The Honda Aquatrax jet ski was one of the most popular jet skis in its days. It is still a popular second-hand jet ski. In this Honda Aquatrax review, I’ll list all of its specs and features so you can decide if it is the right jet ski for you.
The Honda Aquatrax is one of the jet skis manufactured by Honda Motor Company from 1986 to 2009. It is powered by a turbocharged intercooled, fuel injection, two-stroke engine that cranks 165 horsepower. This is a jet ski that has excellent fuel efficiency and produces low emissions.
There is also an Aquatrax with a naturally aspirated, non-turbocharged, non-inter-cooled engine that generates 125 hp. Both Honda Aquatrax turbo and non-turbo are based on an in-line four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 1,235 cc engine with electronic injection and water-jacketed exhaust.
Read on to learn more about the Honda Aquatrax jet ski, its overview and background, and its specs and features.
About the Honda Aquatrax
The Honda Aquatrax attracted many boaters fond of personal watercraft because it perfectly blended cruising and performance. It was not the fastest jet ski in its time, but it excelled in fuel efficiency, reliability, and maneuverability.
While it is active in the production of PWCs, Honda Motor Co made many innovations in the industry. While their jet skis and other PWCs were not the most spectacular, they still contributed to the development of the PWC technology at that time.
Honda Launched AquaTrax Model in 2002
In 2002, government regulators were implementing stricter standards in emissions. It was then that Honda launched its AquaTrax model line-up powered by clean four-cycle, four-cylinder engines.
Two Types of Engines Power Honda Aquatrax
Honda used two types of engines to power the Honda Aquatrax. One is naturally aspirated that produces 135 hp. This engine was used in the Honda Aquatrax F-12. The other is turbocharged that cranks 165 hp. This is the engine mounted on the Honda Aquatrax F-12X.
Honda Aquatrax F-15X
Both models were eventually superseded by the Honda Aquatrax F-15X several years later. The hull of the Aquatrax F-15X is longer than its two predecessors. Its engine displacement is also bigger. The Aquatrax F-12 and F-12X have a displacement of 1.2 liters, while the F-15X has 1.5 liters. It is rated at 200 hp.
With a bigger engine displacement, the Honda Aquatrax F-15X generated 197 hp at 7,100 revolutions per minute. Its engine is fuel-injected, four-cylinders, and dry-sump DOHC. With an IHI turbocharger, 10 psi of intercooled boost is added. While the engine has no electronic throttle, it is still almost like a modern car engine.
Honda Built a Large Fan Base
While Honda was producing its PWCs, including the Honda Aquatrax model lineup, it built a large fan base. Owners were enjoying their rides from their Honda watercraft. Honda had captured a decent share of the PWC market. But it really never dominated this market.
There are features in Honda’s PWCs that topped their rivals, but there is really nothing in their speed machines that really beat their competitors. Honda PWCs were not weak, but they are not that spectacular either.
Honda Stopped Producing PWC’s in 2009
Later on, the inevitable happened. A combination of a shrinking market and dwindling sales forced Honda to end their production of their PWCs. So, in late 2009, the company had to close the doors of its jet ski manufacturing facilities.
It is not very clear if Honda is losing money with its PWC line. Perhaps, the company is not really making money from the product to stay in the game. But while they have already ceased the production of jet skis, there are still several loyal Honda fans who crave them.
It’s been quite a while since Honda stopped producing the Honda Aquatrax. That’s why there’s not a lot of customer reviews about this jet ski. So, interested buyers are not sure if the Honda Aquatrax is worth their time and money.
Currently, you can’t buy a brand new Honda Aquatrax, whether it is the F-12, the F-12X, or the F-15X. The ones available are used units. Still, you may want to know its price. The suggested price for the base model of Honda Aquatrax is $8,999.
