Honda leads and listens: 2005 AquaTrax buyers get more

When Honda, the world's largest powersports manufacturer, first entered the personal watercraft (PWC) market in 2002, the message was loud and clear--their products would satisfy a growing demand for high-quality, high-performance, low-emission PWCs.

In its trademark style, Honda entered the market with a big splash. At a time when other PWC manufacturers were under intense pressure to lower emissions produced by their ubiquitous two-stroke engines, Honda introduced the world's first low-emissions four-stroke powered PWC. The normally-aspirated, family-sized three-person AquaTrax F-12 and turbocharged AquaTrax F-12X were immediate hits, testimony to Honda's comprehensive approach to building high-tech, well-integrated products. One year later, the two-person AquaTrax R-12 (non-turbo) and AquaTrax R-12X (turbo) were introduced, adding depth to Honda's growing watercraft line.

With each sale, Honda listened to customer input to determine what features were most important to PWC enthusiasts. Clearly, the four-stroke approach was spot-on. The engine's quiet, rider-friendly power was simple to manage and yet stout enough to easily tow a wake-boarder or skier. Honda's hull designs also hit a sweet spot, providing straight-line stability and comfort as well as quick-turning fun. But customers also wanted more--more convenience, more color choices and more power. For 2005, Honda has responded.

Honda's flagship F-12X is now available with GPScape, an innovative global positioning system (GPS). With the F-12X GPScape, riders can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they no longer have to search for landmarks or struggle with locating favorite play areas. Up to 100 waypoints can be stored and easily viewed in the GPScape's LCD display, which is conveniently housed in the standard meter assembly. Riders can easily lock in their loading ramp location before departing, program in the coordinates of their destination, and load multiple points of interest throughout the day. GPScape does the rest, telling the rider the distance and direction to a reference point from their present location. Upon arrival, GPScape alerts the rider with a bright "star" display. The GPS unit even includes a digital compass with pinpoint accuracy that indicates travel direction once underway.

Another new feature of the 2005 F-12X GPScape is a standard rear reboarding step, a first for Honda. Especially handy in deep water when two or more people are riding, it allows a wakeboarder or skier to easily remount. The reboarding step is also available as an option on the standard F-12X and F-12.

Honda finished off the AquaTrax F-12X GPScape with two handsome color options: candy red with black and silver accents or gold with black and silver accents on a white upper body. Both versions have a black lower body. A raised chrome turbo emblem tells the watercraft world that this is Honda's top-of-the-line machine.

New colors grace the standard F-12X for 2005 as well. With the same black hull as its sibling, this version of the turbo model receives a stunning blue with silver and black accents on the white upper body and includes the raised chrome turbo emblem.

More power for the F-12

The big news for the normally-aspirated, 1235cc inline four-cylinder F-12 is more power. Specifically, the torquey engine gets a substantial boost in top-end performance. The retuned, higher-revving engine produces 137.5 bhp at 8000 rpm, an increase of 10 percent and 1000 rpm over last year's model. With changes to the intake and exhaust cam timing to improve power, the F-12 maintains its strong, manageable low-end performance for excellent towing operation. Double springs on the intake valves assure high-rpm durability. Complementing the increase in power is a lighter-weight AC generator for quicker throttle response.

A redesigned Solas 147mm jet pump matches the engine's improved power characteristics for optimum drivability. The new impeller features polished leading edges for enhanced durability at increased engine speeds. The F-12's color options for 2005 are bright blue with silver and black accents on a white upper deck or silver with red and black upper deck accents. Both versions have white hulls and feature brushed aluminum raised emblems.

New look for the R-series

Honda's R-series two-person AquaTrax models also have new color treatments for 2005. The R-12 is finished with a white hull and bright blue on the upper deck with silver and black accents. The R-12X comes with a black hull and two color options; bright blue with silver and black accents on the upper deck and silver with black and red upper deck accents. The normally-aspirated R-12 has a raised, brushed-aluminum emblem and the turbocharged R-12X has a raised, chromed turbo emblem.
Honda's entire AquaTrax line received numerous anti-corrosion enhancements for 2005. Every part of the engine and its components were examined, leading to significant changes such as new alumite treatments to the cylinder head and exhaust manifold for even better durability. Less obvious is the addition of a drain hole on the lower crankcase flange to siphon away corrosive water, and the painted oil line sleeves that minimize rust. No one sweats the details like Honda and it is this thoughtful attention that is the hallmark of Honda's legendary quality.

The result? By listening to its customers and constantly making improvements, the 2005 Honda AquaTrax models once again raise the industry standard for performance and quality in personal watercraft.

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