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  1. #1

    GP1800R versus RXP

    I know this subject has been beat to death, but which is the better ski overall, the Yamaha GP1800R or the RXP/RXT-X 300? I've already seen the arguments for both from a performance perspective, but I'm more looking for answers in regards to the overall ownership experience longer term. How are they to live with, what's the regular maintenance like, which is the more reliable ski in the long run, etc? I've heard that the Yamaha's are hands-down the better machines from the standpoint of long-term reliability, but I owned an FX-SVHO in the past that had supercharger issues at around 100 hours that required a rebuild, and I don't want to revisit that. The only Sea-Doo I've ever owned was an old 90's 2-stroke GTi, so I have no experience with the newer models to base a decision on.

    I'm sure that either ski will give my family absolutely thrilling performance no matter which one I choose. I'm not looking to be the fastest on the lake or to do a bunch of mods to it or anything, I'm just looking to get a good solid reliable ski that will be fun to ride for me and my family. Ideally I'd also like to be able to do most of the regular basic maintenance myself as well, things like oil & plug changes, without having to be running it back to the service department all of the time.

    Also, what is supercharger maintenance like on both of these skis longer term? Somewhere I'd heard that both Yamaha and Sea-Doo have gone to a "maintenance free" supercharger design - not sure if that's truly the case or not?

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Well, there are prior threads and posts touching on this sort of thing.

    Broadly speaking, there is the engine, the riding experience, the hull, and all the bits attached thereon. The GP1800 has only been around since 2017. I have two.

    The SVHO engine has been in production longer, with multiple incremental upgrades in recent years. 2017 and onwards are well regarded and overall seem quite reliable.

    Seadoo has a long history with the friction clutches used in their super chargers. Early years had issues with failures and wear, which eventually settled down to regular rebuild intervals of 100 hours, and later models at 200 running hours. The most recent design SeaDoo superchargers do not have a specific rebuild time interval, is my understanding.

    Yamaha uses a very different drive system for the supercharger. There is a one-way clutch mounted down inside the front of the engine, below the supercharger. The clutch is a replaceable part, quite doable with normal tools and mechanical skills. No scheduled service or replacement interval.

    Both clutch designs are subject to wear, and eventually either can need replacement. My understanding is that Seadoo does not offer or recommend clutch service, instead suggesting the entire supercharger unit be replaced if the clutches have become worn. I think there are aftermarket kits and repair services that will rebuild them.

    Clutch wear is generally related to how hard the ski is ridden in rough water. Every time the jet pump come unhooked over waves the clutch is stressed. Cruising on smooth waters, either supercharger system should last a long time. Ride hard and fast and often on rough water, both will eventually need service.

    The latest Seadoo have also been in the market for a short time. The new CM-Tech hull material is the subject of some concerns regarding repairability and appearance degradation.

    Apparently the new ST hull design has different ride characteristics compared to prior S and T hull types. I have not yet ridden the ST3 hull but multiple reviews have been posted plus various owner reports.

    From my perspective the most concerning reports are that the hull can be twitchy or suddenly change direction as it crosses the wake ridges behind other PWC. Unclear whether crossing larger boat wake waves at shadow angles also cause trouble.

    The 2019 GP1800R includes a scoop style ‘race’ intake grate and ride plate (very similar to the Riva ride plate) that were previously only available as aftermarket upgrades. Overall an excellent combination of ride, handling, tracking.

    From the factory my understanding is that both the Seadoo and Yamaha incorporate electronic speed limiters. Top speed in totally stock form will be the same, right around 69mph, give or take a bit.

    There are aftermarket work arounds, of course. I purchased the MaptunerX ECU engine aftermarket tune system from Riva, which allows me to choose from a menu of available tunes. And change which tune is installed in literally a few minutes.

    There are SCOM modules which remove the speed limiter but do not make any other changes to the ECU engine tune.

    Engine reliability is broadly very good on both brands. Supercharger aspects are usage dependent.

    I suggest you really try to find a way to ride each hull (the bottom part that touches the water). You may find you like or dislike one more than another.

    Then consider the top deck. That defines the ‘features’ that you see and touch. Yamaha has a fairly traditional storage layout while the ST hulls have the lift up steering to access storage.

