2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO arrives in Australia just in time for summer

The first shipments of Yamaha’s high-performance GP1800R SVHO have arrived in Australia.

The 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO high-performance watercraft has arrived in Australian showrooms just in time for summer.

Priced from $22,999 not including trailer and registration – an increase of $500 – the updated model represents the biggest overhaul for the Yamaha GP1800R SVHO in five years.

The first shipments were due in November 2020 but were pushed into December 2020 after brief delays in shipping and freight forwarding.

The first allocations of the 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHOs destined for Australia have already sold out, and dealers are now hopeful of receiving their next shipments in the first few months of 2021.

The 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO is the successor to Yamaha’s multiple championship-winning model.

The supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder Yamaha engine and lightweight NanoXcel 2 hull are unchanged from the previous model.

However, the 2021 model has a completely redesigned top deck with more storage, adjustable handlebars, and better overall weight balance after Yamaha relocated the 70-litre fuel tank lower and further back in the engine compartment.

The arrival of the 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO coincides with major updates to the VX series, on which the GP model is based.

This generation hull arrived in 2015 with the VX series. Although the shape and overall design of the VX and GP hulls are identical, the VX hull is made from NanoXcel 1 material while the GP hull uses even lighter NanoXcel 2, introduced in this guise with the Yamaha GP1800 in 2017.

The production changeover to the 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO means new versions of the Yamaha VX WaveRunner series are due to arrive in Australian showrooms in the first few months of 2021, with a choice of 1.0-litre three-cylinder or 1.8-litre four-cylinder power (details below).

Both the 2021 GP and VX ranges benefit from a deeper top deck (for lower centre of gravity), wider footwells, and a narrower seat for improved rider comfort.

For 2021 the GP and VX also gain a new 4.3-inch digital dash display (though not a touchscreen as per the FX, the display is accessed via a keypad on the console), drain holes in the foot wells (which first appeared on the 2019 FX flagship series), and significantly increased storage in the bow, glovebox, and under the back seat. A rear boarding rail carries over from before.

For the first time, an integrated speaker system mounted near the top of the footwells will be available on selected VX models and GP models (pictured below), however this option will be rolled out gradually in Australia.

Both the 2021 Yamaha VX Limited HO and VX Limited TR-1 (due in late February or early March 2021) will come with factory-fitted speakers in the front footwell.

However, GP models sold in Australia in 2021 will not have the same option (even though factory-fitted speakers are available in the US). There is a chance that factory-fitted speakers will become available on GP models in Australia in 2022.

In the interim, an optional pair of removable Bluetooth speakers (pictured below) will become available for the new GP and VX series in Australia some time through 2021 (RRP $630).

They are similar in design to, but slightly smaller than, the optional pair of removable Bluetooth speakers developed for the FX series (RRP $785).

Although power outputs across the VX and GP line-up are unchanged (and Yamaha continues to not publish exact figures) Yamaha says the supercharged GP1800R SVHO promises better acceleration due to a new intake grate design and an upgraded jet pump, which lead to less cavitation (interrupted loss of power) in choppy water on take-off.

The 70-litre fuel tank has been moved rearwards by 80mm (and lowered by 15mm) for improved balance and handling.

Technology upgrades for the 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO include an industry-first “auto trim” function, with “cornering control” and “launch control” modes. 

When activated, “cornering control” automatically lowers the trim when decelerating, for tighter cornering. Launch control also automatically trims the nose down to prevent bow rise under hard acceleration.

Such changes are likely to enhance what is already one of the most nimble watercraft on the market, and which is a favourite among closed-course racers.

While performance riders will benefit from the many changes to the new deck design on the 2021 Yamaha GP1800R SVHO, most of the upgrades were made for the VX series models which appeals to recreational riders.

The Yamaha VX WaveRunner is the most popular model for Yamaha in the US; in Australia the flagship FX series is the brand’s top-seller.

The 2021 model-year changes are expected to broaden the appeal of the Yamaha VX series in Australia, which is yet to mirror the popularity it has the US.

The storage area under the nose is now larger and has a wider opening for easier access. Better still, it has a plastic hinge that acts as a damper to keep the lid open. On the previous VX and GP models, you had to hold the lid open with one hand while loading gear with the other, as there was no built-in mechanism to keep the lid open.

Storage under the rear seat is larger than before and comes with a water resistant box for clothing and valuables that need to stay dry (as per the FX series). However, it’s triangular shape is not as large as the FX storage box, and it’s hard to wriggle into and out of position with the front seat still in position.

A new watertight glovebox is largest Yamaha has offered in the category (even larger than the FX series) and comes with LED lighting, a dedicated area for smartphones, and USB port and 12V power outlets. 

Yamaha fans are hopeful these extra convenience features are likely to be added to other models – such as the flagship FX series – at some point down the track.

Fast facts: 2021 GP1800R and VX series

Engine: Supercharged 1.8-litre 4-cylinder (GP1800R SVHO); naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre (GP1800R HO, VX Cruiser HO and VX Limited HO); 1.0-litre 3-cylinder TR-1 (VX Deluxe, VX Limited)
Capacity: 1812cc (4-cylinder), 1049cc (3-cylinder)
Impeller: 3-blade, stainless steel
Length: 3.35m
Width: 1.24m
Height: 1.20m
Dry weight: 342kg (GP1800R SVHO), 325kg (GP1800R HO), VX Limited HO (360kg), VX Deluxe (306kg)
Fuel tank: 70 litres
Rider capacity: 3 persons
Hull Material: NanoXcel 2 (GP1800R SVHO and GP1800R), NanoXcel 1 (VX series)

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