1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Specs and Review
The Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was the second model in the 4th generation Sea-Doo XP series. The XP Limited 951 inherited its “parabolic” hull from the 1997 XP 800, but it utilized a more powerful, Rotax 947 R.A.V.E. engine rated at 130 HP. This ski made its debut in 1998 and was replaced by the more advanced Sea-Doo XP DI in 2003.
If you want to find out more about this iconic Sea-Doo, you’ve come to the right place.
We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 review!
1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited Review
The 4 Sea-Doo XP Generations
The history of Sea-Doo’s legendary XP series started in the 1991 model year. In the following years, this model underwent numerous changes over several generations, including:
- 1991-1992 Sea-Doo XP 580 (587) – 1st GEN
- 1993 Sea-Doo XP 650 (657) – 2nd GEN
- 1994 Sea-Doo XP 657x (657x)- 2nd GEN
- 1995 Sea-Doo XP 720 (717) – 3rd GEN
- 1995 Sea-Doo XP 800 Limited (787x) – 3rd GEN
- 1996 Sea-Doo XP 800 (787) – 3rd GEN
- 1997 Sea-Doo XP 800 (787) – 4th GEN
- 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited (951) – 4th GEN
- 2003-2004 Sea-Doo XP DI (951) – 4th GEN
You can learn all about the other models by following the links above!
1998 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Review
The 4th generation Sea-Doo XP series was revealed in 1997 when the 1997 XP 800 was introduced.
Unlike the outdated XP models, this all-new craft featured an outstanding futuristic design. The innovative top deck had been redesigned from scratch and came with many innovative features.
The X-4 hull was also replaced by the all-new “parabolic” XP platform, which was carried over to the 1998 XP Limited with some minor changes.
This new ‘98 model was known by many different names, such as the 1998 Sea-Doo XP 951, Sea-Doo XP 947, Sea-Doo XP 130, or just Sea-Doo XP Ltd.
Regarding dimensions, the ‘98 XP Limited was 107 inches long, 43.7 inches wide, and 40.6 inches high. This means that the new model was 1 inch longer and 2.7 inches wider than its predecessor.
Many riders claimed that its parabolic “hourglass-shaped” hull profile offered a vastly different riding experience than the X-4 platform. This innovative design routed water down the hull’s sides, so it wasn’t stored by the chines or the side rail. The concave areas generated a suction force on the hull’s lower side, gluing the ski to the water.
On earlier XP models with the X-4 and SP hulls, finding the right riding position was often tricky, as these skis offered a “lean-out” riding style. In contrast, the concave 4th generation XP hull required the rider to lean into the turns like on a motorbike.
Although this hull offered an amazing riding experience, it was slightly underpowered with the 110 HP engine option in the ‘97 XP.
So, Sea-Doo replaced the 110 HP Rotax 787 with the more powerful Rotax 947 for the 1998 season, which solved this problem. This all-new power source was a 951cc, 2-stroke twin rated at 130 HP. It came with many advanced features, including:
- R. A.V.E. (Rotax Adjustable Variable Exhaust) valves
- 2 x Mikuni BN-46I diaphragm-style carburetors
- Variable-rate oil injection system
- GP-style air intake system
- Reed valve intake system
- Handlebar-mounted start/stop button
- Electric start
- Digitally encoded theft-deterrent system (D.E.S.S.)
- Canted engine position
The engine was also moved towards the bow and mounted in a canted position, providing a lower center of gravity. Unusually, the engine was placed beneath the front hood instead of the seat.
The downside of this unique design was that it made the engine much harder to work on.
This means that on the 1998-2004 Sea-Doo XP models, the oil pump, carburetors, and the starter were not easy to access. If you wanted to work on these units, you typically had to take out the exhaust pipe first.
Like the top deck and the hull, most features were carried over from the previous year.
The ski was equipped with the Sea-Doo-exclusive “Direct Action Suspension” saddle featuring a hinge on its front and a shock absorber behind its rear. It looked like a motorcycle saddle as it featured a hump and was raised towards the rear.
This shock absorber provided more comfort on choppy waters, but it also compressed in quick turns, resulting in a lower center of gravity.
Unlike the completely yellow ‘97 XP, the new model returned with a black hull and a grey hood cover.
The latter housed the adjustable mirrors, a small glove box, and large dashboard, including a trim indicator gauge, speedometer, tachometer, and a fuel gauge with a low oil warning light.
Under the hood, there was a hidden plastic tray, which was a great place to store small items. Removing this tray allowed access to the engine bay.
