The 2022 Yamaha FX series has been unveiled with major upgrades that go way beyond colour and trim changes that usually signal a new model year.
Although the current generation Yamaha FX series is just three years old – less than half way through its model cycle – Yamaha has taken the watercraft industry by surprise, doubling down and investing heavily in significant upgrades to the hull as well as major updates to comfort and convenience technology.
Above: The 2022 Yamaha FX HO.
The non-supercharged 2022 Yamaha FX HO and supercharged 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO line-ups have undergone their biggest changes since this series was released in late 2018 as a 2019 model year.
Headlining the upgrades is a switch to a thicker, heavy-duty “SMC” fibreglass hull material that aims to deliver better comfort and durability in choppy conditions – particularly in the ocean, where the FX has carved a reputation as a favourite among offshore riders.
Above: The 2022 Yamaha FX series gains a new heavy-duty hull, a revised ride plate, and the sponsons have been moved forward 50mm.
The world’s largest Jet Ski website, The Watercraft Journal – whose editor-in-chief Kevin Shaw tested a number of 2022 Yamaha WaveRunner models last week during a media preview ride – revealed all full-sized Yamaha WaveRunners (such as the FX series) “will ride on thicker, traditional fibreglass hulls.”
The Watercraft Journal was briefed on the hull material change by Yamaha WaveRunner product development manager, Martino Ruggiero, who also explained NanoXcel 1 and NanoXcel 2 material will continue to be used on Yamaha top decks.
Above: The 2022 Yamaha FX HO and FX HO Cruiser.
In The Watercraft Journal report, Kevin Shaw said of the 2022 Yamaha FX switch to SMC fibreglass: “While some might decry the switch to SMC, the decision – at least, in our view – is brilliant. SMC fibreglass is denser, which absorbs vibration and chatter better.
“It distributes the force of impact with far less damage. There’s less flexing, cracking and overall failure to boot. And more importantly, it’s easier (and cheaper) to repair – all things which the long-term owner will appreciate.”
The 2022 models mark the end of an era for the Yamaha FX series – no longer available with NanoXcel I or NanoXcel II hulls – and a return to traditional and more durable hull construction material.
The decision is likely to be welcomed by ocean riders and surf life saving clubs who are more demanding on machinery than most recreational users.
Yamaha introduced the lightweight NanoXcel 1 hull material on certain models in 2008, and added an even lighter version called NanoXcel 2 on supercharged models in 2015.
Above: The 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO Limited.
It would seem the lightweight NanoXcel material is now reserved for the performance-oriented non-supercharged Yamaha GP1800R HO, and the race-bred Yamaha GP1800R SVHO supercharged watercraft.
The changes mean the 2022 Yamaha FX HO and 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO models now both share the same heavy-duty hull.
Previously, the FX HO and FX SVHO had the same hull shape, but the SVHO hull was made from even lighter material than the HO hull.
Above: The 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO and FX SVHO Cruiser.
According to information from Yamaha Australia, the 2022 Yamaha FX HO weighs 388kg (up 9kg) and the 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO weighs 396kg (up 25kg). However, these weight increases include extra standard equipment on the 2022 models.
The 2022 Yamaha FX HO and FX SVHO share the same heavy duty hull “SMC” fibreglass material used by Kawasaki Jet Skis, making them more durable and easier to repair.
While the shape of the hull on the 2022 Yamaha FX is the same as before – to maintain its excellent handling in chop – other changes under the bond-line include a new ride plate, and repositioned sponsons (moved 50mm forward) both of which are said to help bring the nose up to improve fuel economy and top speed, and to create a slightly dryer ride.
All non-supercharged and supercharged Yamaha FX models also gain auto trimming technology that debuted on the Yamaha GP1800R HO and Yamaha GP1800R SVHO in late 2020 as a 2021 model year.
The 2022 Yamaha FX series also gains significant upgrades to comfort and convenience technology.
All 2022 Yamaha FX series WaveRunners sold in Australia will come with a pair of factory-fitted waterproof speakers for the first time – mounted in the front of the footwells, rather than the previously optional console attachments – which stream music from phones via Bluetooth.
