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  1. #1
    WaterDR's Avatar
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    Kawasaki STX-15F vs Spark

    Yes, I know this is a Seadoo section, so repsonses may be biased, but I am wondering if anyone can comment on ride and performance on a 3UP 90hp (or even Vt Tech Tuned Model) Vs the 15F. While the MSRP on the 15F is a lot higher, you can but these puppies new for $7500 which is just a tad more than a loaded 3UP. 160 hp pretty efficient motor and tops out at 60+ stock.

    Which one is more fun to own?


  2. #2
    Xspook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
    Yes, I know this is a Seadoo section, so repsonses may be biased, but I am wondering if anyone can comment on ride and performance on a 3UP 90hp (or even Vt Tech Tuned Model) Vs the 15F. While the MSRP on the 15F is a lot higher, you can but these puppies new for $7500 which is just a tad more than a loaded 3UP. 160 hp pretty efficient motor and tops out at 60+ stock.

    Which one is more fun to own?
    Advantages of the spark:
    Lightweight, easy to "throw around"
    Has IBR option

    Disadvantages:
    Not as fast
    Not as comfortable for 2-3 people

    So, it depends on what type of riding you want to do. Want to jump lots of waves and get aggressive, think about the spark.

    Need a family toy for general riding/touring? Think about the Kawi.


  3. #3
    WaterDR's Avatar
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    Reason I asked is that I have always thought about the 15F as being sort of a toss-around kind of ski. Our other ski is a Yam 1200-SUV. So I am looking for something more playful as a second ski.

  4. #4
    DH300's Avatar
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    Depends on what your definition of fun is. If you want a quicker ski that looks nicer, get a 15F. If you want a ski to throw around in the surf, get a spark. The spark will not be as "bulletproof" as the 15F, though. Keep that in mind.


  5. #5
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    The 15f with a stock plate, grate, and sponsons can be tossed really easilly. Its not as light but the hull works really well.

    You will burn more fuel with the 15f but its got a bigger tank so you have more range.

    The 15f is faster and can be made to run 70 pretty easilly without much money.

    Servicing the 15f is a cakewalk and very low maintenance.

    Ride both and figure out what you like, I think the 15f is the best ski in that price range hands down but I own 4 stxs of different flavors. One of wich will be getting a big supercharger soon and should run mid to high 80s.

    In the end find out what you will use it for and what you feel comfortable on.

    Sean

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  7. #6
    SCHNORR12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
    Yes, I know this is a Seadoo section, so repsonses may be biased, but I am wondering if anyone can comment on ride and performance on a 3UP 90hp (or even Vt Tech Tuned Model) Vs the 15F. While the MSRP on the 15F is a lot higher, you can but these puppies new for $7500 which is just a tad more than a loaded 3UP. 160 hp pretty efficient motor and tops out at 60+ stock.

    Which one is more fun to own?
    Which ski is "more fun to own" is personal preference. Does "more fun to own" mean simply more fun to ride or does "more fun to own" also include maintenance?

    Performance, in terms of speed, goes to the STX. In fact, this is a very impressive N/A ski when it comes to speed. I am assuming you are concerned with speed since you asked about the VTech tune. The MSRP on the STX is higher, but a Spark is not a cheap ski one you consider the all-in price after the necessary add-ons. Buying used isn't a bad idea. I always purchase used skis and it has worked out very well for me thus far. Depending on where you live, you could find a used STX with less than 100 hours for about the price of the base model Spark.

    I've ridden Sparks and owned a STX-15F and I'd choose the STX-15F ten out of ten times. It's faster, more comfortable, more versatile and arguably the most reliable ski on the market today.

  8. #7
    "just sayin".. jetdave56's Avatar
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    I ride with guys and ridden bone stock 15f and 12fs and had the pleasure to demo a Spark this summer,you can get some serious "air" off the waves with the Spark though this summer my test ride ski had fuel sensor issues as it keep beeping though I was told it was pretty much filled with gas...

