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1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 (787) Specs and Review [Video]

1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 (787) Specs and Review [Video]

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 (a.k.a. GSX 787) was a popular 2-seater 2-stroke PWC manufactured from 1996 through 1997. This ski shared its dual-carb Rotax 787 RAVE engine with the lively XP 800 but was built on a more stable platform.

If you want to learn all about this popular 2-stroke Sea-Doo, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Sea-Doo GSX 800 review!

Sea-Doo GSX 800 Review

Sea-Doo released its deservedly popular 2-seater GSX for the 1996 season. In the following years, the 2-stroke GSX family underwent three different generations, including:

  • 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)
The main idea bahid the GSX line was to combine the stability and comfort of Sea-Doo’s 3-seaters with the speed and agility of the race-intended 2-seaters.

The first model in this breed was the 1996 GSX 787, commonly called the GSX 800.

This ski was powered by the proven dual-carb Rotax 787 RAVE engine, which was pretty much the same engine as you would find in the 3-seater GSX 800 and the sporty XP 800.Contrary to industry practice, this engine was mounted in a canted position, resulting in a lower center of gravity.

Regarding specifications, The carbed Rotax 787 was a 782cc, 2-stroke twin utilizing many advanced features, including:

Thanks to these advanced features, the GTX 800 offered an amazing performance of 110 HP at 7200 RPM. Engine power was delivered towards a standard Bombardier Formula jet pump via a direct drive system.

This engine was nestled in a shorter Sea-Doo platform measuring 105 inches in length, 45.7 inches in width, and 94 inches in height. In contrast, the XP’s X-4 hull was 106 inches long but only 41 inches wide.

Due to this wider hull, the GSX 800 was more stable and predictable than the XP, which could barely carry an adult passenger.

The dry weight of the ski was only 500 pounds, 20 pounds lighter than the XP 800, and 78 pounds lighter than the GTX 800.

Its top deck only housed one small front storage unit and a shorter, one-piece seat rated for two riders.

When it comes to riding experience, it safe to say that the GSX offered a smooth operation and great turning abilities. Its well-designed V-shaped hull made it capable of carrying a passenger, and it also handled rough waters pretty well.The fuel consumption of the GSX 800 was about 11.7 GPH, so its 15-gallon fuel tank offered a cruising time of 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Although the ski was slightly slower than the XP 800, it was able to reach speeds of 55-56 mph. The GSX was never used for closed-course racing, but it shined brightly on endurance races.

Standard features of the 1996-1997 GSX 800 included:

  • One-piece seat rated for two riders
  • Handlebar-mounted start/stop button
  • VTS trim system
  • Front storage
  • 15-gallon built-in fuel tank
  • 1.6-gallon oil reservoir
  • Electric start
  • Tether cord
  • 3-position fuel valve (ON, OFF, RES)
  • Two gauges (tachometer, info center)
  • Overheating warning device
  • Ski tow eye
  • Full deck pads
  • Thumb throttle
  • Bilge drain plugs
  • Sponsons
  • Rear grab handle
  • Tool kit
  • D.E.S.S. key
The easy-to-read dashboard housed only two gauges, an analog tachometer with a low-oil warning light and an innovative LCD multipurpose gauge. The latter offered many useful functions, including:
  • Engine hour meter
  • Clock
  • Fuel level
  • Chronometer
  • VTS
  • Tachometer
  • Low fuel
  • Low oil
  • Low battery
  • Hi-temp
  • Maintenance information
  • Trip meter
  • Average speed
  • Current speed
  • Peak speed
Sea-Doo basically marketed the GTX 800 in the same form during the 1996 and 1997 model years.

By 1998, it had been replaced with the more advanced GTX Limited, powered by the high-end Rotax 947 RAVE engine.

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Specs Chart

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 (GSX 787) specifications into these charts!

