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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Virage TXi vs. MSX140 - differences?

    I have a few 2001/2002 Virage TX boats now available for sale in my area, and also a couple of 2003 MSX140s, and I am trying to figure out which I want.
    Both carb and Fitch injected Virage TX models available, while the MSX140s are injected, of course.

    Are there any important differences between these models, other than some topside styling?
    Is the MSX140 simply the Virage TXi renamed for 2003?

    Is the MSX hull essentially the same as the Virage hull?


  2. #2
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    They are entirely different beasts!!

    The MSX has a much more aggressive V hull versus the SLT/Virage semi V hull, so rough water handling is much better BUT the boat does have a slight list at slower speeds.
    The entire boat is much quieter and tighter in terms of feel.
    The new hull is also much more ergonomically comfortable than the older hull. Much more leg room, better seat to bar position etc.
    Just to give you an example I'm just shy of 6 foot and my wife 5'4, we both love the ergo's of the MSX. I feel very cramped on the Virage hull.
    The MSX 140 doesn't have 140 HP but closer to 118. It feels slow to respond out of corners unless you get the 04' or of course a lightning fast Matrix.
    Of course if you're a smaller person and love a more sporty feel, then the Virage hull is for you.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    They are entirely different beasts!!

    The MSX has a much more aggressive V hull versus the SLT/Virage semi V hull, so rough water handling is much better BUT the boat does have a slight list at slower speeds.
    The entire boat is much quieter and tighter in terms of feel.
    The new hull is also much more ergonomically comfortable than the older hull. Much more leg room, better seat to bar position etc.
    Just to give you an example I'm just shy of 6 foot and my wife 5'4, we both love the ergo's of the MSX. I feel very cramped on the Virage hull.
    The MSX 140 doesn't have 140 HP but closer to 118. It feels slow to respond out of corners unless you get the 04' or of course a lightning fast Matrix.
    Of course if you're a smaller person and love a more sporty feel, then the Virage hull is for you.
    I have yet to actually sit on an MSX in the water, so I appreciate the ergonomic comments. I am 6 foot tall, and almost everyone else who would be riding them is 5'10" or better, male and female.

    The primary thing that has been holding me back from the MSX140 (and only 2003 models seem to be coming up for sale) has been the Fitch issue.

    I was thinking primarily of Fitch self servicing challenges. I have an electronics and electrical background, so computerized gear doesn't worry me, as long as the tools and the knowledge to understand them is available.

    The less powerful comment is new to me, for the recent year Polaris models. Are all the Fitch 1200 motors less powerful than the stock carb versions of the same engines?
    I have heard that the carb'ed models are somewhat faster accelerating, but the factory power ratings are always the same, or very close, between Fitch and carb'ed of the same model year. Was Polaris over-rating the Fitch engine power, or under-rating the stock carb'ed versions?

    Obviously it is easier to aftermarket modify and power boost the carb'ed engines.
    Is it actually at all practical to power boost the Fitch engines, or you just have to use them as them come, stock?

    The 2004 MSX140 is better out of the corners than the 2003 MSX140 - is that because of the motor being stronger, or just the pump and ride plate set-up being better tuned?

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Power boost options for MSX140?

    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    ...The MSX 140 doesn't have 140 HP but closer to 118. It feels slow to respond out of corners unless you get the 04' or of course a lightning fast Matrix...
    Is Factory Pipe still offering the Matrix conversion, either as a kit or in-house conversion?

    I would be open to carb converting an MSX, but I am not sure I want to limit myself to high octane fuel. Where I ride, sometimes regular gas is all that is available, and I don't want to be worrying about detonation, especially if I am not the one riding it at the time.

    I do like the idea of a little more power (118HP sounds a little light for a 3 seater with 3 people on board), and triple pipes sounds like fun, powerwise, as long as I can keep the noise levels down. What power boost techniques, especially for the mid-range, do NOT involve higher octane?

  5. #5
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    I have yet to actually sit on an MSX in the water, so I appreciate the ergonomic comments. I am 6 foot tall, and almost everyone else who would be riding them is 5'10" or better, male and female.
    I can almost guarantee everybody in your group will prefer the ergonomics of the MSX over the Virage.

    The primary thing that has been holding me back from the MSX140 (and only 2003 models seem to be coming up for sale) has been the Fitch issue.
    I can tell you, most of the time it's just an issue with the TPS BUT one day the injectors, and control module will come into play. There are plenty of the systems around, I have 2 myself from Matrix conversions. The real trick is making sure you replace the injectors with the correct module as they are calibrated to one another.

