2016 GTI 130 Review

The Seadoo GTI 130 is a step above the Seadoo Spark. When you step up to the GTI you get some new features and a bigger engine. This is going to be a review on the Seadoo GTI and what it has to offer.

GTI vs Spark

If you’re looking at a GTI 130 you might have consider a Seadoo Spark. You can get a fully loaded spark for cheaper than a regular GTI 130, so why buy one? To be fair you can’t really compare the Seadoo Spark to the Seadoo GTI 130, they’re both in there own category. The Spark is design to get you out on the water for a reasonable price. The GTI is design to do the same but offer more features. The best way I can put it is that the Spark is more like a Ford Fiesta while the GTI 130 is like a Ford Focus. Both get you where you need to go but one has more features and more comfort than the other. But both are still in a compact category.

A GTI 130 would be the watercraft I would own next after my Spark. The biggest factor the GTI has over the Spark is the seat on the GTI is more comfortable for longer rides. One factor the Spark has is that its far better on gas due to it being lighter. The Spark is also more playful, but the GTI is more stable. Each has there own purpose, so if you’re looking for something more stable and more comfortable than the Spark then the GTI 130 is a great one to look at.

Closed Loop Cooling

One unique feature that all 2016 Seadoo’s have over everyone else is that they have a closed loop cooling system. This is the same system that you’re car uses to keep its engine cool. The big perk of this cooling system is that it doesn’t take in lake or ocean water to cool the engine. Instead, it uses anti-freeze to keep the engine at a perfect temp.

The reason why you don’t want to use lake or ocean water to cool the engine is that its very corrosive. Over time the engine will corrode due to the minerals in the water, which means the engine is being eaten alive from the inside. Thus the engine won’t last as long as one who never takes in the water. Seadoos still take in water to cool and muffle the exhaust. To learn more about this click here.

Two Keys

The great thing about the GTI 130 is that it has two keys that are digitally programmed to your machine. Other manufacturers just have safety lanyard, but Seadoo combine the the safety lanyard and key into one unit for ease of use. To compensate other manufacturers will use a battery powered remote to set a alarm, which is fine until you get it wet. The Seadoo Keys are waterproof, the even have bright colored floats on them to make them easy to spot in-case you do drop them in the water.

But none of that is that important.

What is important and what really makes it cool is that one of the keys is a learning key. This learning key can be programmed from 32mph up to 50mph with 5 spot total. So you can set the speed for the kids and other people. How great is that? Another cool feature is that the key attaches to your life jacket and if for some odd reason you fall the jet ski the engine shuts off and returns to neutral which slows it down like a brake so you don’t have far to go to swim after it.

Wait… Did You Say Brake?

You noticed how I said it slows you down like if it has a brake? Well, the GTI 130 comes with brakes standard. Yes you heard me right, Seadoo is the only boat company that I know of that has brakes.

Why Brakes?

Well if you or a family member is out on the water and someone pulls out in front of them – they can stop. Which is cool and worth every penny. That’s not even the greatest thing about the brakes. The greatest thing is how easy it is to dock the watercraft. Your hands never leave the handle bars so you maintain greater control. No levers to pull, just pulling triggers at your fingertips. So on the left side of the handle bars is the brake and reverse. Brakes and Reverse are the same thing. Hold the left tirgger in and you brake, keep holding it and you’ll go in reverse. This trigger drops a bucket that redriects the water in the opposite direction which slows you down which also will make you go backwards if you keep holding it. Once you let go of the left trigger you go back in neutral. The right trigger is your forward, hold it in and you take off.

Here is a video on how to drive a Seadoo…

Starts In Neutral

Along with the brakes (iBR) you get neutral. So the watercraft will start in neutral —– EVERY TIME —– you start the engine. Shut the engine off in forward – starts in neutral. Shut off in reverse – starts in neutral. But there’s a catch. Its a jet drive engine and does not work like a boats neutral. What this means is that if the engine is on the prop is spinning, so there is a slight creep. You can adjust and fine tune the neutral with a push of a button. This is standard on all jet drive, and you want it this way. Less moving parts the less to worry about. I usually don’t like to mention this fact as it worries people, when really its not as bad as you might think. Driving a jet ski with iBR is actually super easy!