The 50-watt speakers are 4.5-inches in diameter, but have a different housing than the 4.5-inch speakers on the 2021 Yamaha GP and VX series.
All 2022 Yamaha FX HO models will come with a 5-inch glass digital touchscreen display (pictured above), while 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO models will come with a 7-inch glass digital touchscreen display (pictured below).
Both screens are larger than the 4.3-inch touchscreens that debuted with this generation Yamaha FX series in 2018.
Voice recognition technology will enable riders to send or acknowledge text messages by voice – while relevant information is also shown on the digital display.
Two tiny noise-cancelling microphones are mounted on the left of the console (pictured in the photo below), above the left control switches. They are only expected to work effectively when the craft is stopped, not at speed.
Furthermore, the new high resolution screens are full colour and include navigation capability – once optional maps are loaded.
The GPS set-up in the 2022 Yamaha FX series enables riders to follow preset way points, and “bread crumb” long journeys, so riders can find their way back to the boat ramp.
There is also “geo-fencing” tech, which can set a digital boundary for novice riders, alerting them via the instrument display once the boundary is reached.
The 2022 Yamaha FX series also has a GPS-based speedometer for better accuracy, rather than a speedometer based on engine revs (prior to this facelift), or a paddle wheel in the ride plate (as with the previous generation FX).
Yamaha’s unique PIN-code lock and unlock touchscreen function – rather than a remote key fob – is expected to carry over from before.
The other small but important news for longtime Yamaha FX fans: 2022 models come with a clock for the first time ever. It is displayed in the bottom right corner of the new digital screen.
The 2022 Yamaha FX HO models and 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO models also come with a touch pad below the revised handlebars as an alternative to the touchscreen.
Photos show there are new hand grips, and new switches for trim and cruise control adjustment.
The redesign also includes a new, larger centre console storage compartment – up by 1.7 litres to a capacity of 16.5 litres.
Inside the centre console, the 2022 Yamaha FX series is also available with LED lighting, 12V power, a USB charge port, and a pocket for smartphones.
Above: A spring-loaded lid replaces the rubber latch on the 2019 to 2021 Yamaha FX models.
The 2022 Yamaha FX series is also equipped with two rope tie hooks either side of the steering column.
These dock tie points are in addition to the pop-up cleats on the FX HO Cruiser and FX SVHO Cruiser.
Above: A new optional deck extension has been adapted for the current generation Yamaha FX series.
In the US, Yamaha unveiled a range of new accessories for the current generation Yamaha FX series.
A new deck extension – called RecDeck (pictured above and below) – which is an extra-cost option, can be fitted to any current-generation Yamaha FX (all FX variants since 2019) and provides the basis of a rival to the Sea-Doo Fish Pro.
The recreational deck fits neatly and securely onto the rear of the craft, and enables the fitment of accessories such as a cooler box, storage bags, rod holders, a chair, and a rear boarding ladder (see separate story here).
It is not yet clear if the optional deck extension will be offered by Yamaha Australia.
In Australia, the sweeping changes to the 2022 Yamaha FX range have coincided with price rises of $1725 on the 2022 Yamaha FX HO models and $1925 on 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO models.
- 2022 Yamaha FX HO (white, grey, and pale blue) costs $22,599 not including trailer and registration (up from $20,874).
- 2022 Yamaha FX HO Cruiser (charcoal and pale blue, with tiered seating and cleats on the top deck) costs $23,599 not including trailer and registration (up from $21,874).
- 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO (pale blue and white, with red highlights) costs $27,199 not including trailer and registration (up from $25,274).
- 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO Cruiser (black, dark bronze, and pale blue, with tiered seating and cleats for the top deck) costs $28,199 not including trailer and registration (up from $26,274).
- 2022 Yamaha FX SVHO Limited (black, dark blue, and yellow, with tiered seating and cleats for the top deck) costs $28,399 not including trailer and registration (up from $26,474).