Thread: 2014 STX 15F vs. 2013 Ultra LX
02-07-2014, 10:16 AM #1
2014 STX 15F vs. 2013 Ultra LX
As you know I posted my thread earlier on possibly being too tall for the STX 15F?
I'm now possibly looking into getting a 2013 LX instead (a non current model).
I don't get the colour combo that I want, and it's not a 2014.....however, do you still think a 2013 Ultra LX @ $10,500 is a better buy than a 2014 STX 15F at $10,000? (Canadian prices).
I know the engine is the same, and the LX will be slowed because of the added weight... but the seating, hull, ergonomics and looks may sway me towards the '13 LX.
Please give me your 2 cents? As you can tell I know nothing about PWC, so I value what you have to say. Thanks!
02-07-2014, 11:36 AM #2
I can't help you with that, but I'm gonna tell you my story about being a n00b.
I bought a pair brand new skis last year. I didn't want to get used because I'm not mechanically inclined. And even though I'm old and not even close to a reckless type of rider, I have put some damage on my skis. I was not expecting to, nor was I trying to.
It's just that as a beginner, you will make mistakes. Especially while learning to dock that beast. You'll bump the dock. Shucks, if the dock is high enough you might just go under it and scrape the hell out of your hood/trunk on the bolts that hold the planks onto the stucture! Ask me how I know...
Luckily, we plan to keep our skis for a very long time so it doesn't really matter. We would either sell them at a discount or get the damage repaired before selling/trading. But since that's in the distant future, it won't be so bad. But it sure does hurt while it's happening!!!
02-07-2014, 12:01 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- near Toronto, Canada
Do NOT base your buying decisions on price/deals or even model year.
Since you are new to personal watercraft I would suggest you NOT make a decision in the off season. The opinions and guidance of others can only get you so far.
You really do need to test ride, on water, each machine that is on your short list. There are real and significant differences in not only how different models ride but also how they 'fit'.
The nature of your particular lake roughness is also a factor. Even small lakes can become quite churned up every summer weekend when powerboats and water sports traffic creates washing machine wave patterns. The shoreline on some lakes is quite effective in absorbing and dampening the reflected waves from boats. Other lake shorelines will reflect and sometimes amplify the roughness.
What seems like modest chop when cruising in a large boat can become a real workout on a PWC, totally different experience on the same lake at the same time of day.
Lake Simcoe, if that is where you plan to ride, is notorious for being quite rough every weekend, all day long. Almost all of the chop is due to the massive number of other boats going in every direction. Go out at dawn and it can be nearly glass smooth. Go out again at lunchtime and the ride can be pounding. Even nice warm summer weekdays can be busy with boats on Simcoe.
I have not ridden Lake Couchiching much so I don't know how it compares with Simcoe.
If you want a smooth cruising experience even with somewhat choppy water then the big Kawasaki Ultra hull is likely to be pleasing. If you are expecting fairly smooth water then the STX 15F may be just fine.
With just a single person on board riding while standing has a huge effect on how rough the water can be and still not be punishing to ride. Standing with your legs flexed allows the machine to dance and bounce underneath you while your legs provide suspension for your upper body. At first your legs may be unused to the effort, but after a few rides you will stop walking funny and groaning.
Standing up is not really an option with most passengers, as it takes an experienced passenger to ride 'with' the driver when both are standing. Assume with passengers that everybody will be sitting while underway.
If you will be carrying passengers then how the passengers fit and are comfortable hanging on is also important. Part of the fun of a PWC is carving turns and generally playing around. If the passengers are struggling to stay in place they may not find it much fun.
Check for regulations regarding minimum passenger size and position on the seat. For example, in some jurisdictions the person seated closest to the handlebars must be the legal driver, regardless of whether that happens to be a child. Which means a small child cannot be seated in front of the actual driver.*
For children seated behind, some rules require that their feet actually reach the traction mats in the footwells. Legs too short means they cannot legally ride.*
*Hmmm. I cannot find a decent online link to exactly what the rules are in Canada or Ontario or even particular lakes/areas regarding children passengers on PWC. Lots of links regarding minimum age for operators and towing people, of course.
Last edited by K447; 02-07-2014 at 02:17 PM.
02-07-2014, 12:43 PM #4
Since you're brand new to the sport, I'd really have a hard time telling you to go out and buy a brand new $10,000 'Ski. I would suggest you buy a good used one to learn on so you can figure out exactly what you want first.
By the same token, I would suggest you avoid a 2-stroke 'Ski. I like the 2-strokes, but they require frequent overhauls. I'd suggest you buy a used 4-stroke non-supercharged boat to learn on. The 4-stroke engines typically last a lot longer than the 2-strokes, so you probably won't have any problems with it. I would recommend finding someone knowledgeable to look at it with you, and test drive it before buying. Remember, just because it runs on the trailer doesn't mean that it will run on the water!!!
After a season or two, you won't lose too much on depreciation, and you'll be a much smarter shopper for a new one.
02-07-2014, 04:30 PM #5
The Ultra LX, in my opinion, is the BEST all-around N/A (naturally aspirated) ski out there for economy, reliability, ease of use, towing, storage, range, comfort, and if the lake you ride has chop it is the best hull for that.
Good luck on what ever decision you make.
02-07-2014, 09:15 PM #6
As much as I love the stx it would be hard to go past the lx for comfort and rougher water handling.
02-08-2014, 10:37 PM #7
Guys, thanks for all your input and advice. I'll likely end up going with the '14 STX, as there aren't really any good deals on used PWC. Don't feel like paying $7k for a 4-5 year old PWC, when I grab a new one for 3k more with warranty and all, from a reputable dealer down the street from my cottage....
02-08-2014, 11:38 PM #8
The Ultra LX - A slow A** Cadillac on the water. Smooth ride with a bunch of features. Definition of a luxury ski. Has huge storage and great range.
The 15F is a little bit faster. A bit smaller than the Ultra.
if luxury and comfort is what you are after, get the Ultra. If you are looking for a ski that is a bit faster at the sacrifice of some of that comfort, get the 15F. The black on green will probably turn more heads than that blue/white also.
02-09-2014, 12:28 AM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
- Australia Melbourne
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