Standard features of the 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 were as follows:
- Watertight front storage
- Safety lanyard
- Dual mirrors
- Rear grab handle
- Integrated GP-style air intake system
- Electric trim system (VTS)
- Tow hook
- Front and rear eyes
- Fuel gauge (with low-oil warning light)
- Trim indicator gauge
- Monitoring beeper
- Bilge drain plug
- Fuel valve
- Tool kit
- D.E.S.S. key
There’s no question that the Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was a high-performance racing PWC offering a motocross-like experience. It was capable of quick turns and aggressive accelerations.
Although it was rated for two riders, its smaller body became very unstable with two adult riders, so this ski was always considered a solo machine.
Its deep-V hull sat very low in the water, making the ski harder to get on plane. On the other hand, the hull did really well in rough water conditions.
Although this model instantly became popular among riders, it came with some design flaws.
Generally speaking, due to its high performance and complex systems, the Rotax 947 engine proved to be less reliable and durable than 787 and 717 engines. It also burned much more fuel and was harder to work on.
What’s more, water was also prone to leaking into the carburetors through the vent holes, resulting in a hydro-locked engine. (This issue could be easily fixed by installing block-off plates into the front vents.)
Other problems with the 1998 Sea-Doo XP were frequent electrical and drivetrain issues. The driveshaft coupler was prone to cranking or even breaking, just like the pump housing.
Consequently, if you are considering buying a used Sea-Doo XP, it’s highly recommended that you steer clear of the 1998 model.
Fortunately, most of these issues were resolved in the following years. Let’s move on and talk about those skis now!
1999 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Review
The 1999 Sea-Doo XP Limited was almost the same machine as the 1998 model, except for some of the early design flaws being fixed.
Some of the most significant changes on the 1999 XP Limited were as follows:
- Dual coil ignition system
- Updated driveline with a more advanced coupler
- Minimal graphic changes
2000-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Review
The 2000-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited models are considered to be the best carbureted 4th generation XP models.
These skis saw some important upgrades, the most important of these were as follows:
- Redesigned air vent hoses (less risk of engine flooding)
- Exhaust water injection was fixed
- Minimal weight increase (551 to 561 pounds)
- Different, black and grey based color scheme
It’s safe to say that the most important upgrade on the 2000-2002 models was the redesigned air vent hoses. The new design kept water away from the hoses, so it was less likely to get into the carburetors.
(On the ‘98-‘99 models, this issue was typically fixed by installing a rubber block plate under warranty.)
The ski also got a black-based color scheme with a silver seat and hood completed with yellow mats and decals.
By 2001, the top deck became grey while the hull remained black. This configuration was carried over to 2002, except for the engine hood, which was changed to black.
If you are looking for a 4th generation, carbureted Sea-Doo XP for sale, it’s highly recommended that you focus on the 2000-2002 models.
By 2000, the manufacturer had worked out most of the bugs from this model, so the XPs made after the Millennium became more reliable and durable.
Eventually, the carbureted Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was replaced by the fuel-injected Sea-Doo XP DI for the 2003 model year.
2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Specs Chart
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited specifications into these charts!
2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Dimensions
|2002 Sea-Doo XP 951||Dimensions and Capacities|
|Number of passengers||2 (refer to load limit)|
|Overall length||272 cm (107 in)|
|Overall width||112 cm (44.1 in)|
|Overall height||103 cm (40.6 in)|
|Weight||255 kg (561 lb)|
|Load limit||159 kg (351 lb)|
|Fuel tank||54 L (14 U.S. gal)|
|Impeller shaft reservoir - Capacity||115 mL (3.9 U.S. oz)|
|Impeller shaft reservoir - Oil level height||up to plug|
|Injection oil reservoir||4 L (1.1 U.S. gal)|
2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Engine Specs
|2002 Sea-Doo XP 951||Engine Specs|
|Engine type||Rotax 947, 2-stroke|
|Induction type||Reed valve|
|Exhaust system||Water cooled / water injected with regulator|
|Exhaust valve||Rotax Adjustable Variable Exhaust (R.A.V.E.)|
|Lubrication - type||Oil injection|
|Lubrication - oil type||BOMBARDIER Formula XP-S synthetic injection oil (or equivalent)|
|Number of cylinders||2|
|Displacement||951.2 cm3 (58 in3)|
|Compression Ratio (corrected)||na|
|Maximum Power (approximately)||na|
|Maximum Torque (approximately)||na|
|RPM Limiter Operation @||7200 RPM ± 50|
|Type||Open circuit. Direct flow from propulsion unit|
|Fuel - type||Regular unleaded gasoline|
|Carburetor - type and number||BN 46i (Diaphragm) - Fuel accelerator pump - Quantity : 2|
2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Propulsion
|2002 Sea-Doo XP 951||Propulsion|
|Propulsion system||Bombardier Formula pump|
|Jet pump type||Axial flow, single stage|
|Impeller Rotation (seen from rear)||na|
|Transmission||Direct drive / split front and rear|
|Impeller shaft reservoir oil type||SEA-DOO synthetic polyolester oil SAE 75W90 GL5|
|Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)||~20°|
|Pivoting angle of variable trim system||na|
|Minimum required water level for jet pump||90 cm (3 ft)|
2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Electrical Features
|2002 Sea-Doo XP 951||Electrical Features|
|Magneto generator output||180 W @ 6000 RPM|
|Ignition system type||Digital DC-CDI|
|Spark plug - Make and type||NGK BR8ES|
|Spark plug - Gap||0.45 mm (0.018 in)|
|Starting system||Electric starter with reduction gear|
|Ignition timing - BTDC||na|
|Ignition timing - Note||na|
|Battery||12 V, 19 A|
|Starting system Fuse||5 A|
|Charging system Fuse||15 A|
|Gauges Fuse||15 A|
|Fuse - VTS system||7.5 A|
|Fuse - Holder relay||3 A|
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.
