I've seen some good prices on my local craig's list for used FX HO skis (generally between $6-7000 for an 06-07 ski with trailer). The older FX HOs don't have the cruise control feature, but if you get a cruiser model they do have water temp, compass, fuel consumption meter, re-boarding step, cleats, etc..

Good luck with your shopping.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@ Ernest T

Wow, thanks for the input. After everything I’ve read and looked up plus your insight, the FX HO is definitely the way to go. The VX sounds like a good idea, but I can see that it may get annoying with all the bouncing in choppy water. You definitely appreciate the sunny weather days which can be rare at times, but calm water on a nice breezy day can be even rarer.

Yamaha seems to have more options available complete with a nice hull & overall design. Looks like a winner in my book. I didn’t know about the water temp gauge and compass. That will definitely come in handy. In the south, most winters don’t get very cold and it’s when the water is at its highest. I can definitely see where the temp gauge will come in handy.

lol, that’s pretty funny about you’re wives. I suppose you may not mind keeping them dry since they spend ~$100 for their hair cuts…I wonder what happens if they do fall in….ha.

Any idea on the Cruiser HO and the regular HO? I noticed it's about $300-400 difference. I wonder if it's worth it.
 

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The primary difference between the cruiser and regular model is the display and the seats. The cruiser model adds features like water/air temp., compass, fuel management, trip meter, etc. to the display. The cruiser seats have short back rests that make them more comfortable IMO, but some tall riders complain that the backrest gets in the way (I'm 6'1", and they work great for me). On the older model skis (pre-2009) the cruiser model also added a reboarding step that the non-cruiser did not have, foot chocks (just a raised plastic foot rest), and pop up cleats for tying the ski up at a dock, etc. I'm pretty sure the new FX HO's both have the reboarding step, but I'm not sure about the pop up cleats.

I think the reboarding step is a must if you have older or younger riders. My wife could not get on our ski from the water without one, and I'd have a hell of a time doing it. So whatever ski you get, I'd definitely make sure it has this feature.
 

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Outlaw,

Thanks for the ski opinion. Like Yokalow I am just looking for a straight ski tow, not yet slalom, for small kids and such and the occasional adult. With your advice though I think I will stick with the "junior skis" for just the kids and use the tube or get a wake board for older people. I am looking at older skis and like the Yamaha SUV for its engine size and length (12'). Not sure if the length helps with the issue of a heavy skier yanking the ski.

I understand this it not the optimal vehicle for any tow sport, but it beats sitting on the sand. At least it did until you mentioned safety - so a small adjustment can be made.

Thanks again.
 

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Wish I had read this forum before I bought my 2009 VX Cruiser last year. I would have bought the FX. My main complaint, as detailed above, is bouncing on the top of the waves instead of cutting through the wake. Still a lot of fun though!
 

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Read my other posts and I think you will switch to Seadoo......:dunno:
 

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I was searching and ran across this thread and wanted to make sure peeps weren't miss lead about some of the features between the Cruiser SHO and HO. The Cruiser SHO has two digital displays were the HO only has one. The Cruiser SHO (only the cruiser not the FX SHO either) will display a compass, average speed, tripmeter, trip timer, Fuel use/hour & mile, water temp, and air temp.
 
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