November 17, 2009 by Jason Sealock
Game changer? It's definitely going to be a drool inducer. We were invited to an early viewing of the new four-stroke outboards from Yamaha. Monday we were only privy to images of the new outboards, and Tuesday we'll actually get to put them through their paces on several different boats. Most notably in their introduction to bass anglers is the all-new Yamaha V MAX SHO line of 200-, 225- and 250-horsepower outboards. These are four-stroke outboards, but they completely reinvent what a four-stroke outboard "can be." Most notably, the engines are 34 pounds lighter than their counterpart V MAX 2-stroke cousins. According to Yamaha engineers, no other V6 bass outboard of equal horsepower is lighter, including two-strokes. The engines incorporate the first marine application of plasma-fused sleeveless cylinders. This is basically a high-tech aeronautical and performance automobile technology that has been ported over and applied to marine technology for the first time. They get a larger bore, which results in much more displacement - in fact the largest displacement in its class. The result for bass anglers and boat owners is more response, power and the fastest hole shot acceleration in its class, even more than the V MAX Series 2 two-stroke models. Tuesday morning we'll be testing these outboards along with a slick new 70-hp, four-stroke that will be a sweet option for a lot of aluminum model boats. Just like its big brothers, this outboard is lighter, faster, and more fuel and oil efficient. I'm actually very excited to run the boats Tuesday, and it will be interesting to see the new Skeeter boats being unveiled tomorrow as well. We'll hopefully have video from the test runs along with tweets from the event tomorrow. Check back to see more or follow us on Twitter. Until then, here are a few photos, compliments of the great folks at Yamaha. I'm already drooling and scheming on how to get a Ranger with the new outboard next year.