2009 buyer's guide

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The nation's single most comprehensive list of all new personal watercraft available for the 2009 model year -- complete with engine statistics, dry/wet weights, various capacities, and other pertinent information... all compiled by hand and organized for easy reading.

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  • 56 PERSONAL WATERCRAFT ILLUSTRATED JAN/FEB 2009

    Another incredible year has come andgone. It seems like it was just a fewmonths ago that we were all excitedabout Sea-Doos upcoming 255-horsepowermusclecraft, Hondas redesigned Aquatrax andYamahas brand-spanking-new NanoExceltechnology. Now that another model year isupon us, the OEMs have yet again found a wayto shock and awe the world of PWC recreation and maybe even change the game altogether.

    2009 is destined to be a year of drastic,exciting changes for almost every manufac-turer. Many of last years most persistentrumors and conjectures about the upcomingmodels have proven to be completely false. Forinstance, last years fears of a monster 300-plus-horsepower 2009 Sea-Doo (that wouldsurely obliterate the U.S. Coast Guards 65-mph speed-cap agreement) never materialized.Instead, Sea-Doo decided to go high-tech blazing its own trail in territory that onlyYamaha had previously dared to explore.

    Building off of last years stellar 255-horse-power Rotax plant, BRP introduced a brand-new hull dubbed the S3, and from it birthed twocompletely unique models (denoted by the iSsuffix in its badging), sporting fly-by-wire con-trols and intelligent engine management, alongwith its new computer-controlled iS suspensionand brakes.

    Wait, brakes?

    Thats right, theyve got brakes and fullyintegrated articulating suspension! In fact, theemployment of brakes on a PWC is so innova-tive and groundbreaking that the U.S. CoastGuard is rumored to already be considering amandatory integration of the technology on allnew PWC sometime in the next five years.

    Meanwhile, with the horsepower war stillbarreling on at full tilt, Kawasaki has once againclaimed the coveted Horesepower Kingcrown with its beefed up 260-horsepower Ultraline. In addition to squeezing more power out ofits tuned 1498cc engines, Kawasaki decided togive Yamahas Cruiser line a run for their money,introducing a revamped Ultra LX line (offered inboth supercharged and naturally aspirated ver-sions) with new comfy touring seats.

    If your head is already spinning after hearingabout Sea-Doos unprecedented shift to high-tech and Kawis new luxury cruisers, maybe youshould sit down. Because here comes somemore great news:Yamaha is going racing.

    After regretfully retiring the brands iconictwo-stroke GP1300R this year, wed figuredYamaha had gotten soft and hung up its racinggear for good. But to the contrary, Yamahawasted no time getting back into the gamewith its all-new FZ SHO line.Aimed directly atthe PWC-racing fanatic, the two-seater FZRand three-seater FZS tout the same 1.8Lsupercharged engine as the other SHO models,

    but with race-inspired hulls, controls and seatsthat beg to be abused on the race course.Heck, even the FZRs color Metallic RacingBlue conjures up a certain excitement.

    Even with all these great innovationsunfolding in front of us, our pocketbooks canthankfully utter a sigh of relief at the attentiongiven by OEMs to economy runabouts this year.

    Honda now offers a naturally aspirated ver-sion of its still new F-15X, making it easier toafford the renowned Honda quality and playfulnature of the new Aquatrax. Kawasaki alsojoined the budget-watercraft ranks with astripped-down version of its STX-15F. Dubbedsimply the STX, the new runabout is very simi-lar to the popular race-proven STX-15F, butminus the mirrors, reverse, swimstep, and a fewother luxury items.

    After waiting all year long to see what ourOEMs had waiting for 2009, its such a relief tosee that horsepower junkies and weekendcruisers alike wont be disappointed thisseason. Not only are we rocketing headlonginto an era in which personal watercraft canproduce more horsepower than some produc-tion sports cars of less than a decade ago, butSea-Doo has now single-handedly changed thegame for good. Make no mistake, ladies andgentlemen, we are taking the first baby stepsinto a bright, new era, and, as we at PersonalWatercraft Illustrated always say, its never been abetter time to be a PWC enthusiast!

    2009BUYERS GUIDE

    A Comprehensive Look at 2009s Lineup

    TEXT BY JUSTIN STANNARDPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE MANUFACTURERS

    56-70 Guide_PWI8 10/24/08 12:44 PM Page 56

  • JAN/FEB 2009 watercraft.com 57

    HONDA

    List Price: TBAWarranty: 1 year, limitedColor: Honda BlueDIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY:Curb Weight (w/ all fluids, equipment and fuel): 966 lbs.Length: 133.8 in.Width: 49 in.Height: 42.4 in.Seat Type: Contoured bench, two-pieceMax Rider Capacity: 3 Weight Capacity: 524 lbs.HULL AND COMPONENTS:Hull Type: Deep-VHull Material: FRP (fiber-reinforced

    plastic) compositeDeck material: FRP compositeSponsons: StandardSteering Enhancement: OTS (Off-Throttle

    Steering)Steering System: NonadjustableBilge System: Automatic siphonStorage: Front storage bin, glove

    compartment, and under-seat storageStorage Capacity: 23.1 gallon total: 19.8

    gal. front bin; 1.7 gal. glovecompartment; and 1.6 gal. under-seatstorage

    Cooler: NoCooler Capacity: N/A Boarding Ladder: (Standard) retractableBoarding Handle: StandardPassenger Grab Handle: (Standard)

    integrated into rear-boarding handleSeat Strap: StandardLanyard: (Standard) wristbandThrottle Lever: Finger typeMirrors: (Standard) convex and adjustableTraction Pads: (Standard) full lengthENGINE:Engine Type: Honda DOHC 4-stroke, inline