    I was thinking primarily of Fitch self servicing challenges. I have an electronics and electrical background, so computerized gear doesn't worry me, as long as the tools and the knowledge to understand them is available.
    You can get the stuff now (just look and read), for how long I don't know.

    The less powerful comment is new to me, for the recent year Polaris models. Are all the Fitch 1200 motors less powerful than the stock carb versions of the same engines?
    I have heard that the carb'ed models are somewhat faster accelerating, but the factory power ratings are always the same, or very close, between Fitch and carb'ed of the same model year. Was Polaris over-rating the Fitch engine power, or under-rating the stock carb'ed versions?
    Polaris has for the most part under-rated their figures. The MSX140 was going to have a different set of injectors which would have brought the 140 to about 150HP. The difference is incredible from 118 to roughly 150.
    Sea Doo bought up Johnson and the Ficht line with it. Seems Polaris lost their supplier for the 2 stroke injection system. Nice move BRP.

    Obviously it is easier to aftermarket modify and power boost the carb'ed engines.
    Is it actually at all practical to power boost the Fitch engines, or you just have to use them as them come, stock?
    Basically stock is all you get.

    The 2004 MSX140 is better out of the corners than the 2003 MSX140 - is that because of the motor being stronger, or just the pump and ride plate set-up being better tuned?
    The hull design was changed at the rear of the boat (strakes and chines as I recall) and roughly 35-40 pounds shaved off the front of the boat. Good positive refinements.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    ...The MSX140 was going to have a different set of injectors which would have brought the 140 to about 150HP. The difference is incredible from 118 to roughly 150...
    The hull design was changed at the rear of the boat (strakes and chines as I recall) and roughly 35-40 pounds shaved off the front of the boat. Good positive refinements.
    Are you saying that the injectors can be changed on an MSX140 to bring the real power level up from 118HP to 150HP?
    What is involved in doing so?

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    ...I can almost guarantee everybody in your group will prefer the ergonomics of the MSX over the Virage...
    OK then, I will focus less on the Virages (although I do like the Virage look, somehow). With the MSX140, it is down to whether I can be happy with Fitch, or changing the MSX140 motors to carburetors.

    Thanks, much appreciated comments!

  8. #8
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    The control module would need to be calibrated for the larger injectors and the timing curve altered.
    The injectors, IF they could be found would then need to go to Polaris for the re-calibration and mating of the control module. I'm sure that's the stone wall you'll hit.
    I was working with a guy from Johnson early on that was going to see about reprogramming the control module and finding the injectors. It was slow moving and the the Matrix option became available, we all know the route I took.

  9. #9
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    OK then, I will focus less on the Virages (although I do like the Virage look, somehow). With the MSX140, it is down to whether I can be happy with Fitch, or changing the MSX140 motors to carburetors.

    Thanks, much appreciated comments!
    Interestingly enough Baxter did make 1 Matrix 160 that was a pretty neat ride. He made it while converting Billy Womacks MSX to a Matrix
    Standard conversion but it had a single pipe versus the triples.
    As I recall it was 62 MPH??

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    MSX140 fuel injector upgrade possibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    The control module would need to be calibrated for the larger injectors and the timing curve altered.
    The injectors, IF they could be found would then need to go to Polaris for the re-calibration and mating of the control module. I'm sure that's the stone wall you'll hit.
    I was working with a guy from Johnson early on that was going to see about reprogramming the control module and finding the injectors. It was slow moving and the the Matrix option became available, we all know the route I took.
    Hmmm, if I wasn't so new at all this Polaris stuff, it sure would be interesting to find a way to get such an MSX140 injector upgrade to happen.

    That would surely cement the decision for me, if it was available, and I suspect a lot of others would have interest in a true 150HP injected Polaris 2-stroke.
    Good fuel economy, really decent power, and relatively low maintenance requirements (no carb rebuilds, or carb tuning issues).

    And it would be good to have an outside party capable of matching injectors and modules (either stock and upgraded), especially once Polaris stops providing that service.

    I have no contacts or history in the PWC world, so I am not the person to try and bring together the people and pieces needed.
    Not meaning any disrespect; It seems that all the Polaris performance folks are so focused on carbs, and I think that there is an opportunity being missed...
    Last edited by K447; 09-22-2007 at 05:25 PM.

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