BRP is not exactly a new player on the personal watercraft scene. In fact, this manufacturer is something of a pioneer in the industry. Sea-Doo has been active on the market since 1988 (that’s not counting the 1968 and 1969 models) and the line-up now includes all types of craft, covering everything from comfort to pure performance. For 2012, Sea-Doo has introduced the RXP-X 260, an all-new model in the Musclecraft line that takes high-performance riding to new heights for BRP and guarantees exceptional performance.
At the heart of the RXP-X 260 is BRP’s most powerful engine, a supercharged 1503 XHO Rotax 4-Tec engine that displaces 1,494 cubic centimeters and is paired with a direct drive propulsion system. While these numbers are impressive in and of themselves, they are not the be-all and end-all of the innovation included in this model. The engineers who built the RXP-X 260 also included technology to improve its control, handling and sport performance. On the 2012 model, drivers are better able to manage all this power and leverage it in turns. The result is so good that this model has already earned two championship racing titles.
Race car capabilities
To optimize the RXP-X 260’s behaviour, BRP engineers developed a totally new hull. Dubbed the T3 (FOR “tight turning t-shape), this hull features a progressive design with extreme hard chines. This helps the driver gain precision and improves the angle of attack on corners, while effectively cutting waves and ensuring both stability and dynamism. In short, it’s a lot like a sport motorcycle in that it can really lean into corners without sliding laterally across the water.
Its ability to take corners at faster speeds would be useless without improved connection between the driver and the machine. Fortunately, this personal watercraft comes with the new Ergolock system, which includes a narrow racing seat that allows you to tuck your knees into the lower portion for better hold on corners. The racing seat is combined with angled foot wells and adjustable handles to truly unite the watercraft and its driver. The result is a solid connection to the machine, as opposed to simply grasping the handlebars. Much like in race cars, the seat and footrest keep you locked in, allowing you to use your arms to steer, and not to hold you in place. That’s the main idea behind the Ergolock system. In addition to helping you control the watercraft, it helps reduce driver fatigue. However, unlike some other models in the Musclecraft line, the RXP-X 260 does not come with an intelligent suspension. The manufacturer focussed on maximizing its performances, not its comfort. The upside to that is a lower starting price.
The RXP-X 260 offers intimidating style. In the past few years, black and yellow have become the trademarks of Sea-Doo’s high-performance machines. Moreover, its sleek appearance accentuates is powerful aura, while its flowing facet design includes several angular lines. Its transparent front hood is also a nice touch. Despite its sport aspirations and new racing seat, the RXP-X 260 can comfortably carry two passengers. And in terms of storage, there’s room for some fairly large objects in the front compartment, where they will be kept dry.
It goes without saying that the RXP-X 260 comes with a wide array of technology. There’s the iTC system, an intelligent throttle control (the control is behind the right handle) that starts the watercraft in neutral for easier dockside starts. One push of the throttle gets you moving forward, while the left handle is for braking or reverse. This makes controlling the watercraft easy, as there are just two controls and you never have to take your hands off the handlebars. The iTC system also includes different driving modes, including Sport mode for aggressive driving and ECO mode for improved fuel economy and range.
On the water
How do these technologies measure up on the water? The iTC system proves very useful, as it really improves control at low speeds, whether you’re entering or leaving the water, or docking. Moving in any direction is made easy, as is shifting into neutral to come to a standstill. No more bashing into the dock or other crafts as a result of cutting the engine!
Once you’re properly locked into your seat, simply push (or pull) the throttle and you’ll instantly feel how powerful the engine is. Maximum speed is just seconds away, as the personal watercraft literally rips into the water. Even at high speeds, the RXP-X 260 is very stable; its balance is enhanced by new trim tabs that limit bow rise and improve stability.
But it’s not until you take your first corner that you can genuinely appreciate the improvements made to this craft. You can almost maintain maximum speed as you enter and exit corners – something that was practically impossible until now. Not only does this machine stick in corners, but the driver is much more connected, which means you won’t get thrown out, even during sporty driving. That said, this watercraft is just as enjoyable for more quiet rides. Deactivate the Sport mode and its accelerations become much more progressive for a gentler ride – especially if you have another passenger with you.
In short, Sea-Doo proves once again that it knows what it’s doing when it comes to high-performance machines. But with a starting price of $15,999, you’ll have to brace yourself for the bill!