2012 Sea-Doo RXT 260 Review

Hull, horsepower equal one hell of a ride

There’s a bit of a logjam in the Sea-Doo muscle lineup, at least if you’re considering craft with the letters RXT and numbers 260 in their name. There’s an X, an aS, even an iS in the mix.  So what’s missing on the somewhat plainly labeled RXT 260?

As we discovered, not much. At least, not much where it counts…

What’s In A Name?

The missing characters in the RXT 260’s name clearly indicate this model does not have suspension, whether it’s of the Intelligent (iS) variety or the adjustable (aS) variant. That’s not a great loss. While suspension is cool, and works surprisingly well, it adds to not only the bottom line, but also the boat’s weight. Foregoing it keeps the RXT 260 lean and mean. The lack of the X? It means you’ll miss out on a few ergonomic changes, like grippier mats and seat, and handlebars that can be tweaked in all sorts of ways to dial things in for those race types. Again, cool stuff all, but not what will make or break the deal for a majority of enthusiasts.

Especially because, even in this most distilled version of the RXT line, you still get a lot of bang for the buck.

2012 Sea-Doo RXT 260 Profile LeftAt the heart of the RXT 260 is a supercharged, intercooled 1,494cc engine that churns out about 260 horsepower.

Start with the engine. Under the saddle resides the same 1,494cc, supercharged with intercooler package that, at least when we used to talk horsepower numbers, churned out about 260 of those ponies. That’s Sea-Doo’s most potent offering, a combo that pushes the RXT 260 to 65 mph and beyond (67mph, to be exact, when it hits the speedo’s electronic limiter), and gets it to that milestone 30 mph mark in about 1.8 seconds. Tame that response with Touring mode, which softens the acceleration curve, or unleash its fury in Sport mode, which gives you the full punch all the way through the low and midrange of the powerband. It’s a quick, responsive package that’s fun to drive, but also has a softer side. Yup, a third mode — ECO — will choose the most fuel-efficient way to cruise.

2012 Sea-Doo RXT 260 Handlebars MotionAdjustable handlebars let the operator get comfortable standing or sitting.

Fast, yes, but the RXT is not just about speed. Its stepped hull promises to reduce drag, and rails through a corner with an ultra-predictable inside lean. It’s surprisingly agile given the craft’s 139.2” length. Sponsons keep things hooked up aft, while tilt steering enhances the driver’s position atop the saddle. The fast-response trim can also push the bow lower for cornering, or raise it for speed, with a quick double-tap. Preset positions allow the driver to dial it in ahead of time, so as not to divert attention off the water when it counts.

In Control

Like all modern Sea-Doos, gaining that performance doesn’t mean losing control. Standard issue is the Intelligent Brake & Reverse system. For those still not familiar with the concept, it uses a bucket aft of the pump to redirect water flow. Squeeze the lever (mounted conveniently on the left hand grip) at speed, and the craft’s iControl

2012 Sea-Doo RXT 260 iBR LeverSqueeze the iBR lever and you’ll slow the RXT 260 down in a hurry.

computer will interrupt thrust for a fraction of a second, drop that bucket, and then reapply power so that same thrust is now directed forward and to the sides to rapidly slow the craft. Start the craft at the dock and that bucket deploys partially to keep the craft in place until the driver wishes to go into either reverse or forward. It takes minutes to get the hang of, pays real dividends on the water, and never requires the driver to take his eyes off the water.

Of course, the RXT 260 also has all those other amenities that the ‘Doo does. Its lanyard is digitally encoded to do triple-duty as also a speed limiter and theft-prevention device; its hinged seat raises on a pneumatic strut, alleviating the problem of where to put the saddle during maintenance; and its info center boasts a number of features, including a compass and fuel consumption readout. Only storage continues to feel like a miscue.  At a mere 13.7 gallons, it’s far less than the competition boasts.

Polite Bully

A civilized speed junkie? That pretty much sums it up. But don’t forget price. By foregoing all those Xs, Is, and As in the title, Sea-Doo also brings this RXT 260 in for $13,599, as much as $2,800 less than the aS, and even $1,100 less than the X version.

Given how much you’ll likely want to ride it, that’s money that can be put to good use.

Sea-Doo RXT 260 Specs
Length 139.2 inches
Beam 48.2 inches
Dry Weight 824 lbs
Engine Supercharged with intercooler, three-cylinder
Displacement 1,494 cc
Bore and Stroke 100 mm x 63.4 mm
Compression Ratio 8.4:1
Rated Horsepower NA
Fuel Capacity 15.9 gal.
Combined Stowage Capacity 13.7 gal.
Colors Orange Burst
Price $14,399

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2012 Sea-Doo RXT-X 260 Review
2012 Sea-Doo RXT-X aS 260 Review
2012 Sea-Doo RXP-X 260 Review
2012 Sea-Doo GTX Limited iS 260 Review