In 2017, the all new Yamaha EX series was announced. The EX series consists of 3 models: EX, EX Deluxe, and EX Sport. These 3 models are Yamaha’s first set of recreation-lite waverunners. A starting price of $6,599 makes these their most affordable waverunners available. This review of the Yamaha EX series is going to explain the new category and what exactly the EX models have to offer.
What is a Rec-Lite Waverunner?
To start things off, it’s good to review what a rec-lite (or recreation lite) waverunner is.
The recreation-lite category is a step below the recreation category. Rec-lite watercraft are nimble, lightweight, and only have the essential features. Typically they’re most popular amongst first time buyers because they’re easy to learn on and have an affordable price. Although rec-lite jet skis and waverunners primarily cater to beginner riders, many experienced enthusiasts become repeat customers. The playful ride that rec-lite watercraft provide really is a lot of fun, so it’s no surprise that veteran riders enjoy them as much as beginners.
Until now, the SeaDoo Spark was the only rec-lite watercraft available. For years the Spark dominated the entry level jet ski market, but the new EX series may very well change that.
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Overview of the EX Series
Currently the Yamaha EX Waverunner series only has three models: EX, EX Deluxe, and EX Sport. Each of these models are slightly different from the rest and offer their own perks. Overall they have the same sporty feel, and provide a very responsive ride.
The basic EX is the most affordable out of the 3 models. It’s a bare minimum waverunner for someone who just wants to get out on the water and ride. The EX comes in green and white.
The EX Sport is the next step up in the series. It comes with a few upgrades that are very useful on the water. The EX Sport comes in blue and white or all black.
As the name suggests, the EX Deluxe has the most luxuries out of the EX line up. This model is fully loaded with some of Yamaha’s best add-ons. The EX Deluxe comes in red and white or all blue.
Since the EX series is in the rec-lite category, all of its models are light and agile. They’re all equipped with a performance-style hull that can handle a wide variety of water conditions. Seating is suitable for 1-3 people, and there’s an average amount of storage space available.
Hull & Deck
The entire hull and deck is made from a durable and scratch resistant resin. Like most recreation PWC, the EX models have a hull designed to be nimble and playful. The deck isn’t incredibly spacious, but it’s definitely not cramped either. There’s just enough room for someone to get set up on a tow tube or wake board. To learn more, you can read my article on the best jet ski for towing a tube.
A major problem that occurs on recreation and recreation-lite jet skis is the seating. Often times it’s advertised a 1-3, but in reality it can only fit 2 people. What they mean when they say “1-3” is one child/teen, and two adults.
All of the EX waverunners have seating for 1-3, but things can become cramped on long distance rides with 3 people. What it comes down to is each persons size/height. Fitting 3 adults for shorter rides is definitely doable, but 2 adults and a child/teen is ideal.
A support handle is on the rear of the seat, and a tow hook for watersports is right below it.
The EX comes with a combined 7.7 gallons of storage that is spread out through several compartments. There isn’t too much room but there’s enough for most peoples needs.
People who use waverunners to go fishing or camping may require more room for storage, but it really varies depending on the person.
If you think you’ll need more storage, check out our list of essential jet ski accessories for ideas on saving space!
Yamaha loaded their EX waverunners with their all new 1,049CC TR-1 marine engine. After years of only 4-cylinder engines, Yamaha created a surprisingly high output 3-cylinder, 4 stroke engine. The 100hp TR-1 provides plenty of power but is still relatively fuel efficient. EX waverunners can reach up to 55mph depending on riding conditions.
The engine can be easily accessed which makes standard maintenance much easier. Other personal watercraft sometimes need to be halfway disassembled just to change the oil, but that isn’t a problem on any of the EX models.
All 3 of the EX models have the same design, but don’t share the same features. As these features are reviewed, the models that come with them will be mentioned.
The EX and EX Sport come with standard deck mats, but the EX Deluxe is equipped with Yamaha’s two tone hydro turf mats. The difference between the two mats is hydro turf mats are designed to stay cool to the touch even after prolonged exposure to the sun.
Only the EX Sport and EX Deluxe come with a reboarding step. This isn’t a huge drawback for anyone considering the standard EX because reboarding isn’t too difficult without a step. A reboarding step isn’t really necessary but it definitely is convenient.
All 3 models come with a glove box. This is part of the 7.7 gallons of storage space they all have. There’s enough room in the glovebox to fit some water bottles, sunscreen, and maybe a cellphone.
The standard EX is the only one that doesn’t have dual mirrors, but that isn’t too big of a setback.
Mirrors on a PWC aren’t really essential like they are on a car. It’s really easy to just turn around because there’s nothing to block your line of sight. Waterways are much more open than roads so it’s easier to look around without the use of mirrors. The main use for mirrors on a watercraft is when it’s being docked. Then again, they are a nice luxury to have, so you should take that into consideration before buying.
Yamaha’s RiDE technology is basically an advanced braking and reverse system. It’s designed to brake smoothly when going at a high rate of speed so riders don’t get thrown over the handlebars. Until recently most personal watercraft didn’t have any form of breaking system, so if you’re new to the world of jet ski’s and waverunners then you came in at a perfect time.
Currently the EX Deluxe is the only one out of the line up that comes with RiDE technology. The EX Sport has a manual reverse, but it’s not nearly as good as Yamaha’s RiDE technology.
EX EX Sport EX Deluxe
1-3 persons 1-3 persons 1-3 persons
Length: 10′ 3″ Length: 10′ 3″ Length: 10′ 3″
Width: 3′ 7″ Width: 3′ 7″ Width: 3′ 7″
Height: 3′ 9″ Height: 3′ 9″ Height: 3′ 9″
Dry Weight: 577 lbs Dry Weight: 584 lbs Dry Weight: 599 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal
Storage Capacity: 7.7 gal Storage Capacity: 7.7 gal Storage Capacity: 7.7 gal
Fuel: Regular Unleaded Fuel: Regular Unleaded Fuel: Regular Unleaded
An Honest Opinion
The Yamaha EX waverunner series is a great line up of starter watercraft. They have a modest price tag, and provide great functionality. There aren’t very many luxury features but each of these models has everything a beginner rider needs. Yamaha makes some of the most reliable waverunners so it’s great to finally see a more budget friendly option.