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  1. #1

    Help with choice?

    Little background, 3 years ago I decided I wanted a jetski(I was in High school at the time, and am a freshman in college now) so I did my research, and got a '94 XP. Had a lot of fun that summer and I was hooked. At the end of that summer I found a mint condition '96 XP so I snatched that up too. The past two summers my '94 hasn't gotten much use since I normally take the '96 out. Now it's time to sell my toys so I can afford to upgrade again. I've already got the '94 sold, and will soon have the '96 sold.

    I'm looking to stay around $3000 or under if possible, and am mainly looking at the XPL, GSXL, and RX, but am open to other suggestions. I'd like to stay with SeaDoo as I've grown to love the power these Rotax engines put out and the handling their hulls provide.

    Here's what I want:

    * Reliability - Right now I've got a 657x and 787. My next ski will have a 951. I've read to stay away from the White 951's and stick with the silvers as they have some upgrades that solved the white motors problems. I have also read too many horror stories about D.I.'s with melting pistons and other problems so I'm staying away from them. I do all my own maintenance and have rebuilt both sets of carbs on my 787 and 657x motors, so I figure I could handle the 951's carbs too.

    * Speed - This is another reason for the 951 upgrade. The friends I ride with have a GP1300r, and although I know none of the above options are as fast as that GP, I'd like to be closer to keeping up with it then I currently am on my '96 XP.

    * Maneuverability - One of the things I love most about my XP's is their size. I like that they're light, and nimble. I can throw 'em around like no other and I love to carve in tight turns and do 180's and have fun. This is something my friends GP1300r, and WaveRaider 701 can't match. I'd like my new ski to come as close to what I can do on my XP's as possible. I also live 3 miles from Lake Michigan, and when we go out to ride there it's all about jumping the waves. I'd still like to be able to get some good air off the waves like I can on my XP's.

    *Stability - It seems that this kind of contradicts the point above, but this is very important to me. The majority of my riding is done two-up with my gf or some other friend on the back. I'm around 150lbs and pretty much everyone who rides with me is around there or less. Despite us being fairly light, riding with two is a constant balancing act on my XP's, where as on my friends Yami's, even the smaller Wavewaider 701, are so much more stable with two it's unbelievable. That said, I need whatever I get next to be much more stable with two. We often ride to a cove on a lake and just park and sit on the ski's and chill and having two people sitting on my XP doesn't work well, but on their Yami's it's not a problem. I don't care as much about maneuverability with two people, as long as I can still have fun when I get on by myself.

    *Smoothness - Again this may seem to contradict the point about about maneuverability, but I'd say our riding is split 75 - 25, inland to Lake Michigan. So the few times were out on Lake Michigan I want to be able to jump, but when we're on the calmer inland lakes I like a smoother ride. Porpoising is a problem on my XP's, although it can usually be minimized with adjustment of the trim, I wish it wasn't a problem at all.

    So with that said, out of the three, RX, GSXL, XPL, or, ??? which would be the best stable with two, smooth riding yet able to jump waves, fast, and maneuverable jetski?

    I look forward to hearing all suggestions and comments about characteristics or experiences with these skis.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    it's seems that one ski's pro's are anothers cons with the ones that you mentioned. I think you may want to consider a 98-02 gtx with the 951 carbed.
    xpl- fast, smooth thru the rough stuff and carves great, not good for slow speed stability and 2-up riding, jumping waves is harder to do than with the others as the deep v-hull likes to cut the waves
    gsxl- unpredictable hull can launch you off at high speeds, 2-up will make the ski harder to carve and jump, decent acceleration not much better than the x-4 as far as porpoising
    rx- stabil, good acceleration, need some muscle to launch, carves horrible(imo) compared to the other 2. good for 2-up riding
    gtx- stabil, good acceleration, playful hull for a 3 seater , carving( which was alot smaller then) jumps pretty good 180's all day., handles the chop good with the least amount of porpoising(except the xpl). lots of storage

    I'm sure the I left out more pro's and cons
    look at it and consider it.

  3. #3
    I'll definitely consider the gtx now. I left it off my list originally because I figured despite its stability with two, which I knew would be good, it'd be slower, not jump as well, and not carve as well due to the added size for the third seat. The speed is also a definite factor for me. It's the reason I want something with a 951. How to these four skis compare in that area to eachother and To my '96 XP

    You mention the Gsxl has a tendency to throw people off at high speeds. What happens that throws people off? I rarely jump with two people, and I can except that it's harder to carve 2-up. I'm not sure any one ski can really fit my needs, but what I really want is a ski that's stable with two and can still do some carving , yet is still fast and fun and nimble when I get on it without a passenger.

