Sea-Doo XP Model History 1991-2004 [Video]

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Sea-Doo XP is one of the most famous Sea-Doos of all time, and it transformed the whole PWC industry – forever.

Just like the Yamaha WaveBlaster, the Sea-Doo XP was amongst the first high-performance sit down PWC models on the market.

Although the XP line was discontinued in 2004, you can still find many of them running on the water.

If you are considering buying one, or would just like to learn more about this iconic Sea-Doo, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift compiled all you need to know into this comprehensive Sea-Doo XP review!

Sea-Doo XP Review

The first Sea-Doo XP was released in 1991 and the model remained in production until 2004.

During the years the XP line went through several hull and engine upgrades, and its performance grew from 55HP to an amazing 130HP, which resulted in a 60 mph top speed.

That’s why the Sea-Doo XP is considered the origin of many modern high-performance PWCs and was the flagship model in the Sea-Doo fleet until the RXP was introduced in 2004.

During these 13 years, the XP model line went through four generations. So, let’s take a deeper look at each one.

Sea-Doo XP Generations

You can learn all about the other models by following the links above!

First Generation Sea-Doo XP (1991-1992)

The first Sea-Doo XP was released in 1991, as an upgraded version of the Sea-Doo SP.

Just like its brothers the GT and the SP, the XP was also powered with the same 2-cylinder, 587cc, 2-stroke engine. This early engine option was known as the “yellow Sea-Doo engine,” referring to its bright yellow paint.

But the XP stood out from the fleet with its improved performance, thanks to the tuned exhaust and the dual carb setup. Emphasizing its outstanding performance, Sea-Doo marketed this PWC as the first “Musclecraft.”

Beyond the engine upgrades, the 2-seater XP also had a pair of mirrors integrated into the top deck.

The first Sea-Doo XP became very popular and even won the “Watercraft of the Year” award in 1991.

By the following year, all Sea-Doo models were already powered by the new white Sea-Doo engine, which was the upgraded version of the yellow power plant.

Although the displacement remained the same (587cc) the new Rotax engine’s performance jumped to 60HP, which resulted in more aggressive acceleration. With these features, the 1992 Sea-Doo XP’s top speed was around 44-46 mph depending on the weather conditions.

The other remarkable upgrade on the XP was the VTS (Variable Trim System).

Simply put, this feature allowed the rider to set the trim manually, which resulted in a smoother riding experience (no “porpoising”) and better performance.

Second Generation Sea-Doo XP (1993-1994)

Just like its predecessor, the second generation Sea-Doo XP was designed on the SP hull. It was introduced in 1993, the year when Sea-Doo became the world’s no. 1 PWC brand!

Regarding performance, the new XP power source was also upgraded to a 657cc, 70HP Rotax engine, and the pump was already made of bronze, which resulted in more durability. The electric trim was also introduced on the second generation XP. With these features, the 1993 Sea-Doo XP’s top speed was around 48 mph.

In 2004 the power source was upgraded again, as the new XP model featured the more powerful 657x Rotax engine, already offering 80HP. Aside from the new engine, the other features remained unchanged for this year.

Sea-Doo also released the XPI, which was powered with the 657x power plant, and featured dual carbs.

Third Generation Sea-Doo XP (1995-1996)

The third generation Sea-Doo XP was introduced in 1995.

The model was completely redesigned as it was built on the new nimble X4 hull and its performance jumped to 85HP thanks to the more powerful 717cc engine. In addition, the pump and the trim system were also adjusted for better performance.

Finally, with this power source, the 1995 Sea-Doo XP could reach a top speed of 50 mph under ideal conditions.

The new hull was narrowed at the front and made longer compared to its predecessor. For better handling the third generation XP already featured sponsons and the new electrical control system with a DESS key.

This new electrical system offered higher security and better engine monitoring but also led to higher repair costs in case of malfunctions.

In the same year, the limited edition Sea-Doo XP 800 was also released. This model was powered by the 787x RAVE engine, which offered an amazing 110 HP.

This engine was in limited production. Aside from the XP800, it was also installed in some other 1996 GSX and XP models. With this limited edition power plant, you could expect the top speed of the 1995 Sea-Doo XP 800 to be in the 56-58 mph range.

Fourth Generation Sea-Doo XP (1997-2004)

The fourth-generation Sea-Doo XP hit the market in 1997. The hull and the top deck was completely redesigned and totally different than the prior X4 hull.

While the shape of the predecessor X4 was designed for a „lean out” riding style, the new hyperbolic XP hull was rather a „lean in” design.

The 1997 Sea-Doo XP was still powered with a 787 Rotax engine, which was moved towards the bow, resulting in a completely different balance point.

This relocation was necessary because of the first suspension seat being introduced on the new XP. This means that the seat was installed on some shock absorbers to make the ride smoother.

As this model was 90 pounds heavier than its predecessor it resulted in a lower power-to-weight ratio and acceleration. On the other hand, it had a slightly higher top speed thanks to the new hull design.

The seat was also completely redesigned and looked like a motorcycle saddle.