Honda Aquatrax Features
Here are the key features of the Honda Aquatrax both for the F-12, F-12X, and the F-15X:
- Trip Distance Display
- Fuel Gauge
- Estimated Ride Time
- Tow Hook
- Boarding Step (Deluxe Model)
- Two Tone Seat (Deluxe Model)
- GPS (Deluxe Model)
Honda Aquatrax Specs
Here are the important specs that you need to know about the Honda Aquatrax:
- Engine – 1470 cc liquid cooled, fuel injected, four-cylinder turbo engine
- Power – 125 hp. at 7,000 rpm
- Top Speed: 66 mph (approximate)
- Seating Capacity – up to 3 passengers
- Curb Weight – 955 pounds or 433 kilos
- Fuel Capacity – 18.5 gallons
- Storage Capacity – 24.6 gallons
- Dimensions – 11.15 inches x 49 inches x 42.4 inches (L x W x H)
- Base Price – $13,299 Base MSRP (for the FX-15X)
To better appreciate what the Honda Aquatrax is offering, here are the details of some of its most important features:
1. Fuel Efficient Engine and Strong Performance
Two Types of Engine for Aquatrax
There are two types of engines that Honda used to power the Aquatrax. The first engine is naturally aspirated and can produce 135 hp. It is the engine used by the Honda Aquatrax F-12. The other engine is turbocharged and can crank 165 hp. This is the engine mounted on the Honda Aquatrax F-12X.
Honda Aquatrax F-15X Engine
Later on, Honda launched another jet ski, the Honda Aquatrax F-15X. The hull of this jet ski is longer than the first two models. Its engine also has a bigger displacement. The engine displacement of the first two is 1.2 liters, while this latest iteration is 1.5 liters. This engine can produce 200 hp.
There is only a minimal lag in the turbo of the Aquatrax F-15X engine, making it one of its biggest selling points. The turbo will usually kick in at about 2,500 rpm. This ability makes it feel like the engine is cranking more than its rated 200 hp.
The engine is also able to accelerate from a stop quickly. But its great advantage is its fuel efficiency. Honda is well-known for producing very fuel-efficient engines. The turbo maintains the fuel efficiency of the engine without affecting its speed.
Most of the jet skis at that time have 250 hp engines. But what differentiated the Honda Aquatrax is its turbo engine. It was the most fuel-efficient turbocharged engine of the lot.
Jet skis are fast. It is in this area that the Honda Aquatrax shows its prowess. The top speed of this jet ski averages about 66 mph or 106 kph. While this is just the norm for jet skis of today, at that time, the Honda Aquatrax was the only one speeding at this rate.
There are some videos on the internet that shows the Aquatrax speeding at 70 plus mph. This is possible by tweaking its engine. There are several ways to make the Honda Aquatrax faster than its rated speed. But you must be willing to spend time and money to do it.
2. Ample Storage and Large Fuel Capacity
If you are an average rider, the storage capacity of the Aquatrax will be more than enough. This jet ski offers a big 21.4-gallon compartment at the bow area. If it is already full, you can put more items in the glove box or under the seat.
These sections offer additional 1.7 gallons and 1.5 gallons of storage. All these storage areas are easily accessible. You won’t be fumbling around to retrieve the items that you have stored in them.
So, the total storage capacity of this jet ski is 24.6 gallons – enough storage space for most people. This is ample storage for a jet ski. If you need a bigger space than this, perhaps you should think about getting a regular-sized boat, not a small jet ski.
In the fuel department, the Honda Aquatrax will not bring you down. It is not only very fuel-efficient, but it also has a large capacity fuel tank. Its full tank capacity is 18.5 gallons. With that amount of fuel, you will be able to spend a full day of fun in the water without going out of gas. Its curb weight of 955 pounds also helps in the fuel efficiency of this engine.
3. Enough Room in the Hull and Deck
The shape and style of the Honda Aquatrax F-12X jet ski are very similar to the Aquatrax F-15X. But the F-15X is bigger. It is approximately 6 inches longer than the F-12X. Generally, the hull performs very well in cornering and maneuvering.
