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1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX Specs and Review [Video]
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There is no question that the Sea-Doo HX was one of the most exciting PWCs in history. Although it was a sit-down model, its extremely agile hull resembled a stand-up ski. The strongest competitors of the HX were the WaveBlaster 700 and the 760.
If you want to learn all about this legendary Sea-Doo, this post is for you.
We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Sea-Doo HX review!
1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX Review
Sea-Doo HX Review
Surprisingly, the history of the Sea-Doo HX started with a competitor jet ski, namely the Yamaha WaveBlaster.
When this tiny agile machine made its debut in 1993 it created an entirely new PWC category, which was the “sport class.” As the name suggests, these jet skis were designed for racers and performance-minded riders.
Encouraged by the success of the WaveBlaster, Sea-Doo decided to develop its own sport class ski to compete with Yamaha in this new racing class.
As a result of this effort, the all-new Sea-Doo HX was released for the 1995 model year.
According to Sea-Doo’s blog, the ski was inspired by a dolphin, which was reflected in its design and performance. Besides having a lively and innovative body, the HX offered plenty of power.
So, it came as no surprise when the HX became the first jet ski to win the reputable National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) IMTEC award in 1995.
The race-class Sea-Doo HX was vastly different from the other “regular” runabouts in the fleet.
It was built on a long but narrow fiberglass hull, measuring 107.5 inches in length and 33.5 inches in width.
In contrast, the 1993 Blaster 700 was only 95.7 inches long and 34.6 inches wide, while the 1995 Blaster 760 was 107.1 inches long and 40.6 inches wide.
Therefore, the HX was about as long as the Blaster 760 but 7.1 inches narrower, was made a huge difference!
The ski virtually lacked any convenience features like storage compartments, reverse, and gauges as standard.
Instead, the HX came with a few basic features, which included:
- Safety lanyard (std)
- Tool kit (std)
- 7-gallon fuel tank (std)
- Fuel tank reserve (std)
- Monitoring beeper (std)
- Rear grab handle (std)
- Extinghuisher holder (std)
- Electric fuel gauge/low oil warning light (opt)
- Multifunction gauge (opt)
- Tachometer (opt)
The minimalist handlebars were only equipped with a start/stop button and a thumb throttle since the shut-off switch and choke were mounted into a small dashboard. The latter was placed in front of the rider, where the glovebox is found on other skis.
The power source of the Sea-Doo HX was a dual-carb Rotax 717 engine rated at 85 HP. This 718cc, 2-stroke twin featured two Mikuni BN-38I carbs, CDI ignition, oil injection, and an open-loop water cooling system.
This engine powered an axial-flow, single-stage Bombardier Formula Jet Pump, the same one found in all other Sea-Doos at that time.
The fuel system was connected to a 7-gallon gas tank, which ensured only 35 minutes of riding time at WOT.
Sea-Doo HX Riding Experience
Although the HX offered a WaveBlaster-like riding experience, it was more agile due to its narrow hull. As expected, the HX was only rated for one rider as its load limit was only 250 pounds.
Unlike regular bulky runabout jet skis, the HX handled like a motorcycle on the water.
The seat on the ski was more like a motorcycle saddle as a shock absorber supported it, and its rear end hung in the air. This unique suspension seat debuted on the HX but later found its way to other high-end Sea-Doo models.
Due to this special top deck design, the engine was moved towards the front. This affected weight distribution and also made the engine harder to work on.
This is because on a regular Sea-Doo runabout, removing the seat allows convenient access to the engine. In contrast, the engine was placed under the front hood on the race-intended 3rd generation XP and the HX.
This awkward position offered less space around the engine, making maintenance and repairs more difficult.
Back to the riding experience, many riders claimed that the HX offered unbeatable handling and performance.
It featured the narrowest hull Sea-Doo ever made combined with a very deep-V design. This aggressive hull shape made the HX extremely nimble and agile. What’s more, it cut through the waves very effectively.
The hull also featured inward angled gunnel chines that bit hard into the water through turns. Simply put, the ski turned like it was riding on rails.
