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Discussion Starter #1
Hi My name is Brian. I'm an AVID snowmobiler (maybe even obsessive), I own a ATV and work on my own stuff. I'm not new to this sport as I've owned a Kawi 650sx standup(my fav), a 650 tigershark(yawn) and a Kawi ZXI 900 (piston eater). I've been trolling around here some and have been tinkering with the idea of getting a PWC (I guess I erroneously call them JetSki's). So the other day my buddy drags home 2 new 2007 holdover Aquatrax F12x's. MAN did that get me fired up to get one! BUT I for the life of me cannot figure out what to get. My research has kinda narrowed it down to Yamaha and Kawasaki based upon their reputation and the availability of dealers.

I found this one:
Yamaha waverunner.jpg
It is a 2006 Yammi VX1100 and has <70 hrs on it and they want $5,500 with trailer and 4 life jackets.

I hate like hell to ask this question because on my snowmobile forums it would turn into a brand pissing match BUT, Is this a good machine? Is that price a good deal? What would you recommend? Will I look like a grandma driving around on my slow ski with my buddies F12's flashing buy every two seconds? Thanks for your insight:D
 

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Is it a good ski? Absolutely! But keep in mind it's an entry level watercraft. Meaning it doesn't have alot of power or features. Basically it's like a Toyota Camry of watercraft. Will it get you down the lake reliably while being easy on fuel? Yes But not much more. If you are a casual rider who just cruises around it's fine but if you like to go fast and do some aggressive riding I'd keep looking for a used FX HO or SHO if you want a three seater and want to stick to Yamaha.
 

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Totally agree with YamaDoo. The VX is an entry level 4 stroke. It is Yamaha's most reliable and most fuel efficient model.........all the rental places use them, so you probably won't be able to break it. Down side is that your buddy is going to leave you behind on his F12X. Top speed of the VX is around 53-54 mph. The ride on the Yamaha VX and the Honda F12X is very similar........what I'd call "sporty". Problem with your buddies Honda skis is that Honda has gone out of the ski business for now, and finding a dealership with a qualified mechanic may be difficult, as well as finding parts in the future. The turbo models have been problematic for Honda, with corrosion of the turbo system, specifically the waste gate, a frequent failure point.

If you want to keep up with your buddy and have a better ride while you do it look for a used Yamaha FX HO like YamaDoo mentioned. If you want to have a better ride, and leave your buddy in your wake, look at a used Yamaha SHO or even an FZR/FZS, but be prepared to spend some time at the fuel pump, cause the supercharged models will guzzle some gas.
 

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Go with Yamaha

if you want to put your buddy in your mirror you will need a stronger ski. His turbo honda,when running right, should hit 62 mph. FX HO or FZS SHO, should handle that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the great responses! I guess I didn't anticipate that a 1100 n/a would out do a 1200 turbo but I was hoping that it wouldn't be like driving a camry and he's got a corvette. Is the $5,500 price reasonable? I can't get it to book close to that on nada guides. I didn't know if that's a reliable source but the average retail is $3,840.

Anything kawasaki makes comparable to the HO or SHO that would be more readily available? I can't find any of those Yammi's in good used shape.
 

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I'd say $5500 is a little high for a 2006 VX. That said, I've found NADA values to usually be too low on boats and skis. You will probably be looking at $6000 - 8000 on a used FX HO, and more for a used SHO.

Kawasaki has a 15f that is compariable to the FX HO. Kawasaki does tend to be considered a less reliable brand of ski, but I know several 15f owners that seem happy with that model.
 

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Thanks for all the great responses! I guess I didn't anticipate that a 1100 n/a would out do a 1200 turbo but I was hoping that it wouldn't be like driving a camry and he's got a corvette. Is the $5,500 price reasonable? I can't get it to book close to that on nada guides. I didn't know if that's a reliable source but the average retail is $3,840.

Anything kawasaki makes comparable to the HO or SHO that would be more readily available? I can't find any of those Yammi's in good used shape.
Yeah, if you want a Kawasaki get an STX-15f. They don't have the reliability issues of the Ultra 250/260x boats. And are very fun to ride from what I have heard. They run 62 mph out of the box and Riva sells an RPM kit that adds 5 mph for just $675. They MSRP for $8,500 new if you can get by without mirrors or reverse (otherwise add $700 for those features.) However being an older model I have seen dealers blowing them out for around 7 grand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When inspecting a used pwc, what do you look for aside from obvious exterior damage? I assume the 4-stroke motor is rarely the weak link on these? Is there a quick and easy way to tell the pump is good?
 

