2004-2010 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Specs and Review [Video]
The RXP 215 was one of the most iconic Sea-Doos in history, as it was the first supercharged Sea-Doo “musclecraft” powered by a 4-stroke, 215 HP Rotax engine. The Canadian manufacturer marketed the RXP 215 from 2004 through 2010, while its naturally-aspirated, 155-HP sibling was offered for only two short years (2007-2008).
If you want to learn all about this legendary Sea-Doo, you’ve come to the right place.
We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Sea-Doo RXP 215 review!
Sea-Doo RXP 215 Review
Sea-Doo introduced the high-performance RXP line for the 2004 season. This all-new family replaced the deservedly-popular XP DI, which was still available in that year.
During the following years, the RXP line underwent five different generations, including:
- 2004 – 2010: RXP 215
- 2007 – 2008: RXP 155
- 2008 – 2011: RXP-X 255
- 2012 – 2015: RXP-X 260
- 2016 – RXP-X 300
The first family member was the RXP 215, which debuted for the 2004 model year. Aside from this new ski, most of the 2004 Sea-Doo models hadn’t been changed for this year. Surprisingly, many of them even returned with the previous year’s color scheme.
This was no accident since the manufacturer was completely focused on developing the all-new RXP 215.
And they did a very good job!
Unlike its 2-stroke XP predecessors, the RXP 215 utilized a supercharged 4-stroke Rotax 1503 engine. The key features of this power source were as follows:
- 1494cc, 3 cylinder in-line
- Rotax Multipoint Fuel Injection
- Induction type: supercharger with intercooler
- 12 valves (4 valves per cylinder) – SOHC
- Dry sump oil injection system
- Closed-loop cooling system
- NGK DCPR8E spark plugs (x3)
- Electric starter
Contrary to popular belief, the 2004 RXP 215 was not the first supercharged Sea-Doo, but the 2003 GTX 4-TEC SC was. This model utilized the same base supercharged Rotax 1503 engine but lacked the intercooler, so its performance was only 185 HP.
It seems Sea-Doo reserved the “big bang” for the high-performance RXP 215, released a year after the GTX 4-TEC SC.
Thanks to its more advanced intercooled supercharger, the new RXP cranked out an incredible 215 HP at 8,000 RPM.
This performance was 30% greater than any of its rivals’ offerings, making the RXP by far the most powerful PWC at that time.
Keeping durability in mind, this engine came with titanium valves and a “big bore” design, meaning that it utilized a short-stroke (63.4mm) and big-bore (100 mm) engine configuration. (You can find similar engines in sportbikes with 4-cylinder, in-line engines.)
The reduced piston travel increased engine longevity, as it put less wear and tear on the internals.
Sea-Doo also borrowed the removable engine access panel from Honda PWCs. This cover wrapped a good portion of the engine compartment, but it was still easy to remove.
Engine power was delivered to an axial-flow, single-stage Bombardier Formula pump housing a 4-blade, stainless-steel impeller.
This propulsion system and engine were nestled in the all-new RXP platform, measuring 121 inches in length, 47 inches in width, and 41 inches in height.
The hull of the RXP was based on the entry-level GTi, but it came with front spray deflectors and a redesigned chine. The intake was also widened to ensure increased water demand.
Unlike the hull, the top deck was completely designed from scratch.
It featured a comfortable seat rated for two riders, but let’s face it, the RXP was much more of a solo machine. So it wasn’t surprising when the manufacturer released an optional number plate cover. This unit was intended to cover the passenger seat, turning the RXP into a one-seater machine.
As you can assume, the RXP 215 was the fastest Sea-Doo in the early 2000s.
Thanks to its supercharged engine, the top speed of the ski was about 65-67 mph out of the box, which could be increased up to a whopping 75 mph with some performance mods.
As far as acceleration, it could reach the 50 mph mark in about two seconds, and the 60 mph in slightly more than five seconds.
