The new Sea-Doo GTR-X model is a performance watercraft for the pragmatist. While not the most powerful, best-handling or most advanced model in the Sea-Doo lineup, the GTR-X pairs strong performance with high-level features for a ride that will never leave most owners aching for more.
The GTR-X model is the first Sea-Doo to combine the 300 hp Rotax 1630 ACE engine with the Sea-Doo GTI hull in a craft intended to offer outstanding bang for the buck, with a base price of $16,999. The performance attitude is enhanced with a low racing-style handlebar and a racing seat with a deep rear bolster, and the GTR-X comes equipped with the same 7.6-inch display screen featured on the premium Sea-Doo GTX touring models.
The Sea-Doo GTI hull is formed with Polytec II, a BRP exclusive formula of polypropylene mixed with long-strand fiberglass. Polytec debuted a decade ago on the compact Spark models, and Polytec II is a stronger version suitable for larger models. Polytec II is easier and presumably less expensive to manufacture than a hull formed in the close-mold fiberglass-polyurethane CM-Tec process used for some other Sea-Doo models. It is smooth but does not have a glossy finish like fiberglass, and is very strong and scratch-resistant. Beaching and minor dock rubbing will not mar this surface. Stringers, motor mounts and other internal features are molded as part of the hull, creating a solid structure. The deck is formed with CM-Tec, which has a glossy surface.
This 10-foot-11-inch hull has a moderate V-bottom and wide chines that offer great stability at rest and in rough water with up to three adult passengers on board. It’s not as aggressive in turns as the race-inspired TR-3 hull under the RXP-X, and perhaps not as adept in offshore conditions as the ST-3 hull under GTX models, but it does deliver predictable handling and a comfortable, dry ride perfect for everyday, all-day fun.
Make that fast fun, if you so desire, thanks to the 300 hp Rotax 1630 ACE engine. Performance is enhanced by a supercharger producing a 12.8 psi boost through an intercooler. The engine features closed cooling, which keeps salt water out of the block and maintains a steady engine temperature regardless of the lake water temperature. Heat exchangers are incorporated within the aluminum ride plate attached to the hull bottom. The engine requires 91-octane fuel for full performance. A drive-by-wire throttle enables speed-control features, including Slow mode for long no-wake zones. There are three selectable power modes: Base, max-performance Sport, and fuel-sipping Eco.
A lever on the left-hand grip controls the Sea-Doo iBR reverse and braking system. Pull in the lever at low speed and reverse automatically engages. Release the lever for neutral thrust, and apply throttle for forward thrust. Pull in the iBR lever while underway and the reverse bucket partially lowers to scrub off speed while maintaining steering control. The iBR system is immediately intuitive and makes it easy to control the GTR-X around the dock.
Engage Sport mode and the Launch Control auto-trim function, and the GTR-X will blast off instantly and reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. We saw a best top speed of 66 mph with a full tank of fuel and a single rider on board. The Ergo-lock seat system holds the rider in place with a high rear bolster, and padded pockets in the cowl allow for a secure knee grip in aggressive riding.
Extras and Accessories
The 7.6-inch-wide display is bright and easy to read. Functions are controlled on the right handlebar module. This system does not incorporate navigation. Upgrade to the factory-installed Tech Package ($1,200) to add a 100-watt Bluetooth audio system with two speakers and a slightly larger display that pairs with the BRP Go! app on your device, which incorporates navigation, ride tracking, and the ability to find other Go! users on the water. The audio system is also offered as a stand-alone dealer-installed accessory ($1,230).
Storage spaces include a 40-gallon bow compartment that’s easy to reach from the seat, and a deep glove box in the cowl with a watertight box for a phone and a charging port. The boarding platform is equipped with LinQ attachment system mounting points that can secure a range of LinQ accessories, including a 4-gallon fuel caddy, a 4.2-gallon cooler and a gear caddy. After removing the seat, there’s good access to engine service points and the battery.
Leading competitors to the GTR-X include the 11-foot-9-inch Yamaha FX SVHO ($19,299) with its 270 hp 1.8-liter supercharged engine, 44.5 gallons of stowage, and 7-inch Connext color touchscreen display with mobile device connectivity, GPS navigation and geofencing capability. An optional two-speaker Bluetooth audio system ($449) has 50 watts of power. Kawasaki offers the 11-foot-3-inch Jet Ski Ultra 310X ($18,299) with a 310 hp 1.5-liter supercharged engine, 44.5 gallons of stowage, a generous 21.1-gallon fuel capacity, and a 7-inch TFT color display with smartphone connectivity enabling call and message notifications. The optional Jetsounds 4S audio system ($1,287) has four speakers and 200 watts of power.
You could spend more money and buy more extreme performance, but we think the GTR-X hits a real sweet spot with a perfect combination of power, handling and technology that makes it a more versatile choice for all-around use than a hyper-performance craft, from cruising to towing to, yes, going really fast.
Read Next: Boat Test: 2023 Sea-Doo Explorer Pro 170
How We Tested
- Engine: 1,630 cc Rotax inline, three-cylinder supercharged SOHC four-stroke
- Pump/Impeller: 161 mm axial-flow single-stage jet pump/3-blade, polished
- Gear Ratio: 1.00:1 Fuel Load: 18 gal. Crew Weight: 190 lb.
- Potent performance from a proven, reliable powertrain.
- Seat, handlebar and footwells are designed to lock an aggressive rider into a position of control.
- Light-gray liner makes it easy to see your stuff in the bow stowage bin.
- No competitor offers more performance and tech bang for the buck.
- A reboarding step, which should be a basic standard feature, is a $245 option.
- High-performance engine requires premium fuel.
- Racy handlebar is not height-adjustable and will be a reach for some riders who want to stand.
Pricing and Specs
|Draft (max):||Not much|
|Displacement (curb weight):||794 lb.|
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||3/600 lb.|
|Stowage Capacity:||42.5 gal.|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.5 gal.|
|Available Power:||300 hp|