Horsepower-to-weight ratio often creates a profound influence on a personal watercraft, as can an agile, responsive hull. Yamaha’s all-new JetBlaster combines both, resulting in one of the most fun, playful models on the market, ideal for those who like a little old-school spin mixed into their riding.
If the JetBlaster looks somewhat familiar, it’s because the craft is essentially a modified version of the now-departed EXR, the performance-minded model in Yamaha’s recreational EX lineup. Like that craft, the hull and deck are made from NanoXcel 2, Yamaha’s lightest weight, nano-engineered construction material. Into that form factor Yamaha drops the TR-1 HO engine, a compact powerplant capable of 110 hp with a higher 8,000 rpm rev limit, along with a top-loader intake grate and pump extension for maximum performance. Peg the throttle and the 549-pound craft will reach past the 50 mph threshold in surprisingly quick fashion and power through turns like a go-kart. A trio of new features transforms the ride into much more of a freestyle performer than a pocket-rocket racer.
Arguably the most impact comes via a new custom-tuned electric trim. Toggle the handlebar-mounted toggle up and the nose of the craft gets extremely light, allowing the pilot to easily hop the boat out of the water with even the smallest wave and well-timed burst of speed. That same high trim angle and a little body English also make it easy to spin the stern out into a 180 slide, a maneuver that can easily be continued into a full 360 and corresponding whip of spray. Angled foot chocks added to the rear of port and starboard footwells offer additional leverage and security while riding in the standing position that most riders assume when getting radical. A taller, wider set of handlebars with a beefy aluminum stem gives the rider additional leverage over the craft. The bars also feature rounded grips that are more comfortable when contorting.
Though freestyle is clearly the craft’s reason for being, practical additions haven’t been overlooked. Fuel and storage capacities weigh in at 13.2 and 7.7 gallons, respectively. And then there’s Yamaha’s RiDE system. Essentially, it has dual throttles, one for forward and one for reverse. RiDE makes for easy and intuitive docking in even the tightest quarters and provides surprising stopping power at speed.
- High-output TR-1 engine and lightweight hull combine for a nimble
- Custom-tuned trim raises the bow higher than average, bringing out a playful side.
- Intuitive RiDE system allows easy switching between forward, neutral and reverse.
How We Tested
- Engine: 110 hp 1,049 cc TR-1 High Output Yamaha Marine Engine
- Pump/Impeller: 144 mm high-pressure/stainless steel
- Fuel Load: 13 gal. Crew Weight: 155 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|Dry Weight:||549 lb.|
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||3/485 lb.|
|Stowage Capacity:||7.7 gal.|
|Fuel Capacity:||13.2 gal.|
Yamaha – Kennesaw, Georgia; 866-894-1626; yamahawaverunners.com