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Engine: Three-cylinder 899cc
Fuel Capacity: 7.9 gal.
Stowage Capacity: 0.42 gal.
Seating Capacity: 2
MSRP: Starting at $7,399
When it was introduced for the 2017 model year, the Sea-Doo Spark TRIXX seemed fun and cool, but a niche craft at best. Freestyle types would certainly flock to it, but the craft didn’t look to eclipse the sales of the normal Spark, nor some of the other best-selling craft on the market. That’s before the sales figures came out, and the Spark TRIXX proved to be the best-selling model of 2017.
Clearly consumers found value in this extra hot Spark. Here’s a reminder as to why.
With its highly competitive price point and fun personality, the Spark had already proven a favorite among consumers, but the TRIXX took that fun factor to another level. The most obvious addition was the TRIXX model’s tweaked Variable Trim System. In standard form, that trim spans a normal range – from 7º up to -4.5º down – to plant the bow lower during acceleration and raise it for best top-speed performance. On the TRIXX, however, it swings as high as 17º in the up position, and -6º when fully down. That upward range lets the TRIXX perform its marquee maneuver, a wheelie, with minimal throttle and minimal rider skill. Just trim up (a simple double-tap of the trim button swings between favored settings up and down), nudge the throttle and pull back on the bars. The craft quickly goes into a tail stand. With a little practice, that tail stand can be spun into a tailspin, a sure crowd pleaser, and the driver becomes the cool kid just like that.
The 2018 Sea-Doo Spark TRIXX package’s other additions aid its freestyle personality. Footwell wedges are key, angled at 60º to provide a sure footing when that craft is bow to the sky and aiding a rider trying to get his or her weight back as far as possible. There’s also an adjustable handlebar, with an aluminum riser that starts out 3” higher than the normal Spark and extends to 6” higher when fully extended. A simple clasp, similar to a bicycle wheel skewer, secures the bars at any position in between.
That extended upward trim range also enhances the Spark’s normally playful personality. Power slides and surface 180s are easier than ever with the trim up. The downward angle also promises to make moves like nose stabs possible, but I’ve found those a little harder to pull off…and a little harder on the body while trying. The only other addition is an exclusive colorway, Candy Blue and Chili Pepper, joined for 2018 by a second choice, Orange Crush and Chili Pepper. Oh, and there’s also a three-passenger version…but that’s another review.
The best thing about the 2018 Sea-Doo Spark TRIXX is that it’s still every bit a Spark at its core. The hull and deck are formed of PolyTec (polypropylene reinforced with long-strand glass fibers), Sea-Doo’s lightweight alternative to SMC fiberglass. Colors are molded in, and typically bright. The lighter overall weight also requires less horsepower. On the TRIXX, the 90hp Rotax 900 ACE HO engine pushes the craft to about 48 mph, and when in Sport mode, offers a decent punch of acceleration. Unless you just plan to ride wheelies all day, save Touring mode for cruising; I found the TRIXX really needs Sport mode to bring out its potential.
Most consumers are now probably familiar with the Spark’s ExoSkel construction. It’s cool and different, providing structure and rigidity while keeping the bow open and futuristic in appearance. It does forego storage, however, meaning you’ll need to option up to the easily installed seven-gallon storage compartment if you just have to take some things along for the ride. Access to normal maintenance areas are through several ports. For any serious maintenance, almost the entire top deck can be removed by unbolting a series of fasteners found along the bond line. Yup, hull and deck aren’t glued but bolted, with a rubber gasket to keep out water.
In terms of ease of use when not doing spins and wheelies, Intelligent Brake & Reverse is standard issue on the 2018 Sea-Doo Spark Trixx. It allows the craft to start in neutral, and be “shifted” into forward and reverse without taking the rider’s hands off the handlebars. iBR also provides stopping power, rapidly slowing the craft when applied at speed.
The biggest drawbacks? The aforementioned storage is one. In stock form, you get only a minimal glovebox. What I’d really like to see, however, is a standard reboarding step. Even experienced riders will fall during the learning curve, and muscling yourself back aboard saps a little strength over time. Some additional padding would also be beneficial. That same learning curve may leave you with a few bumps and bruises.
That Fun Factor
Overall, however, I find the TRIXX a lot of fun. Judging by those sales figures, so do a lot of consumers. It helps that the TRIXX package is not that pricey an upgrade over an existing Spark comparably equipped. Those key components can also be purchased as accessories and added to a regular Spark to “trixx” them out.
Competitors? Yamaha’s EX Sport ($7,699) is a three-seater with 10 more horsepower, mechanical reverse, SMC construction, 7.7 gallons of storage capacity, a larger 13.2-gallon fuel capacity, and a more conservative look. Like the Spark, the EX Sport also has a somewhat playful hull but, no, it can’t do wheelies.
For the 2018 Sea-Doo Spark TRIXX buyer, that latter fact just may be the deal breaker.
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