Sea-Doo’s RXT-X has always been known as an aggressive, hard-cornering machine that displayed some of the best, most race-inspired calm-water handling on the market. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Apparently Sea-Doo pays no attention to conventional wisdom. In 2010, the company ditched the successful design in favor of bringing in elements from its flagship, suspension-equipped models.
The idea was suspect...but it worked. With that new stepped hull, the RXT-X managed to somehow retain its razor-sharp reflexes, while showcasing a newfound ability to be a rough-water champ to boot. Add in a multitude of extras, and the result is arguably one of the most complete musclecraft on the market.
Retooled Body, Familiar Soul
No surprise, the revamped RXT-X 260 looks much like the suspension models it borrows so heavily from. The now-familiar deep-V, stepped hull below is mated to a top deck almost identical to the iS models, with the exception being this deck is fixed in place. Losing the suspension not only lowers the cost, but also reduces weight and bulk. As I noted last year, the switch truly reveals how good the S3 hull design is in terms of handling. It carves as aggressively as the RXTs of old, but makes the boat much more capable in rough or offshore conditions. That’s a good combination.
Other elements of those suspension models obviously trickle down as well, as they have done throughout the Sea-Doo line. Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR) allows the craft to start in a neutral mode at the dock, and then be driven forward by pulling the throttle, or backward by squeezing the combination brake/reverse lever. Performance lovers may not feel the need for such emphasis on low-speed control, but once you ride the craft around a dock or launch ramp with such precision, it’s definitely missed when you don’t have it. Of course, iBR also includes brakes as well, facilitated by the reverse bucket redirecting water flow through the pump nozzle and controlled by the craft’s computer brains. It likely aids novices more than experienced riders, but performance types have found they can use the system in new and creative ways.
Electronic throttle also offers unique benefits. The RXT-X starts in a standard “touring” mode, which somewhat tempers the power of the craft’s 1,494 cc supercharged/intercooled engine. Opt for “sport” mode (which seems almost obvious given this craft’s market), and the full potential of the engine is on tap. The acceleration curve is steeper, and throttle response is far more jolting. Time from 0-30mph can be as quick as 1.7 seconds, and top speed with a light load will easily trigger the speedo’s limiter at 67 mph. In short, performance is awesome. My only gripe is the default to touring mode, forcing riders to continually select Sport mode after restarting the craft. On a boat with this mindset, it seems there should be a way to switch what mode is the default setting. Of course, I know of one aftermarket company that has already done so...
Many long-standing performance features remain, albeit with a new twist. Riders are presented with a beefy handlebar column that is almost the complete opposite of the minimal, aftermarket look of early RXT-X models, but the adjustability remains...and then some. With the twist of an Allen key, bars can be expanded in width, and both bars and grips can both be adjusted in terms of tilt. The info display features the basic stats, along with a distance-till-empty fuel consumption display, altitude display, and lap timer. The display also angles in conjunction with the handlebar tilt, a nice touch.
Electric trim allows the rider to trim the bow down for best cornering ability, or raise it for a faster top speed or drier ride in rough conditions. Two pre-set positions can be designated, allowing the driver to “double-tap” the button to reach them quickly so as not to take their eyes off the water to inspect a display. Off-throttle steering assistance remains, as does Sea-Doo’s familiar theft-prevention, speed-governing lanyard set.
New features made possible by the 2010 makeover include a hinged seat, which rises on a pneumatic strut. It eliminates the hassle of wrangling with a cumbersome saddle for maintenance or engine inspection. Nods to the RXT-X of old include a stylish, bolstered finish, and diamond-plate pattern traction mats in the footwells below. Storage may be the craft’s only true shortcoming. It’s rather minimal at 13.7 gallons.
A positive makeover of an already solid machine? I say yes. The “X” still looks aggressive and sexy, still retains its incredibly nimble manners, and now adds rough-water excellence to its resume, as well as some nifty add-ons its predecessor never dreamed of. And yes, it still goes like a bat out of hell.
That’s a pretty complete package.
|Sea-Doo RXT-X 260 Specs|
|Curb Weight||855 lbs|
|Engine||Three-cylinder EFI, Supercharged/Intercooled|
|Bore and Stroke||100 mm x 63.4 mm|
|Fuel Capacity||15.9 gal.|
|Combined Stowage Capacity||13.7 gal.|
|Colors||Black and Dragon Red|