    Currently I have leads on two 2000 XPL's, one for $4000, the other for $3000. Still getting info on Em to see why the price difference, and a 98 Gsxl w/o trailer for $2500. I'll see if there's any Gtx's listed and do more research on those tonight.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    you're really comparing apples to oranges, the gsxl has a tendency to hook when it wants and can throw you off . you can forget stability with 2 people on the xpl but it is the best carver and wave buster. the Rx likes to mimic a larger craft but can't actually do it. the smaller 98-02 gtxl 951 carbed is a great 2 up and solo machine. its not as big and underpowered like the 02 gtxl di or 4 tech. i have an 97 spx787,same as your 96xp, and i hated the fact that i could keep up with the gpr's and such,so i tried a friends gsxl, it wasn't much better than my spx in the rough. rode an rx, it felt too heavy and i figured for that size i may want to try a gtxl, so i did, and with the ability to carry 3,tow a tube and such and ,alot more storage, and still a very good hull for chop,carving and jumping, i went looking for one.the only reason why i didnt buy one was because i found an rxp at a great price

  5. #5
    shui's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Montreal, Canada
    i have no idea as far as to suggesting you any one of those 2 skis, but ill tell you this.
    im about 220 pounds, EVERY passenger i EVER rode with was also 190-240 pounds.
    on my gtx: stable, and still fun going 1-up, 2 up is no problem with it, although on my '95 i lack the trim feature, it fairs VERY well in chop.
    GS: stay away with this thing for 2-up... when I aka by MYSELF sit on that ski, it wants to sink, water goes into the floorboards and such.
    BUT, is it fun 1-up? hell yea it is. never wave jumped but after riding it for the first time for 10 minutes, i knew it was going to be rough on chop, (also no trim) and i was right, as far as carving goes, it did have some more carve into it than my '95gtx, but, not by much. well... i didnt feel it was better by a considerable amount... and imho wasnt worth the loss in stability...

    rxp: now this is a machine, heavy? yes, very. stable? also, very.
    BUT on chop, if im on my rxp and a friend is on the gtx? i have trouble keeping up, really, you would consider the extra weight, trim and such to help? but nope, i keep loosing the contact with the water (loosing pressure in the tunnel)

    this being said, the gtx and rxp are both more than enough stable, but my gtx lacks power, my rxp has tons of it.

    gtx are the "luxury" jetskis of the seadoo line up, i think its going to be obvious that they are going to be stable no?

    i sadly had almost no chance what so ever to ride many of the older machines, but for the lake where i ride (st-lawrence river, lake st-louis( afew hours away from lake ontario)) the gtx handles by far the best,
    carving? well its fun, but im no expert in carving so i cant say this machine is better than the other......

    And , im guessing you live in the united states, so it makes me wonder, why are the prices so high ?
    for 4000$ here you could get a 2004 seadoo 3D (yes i know it wasnt exactly what you are looking for) and they had a 2002(or 2003) GTX limited (sold) for near the same price, and these prices were in the summer...
    in my honest opinion, if you look hard enough you should be able to find newer models for the same price...
    the "best" you could get are:
    i know the rxp's did get introduced until what 2005?
    but i think you could get chip in abit and get one if the opportunity rises...

    hope i helped...

  6. #6
    Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. Shui, my price limit is $3000, but the less I spend the better off I am. The guy wanting $4000 for the XPL is out of his mind. If he got that I'd be shocked. The Kelly Blue Book Value(fwiw) says $2400 and that's assuming immaculate condition. For reference I just sold my '94 XP w/ trailer in okay condition for $1100(KBB $1050). And I believe I'll get $1600(KBB $1450) for my '96 XP in great condition w/ trailer. I do live in the U.S. South Eastern Wisconsin.

    Tempting as an RXP or RXT sounds, they're just to big and heavy. I'll keep my eye out for a GTXL for sure. How do those compare top speed wise to my '96 XP?


  7. #7
    Going to look at a 98 GSXL this weekend. Guy has kept up on maintenance very well, only the second owner. Carbs are cleaned every year, pump oil changed, new plugs, everything greased as it should be. Has the silver 951. Rebuilt due to worn rings and he says the whole engine was gone through. Still have to find out what he means by that. 140 hours on the ski and 14 on the rebuild. It's never ingested water according to the guy. When I go look at it what should I look for and check? What kind of compression am I looking for on a 951? I know a lot about 657's and 787's but 951's are new to me.

    Also, I've heard water ingestion can be a problem with these engines. Anything I can do to ensure this doesn't happen to me? I don't plan on modifying anything so I'll have the air box on, but anything additional?


  8. #8
    Vikesfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Hermitage, TN
    On a 951 your compression should be between 130 and 150 depending on the ski, year and your gauge. As long as they within a couple of psi of each other you should be good. Water ingestion is mainly a problem if you flip it. There were a lot of people who would flip their ski's and try to start them without getting the water out and it would bend rods. Just make sure you pull the plugs and shoot the water out if you flip it and you should be ok. Plan on replacing the fuel lines on any 951 because they are known to gum up the carbs and cause them to run lean. That may be the reason behind the rebuild if he didn't ingest water.

    I had a 98 XP until last summer when I replaced it for an RXP. It just became to much of a balancing act on the XP riding with my wife so I upgraded to a more stable ride. I miss the XP though. The RXP doesn't feel as big as I thought it would, but I can't get it to do tailstands and carve as tight as my XP would. In a perfect world I would have both. I had that XP for 8 years and didn't have to do much outside of regular maintenance and replacing the fuel lines. I did go with fly filters and change the jetting, but everything else was stock. If you take care of a 951 they can last and be reliable. They just require a little more work than a 4 stroke.

  9. #9
    Thanks Vikesfan. Hopefully flipping wont be too much of an issue with this ride. I know on my '96 XP I "flipped" it plenty of times. That self-righting hull was nice. I have a tendency to keep a death grip on the handlebars until I'm dragging in the water and the ski's nearly upside down. I'm going to have to kill that impulse so I don't flip whatever I end up with. I don't think the 951 will be so forgiving. I will definitely replace the fuel lines as I saw first hand what it'll do to those little screens in the carbs on my '94 XP.


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