06-05-2009, 06:02 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Lake Havasu
RXT-iS My first ride and impressions
Today, I got my first chance to ride the 2009 SeaDoo RXT-Is. For those that don't know me, I have a SeaDoo RXT-X, and put about 105 hours on it last year.
Also, I've been riding jet ski's since 1976, and have ridden most every make and model.
So, here goes; when you start the boat up, it starts in neutral, which is pretty cool. You pull in the left hand lever, and this engages reverse. So far so good.
I engage reverse, and go to back it off the trailer and notice something strange with the steering; it's backwards!!! When you turn the bars to the right, the nose swings right, and the back end swings left. This is the exact opposite of every ski I've ever ridden with a reverse.
This caused some "interesting" moments to say the least, when I was trying to dock the thing, but I guess SeaDoo figured we need a more sensible reverse. Or, maybe it has something to do with the braking system, and still being able to turn.
I had a full tank of gas, and hours at my disposal. The weather this morning was temps in the low 80's, humid, and the wind was just howling-30+mph. Good day to test out this suspension thingy.
I headed out from Windsor dock, and noticed straight away the ride was much smoother than my RXT-X, which I had just ridden yesterday. Well, its supposed to be that way. More on that later.
The first thing I tried to play with was the cruise control. You hold in the cruise button with your right thumb while trying to maintain a constant rpm above 3000. Well this proved to be damn near impossible in the chop.
As I rounded the island, I decided to speed up a bit. Now the wind is out of the south, so I'm getting hit full force by the wind and waves. Also, it's Friday, so the boat traffic is starting to pick up.
Man this thing is smooth. I decided to "cruise" down south to the end of the lake, and see what the fuel mileage was like. I had just made the exact same trip yesterday, so it would be interesting to compare the RXT-X Vs. iS.
Now keep in mind the iS has an 18 gallon tank, and the T-X has around 15 gallons. Well, I got too the end of the lake, around 18 miles, and had only used one chicalett of gas.
"Man, this is going to be a long day", I said to myself. You see, it was MY gas I was burning, and I intended to use most all of it.
So, I turned around and decided to play with this braking system. 25 mph, hit the brake lever, and hold it. You don't have to do anything with the throttle, and in fact, it disconnects it anyways, so it doesn't matter what you do with it.
Holy Schitt!!! This thing stops quick. Oh, and I'm soaked. Come to find out that there is a technique to this. The secret is, you hit the brake lever, and just before the ski submerges the nose, LET GO OF IT!!! I found this out the hard way as I drenched myself, and it was not very warm at that moment.
I sped up to about 40mph and tried it again-cool, no nose drop, and I'm dry. Now lets try 60mph. WOW, same thing, stops quick, and if you let go of the brake lever just before the nose starts under, you stay relatively dry. This is fun.
Now I have 3/4 of a tank of gas. I have my GPS with me(even though there is one built into the ski-which reads 1 mph fast, btw), so now its time for some speed runs.
Now if you know Lake Havasu, you know how rough it can be down by Parker Dam when the wind is blowing out of the south. Well I throw caution to the wind and nail it. I'm flying through the water, hardly bouncing at all. I notice the max rpm hits 8100, then as the speedo hits around 70mph, the ski says; "whoops, i'm going to fast", and the rpm's reduce to around 7960, which just happens to equal around 65mph.
The result; 68.9mph!!! Yep, that's right, over 65!!! It seems that the ski will accelerate past 65, realize it's done that, then slow slightly, so the max you can cruise is 65mph.
I did several runs, up and down river, and got exactly the same speed. Nice!!!!
So now I decide to ride north, trying to burn up my gas, which is getting tough to do on this ski. I finally get the cruise to work, nice. You can set it, then pull the throttle all the way in, and it maintains that rpm. You have an increase, and decrease button, which helps out as well.
I haven't said anything about the suspension yet, what's up with that. Well, let me just say it's FRICKING UNBELIEVABLE!! I'm not kidding. I was in water so rough, I would have never ridden my ski today. This thing was just flying across the waves like they were hardly there.
You still feel the big rollers, and if your really hauling butt, you can get launched a bit, but nothing like any other ski i've ever ridden before. I'm cruising north, at 6000rpm(40ish mph), and looking for boat wakes.
I finally get tired of the cruise control. Mainly because I'm not burning enough gas. I can't stay out here all day, and I don't want to give my gas away to someone else. So I come up with a new strategy. Full throttle cruising.
At full throttle, things get interesting. The suspension has an Auto setting. I left it there for most of the ride, but decided to play with it now. So, I cranked it all the way up. WOW, was a difference. It's even smoother now.
As i'm coming up to Body Beach, I notice two guys on Kawasaki 250's. This should be fun, I say too myself. I'm still doing over 60mph, and for those that know this lake, on a day like today, Thompson Bay is a washing machine, and I'm just cruising through this stuff.
I pull up to Mr. Kawasaki, and give him the nod, and away we go. I left him. He was trying for all he was worth(he said later), but the water was so rough, he couldn't keep up.