    I will mention that the new-for-2019 Yamaha FX SVHO has a new hull design that is derived from the GP1800 hull bottom. Early reports are very positive. A little larger overall than the GP1800, and certainly not ‘the same’ as the prior FX design.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick and thorough reply on this!! That's interesting info about the superchargers - I had no idea that the type of riding had any affect on those. My other thought on all of this is to just avoid the issue altogether and go with an NA powerplant, like with the FXR (not sure which models of the SeaDoos are NA - the GTX?). Granted, those aren't quite as quick as the supercharged models, but we owned an older FXR at one point, and it was like 99% of the performance of the FX SVHO I used to have.

    Bottom line, the SeaDoos make me nervous as far as long term reliability - not sure if that feeling is justified or not though. Again, I did have the supercharger issues on my old FX SVHO, so apparently Yamaha is not completely immune to problems either.

  4. #4
    wheresmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Sounds to me like you want the FX HO

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wheresmike View Post
    Sounds to me like you want the FX HO
    What's the difference between the FX HO and the FXR?

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenk2 View Post
    ... avoid the issue altogether and go with an NA powerplant ... those aren't quite as quick as the supercharged models ... it was like 99% of the performance of the FX SVHO I used to have.

    Did you used to have FX SHO, not SVHO?

    The Yamaha SVHO engine is about 280hp, compared to the circa 180hp on the HO non-supercharged 1.8 liter engine. Said another way, the stock SVHO is about 50% more engine power. A straightforward Stage 1 Plus ECU tune moves it into the 300hp+ range.

    The biggest difference is not top speed so much as the supercharger boost to mid-range acceleration and bottom end get up and go. Top speed is faster, of course.

    Seadoo includes numbers in their PWC model name designations. Do not assume those numbers directly equate to actual hp outputs.

    Yamaha does not advertise engine power numbers, but the numbers above are in the ball park.

    All the supercharged engines want premium gasoline, typically 91 octane or better. The Yamaha non-supercharged 1.8 liter engine is happy with 87 octane.

  7. #7
    I think they are both good- I will always have a boosted ski from now on (have had na skiis since 93’) there’s no comparison to a top of the line boosted ski! I personally would choose Yamaha becase they have covered 12k in warranty claims from me so they took good care so I’ll take care of them and say they are the best, top notch company!!

  8. #8
    I'm probably not recalling correctly, I'm sure my old ski was probably an FX SHO. From what I remember of it, it did have some really good punch, but I also remember thinking when I replaced it with the FXR later on that we were pretty well satisfied with it power-wise compared to the FX SHO. Aside from the supercharger issue we had with the FX SHO, the other benefit was we found we could go pretty much all day on a tank of regular gas with the FXR no matter what kind of riding we were doing, where with the FX SHO, with any kind of horsing around at all and/or full throttle runs, we were burning through at least two tanks of premium a day. I have no doubt that either of the new skis (the GP or the RXT) are similar in their thirst for fuel, but that's the price you pay for the performance. Which we're aware of and are willing to pay, but it's just a pain having to either run across the lake to the marina and pay $5+ a gallon for a fillup (if they even have premium fuel), or trailering up and running to town once or twice a day. The other option is to trailer some of those 5 gallon fuel cans around I suppose.

    It's a difficult besides being torn between the brands, I'm also questioning NA versus supercharged...……

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Note that many of the Seadoo models have a smaller fuel capacity than Yamaha, even the 300 models tend to have tanks with about 16 US gallons. Yamaha’s have 18.5 gallon tanks, except perhaps in the EX series.

    In addition, somehow the big engined Seadoo seems to burn more fuel per mile traveled, when running fast. Last week our group rode with a fairly new Seadoo RXP 300. After a short while riding together, he was looking for a marina with premium fuel. Our four GP1800’s all still showed fuel levels of 3/4 tank or more. He said his Seadoo was full when we left the launch ramp together.

    The combination of a smaller fuel tank, and seemingly more fuel burn per mile at speed combines to create at least the perception of limited cruise range. The Seadoo low fuel warning alarm may also be factory set to trigger when there is more remaining fuel (than the Yamaha), which tends to create anxiety in the rider

    BTW, I am not familiar with FXR as a model of Yamaha WaveRunner.

  10. #10
    Wtf is a fxr?????

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