Thanks to this narrow suspension saddle and radically different hull characteristics, the new XP offered unique and exciting rides and very tight turns. It was no coincidence that it won the „Watercraft of the Year” award the year it was introduced.

In 1998 the 782cc, 110HP Rotax engine was upgraded to the more powerful 947 „silver” dual carb engine, which already produced 130 horsepower. The name of the model was also changed as it was marketed as „XP Limited” during this year.

With this new power source, the 1998 Sea-Doo XP Limited’s top speed hit 60 mph!

Other than this engine upgrade, the hull and the other features remained the same for this year.

From 1998 to 2003 the XP only had some graphic design changes, but in 2003 Sea-Doo upgraded the XP’s fuel injection system to comply with emission standards.

The main advantages of the new orbital direct fuel injection were better performance, lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions.

In the end, Sea-Doo canceled the XP model line in 2004.

Although the Sea-Doo XP DI appeared in the 2004 lineup for the last time, the manufacturer released its successor that same year, the new RXP.

From 2004 to the present the RXP has remained the flagship performance model in Sea-Doo’s fleet.

Sea-Doo XP Top Speed and Performance Specs

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key Sea-Doo XP specs like top speeds, horsepowers and weights into one chart.

Sea-Doo XP Specs Chart

GenerationYearccHPTop Speed (mph)Weigth (lbs)

Disclaimer: Numbers are just for information purposes! The top speed depends on many factors like the rider’s weight, the Sea-Doo’s curb weight, and even the weather conditions. Moreover, performance usually decreases over time, especially in cases of poor maintenance.

Sea-Doo XP Horsepower Chart

Sea-Doo XP Horsepower Chart

Sea-Doo XP For Sale

Where Can You Still Find One?

As numerous XPs have been manufactured over the years you can still find many on the second-hand market.

Are you wondering where can you find a Sea-Doo XP for sale?

You can start your research on sites like Craigslist, eBay, or PWC Trader. You can also find good buys in Facebook groups and forums.

Sea-Doo XPs are so popular that you can find many online fan groups dedicated to this model, like this ‘XP Riders’ Facebook group.

Is It Still Worth it to Buy a Sea-Doo XP?

This is a typical question of many buyers, and the answer is that it depends.

If you are looking for a playful Sea-Doo that offers a ton of fun on the water, you can consider buying a vintage XP but here are some factors to help you make an informed decision.

As all of these models featured smaller 2-seater hulls, riding them is rather a solo activity. Although they offer legal rides for two people, the extra weight made them too unstable:

Beware that riding an XP is like riding a stand up jet ski on a certain level. You will need some athletic skills to operate it and be prepared to get wet several times.

Moreover, the XP is mainly recommended for shorter riders due to its small dimensions. Another drawback is that it has a very small storage compartment.

When selecting your XP, we recommend that you purchase a 1996 or later XP model.

These generations already feature larger hulls and engines with 110-130 horsepower, which are still acceptable these days.

Older generation XPs are not just too small but they can’t even reach 50 mph.

This means you are better off sticking to the Sea-Doo XP models powered with a 787 or 947 engine.

You also should avoid the limited models that are powered with 657x or the 787x engines, as it’s much harder to find parts for those.

We also recommend that you only buy a water-ready Sea-Doo XP. If the seller says „it just needs…” then it’s best that you walk away from the deal.

Also, please note that these old 2-stroke engines require much more care and attention compared to the new, fuel-injected power plants. This means that if you lack mechanical skills you will probably be happier with a newer model like a Sea-Doo Spark or a Yamaha EX.

Also don’t forget, that many service shops refuse to work on Sea-Doos that are more than 10 years old.

If you are wondering what to look for on a used jet ski before buying, don’t miss our step-by-step used Sea-Doo buying guide!

How Much Does a Sea-Doo XP Cost?

Sea-Doo XP prices range from $500 to $3,000 depending on the model, age, and condition. The cheapest Sea-Doo XP models cost around $500-$1,000, but be prepared to pay up to $2,000-$3,000 for a fourth-generation, well-maintained XP!


The Sea-Doo XP is a legendary model that changed the whole PWC industry. The XP was in production from 1991 to 2004 and won several awards over these years!

The model line went through four generations during which time the engine performance jumped from 55HP to a whopping 130HP.

Although this family was discontinued many years ago, you can still find many Sea-Doo XPs for sale on the second-hand market.

If you are considering buying a vintage Sea-Doo XP, be aware of the main pros and cons before you make your final decision:

The pros of the Sea-Doo XP:

– Low purchase price (starts from $500)
– No oil change (2-stroke engine)
– Lower weight (easy to tow with a car)
– Small dimensions (easy to store and handle)
– Unique, unbeatable riding experience

The cons of the Sea-Doo XP:

– Less reliability
– Louder than 4-stroke models
– Produce a lot of pollution
Higher fuel (and oil) consumption
– The 2-stroke oil is a hassle
– Harder to get serviced and to find parts
– Banned from many areas!

This is our short Sea-Doo XP review, we hope you like it!

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