How To Break Seadoo Watercraft Engine In

If you’re reading this then you have bought a new Seadoo Watercraft and you have been told you need to break the engine in.

But what does that mean?

It can be quite confusing when you’re told by your dealership or after you read the owners manual that you got to “break the engine in”. What should you do? What shouldn’t you do?

I’m hoping to answer these questions below and give you a better understanding of why you need to do this.

Why Do You Have To Break The Engine In?

The reason why you need to break the engine in is that its brand new. The engine hasn’t really seen much action and every component is not seated in just yet.

During the break in period parts of the engine get “set-in” and things get worn into the correct tolerances.

This process takes time and every engine is different. I only really know the break in period on a Seadoo. Either way, always consult your owners manual or your local dealer for any breaking questions.

How Long Do You Break It In?

The first 5 hours of your new Seadoo Watercraft is the most critical. All the other hours are not as important as those first 5 hours.

Your break in period is within the first 5 hours. The first service or oil change is 50 hours or 1 year, whichever one comes first. Consult with your local dealer or owners manual as the specs can change.

After those first 5 hours, you can really play with the machine but in those first 5 hours, it’s important that you follow the best practices that I list below.

Best Practices On Break In

If you have gotten this far you might be terrified to break in your new watercraft. Go ahead and relax, it’s actually quite simple. Some of the models actually have a forced break in where it won’t get to full power until it broke in. But still, its good to follow these simple steps below.

Step 1: Don’t keep the engine at one speed for no more than 30 seconds.

….and that’s it.

It’s that simple. It’s okay to go full power, its actually recommend, but just don’t keep it there.

I still recommend you keep the watercraft in “Touring” mode for the first 5 hours. The touring mode is a nice and easy take off mode that doesn’t put too much stress on the engine. You still need to change your speed every so often even in touring mode.

Also, avoid Cruise Control for the fact that it keeps the engine at one speed for too long. Avoid pulling tubes or ski mode for the first 5 hours as you’re more likely to keep the engine at one speed for too long. 

Learning Key

Would it be best to drive the watercraft with the learning key on for the first 5 hours?

That’s really up to you. With the learning key its pretty much in touring mode all the time, so its not wrong. Just remember to change up the speed every 30 seconds.

If you’re new to the watercraft then yes drive with the learning key so you can understand the machine better. These are very powerful machines, so don’t be afraid to give the learning key a try.

What Do You Mean Change Speed?

So let’s say for example you’re in touring mode and you’re driving at 55mph. From there go to 40mph. Then go to 50mph. Maybe go to 30mph. or 31 or 46 or 59mph. There is no wrong way to do it. Just change the speed up every so often.

If you’re thinking too much about it then you’re not having fun.

Just go easy and enjoy yourself, its hard to do it wrong.

And as always consult your owners manual and your local dealer for proper break in. 

High Horsepower

If you got a high HP Seadoo watercraft then you get the pleasure of a forced break-in. I’m looking at you 260HP and 300HP.

The engine will not get to full power until a certain hour is match. It will slowly get faster and faster as you get more hours, but won’t get to full power or RPMs til its broken in.

This is pretty common on many manufacturers who make engines, especially high power ones.

Also don’t forget to check out the must have Jet Ski Accessories. 

55 thoughts on “How To Break Seadoo Watercraft Engine In”

  1. Just picked up a brand new Rxp300 and am 3 hours into my break in period, avoided jumping waves as much as possible but it still happened sometimes, however upon impact of landing the engine would cut out, it would start again straight away on the button.

    Wasn’t sure if this was to do with the break in period to stop you from wave jumping?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!


    • It sounds like you have a loose connection somewhere. Maybe the battery connections are not tight, sometimes this will throw a check engine light too.

  2. Hello Steve

    I’m pickup my brand new 2020 sea food rxpx 300 this Monday and I was wondering should I do 5 or 10 hours for a break in & when using it in salty water what should I do to maintain it I notice a lot of people are always having issues, what’s a good routine for a new watercraft before during and after usage….

    Should i change the oil and filters as soon as I finish the break in period ?