    Can it take a continuous pounding...?...that Kawa usually can..

  9. #8
    WaterDR's Avatar
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    Great feedback guys! I am really torn. The Kawi is really an old-school, nothing fancy machine. I don't think they have spent a nickel of R&D on the thing in 10 years. Its a fast, functional platform. I love going fast and I like the fact that it is a legal 3 passenger machine w/o being a giant.

    The Spark, on the other hand, while fairly ninble on featurse too (as in not a lot of electonics) is a result of a zillion dollars in R&D.

    I just read that the average price paid for a Spark is over $7k which means almost everyone is getting extra fetures and that does not include the money owners spend later.

    I am a bit swayed by a dealer who sells all three of the brands and a guy who mods everything and races. I asked him what the biggest bang for the buck of any machine and he quickly ruled out the Yama base models due to being less nimble and not real fast, though high marks for reliability. He thinks the Spark is the most fun to own with the Kawi being #2. BUT, thats comparing a 2UP with a tune at about 6k vs a 9k Kawi (though, can get them for a lot less). There is something to be said for sticking with a fiberglass hull and the much better tank size and storage.

    I have ridden neither. Getting test rides even in the summer is hard around here.

    We will be using on the St. Croix River. There can be lots of fun wakes to jump but there are a few cove areas very near our slip where you can have a lot of fun w/o having to go too far and a lot more calm. Either would be fine, but the Kawi would handle a long cruise a lot better (such as in the 3 to 7 mile range).

    I almost bought an Ultra LX to replace my 1200 SUV, but we are going to keep the SUV so no reason to get another ski with a big hull.

    I would really like something I can toss around w/ the option of adding riders.

  10. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
    ... he quickly ruled out the Yama base models due to being less nimble and not real fast, though high marks for reliability...

    ... the Kawi would handle a long cruise a lot better (such as in the 3 to 7 mile range)...
    Yamaha revised the VXR/VXS series for model year 2015, with a different hull, and apparently all-around a better product. Not many real world riding impressions yet, from the forum members.

    I have never thought of 7 miles as being a 'long' ride ...

  11. #10
    SCHNORR12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
    Great feedback guys! I am really torn. The Kawi is really an old-school, nothing fancy machine. I don't think they have spent a nickel of R&D on the thing in 10 years. Its a fast, functional platform. I love going fast and I like the fact that it is a legal 3 passenger machine w/o being a giant.

    The Spark, on the other hand, while fairly ninble on featurse too (as in not a lot of electonics) is a result of a zillion dollars in R&D.

    I just read that the average price paid for a Spark is over $7k which means almost everyone is getting extra fetures and that does not include the money owners spend later.

    I am a bit swayed by a dealer who sells all three of the brands and a guy who mods everything and races. I asked him what the biggest bang for the buck of any machine and he quickly ruled out the Yama base models due to being less nimble and not real fast, though high marks for reliability. He thinks the Spark is the most fun to own with the Kawi being #2. BUT, thats comparing a 2UP with a tune at about 6k vs a 9k Kawi (though, can get them for a lot less). There is something to be said for sticking with a fiberglass hull and the much better tank size and storage.

    I have ridden neither. Getting test rides even in the summer is hard around here.

    We will be using on the St. Croix River. There can be lots of fun wakes to jump but there are a few cove areas very near our slip where you can have a lot of fun w/o having to go too far and a lot more calm. Either would be fine, but the Kawi would handle a long cruise a lot better (such as in the 3 to 7 mile range).

    I almost bought an Ultra LX to replace my 1200 SUV, but we are going to keep the SUV so no reason to get another ski with a big hull.

    I would really like something I can toss around w/ the option of adding riders.
    If you love going fast you will probably be disappointed with the Spark. The STX15F is definitely faster than a Yamaha VX or Sea Doo 155 as well.

    I believe that many people pay $7,000+ for their Spark. I find this fascinating. I cannot believe people are paying $7,000+ for that type of ski but, as a business person, I applaud BRP for their strategy regarding the Spark.

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