Unlimited Performance
R&D Racing Products GSX Limited Performer Kit

By: Jeff Ames

 

The GSX Limited is one of the fastest watercraft in the current Sea-Doo lineup. Powering this craft is the 951 cc Bombardier Rotax RAVE engine that produces an estimated 130 horsepower in stock form, but there is always room for improvement. We called R&D Racing Products to see what they could do to add some spice to our 1997 1/2 GSX Limited, and we weren't surprised that they already had a package put together for this craft.

We met with R&D Racing's Bill Chapin put in Lake Havasu City, Arizona to put their 951 GSX Limited Performer Kit to the test. The kit includes an exhaust cone, head with interchangeable domes, air filter, Aquavein scoop grate, intake manifold, reed stuffers and a pump wedge. Also, included are installation instructions and carburetor jetting recomendations. Chapin was confident that the Performer Kit would increase the top speed by at least three mph and also lower the acceleration time. Unfortunately the weather was less than durable, but at least the water was smooth. Let's find out.

 Our stock GSX Limited turned in a top speed of 62.59 mph and acceleration from 0-60 took 7.22 seconds, pretty respectable for a stock watercraft. After Chapin installed the Performer Kit onto the same GSX Limited it went 0-60 in 5.54 seconds and a top speed of 65.84 mph. An increase of over three miles per hour, while shaving almost two seconds off the acceleration time. The differences between the stock GSX and after R&D modified it are even more noticeable when riding the craft. The handling caracteristics of the GSX Limited are greatly enhanced with the addition of the Aquavein scoop grate, pump wedge and, of course, the additional power.

If acceleration is a priority, an aftermarket impeller from Skat-Trak is the order of the day. To demonstrate this, Chapin then installed the latest Skat-Trak impeller for the GSX Limited. Our GSX with the Performer Kit and Skat-Trak impeller reached a top speed of 65.21 mph and accelerated 0-60 in 5.43 seconds. Changing the impeller resulted in a slight loss of top speed, but reduced acceleration time by a tenth of a second. The craft also hooked-up better in the choppy water.

The R&D Racing Performer Kit installed on our 97 1/2 Sea Doo GSX Limited resulted in an increase over three mph and a reduction of 0-60 mph time by almost two seconds.

The head features interchangeable domes which can increase the compression of your watercraft. The domes for the Performer Kit are designed to target the performance minded recreational rider that prefers to run on pump gas.

The R&D Exhaust Cone is one of the key components of the Performer Kit. This chamber was designed specifically for the 97 1/2 GSX 951 engines. In 1998 Sea Doo changed the port heights of the 951 engine altering its powerband, but don't worry, by the time you read this, R&D will have an improved chamber for it.

R&D's new Pro-Flow Power Plenum increases air-flow into the 951 engine. No, the engine doesn't need to be removed from the craft. As a matter of fact, all these components can be installed in a couple of hours. It also incudes all carburetor jetting recomendations.

The Performer Kit comes with an R&D intake manifold as well as R&D Reed Stuffers. Both of these increase air-flow while reducing unwanted turbulence.

 

A noticeble difference between the way the stock GSX Limited and the Performer Kit GSX Limited hook up and handle are attributed to the R&D Aquavein scoop grate and pump wedge. The scoop grate increases water-flow to the impeller. R&D's pump wedge aims pump nozzle a few degrees higher, as a result, the bow of the hull is lifted out of the water reducing water resistance and increasing top speed.

  Peak Speed (mph) 0-30 mph 0-60 mph
GSX w/Performer Kit & Skat Trak Impeller 65.21 1.86 5.43
GSX w/Performer Kit 65.84 2.08 5.54
GSX stock 62.59 2.89 7.22

 

One of the best features of the Performer Kit is that it allows the watercraft to run on pump gas and keep the stock oil injector system intact. The kit also leaves the owner with options for additional performance. R&D offers optional head domes that can raise the compression adding a little more speed and shaving a few tenths of a second off the acceleration time, however, higher octane fuels are required, which increases the cost of an afternoon ride. Also available is there electronic water injection kit to alter exhaust temperatures to further increase performance.

For many consumers, assembling several components from different manufacturers often yields questionable results. The Sea Doo 951 GSX Limited Performer Kit retails for $1,044.37, not cheap, but if increased performance is what you want, this is a proven kit that removes all the guess work of component compatibility. Even though the components are designed and priced as a package, they can also be purchased individually if your on a limited budget (no limited pun intended). As an added bonus, R&D offers a 30-day money back guarantee that you'll be happy with the results of your craft with the kit, as long as there aren't any other modifications to the boat. For more information give R&D Racing a call, and tell'em who sent you.
 

SEA-DOO 951 GSX LIMITED PERFORMER KIT
R&D Exhaust Cone
R&D Recreational Head
R&D Air Filter
R&D Aquavein
R&D Intake Manifold
R&D Reed Stuffers
R&D Pump Wedge
Kit Retail Price $1,044.37

 

While working on this story with Bill Chapin we used Sea Doo World and National Champion Chris Fischetti for our testing and photos. Fischetti's mechanic warned us of a potential problem that they had seen on stock 951 oil injection systems. These craft had their oil injection systems lean and could have caused an engine seizure if the throttle was held wide open for extended periods of time. They recommend that you loosen the jam nut on the cable going into the injector housing and turn the adjuster 5 turns clockwise, and then retighten the jam nut. This will allow more oil into the engine to prevent the engine from seizing, in case yours is out of adjustment.


If you look carefully you can can see that the adjustment lines do not line up and the stock setting is behind the line.

The jam nut is easy to get to and should be very easy to turn.

After turning the adjuster five turns clockwise, tightening the jam nut the adjustment line should now be in front of the adjustment mark.

 
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