Sea-Doo XP Comparison Chart
We’ve also compared the key specs of the different Sea-Doo XP models head-to-head in one chart:
|Gen.||Name||Year||Engine||cc||HP||Top Speed (mph)||Weigth (lbs)||Hull Design|
|I||XP 580||1991||"Yellow" 587||580||55||45||365||I gen. SP|
|I||XP 580||1992||"White" 587||580||56||45||365||I gen. SP|
|II||XP 650||1993||657||650||70||45||373||II gen. SP|
|II||XP 650x||1994||657x||650||80||50||412||II gen. SP|
|III||XP Limited 800||1995||787x RAVE||786+||110||56||434||X-4|
|III||XP 800||1996||787 RAVE||781||110||56||434||X-4|
|IV||XP 800||1997||787 RAVE||782||110||56||525||Parabolic|
|IV||XP Limited||1998||947 RAVE||951||130||60||551||Parabolic|
|IV||XP Limited||1999||947 RAVE||951||130||60||551||Parabolic|
|IV||XP Limited||2000||947 RAVE||951||130||60||561||Parabolic|
|IV||XP Limited||2001||947 RAVE||951||130||60||561||Parabolic|
|IV||XP Limited||2002||947 RAVE||951||130||60||561||Parabolic|
|IV||XP DI||2003||947 DI||951||130||60||561||Parabolic|
|IV||XP DI||2004||947 DI||951||130||60||605||Parabolic|
1998 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 For Sale
If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 for sale. As this model vanished from the market in 2002, it’s already a collectible item, so finding one is not an easy task!
We recommend that you start your research on dedicated vintage 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 XP Limited 951s 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 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951!
What is a Sea-Doo XP Limited 951?
The Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was a high-performance 2-stroke runabout PWC manufactured by Bombardier.
What Year did Bombardier Make the Sea-Doo XP Limited 951?
The Canadian manufacturer marketed the 4th generation Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 from 1998 through 2002 (and the XP DI from 2003 through 2004).
What Kind of Engine Did the 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Have?
The engine of the 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was a 2-stroke, 951cc, Rotax 947 RAVE twin featuring two BN-46I Mikuni carbs, R.A.V.E. exhaust valves, CDI ignition, and a variable rate oil injection system.
How Much Horsepower Did a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Have?
The 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 provided 130 HP at 7,200 RPM.
How Many People Could Ride a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951?
The 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was rated for two riders, but it was actually a solo ski.
How Much Weight Could a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Hold?
The total weight capacity of the 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was 351 pounds.
What Size was the 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951?
The 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was 107 inches long, 44.1 inches wide, and 40.6 inches high.
How Much Did a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Weigh?
The dry weight of the 1998-1999 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was 551 pounds, while the ’00-’02 models weighed 561 pounds.
Did the 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Have Reverse?
No, the Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was manufactured without reverse.
Was a Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 a 2-Stroke Ski?
Yes, the Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 utilized a 2-stroke twin engine.
What Size Storage Compartment Did a Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Have?
The Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 had a total storage capacity of 5.5 gallons.
How Much Fuel Did a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Hold?
The Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 utilized a 14-gallon fuel tank and a 1.1-gallon oil reservoir.
How Much Fuel Did a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Use?
The 1998 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951’s fuel consumption was about 17 GPH at WOT.
How Fast Did a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Go?
The top speed of a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was 60 mph under ideal conditions.
Could the Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?
Although it was equipped with a tow eye, the 1998 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 was not recommended for tow sports.
How Much is a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Worth?
It’s hard to tell the exact price of a Sea-Doo XP Limited 951, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $1,000 up to $6,000.
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