Besides, this feature allowed the rider to lean into the turns, resulting in a motorcycle-like riding experience.
The machine provided smoother rides on choppy waters thanks to the suspension seat. The g-forces of the turns also compressed the shock absorber, lowering the operator’s center of gravity.
However, just like the Kawasaki X2 and the Blasters, the HX was typically ridden in a standing position. This is why these race-class skis are considered to be the most “stand-up-like” runabouts.
Since the HX wasn’t designed for the highest top speed, it could only hit about 50 mph in stock condition. However, with some aftermarket mods, this could be increased into a range of 56-58 mph.
According to enthusiasts, the Sea-Doo HX was one of the funnest runabout jet skis ever built. It was capable of various sit-down jet ski tricks, including bunny hops, slides, tail stands, spins, and power slides.
On the other hand, it wasn’t the best for wave jumping as its deep-V hull was prone to cutting through the waves rather than jumping them. While Blasters were great for surfing and jumping, the HX shined in flatwater.
Therefore, this race-class Sea-Doo could keep flat water riding exciting in the long run. It was a game-changer for owners who rode on rivers and small lakes!
Although the HX became very successful on racecourses and gained many fans, it never became widely popular. Why?
Mainly because riding it required a lot of experience, practice, and athletic skills. Riding the HX hard was more like a workout!
This is why this model was definitely not a beginner ski.
Its narrow hull was extremely tippy at lower speeds and when standing still. Reboarding was also challenging on this ski, especially for bigger riders.
After falling off the saddle, reboarding from the rear was very hard. Because of this, many riders preferred “powerboarding” the ski from its side.
Since the HX wasn’t easy to ride, it never became popular among average riders.
Consequently, this model was only available for three short years (1995-1997) without significant changes. Eventually, to the greatest regret of fans, The Sea-Doo HX was discontinued after the 1997 season.
If you are considering buying a used Sea-Doo HX, make sure to test ride it before making your purchase.
Keep in mind that most people can’t ride these machines, which is why they are typically offered at lower prices!
Sea-Doo HX Modifications
Although the Sea-Doo HX was an amazing machine, of course it wasn’t perfect. This is why these machines were heavily modified by their owners.
In a nutshell, the most common modifications on the Sea-Doo HX were as follows:
- Engine upgrade (to Rotax 787 or 915)
- Factory Pipe kit
- Carbon fiber hood, rear hatch, and other body parts (the stock hood was extremely heavy!)
- Aftermarket sponsons
- Quick trims
- High-performance impeller
- Steering system
- Throttle lever
- Soft deck mats
There’s no question that one of the most common modifications on the HX was upgrading its steering system and thumb throttle. Turning the stock handlebars was very strange, like operating a steering wheel.
This is why most HXs now run with smaller, MX-style PWC handlebars with a finger throttle lever.
The HX also featured very hard plastic deck mats, which absolutely had to be replaced with a set of soft aftermarket mats.
1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX Specs Chart
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the Sea-Doo HX specifications into these charts!