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When inspecting a used pwc, what do you look for aside from obvious exterior damage? I assume the 4-stroke motor is rarely the weak link on these? Is there a quick and easy way to tell the pump is good?
Most important thing you can do is ride it.........in fact that is the only way to tell if the pump is good.

On a 2 stroke doing a compression check is important. I don't think a compression check is really necessary on most low hour (less than 200) 4 strokes. If the engine is reaching its max rated rpms, and the ski checks out on the water, then you are OK. Other than that, I'd check for corrosion inside the engine and pump (especially important on Honda turbo models)............take one of these types of mirrors: 2" Mirror with Flexible Shaft, and a good flashlight. Look for cracks in the hull inside and out, look at the motor mounts, and ask to look at maintenance records.

Bottom line is if a 4 stroke runs good on the water, reaches it rated max rpms and max rated speed, and has an intact hull............you are good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Most important thing you can do is ride it.........in fact that is the only way to tell if the pump is good.

On a 2 stroke doing a compression check is important. I don't think a compression check is really necessary on most low hour (less than 200) 4 strokes. If the engine is reaching its max rated rpms, and the ski checks out on the water, then you are OK. Other than that, I'd check for corrosion inside the engine and pump (especially important on Honda turbo models)............take one of these types of mirrors: 2" Mirror with Flexible Shaft, and a good flashlight. Look for cracks in the hull inside and out, look at the motor mounts, and ask to look at maintenance records.

Bottom line is if a 4 stroke runs good on the water, reaches it rated max rpms and max rated speed, and has an intact hull............you are good to go.
Thanks! Does the age of the machine make a difference? How many hours should be considered "high"? I found a 2006 FX HO for $6k but it has 206 hours on it. I also located a 2004 kawasaki 15f but didn't know if there has been a significant change in them? Like fuel injection or something to that effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You guys have been very helpful (and this forum) have been very helpful but I think it could cost me some $$$$ :laugh:
So, I've pretty well canned the idea of the VX1100. I then began searching for strictly FX HO's and possibly the cruiser. Then I go and stumble on to cherry 2007 RXT 215 SEADOO. I had read one of outlaws posts bragging about the RXT 260. I have found that there were problems with the 2002-2005 supercharged seadoos. Did they fix the probs for 2007? Should a person stay away from a supercharged seadoo?
 

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You guys have been very helpful (and this forum) have been very helpful but I think it could cost me some $$$$ :laugh:
So, I've pretty well canned the idea of the VX1100. I then began searching for strictly FX HO's and possibly the cruiser. Then I go and stumble on to cherry 2007 RXT 215 SEADOO. I had read one of outlaws posts bragging about the RXT 260. I have found that there were problems with the 2002-2005 supercharged seadoos. Did they fix the probs for 2007? Should a person stay away from a supercharged seadoo?
Hi, hope this opinion sheds some light about Seadoo superchargers, I can say that there are little problems with pre- 2007 RXTs. Ok true the older ones had ceramic thrust washers that need to be upgraded to stainless steel at about 100 hours + or -. Not hard to do. My 2006 RXT has the stainless ones now. The other two supercharged skis I have, have not missed a beat, my 2008 GTX 215 is bascially the same exact ski no problems to date 60 hrs. The RXT-is has not had any problems with supercharger. I could say a lot more but I won't. Thats my $.02. good luck.

BTW any RXT 2007 and newer should already have stainless steel thrust washers.
 

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Hey Artic, nice to rap with you. I used to be a very avid snowmobier as well as drag racing them on ice in Upstate NY. By your name I can tell you run Artic Cats. I ran Skidoos now Seadoos. So you know when something works you stay with it. I have found the Austrian 4 stroke motors to be a cut above the rest. So if you are looking for something like what you got with Artic Cat , then buy the Seadoo. :thumbsup:
 

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Thread for RXT mods

Just thought I would let you know I have a thread showing some of my pics of mods for my 06 RXT. Here is a couple of sweet ones :2thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi, hope this opinion sheds some light about Seadoo superchargers, I can say that there are little problems with pre- 2007 RXTs. Ok true the older ones had ceramic thrust washers that need to be upgraded to stainless steel at about 100 hours + or -. Not hard to do. My 2006 RXT has the stainless ones now. The other two supercharged skis I have, have not missed a beat, my 2008 GTX 215 is bascially the same exact ski no problems to date 60 hrs. The RXT-is has not had any problems with supercharger. I could say a lot more but I won't. Thats my $.02. good luck.

BTW any RXT 2007 and newer should already have stainless steel thrust washers.
I guess I'm leery because one of my co-workers had a supercharged seadoo and she let her whole family (cousins, nephews, etc..) and it was always busted up and she complained non-stop about it. It's been a couple of years ago so I'm not 100% certain of the age of the rig.

