Two-passenger personal watercraft have surprisingly become somewhat of a niche breed. Three-seaters rule today’s market, but that doesn’t mean everyone should drink the Kool Aid. In fact, I dare say that two-passenger models provide some of the biggest thrills currently left in this industry.
You just have to like your performance small and nimble…and your watercraft a lot like the Sea-Doo RXP-X 255.
As it enters its Junior year, the RXP-X is no longer the surprise it was back in 2008. In its latest 2010 guise, it uses the same familiar 4-TEC motor, bumped by a supercharger/intercooler up into the realm of 255 horsepower. The supercharger effectively compresses air and force-feeds it to the engine. The intercooler lowers that air’s temperature. Both combine to bump the 4-TEC to near top-of-the-chart numbers, though Sea-Doo elected not to give the boat those last five horses that now grace its flagship models.
The RXP-X also uses the familiar RXP hull, able to rocket across flat water, leap at the touch of the throttle, and command a buoy course with some of the best lines in the market. There’s no drifting sweep, or quirky twitch here. It’s simply very aggressive, yet predictable handling that will delight hardcore racers or race wannabees, and probably leave the rest swimming.
Musclecraft types like stats, so I’ll get right to the point. Expect a 0-30mph time in the range of 1.6 seconds, making the RXP-X 255 one of the hardest accelerating machines on the market. Yes, not everyone will be able to match those numbers. This hull wants to leap out of the water when the throttle is pinned, making less-experienced riders lose precious milli-seconds. But to the pilot who can keep their weight forward and the bow planted, the “X” is xtra-special, literally rocketing out of the hole.
Top speed is similarly impressive. I’ve clocked differing speeds over the years depending on conditions, but in good conditions and with a light load, expect to flirt with 68 mph.
And as hard as it is to believe, the seat of the pants feel is perhaps even better than the numbers. This machine just feels like a nimble Porsche or Audi, with a combination of power and handling that’s guaranteed to thrill all but the most jaded performance junkies.
Yeah, it’s fun.
Look…And Feel…Like A Racer
Colors and graphics continue to be bold, befitting the target audience. The billet steering system, made to resemble an X, looks like an aftermarket upgrade. The billet trigger throttle is performance-oriented, not that putzy thumb throttle of Sea-Doo’s past. The traction mats also inspire confidence (unlike past Sea-Doo mats, they actually provide great traction), as does the seat. It’s grippy like a racer’s saddle, with a slightly lower profile that facilitates weight shifts.
The performance treatment continues below the waterline. The RXP-X 255 features a high-performance intake grate to more effectively funnel water to the pump. Sponsons provide an aggressive bite that will leave the unprepared fighting to hang on to the ferocity of the craft’s cornering ability.
There’s also a clever electronic trim system, which allows aggressive riders to keep their eyes on the water by allowing a unique “double tap” control. Push twice and the nozzle trims down to a user-selected position for extra bite in a corner; tap twice upward and the bow is lifted to a similar setting for best top speed. It offers the response of electronic trim, without the need to watch your setting on a gauge at 65 mph.
There are also cool, non-racer attributes, like closed cooling, a speed-governing secondary lanyard that also functions as a theft-prevention device, and off-power steering, a rudder-controlled solution that provides directional control in the event a rider lets off the throttle in a panic situation or stalls the craft.
That’s a lot of positives. Now, the primary caveat. This is a small, lightweight, and nimble boat. As such, it excels on flat water or light chop. Put it in the heavy stuff, however, and it’s going to get tossed around, plain and simple. Maybe even a little beat up. These latter conditions are one reason why three-seaters have grown so much more popular. They simply stay hooked up better in rougher waters.
Space is also at a premium. Though it’s technically a two-seater, this is a machine that will appeal mostly to solo riders. In keeping with that theme, don’t expect a whole lot of storage space, either. The RXP-X tops out at 10.7 gallons of storage capacity. In other words, leave non-essentials on shore where they belong.
The RXP-X may also be considered somewhat pricey. It’s in line with its direct competition — Yamaha’s FZR — but either model makes you pay for being a performance nut.
But in the end, I think your biggest decision will come down to size, and just how selfish you feel like being. After all, when you’re aboard an RXP-X 255, you’re not thinking too much about passengers.
|Sea-Doo RTX iS 260 Specs|
|Dry Weight||774 lbs|
|Engine||Three-cylinder EFI, Supercharged/Intercooled|
|Bore and Stroke||100mm x 63.4mm|
|Fuel Capacity||15.9 gal.|
|Combined Stowage Capacity||10.7 gal.|