Sea-Doo HX Dimensions
|1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX||Dimensions and Capacities|
|Number of passengers||1 operator|
|Overall length||273 cm (107.5 in)|
|Overall width||85 cm (33.5 in)|
|Overall height||97 cm (38.2 in)|
|Weight||177 kg (390 lb)|
|Load limit||110 kg (250 lb)|
|Hull Material||Composite (fiberglass)|
|Fuel tank||27 L (7 US gal)|
|Impeller shaft reservoir - Capacity||90 mL (3 US oz)|
|Impeller shaft reservoir - Oil level height||up to plug|
|Injection oil reservoir||4 L (1 U.S. gal))|
Sea-Doo HX Engine Specs
|1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX||Engine Specs|
|Engine type||Rotax 2-stroke, type 717|
|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)|
|Maximum Power (approximately)||85 HP|
|RPM Limiter Operation @||7000 RPM ± 50|
|Cooling Type||Water cooled, total loss type - Direct flow from propulsion unit|
|Carburetor||Mikuni BN 38I Diaphragm - Quantity : 2|
Sea-Doo HX Propulsion
|1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX||Propulsion|
|Propulsion system||Bombardier Formula pump|
|Jet pump type||Axial flow, single stage|
|Impeller Rotation (seen from rear)||na|
|Transmission||Direct drive / split FR and RR|
|Impeller shaft reservoir oil type||Sea-Doo synthetic polyolester oil 75W90 GL5|
|Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)||~ 26°|
|Pivoting angle of variable trim system||± 10°|
|Minimum required water level for jet pump||90 cm (3 ft)|
Sea-Doo HX Electrical Features
|1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX||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 (0.020-0.024 in)|
|Starting system||Electric starter|
|Ignition timing - BTDC||na|
|Ignition timing - Note||na|
|Battery||12 V, 19 A|
|Starting system Fuse||5 A|
|Charging system Fuse||15 A|
Sea-Doo HX Performance
|1995-1997 Sea-Doo HX||Performance|
|Cruising time at full throttle - Fuel tank without reserve||~ 35 minutes|
|Cruising time at full throttle - Fuel tank reserve||~ 10 minutes|
|Maximum Speed *||50 mph|
|* Top speed may vary depending on operator and passenger weight, water conditions, wind, current, altitude etc.|
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.
Sea-Doo HX vs. WaveBlaster Comparison Chart
We’ve also compared the key specs of the three Yamaha WaveBlaster generations and the Sea-Doo HX head-to-head in one chart:
|Specs||Sea-Doo XH||WB 700||WB 760||WB 800|
|Max. fuel cons. (Gal/h)||12||7.5||10.0||12.9|
|Max speed (mph)||50||44-45||44-46||44-46|
Vintage Sea-Doo HX For Sale
If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a Sea-Doo HX 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 HXs 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 HX!
What is a Sea-Doo HX?
The Sea-Doo HX was a race-class sit-down jet ski manufactured by BRP in the mid-‘90s.
What Year did Sea-Doo Make the HX?
Sea-Doo marketed the race-intended HX from 1995 through 1997.
How Many People Could Ride a Sea-Doo HX?
The tiny Sea-Doo HX was rated for only one rider and with good reason. Riding with a passenger on this ski was virtually impossible!
What Size was the Sea-Doo HX?
The Sea-Doo HX was 107.5 inches long, 33.5 inches wide, and 38.2 inches high.
How Much Did a Sea-Doo HX Weigh?
The dry weight of the Sea-Doo HX was only 390 pounds.
What Kind of Engine Did the Sea-Doo HX Have?
The engine of the Sea-Doo HX was a dual-carb Rotax 717. This 2-stroke 718cc twin featured two Mikuni BN-40I carburetors, an open-loop cooling system, and an advanced oil-injection system.
How Much Horsepower Did a Sea-Doo HX Have?
The Sea-Doo HX provided 85 HP at 7,000 RPM.
Did the Sea-Doo HX Have Reverse?
No, the Sea-Doo HX wasn’t equipped with reverse.
What Size Storage Compartment Did a Sea-Doo HX Have?
The Sea-Doo HX was designed without any storage space.
How Much Weight Could a Sea-Doo HX Hold?
The total weight capacity of the Sea-Doo HX was 250 pounds.
Was a Sea-Doo HX a 2-Stroke Ski?
Yes, the Sea-Doo HX utilized a 2-stroke twin engine.
How Much Fuel Did a Minta Hold?
The Sea-Doo HX utilized a 7-gallon fuel tank.
How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo HX Use?
The Sea-Doo HX fuel consumption was about 12 GPH at WOT.
Could the Sea-Doo HX Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?
No, the Sea-Doo HX wasn’t able to tow wakeboarders or skiers.
How Fast Did a Sea-Doo HX Go?
The top speed of a single-carb Sea-Doo HX was 50 mph in stock condition, but with some aftermarket mods, it could easily hit 56-58 mph.
How Much is a Sea-Doo HX Worth?
It’s hard to tell the exact price of a Sea-Doo HX, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $500 up to $3,000.
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