WHAT????? Did I just say that a SeaDoo beat a Kawasaki 250 in the rough water??? HELL YEA!!! And did it easily. We tried a few more races, and he couldn't get over 50mph in this chop before he was cavitating and getting the crap beat out of him. I, on the other hand, could set the cruise control at 50mph, and it was relatively smooth. My ride wasn't like I was in a Cadillac, but it was definately smoother than any ski i've ever ridden.
So, this thing handles the rough water with ease. I've ridden the Kawasaki's, and Yamaha's, and they can't touch this thing in rough water.
Well, how does it handle?? Like a dream. This is definately a different hull than is on my T-X. It has more roll in the turn, which I like. The best comparison would be that it handles turns like a Yamaha SHO.
I tried my best to spin this thing out, or get it to cavitate over my own wake, no dice. The suspension allows the boat to stay hooked up in even the roughest of condition. And it corners so hard, that I was almost tossed off, twice. In fact, I think it diggs in a little to hard in the corners, just like the SHO. It's real grabby.
I had to make up a buoy course in my mind, because they are all gone here. But this thing handles great!!! I'm totally blown away by the handling of this ski. I had expected it to be rolly polly and not handle really well. I think it would beat most all of the new ski's around a buoy course, with ease, and with the right rider.
The steering is stiff, not sure why. And it does take some effort to go from turn to turn quickly, but the ski hooks and and handles it very well, even in bad water.
Now I'm up to the Sandbar. I still have half a tank of gas, so I turn around and start heading back down river. I did some accleration runs, to compare to my T-X. Here are the results(just my opinion); From zero to 30mph the T-X wins; From 30-50mph, the iS wins; from 50-70mph would be a dead heat.
I finally end up in my "secret" speed testing area with a 1/4 of a tank of gas. Now I figure I can get 69mph out of this thing. No way. I tried every conceivable VTS setting, and suspension setting. I was doing the superman, and the water was smoth(er), but no way. Again, the fastest I could get was 68.9mph. I figure that in the last 2 hours though, the clouds have cleared away, and the temp have risen about 15 degs, so maybe that has something to do with it.
I think the SeaDoo RXT-iS would hit 70mph, or maybe a bit more, if the temp was around 60 deg, and a 1/4 tank of gas. But, once you hit that speed, it slows back down to 65mph.
My SeaDoo RXT-X, in comparison, only went 68mph yesterday, in very similar condtions. Keep in mind that my boat has the exhaust resonator removed, and the prop tweaked slightly. Also, my boat weighs around 818 dry, and the RXT-Is weighs 948 dry!!! That's a difference of 130lbs!!!
Now how the hell does a boat that weighs 130lbs more than my T-X go faster????? And, this boat I was riding had just hit 10 hours before I got it.
My final impression is that this new boat is just amazing. Try as I might, I couldn't get it to cavitate in the turns. I was flying through/over waves at insane speeds, and the boat stayed planted. This thing just blows me away.
Will I buy one??? Tough question. I rode a Yamaha FZS earlier in the week. The Yamaha does suprisingly well in the chop, and handles about the same. So, I'm not sure yet. I really like the suspension. I have a bad back, and the kind of riding I did today, if it was on my T-X....well, I wouldn't be typing right now.
I realize others already have this ski, and I browsed there reviews, and just wanted to add my 2 cents worth into the equation. I think if your considering this boat, take one out for a test ride, you'll be very impressed.
I want to thank Walt's Motorsport's in Lake Havasu for letting me demo the ski. And a special thanks to Tony, Shawn, and Matt, at Walt's.
06-05-2009, 07:23 PM #2
06-05-2009, 07:29 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Sparrows Point, MD (near the Key Bridge)
Humm I thought that they were all suppose to have a mph cut off around 65, but everyone that rides these seems to be going over that limit. Just curious to whats up with that.
06-05-2009, 07:38 PM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
06-05-2009, 10:17 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Sparrows Point, MD (near the Key Bridge)
06-05-2009, 10:25 PM #6
Nice write up. Thanks for that.
06-05-2009, 11:02 PM #7
Excellent write up. I certainly know what my next ski will be.
06-05-2009, 11:44 PM #8
06-05-2009, 11:46 PM #9
06-05-2009, 11:48 PM #10
Thoughts on this being the new wave of CC racing skis? brakes,suspension etc? to put in prospective abs braking systems were extremely frowned upon in the racing industry 15 years ago for cars and said they would do more harm then good. but now its different in some series but some still do not have abs.... nascar, f1 etc... Im wondering if this technology will eventually get us away from the "real feel" of the machine and rather than instincts or experience controlling you are now allowing technology to take more control. Just wondering if other racers feel this new tech is allowing less input from the racer and more input from the ski. And finally if so do you feel this is a good thing or a bad thing.... Sorry I dont mean to change the subject on this thread as I feel this is a excellent write up on such an amazing ski.
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