What’s more, the RXP was not only extremely fast, but it offered very agile handling as well. Its lightweight feel and excellent cornering abilities allowed the rider to easily throw the ski around. On the other hand, this hull design proved slightly unstable in rough water conditions.
The riding position was also tuned for performance rather than comfort. To this end, the convenient, high handlebar position was replaced with a lower, much more aggressive design. The rider position was also moved forward, providing a more athletic attitude.
This new top deck arrangement and handlebar angle ensured better control over the machine, which came in handy, especially in corners. Racers and performance-minded riders appreciated the RXP’s aggressive handling and quick turning abilities.
For safety reasons, Sea-Doo released the RXP 215 with two different DESS keys. The regular key provided unleashed performance, while the learning key could electronically restrict the top speed.
Regarding control buttons, the left handlebar featured the Mode/Set buttons, the Start/Stop button, and the VTS (variable trim system) controls.
One of the few drawbacks of this machine was its outdated thumb-throttle mounted on the right handlebar.
Unlike modern trigger levers, the thumb throttle was uncomfortable and tiring to use over long rides. (This is why the upgraded RXP-X already came with a trigger throttle.)
Like its flagship GTX brothers, the RXP was also equipped with convenience features, including the manual reverse system, O.P.A.S. fins, roomy storage compartments, and fender cleats.
To be more precise, the features of the 2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 included:
- Handlebar-mounted start/stop button
- Handlebar-mounted function buttons
- Variable Trim System (VTS)
- Large front storage
- Glove box
- Rear storage basket
- One-piece seat with seat strap
- Electric start
- Safety lanyard
- 2 gauges (speedometer, tachometer)
- GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver
- Info display
- Mooring cleats
- Off-Power Assisted Steering (O.P.A.S.)
- Overheating warning device
- Bow and stern eyes
- Ski tow eye
- Bilge drain plugs
- Flushing connector
- Side vanes
- Rear grab handle
- Manual reverse
- Tool kit
- DESS security system
Its large dashboard featured an analog speedometer, an analog tachometer, and a 19-function info display. The Gauge Functions of this info panel included:
- Digital Tachometer: Indicates the revolution per minute (RPM) of the engine.
- Digital Speedometer: Indicates the speed of the watercraft in miles per hour (MPH) and kilometers per hour (km/h).
- Depth Gauge (if so equipped): It continuously displays the water depth under the hull within 0 to 50 meters (0 to 170 feet).
- Compass: Displays the cardinal points to indicate the orientation of the watercraft.
- Average Speed: The information center approximately calculates and displays the average speed (AV KM/H or AV MPH) of the watercraft since the last engine start.
- Distance: (KM or MILES) The information center approximately calculates the distance based on the operation time and the watercraft speed and displays the result in kilometers (KM) or miles (MILES).
- Hourmeter: Displays the time in hours of the watercraft usage (HOUR).
- Water Temperature: Displays the water temperature of the water surface (L TEMP) in degrees Celsius (C) or Fahrenheit (F).
- Exterior Temperature (if so equipped): Displays the exterior air temperature (E TEMP) in degrees Celsius (C) or Fahrenheit (F).
- Trip Hour Meter: (TRIPMTR) Allows to measure an interval of time in hours and minutes (hh:mm).
- VTS Position Indicator (if so equipped): The VTS position indicator shows the riding attitude of the watercraft.
As a result of its innovative features and amazing performance, the RXP 215 won several awards, including Watercraft World magazine’s “Watercraft of the Year.”
These media appearances brought a lot of attention to the RXP, making it the most popular Sea-Doo and the best-selling PWC for years.
The legendary RXP 215 was marketed from 2004 through 2010, along with the naturally-aspirated RXP 155 (2007-2008) and the more powerful RXP-X 255 (2008-2011).
Sea-Doo RXP 215 Problems
Although it was an amazing watercraft in its time, the RXP 215 had some definite drawbacks.
Let’s take a close look at each!
Hefty Price Tags
This Sea-Doo’s first and most noticeable drawback was its hefty price tag.
