V MAX SHO FAQs | Yamaha Outboards

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FAQ + Answers


This is just about everything you need to know about the V6 V MAX SHO®. Click a question category below for answers on everything from performance to rigging to maintenance. For broader questions about Yamaha Outboard ownership and maintenance, visit our General FAQs. Your local Yamaha Marine Dealer is also a good resource—especially for answers to more specific questions about your rig and outboard.


Can a four stroke really outperform a two stroke?

Yamaha's four stroke V MAX SHO can. In everything from weight to hole shot and acceleration to fuel efficiency, Yamaha’s on-water testing proved that the 250hp V MAX SHO four stroke outboard easily competes with two stroke engines of the same horsepower rating. It has the most displacement of any 6-cylinder outboard engine currently on the market, yet it is as light or lighter than nearly every one of its two stroke competitors of equal horsepower.

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How does the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® sound?

Quiet and smooth are the signature hallmarks of all Yamaha four stroke outboards. You'll note, however, its "mufflerless" labyrinth exhaust gives these outboards a very pleasing "sound of power" at idle, entirely different from the whirring and spitting sounds you might expect from two stroke outboards. At speed, the V MAX SHO is so quiet (aside from the wind) that you'll be able to talk with your co-angler.

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How fast is the four stroke V MAX SHO®?

The four stroke V MAX SHO 250 has quicker hole shot, better acceleration and top speed comparable to or better than competitive outboards of the same horsepower, including two strokes. In fact, in Yamaha on-water testing, the V MAX SHO had a top speed 1.5mph faster than a V MAX Series 2 two stroke on a tournament-loaded Skeeter 20i bass boat. Keep in mind that actual results can vary due to many different factors, including boat type, load, speed, water and atmospheric conditions, hull condition, operator ability, etc.

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What are the advantages of four stroke technology vs. two stroke technology?

Consumers have come to prefer four stroke outboards for many reasons. In fact, four strokes currently comprise over 80% of total industry-wide outboard sales. They're smooth, quiet, smoke-free and very fuel-efficient. With the advent of the V MAX SHO, we have added light weight and top-flight performance to this list. Four stroke outboards are now truly superior in virtually every important aspect.

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What is the charging power of the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO®?

The alternator on the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboards produces a full 50 amps of total output—and does so at about 2500 rpm. In fact, the V MAX SHO produces about 46 amps at only 1000 rpm, so even at lower engine speeds you're getting significant charging output. Also, the alternator used on the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboards is 35% lighter than V MAX Series 2 outboards. Since these outboards also consume less power to operate, the net charging output is significantly higher, too.

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What is the fuel economy of the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO®?

In extensive Yamaha on-water testing, fuel economy on the new Yamaha V MAX SHO 250hp four stroke outboard surpassed our own V MAX Series 2, 250hp two stroke outboard by an average of 12% across the RPM range. When you consider that the V MAX Series 2 is a direct-injected two stroke engine, that's really saying something.

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What type of longevity can be expected from the 4.2 liter V MAX SHO outboard?

Yamaha has a long-standing and hard-earned reputation for durability, particularly with four stroke outboards. Properly maintained, Yamaha's four stroke V MAX SHO outboard are built to deliver years of dependable service in the environments for which they were designed. In fact, it's commonplace for us to hear of operators enjoying hundreds—even thousands—of hours of use from their Yamaha outboard.

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By lowering the weight, has durability been compromised?

Yamaha has a long-standing reputation for durability and the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO is certainly no exception. The weight savings in these outboards results from a combination of many factors, including the use of materials and processes that have been proven in other applications, but are the first of their kind the marine industry. Used in appropriate applications, the V MAX SHO is designed to provide years of trouble-free performance.

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How did Yamaha create a 4.2 liter V6 four stroke outboard that weighs less than or equal to most two strokes of the same horsepower?

In short, a great deal of research and planning, combined with the innovative application of materials and technologies that have been proven in other industries, but are relatively new to an outboard application. One example is "Plasma Fused Sleeveless Cylinders", where we replace customary steel cylinder sleeves with a plasma fusion process. The resulting cylinder walls are 60% harder than steel. This not only saves weight, but also allows us to increase displacement, without enlarging the outer diameter of the cylinder. Of course, there are other weight-saving and power-enhancing features at work here, too. Suffice to say Yamaha engineers have realized previously unbelievable low weight and high displacement in a V6 four stroke outboard, which results in break-through four stroke performance.

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What type of corrosion protection is provided with the V MAX SHO®?

Yamaha uses a proprietary alloy known as YDC-30, which has been proven to provide superior corrosion resistance to other metals that may be used in competitive outboard engines. In addition, the V6 4.2L V MAX SHO has a polymer composite lower engine pan, which is nearly impervious to the effects of corrosion. There are self-sacrificing anodes located at strategic points on the outboard's exterior, as well as inside the interior water passages. A convenient flushing attachment is also standard, and Yamaha's exclusive ACP-221 paint process is used in key areas of the outboard. Keep in mind, though, that maximum corrosion protection depends on you doing your part to properly maintain the motor.

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What type of technology is in the V6 4.2L four stroke VMAX SHO®? Is it turbocharged or supercharged?

