A spunky V MAX SHO VF115 model is a highlight of six new outboard models Yamaha will offer in 2015. This new pocket rocket shares a 1.8-liter DOHC (double overhead cam), four-valve powerhead with the F115 model. The key upgrade is a different set of camshafts that enhance air flow and cause a corresponding change in the fuel mapping, which presumably takes this motor to the rating limit for a “115,” or about 126 hp. It’s also dressed out in SHO livery, with a black hood and gear case. I tested the VF115 aboard three different boats and was impressed with its smooth operation, despite its lack of a counterbalancer. The VF115 pushed a G3 Eagle Talon 19 aluminum bass boat to 45 mph and delivered nice midrange power while returning 7.5 mpg at 25 mph. Offered only with a 20-inch shaft, the VF115 has a dry weight of 377 pounds. That’s 18 pounds more than the new 2.1-liter Mercury FourStroke 115, also a “strong” 115 that’s offered in a 20- and 25-inch length. The Yamaha offers the advantage of a 5,300 rpm to 6,300 rpm wide-open throttle (WOT) range, 300 rpm higher than the Merc, which could allow the F115 to run a prop with 1 inch less pitch for better hole shot with no top-speed sacrifice. The VF115 hits dealers in April.