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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to decide between the SeaDoo Spark 90hp 3up and the Yamaha Waverunner EX Sport, looking for some input.
We are on a smaller lake, with lots of inlets and channels, so not a lot of straight open runs, and no large waves.

Of course, I get different answers depending on which manufacturer I ask, so what are your thoughts on these differences:

1: Closed loop vs Open loop coolant.
-I think I would prefer the closed loop, one less thing to winterize. How hard is it to flush/change the coolant, and how often?
-if it extends the engine life, then that is great

2: Fuel economy
-I can't get an exact amount for Yamaha, but it is definitely not as good as the Sea Doo. Anyone have experience with this?

3: Weight / plastic vs Fiberglass
- Higher weight, does it actually make it more stable? Or less maneuverable? We are not going to be trying any tricks
- plastic- is it just as durable?

4: Cost
- surprisingly, they are actually pretty close in price. Yamaha comes with mirrors, SeaDoo comes with IBR instead of a lever.

5: Engine reliability
-I read that the Yamaha has a longer lasting more reliable engine, but SeaDoo clearly has the higher market share in my area.

Thanks for whatever input you can give, I hope to put down a deposit on two for next season!!

5 Posts
Hey reh.

We have a 2019 Spark TRixx and a 2018 Yamaha VXR (and a 2019 Kawasaki SXR1500 but, that standup has no bearing in this discussion, here).

I too am very curious about the new Yama EX Sport as our little (puddle) lake (Lake Rhodhiss, Western Carolina) sounds a lot like yours and freestylin’ is the name of the game for us and our guests.

That and it bugs me to no end that I have to unfasten on the order of 30 (or more) tiny fasteners (and disconnect a cable, etc.) just to take the top shell off the Spark in order to really access the engine, plugs, etc. Time-wise a huge PIA for me compared to swapping out oil, filter and plugs at the end of each season. (Yeah, yeah, I’ve changed the oil and filter via the 7” x 10” access hole but, with my forearms etc that is an EVEN BIGGER PIA!)

Everything about the Yamaha’s is just so dang KISS and more DIY friendly … and let’s face it, change your oil, filters and plugs regularly and the engine is gonna run forever (probably reason #1 Yamaha is the choice of rental operations …)

I don’t consider market share in my area a factor for me shopping at all. My # 1 priority was remembering “the best machine is the one that’s gonna start when you go down to your dock.”

The closed loop cooling system isn’t that big a deal as we only ride in freshwater and we’re blessed to have water that doesnt have any mineral content or anything else in it for that matter that would make a closed loop cooling system an advantage over open loop.

We have had zero problems with either the Spark or the Yamaha (we take care of our stuff, never use ethanol gas, Preventative Maintenance at end of every season, etc., etc.) but, a neighbor not so much; he will tell you he has two SeaDoos: one to ride and the other one for parts.

All things considered, and after owning all 3 (Yama, Kawa and SeaDoo) any skis we buy in the future WILL ONLY BE YAMA’s.

I am very, VERY! likely gonna be buying another free style ski for the grand-daughter in a couple years; she rode the TRixx this year and it is perfect for her little 75-lb self but, whatever we get, it’ll be a Yamaha. Yamahas naturally aspirated engines in my observation are bulletproof …

I WILL TELL YOU THIS: if you get a Spark:

1) get the 2-up (otherwise you’d Def be better off with the EX Sport);
2) PAY UP for the Triix package
3) INVEST in the Riva Racing sponsons (I had dealer install them as part of my purchase) and
4) MOST DEF GET the Riva intake grate

So, you’re looking at closer to $13,000 but, you will be able to do stuff and have fun in ways you just can’t do with the stock sponsons or intake grate.

If I were not willing or able to pay the extra $3,000 for items 2, 3 and 4 above then IME there isn’t any question: I’d get the EX Sport.

Best o’ Success no matter which you choose and, Keep Us Posted!

63 Posts
All great questions you are asking. I have Kawasaki STXs but were considering both choices. 1. None were available 2. Wasn’t going to fit our family so I decided to go larger.

On a Lake closed or open doesn’t matter. I like the close loop, maybe less can clog the cooling passages. Did flush and fill a friends pair of GTI130, didn’t take too long to flush 2x and refill with coolant. I use mine primarily in saltwater and flush after every use.

I don’t think the Yamaha is fiberglass, uses Nanocell technology. All Kawasaki are fiberglass.

Kawasaki also uses a lever for reverse
Don’t think it’s designed for braking like the IBR. Never had to use it to stop, if that is something important to you then get the IBR or up to the EX Deluxe.

Both have very small storage and tank. Even though it says seats 3, keep in mind the weight capacity at only 450, that’s like 2 people in my family.

Yamaha gets the nod for reliability but always go with dealer/service location, then price. Don’t think you can go wrong with either one, good luck and keep us posted.
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