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What is the Difference Between iBR and iDF? [Explained]

What is the Difference Between iBR and iDF? [Explained]

Contrary to popular belief, iDF is not a more advanced version of iBR, since these systems are intended for completely different purposes. What’s the difference? In a nutshell, the iBR is the brake and reverse system of Sea-Doos, while the iDF flips the rotation of the impeller to clear debris from the pump.

If you want to find out more about the difference between these systems, you’ve come to the right place.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this iDF vs. iBR comparison post!

What is the Difference Between Sea-Doo’s iBR and iDF?

Sea-Doo’s iBR (Intelligent Brake and Reverse) was released in 2008 as an industry-first PWC brake and reverse system.

Since Sea-Doos lack transmissions, their engines are connected to the impeller via a direct driveshaft.

On pre-2008 Sea-Doos the engine continuously spun the impeller while the engine was running.

This meant that at idle speed the impeller slowly moved the Sea-Doo forward.

As you can imagine, this was neither safe nor comfortable!

But everything changed in late 2008 when the manufacturer revealed its iBR system. It was designed to be a brake and reverse system for Sea-Doos, but it also offers a “neutral.”The heart of this system is a foldable reverse bucket mounted behind the jet nozzle. This bucket is intended to reverse the thrust coming from the pump and can be controlled by a lever on the left handlebar.

When the Sea-Doo is still, pulling the iBR lever causes the ski to move backward. Doing the same when it’s in motion puts the brakes on the machine, ensuring a significantly shorter braking distance.

Another key advantage of the iBR is that it offers “neutral” on Sea-Doos.

However, this system can’t disengage the propulsion system from the engine. Instead, it partially redirects the thrust generated by the impeller at idle speed. This balancing of forward-backward thrusts prevents the Sea-Doo from moving.

On top of that, the iBR is a great help when it comes to maneuvering in tight spaces and around docks.

Unfortunately, it’s a quite complex system that can break in many ways.

Unlike iBR, iDF is intended to disengage the driveshaft from the crankshaft, and change the direction of rotation.

Thanks to the iDF, the engine can spin the impeller in the opposite direction. which causes the water to move backward in the pump.

But contrary to popular belief, this reverse thrust is not used for reversing a Sea-Doo, but to clear the pump area of debris.

Due to its design, Sea-Doo’s jet pump is prone to sucking up objects like rocks, shells, plastic bags, flip-flops, and seaweed from the bottom. This debris can clog the intake grate or even the entire pump.

This is where iDF comes into play.

If your Sea-Doo’s intake is clogged, all you need to do is to stop and press the iDF button. The system will force the water backward in the pump clearing it and the intake area.


The iBR is the brake and reverse system of Sea-Doos featuring a foldable reverse bucket behind the jet nozzle.

It’s designed to reverse the thrust coming from the pump, which can be used for both braking and reversing the ski.

In contrast, iDF is a special gear nestled inside the engine. As the name suggests iDF (intelligent Debris Free system) is designed to clear the pump and the intake if they are clogged with debris.