Intelligent Suspension One Better
Sea-Doo’s intelligent suspension (iS) system on their PWC’s is not new, and we’ve grown pretty accustomed to its abilities, but they bear repeating. The team at Sea-Doo learned early on that taming the water hasn’t been too successful this side of the Old Testament, so they decided to try to tame the ride instead. To that end, they’ve placed the entire riding area, from the foot wells to the handlebars, on a floating suspension system that allows the hull to move independently from the upper deck. The system uses a coil spring and gas shock, the two being interlinked by two aluminum control arms. The iControl computer system adjusts the pre-load of the spring preload in real-time according to payload and water conditions, thus ensuring optimal suspension behavior at any given time.Enter “aS”, or adjustable suspension. Now, the operator can control the ride’s feel by two methods. The primary is the spring preload which is a mechanical system located under the seat that can be manually adjusted with the turn of a screw. For further adjusting there's a nitrogen-charged remote reservoir located behind a see thru panel in the glove box. Turning the knob clockwise increases the compression damping force yielding a firm suspension setting. This method adds between 65-115% more dampening than the standard intelligent system, according to Sea-Doo, and now waves of 2’-5’ are much more easily handled. The end result is a stiffer ride that gives a better feeling of control and a suspension that won't bottom-out in rough waters. This combination makes a great feature for those riders who do not have, nor care for, the protected waters of a lake or river and instead choose to mix it up offshore. Due to its more offshore characteristics, the RXT-X aS 260 will always feel stiffer than the iS version but you can soften the ride in gentler water, which in effect, increases the spring effect. Now when cranking into a turn, the squat effect will allow you to maintain control and quickly get out of the hole and off in the new direction.
As any high performance rider demands, there are a host of cool features that make the RXT-X aS 260 the attractive package that it is. For starters there’s the digital display which reports on 30 different operating functions. The most popular are sure to be the lat timer and average speed. More functional will be the distance to empty and water temperature. Of course Sea-Doo’s claim to fame feature is the iBR, or intelligent braking/reverse attribute. By squeezing the brake lever, you effectively drop the reverse bucket down to stop you sooner than any other watercraft. The “intelligent” comes from briefly interrupting the flow of water through the jet while the bucket comes down in stages. This ensures that you don’t get tossed into the water in front of the craft from the deceleration. Sure it throws water everywhere, but you're not here to stay dry, and the collision avoidance advantage of such a feature cannot be over estimated. In addition to the braking, being able to shift into reverse without taking your hands off the handlebars is a huge plus when approaching the dock.
Everything is going digital nowadays, and electronically controlling the throttle not only eliminates the sliding shift and throttle cables, and their fairly tortuous route to the active components, but allows for a whole host of benefits. It started with optional cruise mode, which offered incremental speed adjustments at the touch of a button. Once programmers started to get the hang of things, features really opened up. The most notable, and useful, is the iControl Learning Key. The programmable Learning Key allows you to limit the performance of the PWC based on rider skill level. Each of the two settings can be fine-tuned using the mode/set buttons. Now you can toss your kids the keys and not worry about them getting into trouble. As skill progresses, so can the ride.
Fine-Turning the Throttle
Then there’s Touring / Sport mode. This allows for a choice between two throttle responses for different riding styles. Touring mode is the default setting offering a more progressive acceleration curve for a more confident ride – ideal for cruising and 2-up riding. Sport mode can be easily activated using the Set button. It provides all acceleration performance for a more aggressive throttle response. And of course you can program in the desired power curve that suits your riding style. The High-performance electric Variable Trim System (VTS) system provides pre-set positions for quick settings when adjusting boat trim at the push of a button, which maximizes acceleration and high-speed stability.
So much for performance features. Now let’s touch on the comfort aspect, beyond the suspension system of course. The X-Steering with A.E.S (Adjustable Ergonomic Steering) offers the only fully adjustable handlebar in the industry. With A.E.S. the rider can adjust the handlebar width and grip for a fully customized ride. The X-Coloration seat is a race-inspired designed seat for comfort and great looks providing seating for three.
Knowing that operators in this class have a “why walk when you can run?” mentality, Sea-Doo chose to offer the RXT-X aS 260 with as much engine as they could muster, and still fit under the seat. In this case a three cylinder supercharged, intercooled 1,494cc EFI Rotax with multi-port fuel injection. That promises to give it plenty of speed, but both the insurance industry, and the riders association dictate that it should be industry limited to 65-67 mph. That said, acceleration is the dividing factor and this craft performs right along with the best of them. Sea-Doo has done a good job of combining riding styles into a crossover PWC that will give the operator a dialed-in ride. Couple that with the killer good looks and now a combination is created that rivals the competition.
Standard and Optional Features
|Swim Ladder||Optional Fold-down reboaring step|