Despite all efforts, the manufacturer couldn’t keep the price of the 2014 RXP 215 under the $10,000 boundary. With its price tag of $10,399, this model was one of the most expensive PWCs in the marketplace.
Ceramic Supercharger Washers
It’s safe to say that the biggest problem with the RXP 215 was its weak supercharger washers.
Just like any early supercharged Sea-Doo, the RXP also featured ceramic supercharger washers, which were prone to falling apart. Pieces of the broken washers found their way into the oil system, causing major engine damage.
The ceramic washers in these models had to be replaced with metal units before they broke to avoid these issues.
Sadly, the manufacturer continued using ceramic washers in their supercharged Sea-Doos until early 2008. Since then, Sea-Doo supercharges have come with metal washers as standard.
RXP 215 OPAS Issues
Although the Off-Throttle Assisted Steering (O.P.A.S.) was a revolutionary idea, it wasn’t perfect.
The most common complaint against this system was that it automatically activated on rough waters, causing an undesired “bumpy” riding experience.
Since the O.P.A.S. was controlled by pump pressure, the fluctuating pressure caused by the chop often fouled its sensors.
Because of this, many riders removed the O.P.A.S. rudders from their Sea-Doos.
2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Specs Chart
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the Sea-Doo RXP 215 specifications into these charts!
2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Dimensions
|2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215||Dimensions and Capacities|
|Number of passengers||2 (refer to load limit)|
|Overall length||307 cm (121 in)|
|Overall width||120 cm (47 in)|
|Overall height||104 cm (41 in)|
|Load limit||243 kg (536 lb)|
|Fuel tank (including reserve)||60 L (15.9 U.S. gal)|
|Fuel tank reserve (from low level signal)||15 L (4 U.S. gal)|
|Cooling system (coolant)||5.5 L (5 U.S. qrt) total|
|Engine oil||3 L (2.7 U.S. qt) oil change w/filter - 4.5 L (4.1 U.S. qt) total|
2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Engine Specs
|2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215||Engine Specs|
|Engine type||BOMBARDIER-Rotax 1503, 4-stroke, SOHC (Single Over Head Camshaft) liquid-cooled|
|Number of cylinder||3 in-line|
|Number of valve||12 valves (4 per cylinder) with hydraulic lifters (no adjustment)|
|Exhaust system||Water cooled / water injected with regulator|
|Induction type||Mechanically-driven supercharger with intercooler supplied directly from propulsion unit|
|Displacement||1494 cm3 (91.2 in3)|
|RPM Limiter Operation @||8000 RPM|
|Bore||100 mm (3.9 in)|
|Stroke||63.4 mm (2-1/2 in)|
|Cooling Type||Liquid cooled. Closed circuit. (see also exhaust system)|
|Coolant||Ethylene-glycol 50%/50% antifreeze/water. Coolant containing corrosion inhibitors for internal combustion aluminum engines|
|Fuel injection||Rotax EMS (engine management system). Multipoint Fuel Injection. Single throttle body (52 mm (2.04 in))|
|Lubrication type||Dry sump (2 oil pumps). Replaceable oil filter. Water-cooled oil cooler.|
2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Liquids
|2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215||Liquids|
|Fuel type||Recommended: Premium unleaded gasoline - Inside North America: 90 (R + M)/2, Outside North America: 95 RON for optimum performance - Minimum: Regular unleaded gasoline - Inside North America: 87 (R + M /2) - Outside North America: 91 RON|
|Coolant||Ethylene-glycol 50%/50% antifreeze/water. Coolant containing corrosion inhibitors for internal combustion aluminum engines|
2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Propulsion
|2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215||Propulsion|
|Propulsion system||Bombardier Formula pump|
|Jet pump type||Axial flow, single-stage. Greased bearings.|
|Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)||~ 20°|
|Minimum required water level for jet pump||90 cm (3 ft) underneath the lowest rear portion of the hull|
2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Electrical Features
|2004 Sea-Doo RXP 215||Electrical Features|
|Magneto generator output||360 W @ 6000 RPM|
|Ignition system type||Digital inductive type|
|Spark plug - Make and type||NGK, DCPR8E. Quantity: 3|
|Spark plug - Gap||0.75 mm (.030 in)|
|Starting system||Electric starter|
|Battery||12 V, 30 Ah, Electrolyte type|
|TOPS fuse||10 A|
|Cylinder 1, ignition coil and injection||10 A|
|Cylinder 2, ignition coil and injection||10 A|
|Cylinder 3, ignition coil and injection fuse||10 A|
|Electric bilge bump fuse (optional)||3 A|
|Starting system, electric fuel pump fuse||10 A|
|EMS, start/stop circuit||5 A|
|Main fuse||2 X 30 A|
|MPEM fuse||2 A|
|Depth gauge fuse||2 A|
|VTS fuse||5 A|
|Charging system fuse||20 A|
|Information center fuse||1 A|
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.
