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Born to Ride

Sea-Doo's RXP-X 260.

Sea-Doo's RXP-X 260.

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding a personal watercraft, or PWC. The anticipation as you see your bike at the dock and climb aboard, the rush of adrenaline as you press the start button and goose the throttle for the first time, the sheer excitement as you blast across the waves and lean into smile-inducing 360s. It’s hard not to feel like a kid again, like you were born into the saddle.

If you’ve ever ridden a PWC before, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, now is a great time to get out there and give it a try. Bigger, cleaner, quieter bikes are now the norm, and 40-year-old parents have replaced 20-year-old hot-doggers as the average owner — proof that the appeal of these machines continues to diversify. In fact, today there are bikes built specifically for safe and casual operation, water sports, cruising and flat-out speed.

Sea-Doo’s new RXP-X 260 rockets into the latter category. Propelled by a supercharged, intercooled engine with multi-port fuel injection, this 260-hp monster probably has more muscle than your car. To tame the beast, designers created a new performance hull, along with rear sponsons that improve lateral stability and can be adjusted to suit the driver’s skill level, from aggressive to playful. The RXP-X 260 also shows off Sea-Doo’s new Ergolock system — narrow racing seat with knee-grab design, adjustable handlebars, angled footwells — for greater control with less upper body fatigue. Sea-Doo won an NMMA Innovation Award for this system; see our June issue.

Other notable features of this two-person craft include the noise-reducing D-Sea-Bel system, trim tabs and the first-ever PWC braking system, called iBR, which the company claims can help riders stop up to 100 feet sooner than any other watercraft. How’s that for added peace of mind? Of course, a hotrod like this deserves a racy options package. The X-Package gives owners a special, colorized seat; handlebars that can be adjusted for height, width and grip angle; and the new X-Gauge instrument panel with indicator showing boost pressure and engine load at all times.

Also new from Sea-Doo is the GTR 215, a bike based on the company’s existing GTI hull. No lightweight in the horsepower department — it rates a formidable 215 hp — this three-person PWC is notably lighter than its two-person sibling. That translates to a lively ride and spirited acceleration. Like the RXP-X 260, the GTR 215 features the iBR braking system, as well as high-performance trim and pre-set engine calibration modes for sport riding, touring and ECO (improved fuel economy). Those last two are nice settings for those of us who like to cruise, as is the 30.8 gallons of storage.

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