The Sea-Doo Sparks has been a huge hit across the world. Combine with the low cost to buy and own the Sparks are a great winner! This little review on the Sparks will go over what has changed and I’ll address the most common questions I get from buyers.
I work at a dealership (as a Salesman) that sell quite a bit of Seadoo Spark. So I have accumulated quite a bit of common questions I get from buyers that I want to address here.
The Common Questions
I wanted to start this Review off with the questions that I get all the time about Sparks. Later on I’ll address what changed in 2016 compared to the previous years.
How Many Models?
One of the hardest things to wrap your head around was the models of Sparks. People would come into the store and say they wanted a Spark. With all the color options, engine options, and seating options its not so cut and dry.
In 2016 Seadoo has cut down on the amount of different models. But even with all the build a Seadoo options and such it can still be very confusing.
It really breaks down like this…
- Do you want a 2up or a 3up. This is the person capacity, so a 2up is a 2 person and a 3up is a 3 person.
- Next, you need to determine what engine you want. The most common engine is the bigger engine or the 90HP (900 HO ACE). The smaller engine or the 60HP (900 ACE) is less common since its only for the 2up version. The 90HP does about 50mph and the 60HP does about 40MPH.
- Next, you’ll need to decide if you want iBR (which is reverse, neutral and brakes) or do you want a Base model with only Forward. In 2016 if you get the iBR you’ll also get the Convenience Package with it too which is front storage and re-boarding step.
- The last step is to pick a color. 2016 has different colors compared to last years colors, but you can talk to your dealer about how much it would cost to get different color panels and decals.
Is It Slow?
Is it Slow? No. It’s actually quite fast. Is it the fastest watercraft? No, but it’s not trying to be. 50MPH on the water feels quite different than 50MPH in your car. 50MPH on the water feels like 80.
The reason why Jet Skis seem faster is because you don’t have a roll cage or helmet on when you ride. So everything you pass seems to be flying at you. Combine with the great power to weight ratio of the spark, the take off power is crazy fast.
If you never rode a Spark before or even rented watercraft before then the spark will feel very fast to you. I’ve had customers who bought Sparks and don’t get past 30MPH because to them it’s too fast.
Usually, the people who claim the Spark is slow are dealerships that don’t carry Seadoo and are trying to get you to buy its nearest competitor. Or guys who race jet skis and have the jet skis with all the mods on it.
The power of the 90HP is quite enough that Seadoo even opted in to have it default to Touring Mode when you first turn it on. Touring Mode is a nice and easy takeoff, but hold down the red button and you’ll enter Sport Mode. Sport Mode is the mode that holds nothing back.
How Durable Is The Spark?
This is one of my favorite questions. Seadoo told us when they released the Sparks they took one up in the air to drop it and all it did was bounce.
The Spark is made of Ploy-Tec which is a type of Plastic. The analogy I like to use is to think of the Spark as a Plastic Dinner Ware and the other models made of FiberGLASS as Glassware. If you drop the plastic dinnerware all it will do is bounce, but the glassware will more than likely break. This may not be the best analogy but helps to demonstrate what I’m saying. Fiberglass is durable, but Plastic has more give before it breaks.
I actually feel like the Ploy-Tech will be the future of watercraft since it cuts down on weight and cost. Don’t be surprised when you see more watercraft go to this material in the future.
The Spark can handle a good bit, but it’s not made for going through river rocks just like how fiberglass is not made to do that either. Always be mindful when riding and don’t run into things and the Sparks will hold up just fine.
How Do You Get To The Engine?
Everyone likes to look under the hood. Just like when you buy a car you like to look at what the heart of the machine. It’s common knowledge that Jet Ski’s have engines under the Seat.
When people go to lift up the seat on the Spark they get a little surprise. Actually many people try to lift the seat straight off, on a Spark you lift first then slide backward. Once the seat is off there is no engine just a place for the fire extinguisher and gas fill.
Many people panic when you tell them you have to take off the whole top deck if you need to do engine work. It’s not the end of the world. You have access panels that allow you to get to everything you need to for regular maintenance. The average Joe will not and don’t care to do any major engine work themselves.
Coming from a guy who has worked on many watercrafts over the years I have come to love the ability to remove the top deck of my Spark. Once the top deck is off you can get to everything. It’s the easiest watercraft to work on once the deck is off and plus its all smooth plastic in the hull so no more fiberglass splinters.
Why Is There A Hole There?
I love this question and I get it on the daily. Everyone likes to ask why is there a hole in the front of the spark, it always gets people attention. Or everyone likes to say something is missing, it very mind boggling to see a watercraft with no front.
That hole is suppose to be there and can be filled with front storage bucket if you want. It was mostly for looks and since everyone is used to cars having engines in the front people expect watercraft to have engines in the front too.
The engine of most watercraft is actually towards the rear for better ride and displacement. In-fact the whole front of the hull of the Spark is just emptiness so having that empty area above is no big deal.
Water Will Come Through That Hole?!
On the topic of the hole in the front where a front bucket storage can go people often think water will come through that hole. Some People like the idea while others don’t.