Sea-Doo RXP 215 for Sale
If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a first-generation Sea-Doo RXP 215 for sale. As this model vanished from the market in 2010, 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 RXP 215s 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 RXP 215!
What is a Sea-Doo RXP 215?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 (a.k.a. RXP SC 215 or RXP 4-TEC SC) was a high-performance “musclecraft” PWC.
What Year did Sea-Doo Make the RXP 215?
Sea-Doo marketed the RXP 215 from 2004 through 2010, despite that a much more powerful RXP-X 255 debuted in 2008.
How Many cc was a Sea-Doo RXP 215?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 featured a 1492 cc triple engine.
Was a Sea-Doo RXP 215 a 2-Stroke Ski?
No, the Sea-Doo RXP 215 utilized a 4-stroke engine.
What Size Storage Compartment Did a Sea-Doo RXP 215 Have?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 featured a small glove box, a front bin, and an under-seat storage box with a total storage capacity of 10.7 gallons.
Was the Sea-Doo RXP 215 Supercharged?
Yes, the RXP 215 was powered by a supercharged Rotax engine.
How Many People Could Ride a Sea-Doo RXP 215?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 was rated for two riders, but it was more a solo machine.
What Size was the Sea-Doo RXP 215?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 was 121 inches long, 47 inches wide, and 42 inches high.
How Much Did a Sea-Doo RXP 215 Weigh?
The dry weight of the Sea-Doo RXP 215 was 792 pounds.
What Kind of Engine Did the Sea-Doo RXP 215 Have?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 engine was a supercharged and intercooled 4-stroke Bombardier-ROTAX 1503. This 1493cc, SOHC triple featured a closed-loop cooling system and a Multipoint Fuel Injection system.
How Much Horsepower Did a 2004-2010 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Have?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 provided 215 HP at 8,000 RPM.
Did the Sea-Doo RXP 215 Have Reverse?
Yes, the Sea-Doo RXP 215 was equipped with manual reverse.
How Much Weight Could a Sea-Doo RXP 215 Hold?
The total weight capacity of the Sea-Doo RXP 215 was 536 pounds.
How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo RXP 215 Hold?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 utilized a 15.9-gallon (60 L) fuel tank.
How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo RXP 215 Use?
The fuel consumption of the Sea-Doo RXP 215 was about 16.4 GPH at WOT.
Could the Sea-Doo RXP 215 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?
No, the Sea-Doo RXP 215 was rated for two riders, so it wasn’t recommended for tow sports.
How Fast Did a 2004-2010 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Go?
The top speed of a 2004-2010 Sea-Doo RXP 215 was 65-67 mph in stock condition.
How Fast Did a Sea-Doo RXP 215 Go from 0 to 30?
The Sea-Doo RXP 215 could reach 30 mph in under 2 seconds.
How Much is a 2004-2010 Sea-Doo RXP 215 Worth?
It’s hard to tell the exact price of a first-generation Sea-Doo RXP 215, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $4,000 up to $9,000.
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