Different Modes

The GTI 130 has 3 different modes. Some days you like to go fast and other days you like to cruise. This is why we have the modes. You have Touring Mode which it always defaults to when you start. This is the easy take off cruising mode, but will still get to top speed eventually. Works fine for pulling tubes since its a nice and easy take off.

Then you have Sport Mode which is full power nothing holds you back. Or play mode, since this mode allows you to really see what the machine can do. Last mode is ECO. This gives you the best gas mileage with a cap of 40 to 45mph. Its a slow take off and just sips gas. Sometimes you go on trips, this is the mode you want to be in. The 40mph is like the machines happy area and loves to cruise there. Kind of like having cruise control without having it. Make sure to break the engine in before keeping the engine at one speed for to long.

New Grips

Something new for 2016 is the new Palm Grips. These bad boys cradle your hands a lot better than the old style. Comfort is at a whole new level for Seadoo’s in 2016. I’m a big fan of these grips especially for long trips.

Floor Mats

One thing I like to point out is the floor mats or swim mats as some might call them. This is something you might miss when shopping for a watercraft because you’ll have shoes on. Notice how the mats on the GTI 130 are nice and flush, no ridges. Other manufacturers have mats that have ridges which really just start to cut into the feet over time. This pattern doesn’t stop at the mats, other manufacturers have hand grips that have these ridges too which cut into you hands. Notice how the grips and floor mats on the Seadoo is nice and flush.

Since we’re back here I do want to point out there is a tow point in the rear for hooking up to tow a skier or tuber. You can even add a sky pylon to this unit if you want, ask your local dealer about this. If you plan to pull a lot of tubes and skiers then please get a pool noodle so that you don’t suck up ropes. You can learn more about this here. The noodle extends the tow rope away from the back of the ski so that you don’t suck it up. Keep in mind that this is a 130HP vacuum so keep clear.

If you do suck something up Seadoo got it figured out. They have a wear ring that helps to protect the ski. Even though the name says “wear” ring, it doesn’t wear out. Its just there to protect the pump. Other manufacturers don’t have this and repairs can be costly because they lack it. Learn more about the wear ring here. I sure do have a lot stuff to learn about on my site here. Feel free to explore to learn even more!


One big feature, literally, over the Spark is that you get so much more storage. The Spark can have a 5 gallon storage bucket added, but the GTI 130 COMES with over 30 gallons of total storage.

That’s a lot of stuff!

Just image 30 1-gallon milk jugs fitting in GTI 130, that’s a lot of milk. Interesting!

The nice part is that the storage is pretty dry compared to the Spark. The Storage is big enough to fit a cover, couple life jackets, and lunch! I eat big lunches so that’s a lot of storage! There is also a splash guard in the front to keep you and the storage from getting too wet. Don’t worry the storage doesn’t really get wet unless you force water into it somehow. Also in the front storage is access to the gas fill up. Its easy to reach from sitting on the machine when you go to the gas docks.


Seadoo only makes 4 stroke watercrafts. So this means you change the oil once a year, unless you do a lot of hours in one year. So basically get your watercraft serviced once a year and you’re good.

A little tip is to get it serviced during the winter. You’re not using the machine so there’s no rush and most dealers have special rates with oil changes and winterizing. Great way to save money!

If you’re buying a new machine you will need to break it in. This means for the first 5 hours you must take it easy. Don’t keep it at one speed for too long, change you speed every so often. Don’t go full power and keep it there – thats a big no-no for any new engine. First service is at 50 hours, but I say anywhere from 25 to 50 hours or one year. If you can’t remember the last time you got a service then just get one.



I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

2 thoughts on “2016 GTI 130 Review”

  1. I purchased two 2015 GTI 130. They did not come with reverse / neutral. Can that feature be added to my skis?

    • No, the reverse can not be installed on a GTI or GTS that does not have it. The trick to loading it on a trailer is right before you get to the trailer you spin in a small circle. This kills your momentum and makes it easier to load because the ski is moving slower.


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