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Sea-Doo fans got the beast they had been waiting for in 2016 with the Sea-Doo RXT-X 300. The RXT-X, already a potent machine capable of handling inshore and offshore conditions with equal aplomb, received a 300hp bump to start off the season. Added into the mix were elements of the ErgoLock system shared by the smaller RXP-X. As has become an industry pattern, no big changes followed for the craft’s sophomore year, with the exception that the RXT-X’s new engine is now a proven contender.
Engine: Four-cylinder 1,812cc
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gal.
Stowage Capacity: 24.6 gal.
Seating Capacity: 3
MSRP: Starting at $11,999
A year of proof isn’t a bad thing for any new product, and the Rotax 1630 ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) finished the season with its glowing reputation intact. It’s not a completely new design. The engine is based on the former Rotax 1503 and features that mill’s same 100mm bore. Rotax engineers lengthened the stroke, however, to 69.2mm, giving the engine a 9% increase in displacement. A plasma coating replaced steel cylinder sleeves, improving heat transfer while dropping weight. Pistons were also lightened, while simultaneously beefed up, and given longer skirts. Connecting rods were shortened (and lightened) to accommodate the longer stroke. The single-overhead cam cylinder head received reshaped combustion chambers, larger injectors, and an ignition system (coil-on-plug) that offered nearly twice the discharge of the previous design.
Cooling capacity was also doubled, and according to Sea-Doo reps, is over two-times more efficient. An additional cooling circuit takes much of the credit, along with a larger heat sink and improved intercooler fabricated from long-life alloys and featuring sacrificial zinc anodes. The supercharger, too, saw a redesign, with a compact, 32-blade fan wheel (double the 16 blades found on the previous design), and increase to 47,000 RPM. Improvements like a thicker shaft, added clutch washers and bearing packs, and a dynamic balancing process prior to assembly allows Sea-Doo to now declare the supercharger maintenance-free.
Performance? The biggest change is the potency of the engine’s midrange. Aided by pump changes (a 159.5mm impeller and RXP-X type wear ring), the craft simply hooks up whenever you call for power, experiencing no hesitation in tight turns or during wake crossings. Theoretically the speed should be electronically governed at 67 mph; in ideal conditions I continue to see higher numbers light up the speedo.
As to the now familiar S3 hull, it returns unchanged on the 2017 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300. A deep-V design that has carried the flagship platforms for years, it excels in nearly all conditions, carving up glass with finesse and tackling offshore waves with total confidence. It’s a notably soft ride, lessening the jolts transferred to rider and passengers in rough seas, but not mushy. Less-experienced riders will find it confidence building, while experienced vets will just push the craft without worry.
One element of that confidence is clearly due to the ErgoLock features borrowed from the RXP-X. The difference is clear in the saddle, which now notably slims in the waistline, allowing a rider to keep their legs closer together and almost “trap” the saddle with their thighs. The cushioning extends out around the rider’s thigh for more control, and angled footwell chocks provide a source of leverage to brace yourself when powering through the corners. Like on the RXP-X, handlebars can be adjusted for both angle and width to fine-tune the ergonomics. All combine to make the rider feel more one with the machine.
Additional handling extras include adjustable sponsons to further fine-tune the response, and high-performance variable trim. It’s biggest advantage? You can preset your two favorite positions, and then simply jump between them with a button double-tap. Eyes stay where they belong…on the water.
Continue to expect the familiar Sea-Doo innovations. Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR) arguably has the most real-world applications. An electronic link between a left handlebar brake/reverse lever and a modified reverse bucket and spoiler, iBR can rapidly slow the craft, or “brake” at speed, scrubbing off as much as 160’ in stopping distance compared to a similar model without the technology. iBR also mimics gears, allowing the craft to start up in neutral, then be shifted effortlessly through forward/neutral/reverse with light touches on the appropriate lever. It’s getting old to say, but it’s a godsend in tight marinas or ramp areas.
Intelligent Throttle Control is also featured on the 2017 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300, allowing users to select three different acceleration curves to match the current use of the craft, be it Touring (less throttle response), Sport (the engine’s full stock potential), or ECO (the most fuel-efficient delivery). But don’t expect cruise control or no-wake mode; it’s just not that kind of boat.
Other features of note include Sea-Doo’s twin lanyard system, one of which speed governs the engine and both of which prevent against theft or unauthorized use. The gauge adds boost pressure for true performance nerds, as well as more practical additions like time/distance to empty, average speed/RPM, a lap timer and engine temp. Of course you also get exclusive coloration. For ’17, that’s Lava Red & Monolith Black Satin, or White & Dayglow Yellow. Sound familiar? Okay, they were last year’s colors as well.
What more do you need to know? The 2017 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 is big, powerful, and handles big (and not so big) water conditions with ease…while not making you feel you’re sitting atop a runaway horse.
In other words, the Sea-Doo RXT-X 300’s sophomore year looks to only add to the craft’s reputation.
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