Boat Reviews

Yamaha WaveRunner EX1050

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The next generation of fun and affordability on the water

Yamaha has a long and illustrious history in South Africa and their quality watercraft are the staple diet of many fun-seeking fanatics throughout the years. The first WaveRunner was introduced to the world back in 1987, and now, some forty years down the line, the company has released the entry-level WaveRunner EX series of affordable threeseater watercraft. The EX1050 is available in three variants: the base model, the intermediate Sport, and the range-topping Deluxe EX1050 – which we put through its paces at the Rynfield Dam in Benoni.

Yamaha EX1050 deck

The EX1050 clearly displays true Yamaha pedigree with a pleasing fresh look integrated with flowing lines and great graphics, even though it is considerably shorter, at 3.13 metres, than its VX and FX siblings. The hull is a completely new design but draws inspiration from the longer and wider VX range. Despite being aimed at the entry-level end of the PWC market, the hull and deck are manufactured using Yamaha’s high-compression, glass fibre-reinforced polyester (SMC).
The deck is covered in HydraTurf matting which provides both a non-slip surface and comfort for bare knees and elbows. A self-retracting swim step, together with a grab handle on the rear of the seat, makes access to the large rear deck from the water very easy.There is naturally less storage space on the EX than there is on its larger family members, but the bow hatch, glovebox and underseat compartment provide more than adequate space for essentials. If water toys is on your fun-filled agenda, a towing eye provides a secure anchor point from which to pull family members on a tube.

The purpose-designed Multifunction Information Centre has an LCD display showing speed, RPM and fuel levels, among others.
Motive power comes from the newly designed TR-1 triple cylinder engine which has been reworked slightly to provide the best combination of performance and economy. The light, compact motor has a plenty of low and mid-range power, yet doesn’t run out of steam at the top end, while Yamaha claims that it still leads the class in terms of economy. A 52-litre fuel tank ensures that plenty of fun can be had between refuels. The TR-1 motor is said to achieve 13% more power than the Yamaha MR-1 engine which it is replacing, while being 40% smaller in size and 20% lighter in weight. The result is a vastly improved acceleration, higher top-end speeds with better fuel economy, not to mention being a whole lot more fun for the rider.
On the water, a fairly upright ride position means that while it is slightly more difficult to force the craft into tight turns, the ride is very comfortable and dry, even cutting through the confused water we generated on Rynfield Dam. The EX Series is not equipped with a trim function, yet the neutral setup helps the bow cut through any chop while keeping the spray to a minimum.
The ride is very stable and cruising three-up or towing a tube will not provide any surprises, yet it is possible to induce power slides and spinouts by reducing the weight on the stern, offering the perfect combination of predictability and fun.
Acceleration is brisk, especially when riding solo, all the way up to the top speed, which is around the 80 km/h mark at Johannesburg altitudes. Rynfield Dam is relatively small so long runs were not possible during the test, but we guess that the EX would happily cruise at around 60 km/h for extended periods.
The EX Deluxe is fitted with Yamaha’s RiDE system (the base model had no reverse facility while the Sport has a manual reverse) which makes it very manoeuvrable at low speed. We raved about the system when we experienced it on the VXR a while ago and getting re-acquainted with it reminded us why we like it so much. In addition its low speed benefits, the RiDE system can be used while moving at higher speeds. It is possible to squeeze the left-hand side lever in the approach to a turn while keeping the throttle open. This slows the craft slightly while allowing the rider to maintain constant throttle through the turn, making for a better exit.
Another great feature is the built-in No Wake Mode which sets an optimal speed for cruising through no wake zones, while the Cruise Assist function allows you to set and hold a cruising speed, with the ability to make incremental changes up or down as desired.
All Yamaha WaveRunners utilize open loop cooling, which is the most effective, reliable and maintenance-free method of engine cooling. The open loop system is also far easier and a lot cheaper to maintain than some of the competitor closed loop systems.

Yamaha EX1050
With the rider’s full weight on one side of the craft, the WaveRunner EX1080 proves its reliable stability and seems to indicate that it should be ideal for deep sea fishing.

Overall, we came away very impressed with the Yamaha EX1050 Deluxe. It is the perfect buy for anyone looking for a fun and affordable three-seater, while we rate the RiDE system very highly, the base and intermediate models are certainly well worth considering.
We loved the quality of the finishes and, although there is a slight weight penalty when compared to some of the competition models because of the fiberglass hull, it is worth it in our opinion.
Yamaha have limited-time launch special pricing on the EX1050 Series with the entry level model available at R165 000. The Deluxe model we tested is also available on a launch special at R185 000.
For more information, visit your nearest authorised Yamaha dealer, or contact the World of Yamaha on (011) 259 7850. Alternatively visit Yamaha South Africa’s website on

Length Overall: 3.13 metres
Beam: 1.13 metres
Dry Weight: 260 kilograms
Fuel Capacity: 52 litres
Rider Capacity: 3 people (220 kg maximum)
Engine: TR-1 three cylinder, 4-Stroke
Displacement: 1 049 cc 


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