1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 (717) Specs and Review [Video]
The 2-seater Sea-Doo GS 720 (a.k.a. GS 717) was a basic version of the high-performance GSX 800 and GSX Limited. This entry-level 2-stroke Sea-Doo shared its platform with the GSX line, but it came without any trim or gauges. It was also powered by the smaller, single-carb Rotax 717 engine option.
If you want to learn all about this basic 2-stroke Sea-Doo, you’ve come to the right place.
We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Sea-Doo GS 720 review!
Sea-Doo GS 720 Review
Sea-Doo released its popular 2-seater GS line with the introduction of the 1996 GSX 800. The main idea behind this model was to create a bridge between sporty 2-seater (XP and HX) and large 3-seater models.
By 1997, this family had been expanded with the entry-level GS and the more advanced GSI. Over the years, the Canadian manufacturer offered the GS in five different configurations, including:
- 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 (Rotax 717)
- 1997 Sea-Doo GSI (Rotax 717)
- 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 (Rotax 787)
- 1998-1999 Sea-Doo GSX Limited (Rotax 947)
- 1999-2001 Sea-Doo GSX RFI (Rotax 787 RFI)
It’s safe to say that the GS and the GSI were almost identical to the GSX, with the exception of the following differences:
|Engine||Rotax 717||Rotax 717||Rotax 787 and 947|
|Gauges||Fuel gauge||Infocenter||Infocenter and Tachometer|
These models shared the same GS platform measuring 105 inches in length, 45.7 inches in width, and 39 inches in height. Compared to 3-seater models, the GS was smaller and much lighter as well, as it only weighed 500 pounds.
Due to this wider hull, the GS family was more stable and predictable than the nimble HX and XP, which could barely carry a passenger. However, the GS was also quite tippy with an adult passenger, especially at lower speeds.
Therefore, the GS was considered a solo ski rather than a family PWC.
Unlike its high-performance GSX siblings, the base Sea-Doo GS was powered by a single-carb Rotax 717 engine. This 718cc, 85 HP, 2-stroke twin came with many advanced features, including:
- CDI ignition
- Variable-rate oil injection
- Rotary valve induction
- Open-loop water cooling
- 2 x NGK BR8ES spark plugs
- 1 x Mikuni BN 40I carburetor
- Electric starter
The key advantage of this 717 engine was its simplicity, as it was the most powerful carbed 2-stroke Sea-Doo engine without the RAVE exhaust valves.
(RAVE valves were used in each Rotax 787 and 947 engines regardless of the fuel system.)
These power valves ensured higher performance but required annual maintenance and made the engine less reliable.
Due to its smaller engine, the GS offered a more moderate performance than its more powerful counterparts. While the high-end GSX Limited topped out at 60 mph, the GS could only reach 50 mph under ideal conditions.
It was also equipped with a variable rate oil injection system utilizing a 1.6-gallon oil reservoir. Thanks to this advanced technology, refueling the ski was more convenient as riders didn’t have to premix the fuel.
The top deck of the GS housed a front storage basket equipped with two small separate waterproof storages. These were meant for storing a fire extinguisher, tool kit, operator’s manual, and personal belongings.
The one-piece saddle could accommodate two adult riders, but the GS was mainly considered to be a solo machine. Its V-shaped hull offered smooth and predictable operation along with great turning abilities.
Regarding fuel consumption, the GS burned 8.7 gallons per hour at WOT, so its 15-gallon fuel cell offered a cruising time of 1 hour and 44 minutes.
This entry-level 2-stroke Sea-Doo was known for great handling, an affordable price tag, and low maintenance. However, it never became as popular as the high-performance XP and HX models.
This is because the GS was a kind of a “Jack of all trades, master of none” machine intended for beginner riders. It didn’t offer exciting rides and lacked the stability and towing capacity of the 3-seaters.
Standard features of the 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 included:
- One-piece seat rated for two riders
- Handlebar-mounted start/stop button
- Front storage basket
- 15-gallon built-in fuel tank
- 1.6-gallon oil reservoir
- Electric start
- Tether cord
- 3-position fuel valve (ON, OFF, RES)
- Fuel gauge
- Overheating warning device
- Ski tow eye
- Full deck pads
- Thumb throttle
- Bilge drain plugs
- Rear grab handle
- Tool kit
- D.E.S.S. key
In the 1997 model year, the manufacturer offered a GS model with more features, namely the GSI. It was equipped with electric trim and an infocenter gauge.
While the GSI was only available in the ’97 season, Sea-Doo marketed the base GS from 1997 through 2000 without any significant changes.
The last model in this family was the fuel-injected GSX RFI, which was manufactured until the 2001 season.
After that, to the greatest regret of the fans, Sea-Doo discontinued its entire 2-stroke GS line.
1997 Sea-Doo GS 720 Specs Chart
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 1997 Sea-Doo GS 720 (717) specifications into these charts!
