The Greatest Hits Album: 2013 Sea-Doo RXT-X 260

The RXT-X benefits greatly from the low and angular body panels that give the runabout an aggressive look even while sitting still.

With all of the attention being focused on Sea-Doo‘s all-new entry level machine, the Spark, its easy to forget the rest of the watercraft manufacturer’s abundant lineup. As the Spark is stripped-down, frills-free, low-buck and dialed-down, there is a ski very near to my heart that is, by all intents and purposes, the polar opposite of the Spark: the Sea-Doo RXT-X 260.

The RXT-X 260 is almost hyperbolic in its opposition to its new baby brother. Priced at nearly $15,000, the high horsepower, heavily optioned supercharged blacked-out machine is unequivocally the brand’s varsity player.

Riding on Sea-Doo’s offshore speedboat-inspired stepped S3 hull, the RXT-X is long, a whopping 139.3-inches long, to be exact.

Although only slightly shorter and more narrow than a FX SHO (139.3″ and 48.2″ versus 140.2″ and 48.4″), and not nearly as tall as the aS and iS-equipped RXT and GTX (respectively), the RXT-X does sit considerably lower in the saddle than the Yamaha, 46.5-inches against the FX’s 48.4-inches tall.

It’s long, narrow and lightweight deep-V S3 hull help the RXT-X track straight through chop as well as carve glass with ease.

Although able to carry three, the RXT-X 260 feels fine with just one. The full-sized runabout is agile to whip the tail around (with enough throttle) or track straight through wind-chopped seas.

These dimensions comprise the right foundation for a full-sized three-seater PWC that can do pretty much everything you want remarkably well, particularly if what you want is to churn your local lake into a boiling pool of foam.

Powering the RXT-X 260 is the tried-and-true centrifugally supercharged Rotax 1.5L three-cylinder controlled by BRP’s iTC iControl engine management system and fly-by-wire throttle, offering a Touring, ECO and Sport mode accessible via a single toggle on the handlebars.

Now, let’s not pretend, 2014 marks the first time in a long time that Sea-Doo is at the bottom of the horsepower food chain. Both Kawasaki and Yamaha dialed up their engines’ horsepower output, the Super Vortex High Output (SVHO) cranks out an estimated 265-270 ponies while Kawasaki punches you straight in the face with an almost absurd 310HP.

Unique to all GTX and RXT models (without suspension) are these twist-lock rear deck panels that allow direct access to the battery and iBR mechanism. If only one could be additional watertight storage.

And like all full-sized Sea-Doo runabouts, the adjustable steering includes the large gauge pod, ensuring that raising or lowering the bars won’t block your view.

Nevertheless, in its current form, the 260-horse RXT-X touts all the oomph you need to sprint from 0-to-30mph in 1.7 seconds and 50mph in less than 3. But since we’re talking about a Sea-Doo, the innovative iBR braking system can bring you to a standstill in less than 100 feet.

If tight handling is more your speed, the RXT-X shines here too. As part of the X-Package, the RXT-X 260 includes three-way adjustable sponsons, allowing you to pick from Race, Sport and Freeride settings. By dropping the VTS trim down and adjusting the customizable X-Steering grips, any rider can configure the RXT-X to tailor-fit their exact preferences.

The RXT-X 260 manages to accomplish the impossible – it’s quick enough, sharp enough in the corners and appropriately equipped to meet all the needs of a speed junky, while remaining civilized with cavernous watertight bow and glovebox storage (13.7 gal), tilt steering and fuel-sipping ECO mode.

This race car-inspired sprung locking gas cap is yet another touch that shows the brand’s commitment to function as well as form.

Unlike other supercharged powerhouses, the RXT-X 260 has the option of running on 87 octane. This is clearly best applied when operating in the conservative ECO mode, which caps the top speed in the mid-to-high 40s, but also can stretch a gallon of gas further than your grandmother could a dollar bill.

This might sound like a moot point for most of you hardcore enthusiasts, but I will personally attest that the ECO mode has come in real handy after hours of pushing the RXT-X 260 hard and realizing that I had only a couple of bars to get me back to shore. If ride like me, you’ll find yourself using ECO mode more than you’d expect.

The harmony of the lightweight and stepped hull with the immediate delivery of thrust from the supercharged Rotax makes the RXT-X a strong contender for tackling rough water chop as well as glass.

It’s hard not to imagine the RXT-X 260 as the best blend of all of Sea-Doo’s Performance line. What faults the RXT-X has are minor weighed against what it does right.

Other features of included on the RXT-X is the X-Package’s deep scalloped seat and Dayglow Yellow highlights (although the 2014 model has thankfully swapped out the eye-scorching hue for pleasing Viper Red).

For the watercraft enthusiast looking for a race-ready runabout, even if you don’t want to race, the RXT-X 260 takes from every performance-bred PWC in Sea-Doo’s lineup and creates a perfectly balanced machine.

Missing from the RXT-X are the adjustable trim tabs and forward bow stabilizers exclusive to the RXT-X aS 260, or the hull extensions or narrow Ergolock seat on the RXP-X, but again, those features are specific to those runabouts to best utilize their design.

As the new 2014 model lists for $14,999, existing 2013 models are already listed between $12,500 and $14,000, which considering how many features you’re getting and that the only difference between model years is a change of color, the 2013 is quickly becoming a smart choice.

Huge thanks go to America’s Motorsports for use of the Sea-Doo RXT-X 260.

All images provided by Caleb Sims Photography

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.


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