Hey Artic, nice to rap with you. I used to be a very avid snowmobier as well as drag racing them on ice in Upstate NY. By your name I can tell you run Artic Cats. I ran Skidoos now Seadoos. So you know when something works you stay with it. I have found the Austrian 4 stroke motors to be a cut above the rest. So if you are looking for something like what you got with Artic Cat , then buy the Seadoo. :thumbsup:
Yep, you figured me out. :D I run cats and have had great luck with them I've got one of the new 2012 procross XF high country 800's ordered and I cannot wait until it's winter again. We typically go on 5-6 trips a year and I ride everthing from rugged mountain terrain of the rockies to trails in wisconsin and some good ole ditch banging here in iowa. My friends and I used to grass drag a 2003 F7 and were fairly successful at it. We raced at Hay Days several times.
 

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1st Ride of the year post report

Hey Artic , just thought I would report how the superchargers are working on my 2006 RIVA RXT and the 2008 GTX 215. Today will go down as the best start up yet. We did the usual pre- season stuff. Totally impressed with the modded RXT ran smooth and fast or slow. With half tank of fuel we hit between 77 and 78 mph on GPS turning an amazing 8500 rpms. Running the 82 mm nozzle ring was the ticket, okay staring to ramble.

See Ya,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is probably a good way to get everybody's panties in a bunch from a newbie but we'll give it a whirl. Here is a collection of things I learned in my time spent researching these things based upon my area, this website and all available internet data:

  • I can't believe it takes a friggen supercharger to pickup 5 mph on a PWC!
  • My timing for looking to purchase couldn't be worse but there are still a lot of dream prices on craigslist. I'm not sure if they are open to low-ballers or if they truly think they can be with in a $1K of a new one on a 3-yr old machine.
  • ATTENTION ALL SELLERS: If your machine is sold, take 3 seconds out of the time spent rolling in your newfound fortune and pull the ad. Bare minimum is a nice response that "Sorry, I sold it" until you can take it down. Or, you can continually ignore numbers that pop up on your cellphone. Whichever.
  • This is a handy website and I used it just to see approximately how the rigs stack up against each other as far as top speed: R&D - Performance Kits
  • The lingo is tough to bite off from the git-go GTX, RXP, SHO, ZXI, VX, FX, SXR, XLT, FZR, FZS, Ultra, VXR, GP...... it's a foreign language and I will admit snowmobiles are probably worse. It takes a while to realize that a seadoo GTX is a "cruiser" model of the RXT
Ok, the Jetskis, :D Speaking Specifically about only 4-strokes:

Yamaha's FX HO / SHO - They're scarce, higher priced and appear to be most reliable and most widely accepted by the entire group of avid riders. They sell at a premium. The 87 octane rating on all of them is a very nice feature. Styling is not quite up to par IMHO compared to the others.

Kawasaki - F15 looks like a bargain and seem to be fairly common and have been produced since 2004? It's tough to overlook a 3 seat ski that will run 60 mph and can be had for thousands less than a yammi. Unsure about ride quality and overall reliability (not placing doubt, just don't know) Pretty neutral on the styling and time testing appearance.

SeaDoo - RXT - GTX - I had originally excluded them from my possible options but I'm not ruling them out yet. People either LOVE them and think that they're the best ever or HATE them for various reasons under the sun. The supercharged ones look like they throw down some good stock numbers but naturally aspirated, I'm probably not interested in one. PREMIUM FUEL ONLY is a big downfall IMHO. I really like the styling of the newer models.

Hopefully I haven't stepped on too many toes and if they're is any blatant falasies in my post you will politely bring it to my attention. I'm still hunting for a watercraft. Sure seems like if you keep your eyes open and you have cash, the deal will come.
 

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Artcic, this is a great thread. I have all the same questions you do looking for a used ski. Ive been riding Arctic Cats for years in the Canadian Rockies and would like to find a ski that is as superior as AC is in the sled world. My only thing is that I have had a Seadoo speedster since 96 and it has been trouble free. Naturally I was looking for a Seadoo pwc for my son and I am shocked by the # of posts on some these sites calling the Seadoo's total junk??? There definitely seems to be a consensus that seadoos are the least reliable however they still manage to lead the industry in sales volume? Lots of anecdotal incidents but Im not really getting any tech explanation as to why an NA/or turbo Seadoo would be any less reliable then a Japanese made ski? Have you read any statistics anywhere that prove the Seadoo brand is less reliable then an import ? Not trying to hijack you here but you seem to be further into the research then I am...
 

