The 2013 GTR is Sea-doo’s new entry level musclecraft and last year I was lucky enough to be a part of Club BRP’s media release where I managed to get a short ride on this craft and ever since I had been eager to get back on board.
Today I’ve been lucky enough to be loaned a brand new craft from the team at Mike Phillips Watercraft in my home town of Christchurch. It was a bit overcast and cold but that wasn’t going to stop me from getting back on one of these beasts to put it through its paces for a couple of hours in the harbour.
Here’s some history on the craft….
To create this new craft, Sea-doo re-tooled their popular GTI hull and combined it with their 1503cc Supercharged Rotax engine which puts out a very nice 215HP. This engine has been tried and trusted with a few minor improvements since 2004 and still proves to be reliable as ever.
Sea-doo still offer the industries only Closed-Loop Cooling System which uses coolant versus corrosive saltwater to cool the engine, making it ideal for NZ’s ocean riding culture. To keep the engine temperatures at a workable temperature they built a heat exchanger into the ride plate that works the same as your radiator in your car.
Although a lower price, Sea-doo didn’t forget any features including their Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR). The lever on the left handle bar controls these features which is great because it means you can keep both hands on the handle bars at all times unlike every other brand. The craft starts in neutral and is easy to maneouver at low speeds and the brakes can help you decrease your stopping distance by about 50% increasing the safety immensely.
On the GTR Sea-doo have also added (iTC) intelligent Throttle Control, which gives the craft two operational modes: touring and sports. By default the craft starts in touring mode, which offers a less aggressive power suited to less-experienced riders, riding two up or perfect for riding in rougher water where power isn’t important. With a press of the ‘Sports’ button on the left hand handle bar you enter sports mode, which gives a sharper, more aggressive power and throttle response.
The GTR like most Sea-doo’s comes from the factory with two keys, a full power / normal one and a learners one, the learners one limits the power and speed making it ideal if you are lending out your precious craft to an inexperienced rider. These keys are also digitally encoded, meaning only your keys will work on your craft, a great security feature.
So what do I think of it?
The brakes and reverse are a great addition and I think i’ve said this before but I imagine in the future this will become standard for all crafts. I find these features a dream to use while maneouvering the craft off the trailer and around the jetty, it just gives you so much more control.
Sitting in the seat I noticed Sea-doo got the seating position spot on, perfectly bolstered to give great support and a confident feel and to go along with this the handle bars are perfectly situated.
The engine offers more than enough power with its 215hp, It feels faster than some of the higher horsepower crafts I’ve ridden recently, it sits in the flat water beautifully and handles the chop with ease. In the past a lot of personal watercraft purchases have been based on horsepower but these days with many different hull options there is a lot more to it. The GTR may be down a little on the horsepower on paper over some other crafts on the market, but it makes up for it in the nimble but still very forgiving hull.
I love this craft and think it gives a complete package – it is stable in rough water, fast in calm water, tows a skier without any trouble and looks the business in the sharp black and orange colour scheme. This craft is an ideal family craft, giving Mum, Dad and the kids all they need for summer fun for just over $20k.
Grant Wilson – nzjetskico.wwwsrc3.supercp.com