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Kevin Shaw from the Watercraft Journal takes a look at the new GP1800R

Kevin Shaw from the Watercraft Journal takes a look at the new GP1800R.

Writer Kevin Shaw walks us through some of the race-inspired features of the 2019 GP1800R including the new intake grate and ride plate for quicker response times and better handling.

[Excerpted from the Watercraft Journal, December 24, 2018]

Yamaha’s 769-pound, centrifugally-supercharged SVHO powered runabout is a stripped-down, factory-built race ski. There are very few “frills” – if they can even be called that. The intuitive dual-throttle RiDE on-water brake and reverse system, electric trim control, a folding swim step and some pretty cool two-tone Hydro-Turf mats are pretty much it. 

No current machine can equal it either around the closed course or out in the open ocean. Two years of regional, national and world championships can back this claim. The world’s top athletes are unstoppable on the GP1800 (and now the GP1800R), and the evidence is simply too overwhelming to combat. And being a professional racer doesn’t matter; few craft respond better to the rider’s natural talent and athleticism than the GP1800, or punishes for the rider’s lack thereof.

In conjunction with very intuitive, responsive steering, it’s aquatic adhesion is accomplished by the addition of a sharply-angled top loader intake grate. The grate’s pitched blade forcing the intake flow up against the ceiling of the pump tunnel, feeding the top of the prop, producing consistent thrust and increased traction. New reinforcements to the inside of the pump tunnel also add increased strength.

A new aftermarket-inspired, bow-rise reducing ride plate keeps the GP1800R brutally hooked, whether carving glass or maneuvering through grueling open ocean at speed, and far more reliably than any runabout I’ve ever seen from the Yamaha Motor Corp., USA. The experience of wide-open-throttle riding in such conditions is not for the faint of heart or the feeble of hull design. A lesser shape can result in erratic or unpredictable tracking, bow steering or nose plowing. Never so with the GP1800R.