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787 Dimensions

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787Dimensions and Capacities
Number of passengers2
Overall length267 cm (105 in)
Overall width116 cm (45.7 in)
Overall height94 cm (37 in)
Weight227 kg (500 lb)
Load limit165 kg (364 lb)
Fuel tank56.5 L (15 U.S. gal)
Impeller shaft reservoir - Capacity90 mL (3 U.S. oz)
Impeller shaft reservoir - Oil level heightup to plug
Injection oil reservoir6 L (1.6 U.S. gal)

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787 Engine Specs

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787Engine Specs
Engine typeRotax 787, 2-stroke
Induction typeRotary valve
Exhaust systemWater cooled / water injected with regulator
Exhaust ValveR.A.V.E.
Lubrication - typeOil injection
Lubrication - oil typeBOMBARDIER Formula XP-S synthetic injection oil
Number of cylinders2
Displacement781.6 cm3 (47.7 in3)
RPM Limiter Operation @7200 RPM ± 50
Cooling TypeWater cooled, total loss type. Direct flow from propulsion unit
Fuel - typeRegular unleaded gasoline
Carburetor - type and numberMikuni BN 40I (Diaphragm type) Quantity :2

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787 Propulsion

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787Propulsion
Propulsion systemBombardier Formula pump
Jet pump typeAxial flow, single-stage
Impeller Rotation (seen from rear)na
TransmissionDirect drive
Impeller shaft reservoir oil typeSEA-DOO synthetic polyolester oil 75W90 GL5
Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)~ 26°
Pivoting angle of variable trim system± 8°
Minimum required water level for jet pump90 cm (3 ft)

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787 Electrical Features

1997 Sea-Doo GSX 787Electrical Features
Magneto generator output180 W @ 6000 RPM
Ignition system typeDC-CDI
Spark plug - Make and typeNGK, BR8ES
Spark plug - Gap0.5-0.6 mm (.020 - .024 in)
Starting systemElectric starter
Battery12 V, 19 A
Starting system Fuse 5 A
Charging system Fuse2 x 15 A
Fuse - VTS system7.5 A
Fuse - Holder relay5 A
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Sea-Doo GSX Comparison Chart

Engine2-stroke, Rotax2-stroke, Rotax2-stroke, Rotax
Displacement782 cc951.2 cc782 cc
Performance110 HP130 HP110 HP
Top speed54-56 mph60-62 mph56-58 mph
Carburetion(2) Mikuni BN 40-38(2) Mikuni BN 46Fuel injection
LubricationOil InjectionOil InjectionOil Injection
Dry Weight500 lbs523 lbs515 lbs
Fuel Capacity15 US gal15 US gal15 US gal
Oil Capacity1.6 US gal1.6 US gal1.6 US gal
Rider capacity222

Sea-Doo GSX 800 For Sale

If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a Sea-Doo GSX 800 for sale. As this model vanished from the market in 1997, 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 GSX 800s 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 GSX 800!

What is a Sea-Doo GSX 800?

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 was a 2-stroke 2-seater PWC manufactured by Sea-Doo.

What Year did Sea-Doo Make the GSX 800?

Sea-Doo marketed the GSX 800 from 1996 through 1997.

How Many People Could Ride a Sea-Doo GSX 800?

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 was rated for two riders.

What Size was the Sea-Doo GSX 800?

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 was 105 inches long, 45.7 inches wide, and 37 inches high.

How Much Did a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Weigh?

The dry weight of the Sea-Doo GSX 800 was only 500 pounds.

What Kind of Engine Did the 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Have?

The power source of the Sea-Doo GSX 800 was a dual-carb Rotax 787 RAVE engine (782cc, 2-stroke twin).

How Much Horsepower Did a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Have?

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 provided 110 HP at 7200 RPM.

Did the 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Have Reverse?

No, the Sea-Doo GSX 800 came without reverse.

What Size Storage Compartment Did a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Have?

The 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 featured only a smaller bow storage.

How Much Weight Could a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Hold?

The total weight capacity of the Sea-Doo GSX 800 was 364 pounds.

How Much Fuel Did a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Hold?

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 utilized a 15-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Use?

The Sea-Doo GSX 800 fuel consumption was about 11.7 GPH at WOT.

Could the 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

No, the Sea-Doo GSX 800 was rated for two riders, so it wasn’t recommended for tow sports.

How Fast Did a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Go?

The top speed of a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 was 55-56 mph in stock condition.

Was a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 a 2-Stroke Ski?

Yes, the Sea-Doo GSX 800 utilized a 2-stroke twin engine.

How Much is a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800 Worth?

It’s hard to tell the exact price of a 1996-1997 Sea-Doo GSX 800, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $500 up to $2,500.