The V6 4.2L four stroke Yamaha V MAX SHO utilizes a 4.2 liter V6 block which has the most displacement of any 6-cylinder production outboard. At the same time, it uses advanced technologies and materials that make it as light as—or lighter than—all other 6-cylinder 250hp outboards, including two strokes. These outboards are naturally aspirated through an electronically controlled, 75mm single throttle valve.

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How often will I have to change my oil? Is there any "special" oil I have to use for the V6 4.2L four stroke Yamaha V MAX SHO®?

No "special" oil is required, but whatever oil you choose should at least be certified with the National Marine Manufacturer's Association (NMMA®) FC-W® stamp of approval for marine use. Yamalube 4M in 5W-30 weight (fully synthetic), or 10W-30 weight (mineral), has such approval and is manufacturer-recommended. Using Yamalube 4M is important because it has the chemical formulation and corrosion resistance necessary for marine engines—automotive engine oils do not measure up to this standard. If Yamalube is not available at your local Yamaha Marine dealer, your next alternative is to use good-quality motor oil, rated API SE or higher, in either 5W-30 or 10W-30 until Yamalube 5W-30 or 10W-30 can be obtained. In either case, we do not recommend exceeding 10W-30-weight engine oil in these new outboards.

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What type of maintenance will be required for the V6 4.2L four stroke Yamaha V MAX SHO®?

Since Yamaha's V MAX Super High Output (SHO) is a four stroke outboard, you're going to need to change the oil and filter periodically as required for any four stroke engine (keep in mind you don't BURN oil, like you do in a two stroke). Other than that, standard maintenance will be similar to that of any outboard. For more information, check the Owner's Manual or click here to find and view your owner's manual online. It includes a Maintenance section with a schedule chart for periodic maintenance.

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Are there any new propellers for the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO®? Can I use my current prop?

The V MAX SHO (ventless) and V MAX Ventless Series of propellers were designed specifically for the V MAX SHO, but these outboards can also use a variety of vented propellers in bass applications, including the V MAX Vented Series. Both series of V MAX propellers were specifically designed to provide outstanding acceleration, speed, bow lift and handling characteristics. In some instances, you can use your current propeller. However, since all applications are different, it's best to check with your local authorized Yamaha Marine dealer to discuss the specifics of your situation.

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Is a V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® less expensive to operate than a 2 stroke, given the same horsepower?

Yamaha's V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboards are not only very economical to operate, but are also unbelievably light weight and offer best-in-class hole shot and acceleration, and comparable (or better) top speed. In Yamaha on-water testing, the 250hp version averaged 12% better fuel economy across the rpm range than our renowned V MAX Series 2, 250hp two stroke direct-injected outboard. Plus, instead of burning expensive two stroke oil, you periodically change the oil in the crankcase (please dispose of used oil properly), and there’s more room in the boat because you don’t need an on-board oil tank. Since we can't speak definitively to every application out there, we'll let you do the math. In any case, we believe you'll like the result.

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Is the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® only for bass boats or will it fit other applications?

The Yamaha V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO is well suited for a variety of lighter weight high-performance single engine configuration fishing hulls such as bass boats, multi-species boats, flats boats, bay boats and center console boats.

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What octane fuel does the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® require?

Yamaha's V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboards don't require special fuel. The 250hp gets its best performance from mid-grade, 89 pump octane fuel, which is the octane most-readily found at on-water marinas. It can also be run on regular 87 pump octane fuel with only a slight decrease in performance. The 225hp and 200hp models are designed to operate "all day long" on regular 87 pump octane fuel. All of the V MAX Super High Output four stroke outboards are also designed to handle up to a 10% concentration of ethanol in the fuel.

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Will the V6 4.2L four stroke Yamaha V MAX SHO® work with my current Yamaha controls and rigging?

The new Yamaha V MAX SHO is cable-controlled for shift and throttle functions, so if you currently have Yamaha cable controls, chances are they will work. This outboard is also compatible with everything from Yamaha's Command Link and multifunction gauges to analog gauges and even NMEA-2000 displays, provided the appropriate hardware and systems are in place. Your best course of action is to check with your local authorized Yamaha Marine dealer for details about integrating this engine into your particular application.

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Can I purchase the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® in California?

Absolutely! It meets or exceeds all federal emissions requirements, and that of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). It even carries the CARB 3-star logo on the outer cowling as a proud indication of that fact.

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How much do the V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® outboards cost?

In many cases, Yamaha's V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboard will be part of a package with a boat and trailer. The dealer will set the actual selling price of these units as a package. Yamaha "Full Line" dealers are authorized to sell just the outboard, but again, these dealers will set the actual selling price. Please check with an authorized Yamaha Marine dealer for actual purchase pricing.

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What is the standard warranty on V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO® outboards?

All Yamaha V MAX SHO outboards carry the same 3-year limited warranty for pleasure or government use as our other four stroke outboards. That includes the special high-performance lower unit found on V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboards. The V6 4.2L four stroke V MAX SHO outboards are also eligible for up to three years of additional Yamaha Extended Service (Y.E.S.) coverage (known as Yamaha Extended Warranty in Florida), for a possible total of six years.

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