Excerpted from The Watercraft Journal
By Kevin Shaw, March 12, 2014

“In recent years, Yamaha’s FX HO and FX HO Cruiser models have struck a chord with older buyers looking for a machine that is both mature in design and execution, all the while delivering big on three key attributes: fuel economy, smart storage and ride comfort.”

“The 2014 FX HO Cruiser retains its fuel-mileage friendly naturally aspirated 1,812cc four-cylinder four-stroke…Reaching a healthy 62mph top speed bests many naturally-aspirated models, particularly with a full tank (18.5 gallons) and a 220-pound rider.”

“The brand’s handlebar-mounted Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode are marked by large, easily accessed buttons that provide a gratefully audible acknowledgement when activated. Setting your speed is easily done with a second confirming press of the button and readily adjustable via the up/down toggles.“

“With over 33 gallons of available storage, we discovered the specificity of Yamaha’s design: cell phones, wallets and keys fit snugly in the in-dash screw-top (and padded) bin, while gloves, drinks, sunscreen and GPS would fit in the glove box. Larger items like backpacks, dry bags and flipflops are best suited for the ample bow stowage as towels or a change of clothes belong in the other screw-top underseat container. Lastly, tow ropes, swim fins or goggles slide in place in the rearward deck bin.”

“For 2014, Yamaha really stepped up the classiness of the FX line with attractive two-tone traction mats and improving upon their already iconic tiered Cruiser seat...”

“We have to applaud Yamaha for what we consider possibly the most comfortable handgrip found on a production PWC today. The pistol-grip style contour of the grip and oblong shape fit naturally in the palm of your hand. It, like so many other features, are something you’d normally overlook unless we mentioned it, and we think you’ll agree too.”

“One major trait that we were very satisfied with was the Yamaha’s solidity. From the sturdy-feeling adjustable steering to the secured locking of each storage compartment, the FX HO feels stout without being cumbersome. At 825-pounds (dry weight), the Yamaha remains lightweight due in large part to its proprietary NanoXcel hull and deck material.”

“At speed – be it seated or standing – the Yamaha greedily sluiced through windblown chop with nary a rattle or chatter, it’s big plant thrumming beneath the seat. In fact, we paid close attention to the engine sound while riding. Without the staccato whine of a supercharger, the natural baritone of the 1.8-liter was a refreshing change of tune.”

“Priced at $13,399, the full-sized three-seater is no entry-level machine. But with gas prices where they are, the 110-plus-miles on a single tank of fuel that the HO Cruiser offers will quickly recoup the initial asking price. All in all, we find the FX HO Cruiser as a great solution for riders who are looking for the ideal balance of limited luxury, comfort, efficiency and fun.”