    4-cylinder, 16-valve w/ intercooledturbocharger

    Bore x Stroke: 79mm x 75mmDisplacement: 1470cc

    Horsepower: 197 bhpCompression Ratio: 8.5:1Intake System: Liquid-cooled turbocharger

    and intercooler w/ 54mm throttle bodyFuel-Induction System: PGM-FI w/ 3-D

    fuel-injection mappingExhaust System: Water-jacketedCooling System: Open-loop, water-cooledDRIVE SYSTEM:Jet Pump: Axial flow, single stageJet Pump Diameter: 155mmImpeller: Stainless steel, 3-bladeTransmission: Direct drive w/ reverseTrim System: NoELECTRICAL:Battery: 12 voltIgnition: Computer-controlled digital w/ 3-D

    mappingStarting System: ElectricSecurity System: (Standard) keyless w/

    programmable remoteINSTRUMENTATION:Fuel Gauge: (Standard) LCDOil Gauge: Low-oil-pressure warningSpeedometer: (Standard) LCDTachometer: (Standard) LCDHour Meter: StandardTrim Gauge: N/AMiscellaneous Instrumentation: LCD w/

    integrated GPS and readouts for speed,trip distance, travel time, clock, enginehours, engine speed, fuel level, minutesleft to ride, battery charge, coolant temp,oil pressure and fuel injection. Audiblewarnings and lights for: low-fuel level,battery charge, coolant temperature, oilpressure and fuel injection

    Optional Instrumentation: N/AFUEL/LUBRICATION:Recommended Fuel: Premium unleaded

    gasoline (91-octane minimum)Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gal.Lubrication System: Dry sumpEngine Oil Reservoir: External

    List Price: TBAWarranty: 1 year, limitedColor: Bright Blue Metallic or Pearl

    White/Metallic SilverDIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY:Curb Weight (w/ all fluids, equipment and fuel): 961 lbs. Length: 133.8 in.Width: 49 in.Height: 42.4 in.Seat Type: Contoured bench, two-pieceMax Rider Capacity: 3 Weight Capacity: 524 lbs.HULL AND COMPONENTS:Hull Type: Deep-VHull Material: FRP (fiber-reinforced

    plastic) compositeDeck material: FRP compositeSponsons: StandardSteering Enhancement: OTS (Off-Throttle

    Steering)Steering System: NonadjustableBilge System: Automatic siphonStorage: Front storage bin, glove

    compartment and under-seat storageStorage Capacity: 23.1 gallon total: 19.8

    gal. front bin; 1.7 gal. glovecompartment; and 1.6 gal. under-seatstorage

    Cooler: NoCooler Capacity: N/ABoarding Ladder: Optional, retractableBoarding Handle: StandardPassenger Grab Handle: (Standard)

    integrated into rear-boarding handleSeat Strap: StandardLanyard: (Standard) wristbandThrottle Lever: Finger typeMirrors: (Standard) convex and fully

    adjustableTraction Pads: (Standard) full lengthENGINE:Engine Type: Honda DOHC 4-stroke, inline

    4-cylinder, 16-valve w/ intercooledturbocharger

    Bore x Stroke: 79mm x 75mmDisplacement: 1470ccHorsepower: 197 bhpCompression Ratio: 8.5:1Intake System: Liquid-cooled

    turbocharger and intercooler w/ 54mmthrottle body

    Fuel-Induction System: PGM-FI w/ 3-Dfuel-injection mapping

    Exhaust System: Water-jacketedCooling System: Open-loop, water-cooledDRIVE SYSTEM:Jet Pump: Axial flow, single stageJet Pump Diameter: 155mmImpeller: Stainless steel, 3-bladeTransmission: Direct drive w/ reverseTrim System: NoELECTRICAL:Battery: 12 voltIgnition: Computer-controlled digital w/ 3-D

    mappingStarting System: ElectricSecurity System: (Standard) keyless w/

    programmable remoteINSTRUMENTATION:Fuel Gauge: (Standard) LCDOil Gauge: Low-oil-pressure warningSpeedometer: (Standard) LCDTachometer: (Standard) LCDHour Meter: StandardTrim Gauge: N/AMiscellaneous Instrumentation: LCD w/

    readouts for speed, trip distance, traveltime, clock, engine hours, enginespeed, fuel level, battery charge,coolant temp, oil pressure and fuelinjection

    Optional Instrumentation: N/AFUEL/LUBRICATION:Recommended Fuel: Premium unleaded

    gasoline (91-octane minimum)Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gal.Lubrication System: Dry sumpEngine Oil Reservoir: External

    HONDA AQUATRAX F-15X GPSCAPE HONDA AQUATRAX F-15X

    List Price: TBAWarranty: 1 year, limitedColor: Candy Orange/Metallic Black or

    Metallic Silver/Metallic BlackDIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY:Curb Weight (w/ all fluids, equipment and fuel): 933 lbs. Length: 133.8 in.Width: 49 in.Height: 42.4 in.Seat Type: Contoured bench, two-pieceMax Rider Capacity: 3 Weight Capacity: 524 lbs.HULL AND COMPONENTS:Hull Type: Deep-VHull Material: FRP (fiber-reinforced

    plastic) compositeDeck material: FRP compositeSponsons: StandardSteering Enhancement: OTS (Off-Throttle

    Steering)Steering System: NonadjustableBilge System: Automatic siphonStorage: Front sto