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1998-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951 Specs and Review

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:

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Unlike the outdated XP models, this all-new craft featured an outstanding futuristic design.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:

This new engine produced 130 HP, which was more than enough for this larger hull, and it offered a top speed of 60 mph.

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.

There was another smaller hood beneath the saddle, which allowed access to the carbon ring and the driveshaft.

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
  • Speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Fuel gauge (with low-oil warning light)
  • Trim indicator gauge
  • Monitoring beeper
  • Bilge drain plug
  • Fuel valve
  • Tool kit
  • D.E.S.S. key

Riding experience?

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:

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 951Dimensions and Capacities
Number of passengers2 (refer to load limit)
Overall length272 cm (107 in)
Overall width112 cm (44.1 in)
Overall height103 cm (40.6 in)
Weight255 kg (561 lb)
Load limit159 kg (351 lb)
Fuel tank54 L (14 U.S. gal)
Impeller shaft reservoir - Capacity115 mL (3.9 U.S. oz)
Impeller shaft reservoir - Oil level heightup to plug
Injection oil reservoir4 L (1.1 U.S. gal)

Engine Specs

2002 Sea-Doo XP 951Engine Specs
Engine typeRotax 947, 2-stroke
Induction typeReed valve
Exhaust systemWater cooled / water injected with regulator
Exhaust valveRotax Adjustable Variable Exhaust (R.A.V.E.)
Lubrication - typeOil injection
Lubrication - oil typeBOMBARDIER Formula XP-S synthetic injection oil (or equivalent)
Number of cylinders2
Displacement951.2 cm3 (58 in3)
Compression Ratio (corrected)na
Maximum Power (approximately)na
Maximum Torque (approximately)na
RPM Limiter Operation @7200 RPM ± 50
TypeOpen circuit. Direct flow from propulsion unit
Fuel - typeRegular unleaded gasoline
Carburetor - type and numberBN 46i (Diaphragm) - Fuel accelerator pump - Quantity : 2


2002 Sea-Doo XP 951Propulsion
Propulsion systemBombardier Formula pump
Jet pump typeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller Rotation (seen from rear)na
TransmissionDirect drive / split front and rear
Coupling Typena
Impeller shaft reservoir oil typeSEA-DOO synthetic polyolester oil SAE 75W90 GL5
Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)~20°
Pivoting angle of variable trim systemna
Minimum required water level for jet pump90 cm (3 ft)
Impeller Diameterna

Electrical Features

2002 Sea-Doo XP 951Electrical Features
Magneto generator output180 W @ 6000 RPM
Ignition system typeDigital DC-CDI
Spark plug - Make and typeNGK BR8ES
Spark plug - Gap0.45 mm (0.018 in)
Starting systemElectric starter with reduction gear
Ignition timing - BTDCna
Ignition timing - Notena
Battery12 V, 19 A
Starting system Fuse 5 A
Charging system Fuse15 A
Gauges Fuse15 A
Fuse - VTS system7.5 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.NameYearEngineccHPTop Speed (mph)Weigth (lbs)Hull Design
IXP 5801991"Yellow" 5875805545365I gen. SP
IXP 5801992"White" 5875805645365I gen. SP
IIXP 65019936576507045373II gen. SP
IIXP 650x1994657x6508050412II gen. SP
IIIXP 72019957177188550412X-4
IIIXP Limited 8001995787x RAVE786+11056434X-4
IIIXP 8001996787 RAVE78111056434X-4
IVXP 8001997787 RAVE78211056525Parabolic
IVXP Limited1998947 RAVE95113060551Parabolic
IVXP Limited1999947 RAVE95113060551Parabolic
IVXP Limited2000947 RAVE95113060561Parabolic
IVXP Limited2001947 RAVE95113060561Parabolic
IVXP Limited2002947 RAVE95113060561Parabolic
IVXP DI2003947 DI95113060561Parabolic
IVXP DI2004947 DI95113060605Parabolic

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.