1997 Sea-Doo GS 720 Dimensions
|1997 Sea-Doo GS 720||Dimensions and Capacities|
|Number of passengers||2|
|Overall length||267 cm (105 in)|
|Overall width||116 cm (45.7 in)|
|Overall height||99 cm (39 in)|
|Weight||227 kg (500 lb)|
|Load limit||165 kg (364 lb)|
|Fuel tank||56.5 L (15 U.S. gal)|
|Impeller shaft reservoir - Capacity||90 mL (3 U.S. oz)|
|Impeller shaft reservoir - Oil level height||up to plug|
|Injection oil reservoir||6 L (1.6 U.S. gal)|
1997 Sea-Doo GS 720 Engine Specs
|1997 Sea-Doo GS 720||Engine Specs|
|Engine type||Rotax 717, 2-stroke|
|Induction type||Rotary valve|
|Exhaust system||Water cooled / water injected|
|Lubrication - type||Oil injection|
|Lubrication - oil type||BOMBARDIER ROTAX injection oil|
|Number of cylinders||2|
|Displacement||718 cm3 (43.81 in3)|
|RPM Limiter Operation @||7000 RPM ± 50|
|Cooling Type||Water cooled, total loss type. Direct flow from propulsion unit|
|Fuel - type||Regular unleaded gasoline|
|Carburetor - type and number||Mikuni BN 40I (Diaphragm type) Quantity :1|
1997 Sea-Doo GS 720 Propulsion
|1997 Sea-Doo GS 720||Propulsion|
|Propulsion system||Bombardier Formula pump|
|Jet pump type||Axial flow, single-stage|
|Impeller Rotation (seen from rear)||na|
|Impeller shaft reservoir oil type||SEA-DOO synthetic polyolester oil 75W90 GL5|
|Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)||~ 26°|
|Pivoting angle of variable trim system (GSI model)||na|
|Minimum required water level for jet pump||90 cm (3 ft)|
1997 Sea-Doo GS 720 Electrical Features
|1997 Sea-Doo GS 720||Electrical Features|
|Magneto generator output||160 W @ 6000 RPM|
|Ignition system type||CDI|
|Spark plug - Make and type||NGK, BR8ES|
|Spark plug - Gap||0.5-0.6 mm (.020 - .024 in)|
|Starting system||Electric starter|
|Battery||12 V, 19 A|
|Starting system Fuse||5 A|
|Charging system Fuse||15 A|
|Fuse - VTS system||na|
|Fuse - Holder relay||na|
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.
Sea-Doo GS 720 For Sale
If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a Sea-Doo GS 720 for sale. As this model vanished from the market in 2000, it’s already a collectible item, so finding one is not an easy task!
We recommend that you start your research on dedicated Sea-Doo forums and Facebook fan groups. Aside from some good deals, you may find some valuable info there about this ski.
Besides these sources, you may also find some used Sea-Doo GS 720s for sale on Craigslist, PWC Trader, and other dedicated jet ski swap sites.
As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the Sea-Doo GS 720!
What is a Sea-Doo GS 720?
The Sea-Doo GS 720 was a base 2-stroke Sea-Doo manufactured around the Millennium.
What Year did Sea-Doo Make the GS 720?
Sea-Doo marketed the GS 720 from 1997 through 2000.
How Many People Could Ride a Sea-Doo GS 720?
The Sea-Doo GS 720 was rated for two riders.
What Size was the Sea-Doo GS 720?
The Sea-Doo GS 720 was 105 inches long, 45.7 inches wide, and 37 inches high.
How Much Did a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Weigh?
The dry weight of the Sea-Doo GS 720 was only 500 pounds.
What Kind of Engine Did the 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Have?
The power source of the Sea-Doo GS 720 was a single-carb Rotax 717 engine (718cc, 2-stroke twin).
How Much Horsepower Did a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Have?
The Sea-Doo GS 720 provided 85 HP at 7000 RPM.
Did the 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Have Reverse?
No, the Sea-Doo GS 720 came without reverse.
What Size Storage Compartment Did a Sea-Doo GS 720 Have?
The Sea-Doo GS 720 featured only a smaller bow storage basket.
How Much Weight Could a Sea-Doo GS 720 Hold?
The total weight capacity of the Sea-Doo GS 720 was 364 pounds.
How Much Fuel Did a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Hold?
The Sea-Doo GS 720 utilized a 15-gallon fuel tank.
How Much Fuel Did a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Use?
The fuel consumption of the Sea-Doo GS 720 was about 8.7 GPH at WOT.
Could the 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?
No, the Sea-Doo GS 720 was rated for two riders, so it wasn’t recommended for tow sports.
How Fast Did a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Go?
The top speed of a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 was 50 mph in stock condition.
Was a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 a 2-Stroke Ski?
Yes, the Sea-Doo GS 720 utilized a 2-stroke twin engine.
How Much is a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720 Worth?
It’s hard to tell the exact price of a 1997-2000 Sea-Doo GS 720, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $500 up to $2,000.
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