The real question people have is how wet of a ride is the Spark? I have driven many watercrafts and the Spark is quite dry compared to the many I have ridden. It’s not the driest ride either, if you want to get wet you either have to try or it’s got to be choppy.
Water will not come in through the front where the Storage bucket can go. Since the Engine is in the rear and also the nose of the Spark is elongated you really don’t get wet. At low speeds, Seadoo has made chimes in the front that funnel the water away from the rider so that you avoid getting splashed too much.
So to summarize the wetness factor of the spark there is only a few ways you’ll get wet.
- By trying to get wet by spinning the machine out.
- If it’s Really choppy or rough.
- If you purposely fall off or not following the weight limit of the craft.
There’s been times I’ve gone out in my shoes, pants, and works shirts to deliver Sparks on a nice day and I’ve never gotten wet. But in my free time, I take mine out and really play with it so that I can get wet on those hot days.
How Can You Tell Whats A 3up and a 2up?
You have two options for seats on a Spark. A 2up and a 3up. A 2up is a 2 seater and a 3up is a 3 seater.
The easiest way to tell what is a 2up and what’s a 3up is that the 3up will have the extension platform in the rear like the picture below.
A 2up will not have this as shown below.
What Do I Need?
After many people have gotten their new Spark the next question is what do you need. Do I need this do I need that? Do I need a battery charger? How do I keep my phone dry? Luckily I created this to help with these questions.
What Change For 2016
We had a couple things change for the Spark for 2016. The biggest thing to change is the colors.
We still have the pineapple(yellow) and vanilla(white) colors, but for 2016 we now have 3 new ones. We now have Blueberry(blue), Key Lime(green), and Chili Pepper(red). The new colors look great and the pictures I have don’t do them justice, it looks better in person.
I was quite excited when Seadoo released the Blue Spark. I said ever since they came out that they’ll have a blue one. I got that from one of the videos Seadoo made to introduce the Sparks and they had a blue one on the wall.
If you like the old colors, like the bubblegum(pink) you can still get those colors in a panel kit from your dealer.
New Seat Colors
Its nice now how Seadoo is doing color matching seats. The white seats were okay, but people often ask if the seats came in different colors. The Sparks now have seats that match the color of the body panels.
The White spark will have a black seat instead of the White. Check the other seat colors below.
New Handle Bar Grips
While we’re looking at the picture above of the yellow Spark you’ll notice something different with the Handle Bar Grips. A new Palm rest is now standard on all Seadoo watercraft models. This palm rest is a great new feature that really places ergonomics first.
This rest gives you a whole lot more comfort when riding on longer rides and more confidence when you pull in the throttle. I like this new grip so much I’m thinking about putting them on my 2014 Spark I have.
The Gauge for the Sparks didn’t change. It still shows you speed, RPM, and hours on your Spark. The red button below allows you to scroll through all the different functions.
Holding the red button down for a few seconds and press it again will put you into Sport Mode. To get out of Sport mode just hold down the red button and you’ll default to Touring Mode. Sport mode is full power nothing holds you back, and Touring will be more easier take off.
In the picture below you can see the glove box storage located under the gauge.
Getting More With The Convenience Package
Seadoo now has the Convenience Package Plus which is the same as the old Convenience Package but now has DESS RF key with it. This package will come with all models that have iBR. The DESS RF key is an encrypted key and a safety lanyard. This key is waterproof and floats too.
The Regular Spark just has a standard Safety Lanyard and is not digitally encrypted. This is not the end of the world as I would still have a Lock like this one to protect it from being carried off.
iBR – Brakes Reverse Neutral
Not all sparks will get the iBR. The base models will only have forward as soon as you turn the engine on. If you don’t get an iBR Spark you can add a manual reverse option, but to be honest it’s not really needed.
The RPM’s on a spark are so low that I just rotate my Spark in a circle to kill my momentum and point it to where I want to go and then shut it off as it drifts in.
If you do get a Spark with iBR then it will make docking a little easier for you. The iBR is also brakes for your watercraft and Seadoo is the only manufacturer with brakes. The brakes work great in an emergency situation if you need to stop right away.
The Sparks are powered by a 900 ACE which is simply a very fuel efficient and power engine. Made by Rotax who also make engines from ATV’s to Planes and also motorcycles. Rotax really knows there stuff when it comes to making engines.
In the picture above you can see the screw that pops off to let you check the oil.
The Spark has two engine options, a 60HP and a 90HP. The 60HP does about 40 MPH and the 90HP does about 50MPH. The 90HP is the only engine that has Sport Mode and Touring Mode and is the only engine you can get in the 3up. The 2up has either a 60HP or a 90HP option. iBR models only have the 90HP engine.
Closed Loop Cooling
Just like all the other Seadoo watercraft the Sparks use a Closed Loop Cooling System. This system is the same that your car uses right now.
Closed Loop means it cycles antifreeze through the engine instead of lake or ocean water. The reason why you want to avoid ocean and lake water is that it contains debris that can clog the engine cooling. And Ocean water contains salt which can corrode the engine away.