Bombardier Shocks Industry

Personal watercraft Personal watercraft sales PWC Ski-doo Jetski

PWC sales have been falling for years (see previous article), but that didn't stop Bombardier from surprising the industry with its 2009 flagship Sea-Doos: the GTX Limited iS 255 and the RXT iS 255, a sportier version with stiffer suspension. Suspension? That's right, the models are the first PWC in the world to have full suspension and on-water braking. An onboard computer allows riders to adjust both on the fly. A lever on the left handlebar controls the brake system, which works by cutting engine power and then reapplying it in reverse, all within a fraction of a second. The new Sea-Doos have other cool features: cruise control, electronic throttle control, a GPS speedometer, off-throttle assisted steering, a pop-open fuel filler cap, and a slow-speed mode allowing riders to set idle speed. Bombardier also updated its Learning Key so that riders can set a speed limit and control the amount of acceleration. All this high-tech gadgetry, of course, will cost customers a pretty penny. Retail prices for the GTX Limited iS 255 and RXT iS 255 start at $16,499 and $14,999, respectively. — Arlo Redwine