AN AWESOME SUNSET RIDING EXPERIENCE WITH SEA-DOO MALAYSIA SUNSET RIDE AND BEACH BBQ, ADMIRAL MARINA & LEISURE CLUB, PORT DICKSON
A hectic three consecutive Saturdays started off with an off-road training day with Malaysia’s top trail rider, Acoi, along with Chilean Dakar rider, Jeremias Isreal. The following Saturday saw us joining the Rimba Raid Enduro trails and tackling the challenging terrain of rocks, gravel, mud, river crossings and soft sand. There we also witnessed the Can-Am ATV and UTVs on demo (also known as the Side-by-Side Vehicle) by BRP in action at the event. The next weekend, we were invited by Sea-Doo Malaysia to a Sunset Ride and Beach Barbecue at Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson, to test ride the latest Sea-Doo personal watercrafts, another brand of products also produced and distributed by BRP. It was an offer we could not refuse.
The last time I got on a jet ski was like 16-17 years ago on a rented jet ski. For this experience, I decided to bring my 14 year old “Kiddo” along, even though he didn’t know how to swim. Eager like me, the “Kiddo” did not hesitate to get out of debate training at school to jump into the car with me to Port Dickson.
After gathering for a safety briefing, we were given instructions on how to operate the Sea-Doo by Thiam Loong Ser from BRP Malaysia. Although it was a sunset ride, it was still quite hot when we started out around 4pm, which meant that sunblock was still necessary. We applied SPF 120 sunblock lotion, but still managed to get a little sunburnt on the cheeks.
We started off with the 90hp Sea-Doo Spark-Trixx, the smallest craft in the fleet, which was sufficient for me to handle and get acquainted with its character. It had been a long time since I rode a jet ski, but it did not take me more than a couple of minutes to get used to it… I was more concerned for my pillion the “Kiddo” couldn’t swim but found there was no need to worry as safety comes first – All riders were required to wear a life jacket on the jetskis. Since he has pillion with me before, I told him that it was like riding a high powered motorcycle. Well a jet ski is like a motorbike that you can ride on water, and that is real cool and Sea-Doo is a very popular brand of Personal Water Crafts (PWC). I can tell you that a jet ski is one of the fastest and most manoeuvrable sea vehicles. That’s why lifeguards and marines use them.
Well a PWC isn’t like a normal boat, that is powered by an outboard motor and a propeller nor is it like a motorbike, where the gasoline engine turns the back wheel. Instead, a high-powered jet propulsion of water behind the jet ski propels it forward. That’s the power of science for you but how exactly does it work?
Here’s a very simplified take away of what’s going on inside a typical PWC:
1. Water is sucked in through a large intake grate on the bottom of the craft.
2. Power is provided by a medium-sized petrol engine fired by electric ignition. A large jet ski might have a 1600cc, four-stroke, four-cylinder engine, which is roughly as big as you’d get in a subcompact car or a large super tourer motorbike. A larger tank of approx. 75 litres reduces the risk of running out of fuel in the middle of the ocean! Smaller PWC like the Sea-Doo Spark has a range of approx. 150-180km range depending on how you throttle the PWC.
3. While a car or a motorbike, the engine drives the wheels. In a PWC, engine’s job is to power the jetpump and the impeller. An impeller is like a propeller fitted completely onto the driveshaft with the jetpump so it sucks water in from the intake grate and blows it out of the other end at a high-speed.
In a PWC, the impeller normally has three blades made of stainless steel and it’s about 15cm in diameter. Sea-Doo’s uses closed looping to cool its PWC’s.
4. The water exits through a steerable nozzle at the back of the craft. It’s somewhat smaller than the water intake and that’s what builds up the water speed.
5. Steering a PWC is as easy as steering a motorbike: you just turn the handlebars to go one way or the other. Instead of turning the front wheel, as on a motorbike or bicycle, the handlebars pull on a cable that swivels the water jet to one side or the other, making the whole craft turn at an angle. Because the steering is provided by the power of the water jet, a PWC steers most effectively at high speeds and PWC is least effectively when it’s going very slowly just like riding a dirt bike more throttle to speed it up, you will get more manoeuvrability and control. You don’t have to fight the waves and the choppy seas. I found it easy to navigate when i build more speed. And standing on the jet ski help too, just like a dirt bike.
FIRST RIDE ON SEA-DOO SPARK-TRIXX
The Sea-Doo Spark is regarded as a lite jet ski, at 90hp, it’s light weight and easy to manoeuvre makes it easy to do tricks like wheelie and jumps! I asked Raymond (Thiam’s colleague) how to point the nose up in the air and with a short explanation, I got my first nose up (wheelie) on my first try! Simple and easy. The Spark is pretty well rounded and like a powerful scooter, it is ideal for playful things in the sea. But since the size is small, if you get hit by a big wave from sideways you would feel that the Spark goes abit unbalanced and for long distance rides, the size could be a little uncomfortable with a pillion. With a 30 litre tank the Spark can be ridden for an average distance of 150km before needing to be refuelled.
Although there are no gears on a jet ski but on the Sea-Doo, there is a system called Variable Trim System (VTS) which the rider can use the pre-set positions for quick settings when adjusting the watercraft trim. When you trim up, you’ll have a drier ride, which helps when towing. When you trim down, you can ride more aggressively while staying glued to the water all controlled with your left side of the handlebar.
The Spark-Trixx powered by Rotax 900 HO ACE engine.
RXT-X 300 RS
Having ridden the fastest production motorcycle in the planet, 1000cc 300hp supercharged Kawasaki H2R, for sure I wouldn’t turn down the offer to try out the fastest personal watercraft on the planet,1630cc supercharged 300hp, RTX-X 300. Since the sea was calmer late evening and the BBQ was getting set-up Jon and Raymond, Thiam showed me the control and modes of the RTX-X. Then I shot off to the sun that was setting! The immense power delivery in Sport mode, made me shoot off like a rocket! Imagine riding a H2R on the water! The RTX-X hits 0-100km/h in 3.6secs.
Since the other model, GTX 300 Ltd was on demo with other guests, which was also powered by Rotax 1630 ACE too, so we decided to stick to the red RXT-X 300 RS.
Sea-Doo Malaysia Sunset Ride And Beach BBQ, Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson
Thanks to Geraldine Read & Sea-Doo Malaysia’s Thiam Loong Ser, Jonathan Chiam and Raymond for the special invitation and warm hospitality at the Sea-Doo Sunset Ride and Beach BBQ at Port Dickson.
Special thanks too to “Prem ‘Premosupremo’ Shanker” the Splasher for all the salt water intake we had!
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