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Not everybody can be a racer, or for that matter, even wants to duke it out and risk fiberglass and limb. But with a craft like Sea-Doo’s RXT-X 260, you can still feel much of the racer’s adrenaline rush. With performance-minded bling, and power and handling to back it up, the RXT-X runs with the fastest craft on the market. Should you actually want to race for real, it’s more than ready. But in the meantime, you can simply enjoy one of the most performance-minded rides currently on the market.
Heart and Soul
The heart and soul of the RXT-X has long been Sea-Doo’s most potent variation of the versatile 1,494cc Rotax engine. Boosted by a supercharger and intercooler to produce great acceleration off the bottom end and an equally thrilling top speed, the craft gets to the 30 mph mark in a quick 1.7 seconds and keeps on pulling all the way through the coveted 65 mph mark. With my light 150-pound test load and a minimal amount of fuel, I routinely reach 67 mph before the electronic governor kicks in. Expect to run with competitor’s flagships, as well as have plenty of horsepower on hand to haul three passengers or pull your favorite skier or wakeboarder atop the water with ease.
The RXT-X’s premium power comes in Sport mode, the electronically controlled acceleration profile that puts all of the engine’s stock potential readily on tap. Those that want to tame things down – saving fuel, turning the ride over to less-experienced pilots, or smoothing rough-water are good reasons why you might want to – can do so by selecting the tamer Touring mode. Top speed will be the same, but you’ll have a less aggressive climb to the top. Both are easily toggled via a button on the handlebars. Choosing a third, ECO setting will more dramatically tame the acceleration curve in an effort to save fuel and run with optimum efficiency.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Yamaha FX SVHO
As always, power is only a portion of the performance equation. True standouts need to harness all that power and deliver aggressive handling on the water, traits that have always been the RXT line’s biggest strengths.
This isn’t the same RXT-X hull that launched the line, but a reflection of today’s more well-rounded rider. It’s bigger, with a deeper V that handles rough offshore conditions with aplomb. Waves don’t knock it from its line, or cause moments of doubt. Instead, it powers through with a soft re-entry that makes it a match for both skilled and novice riders. This bigger hull, however, still carves like the smaller, sleeker RXT-X of old. Power into a corner, drop the bow via the fast-responding electric trim, and the craft will spit you out the other side in a flash. It’s race-inspired response is made even better by the favored trim positions that can be saved and quickly reached with a simple double-tap of the button.
The X Factor
To this already racer-like feel, Sea-Doo adds the extras that make you feel truly like a pro…or at least like you own a pro-level ride. Aside from the obvious colors and graphics, the handlebar setup offers the best combination of form and function. At its base is a stylish, billet X. Moving outward the rider can tweak both the grip angle and tilt to match their preference and height, as well as further widen the actual bar width. The seat and traction mats also get an upgrade, with the former getting a grippier, textured vinyl cover and slimmer midsection to encourage riders to transfer some of the load from their upper body to the legs, and the latter receiving a diamond-plate traction pattern that will ensure you’ll stay locked in place once you punch the throttle.
X machines also get a hopped-up information display, adding a lap timer and supercharger boost indicator.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2015 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 310R
The feature that will have the biggest effect on the craft’s overall performance, however, is likely the RXT-X’s adjustable sponsons. By allowing the owner to change the sponsons’ attitude on the hull, you can sharpen up reflexes even further, or soften that ride somewhat in the opposite direction. A 90-degree winglet on each sponson helps the craft maintain a bite even when it’s leaned hard over.
No One-Trick Pony
For all its race-ready traits, the RXT-X is still quite civilized. It features Intelligent Brake & Reverse, that Sea-Doo technology that uses the onboard computer and a modified reverse bucket to significantly affect the craft’s handling. It’s apparent as soon as you hit the start button. iBR lowers the bucket partially to deflect water flow and mimic a stationary, neutral setting. From there you can engage reverse (via a lever on the left handlebar) or forward (via the throttle) to precisely control the craft while keeping your eyes focused on the water ahead. And yes, underway that same technology can be used to brake the craft. Encounter an obstacle or need to slow rapidly, and grabbing the combination reverse/brake lever fully drops that bucket and redirects thrust forward to provide considerable stopping power.
Less attention-getting, but still notable features include Sea-Doo’s radio-frequency lanyard system, which combines theft prevention with the ability to choose a second lanyard to seriously limit speeds. I also continue to appreciate Sea-Doo’s hinged, pneumatic strut-assisted seat. Raise it to check on the engine without worrying about where you’ll stow the saddle.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2015 Sea-Doo RXP-X 260
Things aren’t all rosy. A significant downside remains the minimal storage capacity, a trait that affects many flagship Sea-Doo designs. On the RXT-X, total capacity is less than 14 gallons. In this case, however, it’s likely not a deal breaker. The RXT-X 260 is designed first and foremost for performance, not hauling capacity, and consumers will likely accept the trade-off.
The Checkered Flag
Feel the need for speed? You’ll definitely want to put the RXT-X 260 on your list of test rides. It’s got the handling, it’s got the power, and it’s got the aftermarket-influenced extras.
Just remember, when you bite into that first high-speed turn, pretend you’re duking it out with a field of the best watercraft racers. Your ride is certainly ready to play the part, so you might as well do a little high-speed daydreaming.
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