With the introduction of Sea-Doo’s Spark into the arena of today’s supercharged, pony chasing, adrenalin pumping machines – everyone waited in anticipation. Would the Spark really bring back the nimble fun of the nineties as Sea-Doo claimed?
Jetskishop.com was among the curious, although the Spark didn’t quite fit into the mold of skis usually favored on their tour rides, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to test one out for themselves. James Tod from Jetskishop.com stated, “At the time it was a new product, so different to what’s currently on offer, that the industry didn’t know where it would fall in the marketplace.”
James Tod and his team at Jetskishop.com set out to expand their own knowledge on the Spark and what better way than to prepare one for the race season. Starting with the basic two up 90HP model, they wanted to focus on three major factors – improved handling, better hook up and of course more power.
The standard handle bars on the Spark proved too narrow for an effective racing posture, so WORX steering was installed, complemented with a set of blaster bars, ensuring a lower, broader stance over the ski for racing. WORX racing components were also the weapon of choice to guarantee better hook up, both out of the hole and throughout the race. Using WORX ride plate, intake grate and stainless pump liner, coupled with a Solas prop the Spark was actually starting to act like a race ski.
Although the power to weight ratio of the Spark is impressive the 90HP just wasn’t going to cut it, so a rear outlet exhaust and re-flash, both by WORX racing saw an extra 20HP boosting the max speeds up to 81kph.
By this stage the Jetskishop.com Spark really felt like it wanted to race, so the team had to make it really look the part. One of Jetskishop.com custom seat trims was prepared, providing extra grip to the seat and custom graphics ensuring that this ski was not to be missed on the water.
After completion, the Spark was taken on the Jetskishop.com Fraser Island Adventure – where its lighter weight proved an asset for beach launches. James Tod from Jetskishop.com stated “Although the Spark was a lot of fun it’s not ideal for longer ocean rides, which is the shops main focus for tour/adventure rides.”
It was finally ready for the Queensland Personal Watercraft Club (QPWC) ‘Tropical Heat Tour’ which hosted the first series for Spark racing here in Queensland. Wade Clucas, who is usually seen sporting the number 216 Sea-Doo RXP-X in Amateur Stock, was thrilled about racing the Jetskishop.com Spark in rounds two and three of the season.
After placing second overall in his first round Wade was hooked on racing the Spark stating, “It’s cheap, easy, simple racing, its quick but not so fast that you’re going to get into any trouble, you literally spend the entire race without releasing the throttle.” Round Three saw Clucas in third place for the day after popping the lanyard mid race, not once but three times but it’s all in good spirit.
After the final checkered flag for ‘Tropical Heat Tour’ was waved the team at Jetskishop.com were back to work, improving on the lessons learned from the first race season of the Spark. Their focus is now on modifying the lanyard, it seems that both the lower positioning of the post and claw style of the connection interferes with the positioning of the rider.
The second issue needing attention is the air intake, after a couple of laps the engine compartment heat soaks and subsequently looses a couple of hundred RPM. Wade is all too keen to get back on the track, “After these two issues are sorted, we will be back on the start line for the next round of racing”.
It was abundantly clear to those at the Tropical Heat Tour that the Sparks bring about a refreshing new band of racers, nothing too serious. Racers who were seen heckling at the start line, would come back after every moto laughing and joking with each other; proving that Sea-Doo has brought nimble fun back to the racing scene at the very least.