The space in the rear deck is not that large, but there’s enough space everywhere. There is a fair amount of wiggle room in the hull and deck. They can comfortably seat 3 adults even if its style is a bit outdated.
While it may not be the fastest jet ski around, it makes up for this by offering a very responsive ride. There is a rub rail the surrounds the edge of this jet ski. The rub rail on the F-15X is thicker than the ones mounted on the F-12X.
One of the drawbacks of this hull is that it does not perform its best when the water is choppy. But don’t worry. You won’t be tossed over every time you encounter a wake. But this jet ski can’t slice through the wakes either.
Another downside of this jet ski is its lack of cleats. You may have to improvise if you need to tie off something on the hull or deck.
4. Advanced Dashboard and Handlebars
At the time of its popularity, the Honda Aquatrax has an advanced-looking dashboard and handlebars. After many long years, they now look archaic.
This jet ski was one of the first that introduced the digital dashboard in PWCs. The dashboard came with modern functions such as trip distance display, clock, speedometer, and fuel gauge. It also showed the amount of time remaining before the fuel tank becomes empty. All of these now belong to the basics. But at that time, they were advanced high-tech features.
The primary shortcoming of the handlebars is that the rider is limited in their riding positions. You can’t ride while standing because of the fixed position of the handlebars. Riders enjoy their jet ski rides because they can choose the riding position according to their height. But with the Honda Aquatrax, you will be limited most of the time to sitting down.
5. Reasonable Price
When Honda Motor Co released the Honda Aquatrax F-15X, the price tag was $13,299. On the used market, the cost can range from $3,000 to $8,000. Meanwhile, the price tag of the Honda Aquatrax F-12X in its launch was $9,749. Used Aquatrax F-12X also has the same price range as the F-15X, from $3,000 to $8,000 per unit.
Again, what does Hond Aquatrax offer? The company, Honda Motor Company, produced Honda Aquatrx from 1986 to 2009. It has a turbocharged intercooled, fuel injection, two-stroke engine that can reach 165 horsepower. Also, Honda Aquatrax has impressive fuel efficiency and low emissions.
Full Specs of the Honda Aquatrax
Here are the full specs of the Honda Aquatrax F-12X and the Honda Aquatrax F-15X:
|Part/Section||2007 Honda Aquatrax F-12X||2008 Honda Aquatrax F-15X|
|Displacement (cc/ci)||1235 / 75.4||1470 / 89.7|
|Horsepower/RPM||125 hp. at 7,000 RPM||165 hp. at 7,000 RPM|
|Carburetion Type||Fuel Injected||Fuel Injected|
|Steering Assist System||Standard||Standard|
|Number of seats||3||3|
|Glove Box / Dash Storage||Standard||Standard|
|Front Storage Well||Standard||Standard|
|Bilge System Type||Automatic Siphon||Automatic Siphon|
|Hull Type||Modified V||Modified V|
|Hull Material||Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP)||Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP)|
|Body Material||Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP)||Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP)|
|Width (in/mm)||49 / 1244.6||49 / 1244.6|
|Height (in/mm)||41.7 / 1059.2||42.4 / 1077|
|Dry Weight (lbs/kg)||748 / 339.3|
|Storage Capacity (cuft/gal/l)||4 / 25.6 / 112.8||3.6 / 23.1 / 101.8|
|Fuel Capacity (gal/l)||16.6 / 62.8||18.5 / 70|
Conclusion: Honda Aquatrax Review
The Honda Aquatrax is one of the model lines of jet skis produced by Honda Motor Co from 1986 to 2009. It is powered by a turbocharged intercooled, fuel injection, two-stroke engine that cranks 165 horsepower. This is a jet ski that has excellent fuel efficiency and produces low emissions.
Honda is no longer producing this jet ski. Due to declining sales, Honda was forced to discontinue the production of the Aquatrax in 2009. The sales of Aquatrax started to go south during the latter years of the 2000s. Only used units are available in the market today.