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Seadoo is the smart choice IMO

Artcic, this is a great thread. I have all the same questions you do looking for a used ski. Ive been riding Arctic Cats for years in the Canadian Rockies and would like to find a ski that is as superior as AC is in the sled world. My only thing is that I have had a Seadoo speedster since 96 and it has been trouble free. Naturally I was looking for a Seadoo pwc for my son and I am shocked by the # of posts on some these sites calling the Seadoo's total junk??? There definitely seems to be a consensus that seadoos are the least reliable however they still manage to lead the industry in sales volume? Lots of anecdotal incidents but Im not really getting any tech explanation as to why an NA/or turbo Seadoo would be any less reliable then a Japanese made ski? Have you read any statistics anywhere that prove the Seadoo brand is less reliable then an import ? Not trying to hijack you here but you seem to be further into the research then I am...
Hey there 96 speedster, glad to give my opinion on Seadoo supercharged skis since I own three of them. Like you and Artic I enjoyed snowmobiling from 1980 thru 2001, I found when you find something thats works for you, You stick with it, for me it was Skidoo snowmobiles mainly due to the dealer in OLD FORGE NY, trail banged them when suspensions were not as good as todays. Drag Raced on frozen lakes with flat tracks and chisels. So it was my gut feeling to stay with Bombardier/Seadoo. Bought my first one a 2006 RXT 215 hp. Had no problems with it. Then the new 255 hp RXT-X was launched in 2008. Not wanting to be lagging with my 215 version I modified it with a RIVA STAGE III kit. Still no problems. Three years later i finally dialed in the motor, hull and drivetrain to the way it is running now very fast and dependable. Having the right connections is key to obtaining success. Jerry Gaddis the owner of the GREEN HULK FORUM and PWC PERFORMANCE is a personal friend of mine and it was him that gave what I needed to hit the sweet spot. Check him out on Face Book he is a great guy. He only runs Seadoo and Yamaha in that order.

Okay back to Seadoo I wouldn't trade them for anything else to date. The superchargers have been flawless (They don't make turbos) The 2011 Seadoo GTI-SE just got awarded the 2011 ski off the yearby PWC TODAY over the runner up Yamaha VXS 1800, you should read that, they also lead all competitors in Tecnology with the IBR drive by wire system , brakes, S-3 hull and fit & finish. Then there is post on here about a guy went to a Yamaha and Seadoo Dealer with the Idea of buying 2 Yamaha VX cruisers instead the same dealer that sell both brands recommended the Seadoo GTI-SE and sold them to him over the Yamaha, that kinda says alot.


Most complainers of Seadoo either had pre- 2000 skis, which I believe were not as reliable, although you were running a 96 Speedster with no problems. the nineties were some rough years for the manufactuers , even the mighty ARTIC CAT shut down production of TIGERSHARK skis. The other people IMO were not the brightest bulbs in the house when it came to owning and maintaining your stuff, and any one that lends out there rides is asking for trouble by letting novice drivers abuse them. Would you guys let people have a free for all on your sleds/skis? Didn't think so. Ok next you can find RXT's and other great Seadoo skis for $4000-$8000 for model years ranging from 2004 - 2008.

As far as statistics go I don't have broad numbers, but I can tell you 6 or 8 of group of guys all run Seadoo, 1 guy runs a Yamaha FZR but he feels outnumberd, all of us swear by Seadoo and laugh at the Nay Sayers because we all know better from seaons of hard use on our skis

We were out today on the upper bay and the percentages of skis seen in the water and running were led By Seadoo, then Yamaha and a couplel of older Kawasakis. I personally ran with some modified Seadoos and a FZR Yamaha , and a Stock 2010 RXT-X, neither could hang with us on speed runs

I also have found the Austrian made 4 strokes a cut above the Jap versions. European four strokes have always IMO have been better, look at the car motors, also no harm intended but one has to think of the uncertainty of Japan's viability going forward.

OK enough said for now:thumbsup:
 

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Thanks Outlaw. I dont want to jack this guys thread but I am glad to hear someone that is happy with their doo. The thing is that about 80% of the used market here is Seadoo products and my own personal experience has been great with the speedster. The engines are still running great and always have. I was going to do the top ends a couple of winters ago and when I checked compression they were all equal and well within spec. The only issue ever, was caused by sucking up some sand/gravel and having to change impellers.
I personally am not brand loyal at all, I dont care what the name is on it as long as it performs well and is reliable. Thanks for describing your experience with Seadoo. I really wish I knew how they got the rep for being unreliable. It seems that maybe because they are so popular they are experiencing a backlash by cynical types who tend to bash anything except their brand??
 
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