    Thank you

    • Don’t keep it at one speed for too long, change speed every minute or two, and avoid towing anyone for the first 5 hours. Get the oil changed before 25 hours. When leaving salt water make sure to flush it with fresh water.

  3. 2020 90hp spark 2 up no IBR option, cant get into sport mode, 15 hours only 40mph, dealer says i didnt purchase IBR so no sport mode option, even though display shows Sport and Touring? They hooked up scanner and said not available on base model?

  4. Steve,

    I am picking up a 2020 Wake 170 this Friday. As mentioned above Sea-Doo recommends the 10 hour break-in period. After the first 5 hours would it be OK to tow as long as you avoided a 30 sec at the same speed. We are towing on a pond so there is lots of variation speed. Thanks

    • Yes, the first 5 hours are the most important. Adjust the speed often and don’t keep it at one speed for too long in those first 5 hours. This means avoid pulling tubes but after the first 5 hours, you can pull tubes.

  5. Hey Steve , recently purchased a 2020 gti 130 and am breaking it in , manual says break in period is 10 hours , so no tubing or sport mode till at least 10?

    • Yes, you don’t want to keep it at one speed for too long which is what you do when you’re tubing. You need to change up the speed every minute and avoid pinning the throttle too much.

  6. Hey mate I just bought a 2020 300 rxtx . After the 5 hour mark could I drive it however I wanna drive it at high speeds for a long time in sports mode etc

  7. Hi Steven just picked up a 2019 spark trixx took it out on the the like for 2 hours and about 20 minutes kept it in touring kept on changing RPM’s never hit over 5000 RPM’s never went over 20 miles an hour was wondering if next time I take it out can hit full throttle and get up to around 7000 RPM’s want to know your advise as well as should I change the oil and filter after 10 hours bench mark?

    • For the first 5 hours, you don’t want to keep the throttle at one speed for too long. This means you can go full throttle but after minute go to a different speed. You don’t want to pin the throttle and keep it there while traveling across the lake, change the throttle’s position every so often in the first 5 hours and you should be fine. You want to change the oil before the 25-hour mark. If you ride rough changing at the 10-hour mark will be fine. The quicker you get the storage oil changed the better, just don’t do it before the 10-hour mark.

      • Thank you Steve was wondering after the first 5 hours is ok to put it in sport mode or keep it in touring till 10 hour mark? And will prob ride it pretty rough so I guess will change the oil after 10 hour mark thank you again.

  8. Hi Steven,
    I put 3 hours on my new ski yesterday. I mixed up the speeds the whole time changing every 10-15seconds however, in the second hour I did give it a bit of a play around jumping in and out of sport mode. I then read you recommend only using touring mode for the first 5 hours. I never went full throttle however still gave it a bit of stick.
    Hope I haven’t caused any issues for the long run of my engine.
    Thankyou for your above information.

    • Something doesn’t sound right, what’s the max RPMs it’s hitting? Things that come to mind is the supercharger is not kicking in so a hose could have come loose. Maybe you have a rental or learning key but that speed is usually too high for those. You could have sucked something up – there are many possibilities and the best option would be to take it to the dealership since it’s so new.

  9. Just purchased a used 2017 gtr230, 12 hours on it. Feels like the supercharger isn’t working. Only going 48mph. Super charger kicked in a couple of times and got to 68mph but now nothing.

    • That is for sure not normal. It could be the supercharger but it also could be many other things like bad gas, ignition coils not inserter properly, and many more. You should be close to 7.5k to 8k RPMs at full throttle, if you’re not it needs to be taken into the shop.

  10. Yes, it’s a totally different machine. Very pleased with it now. I put 10 hrs on mine in rental mode, because the dealer told me it would unlock on its own. I think some of the higher performance models do that.

  11. My 2018 GTI 155 had that same issue and the dealer realized that it was in rental mode and they had to uncheck that box with the laptop. Apparently it was part of the setup process and they did not know this.

    • Awesome. Wish BPR would inform dealers, so they could inform us! When I called they were so sure I was using the rental key ?.

      I had a heart attack bringing home a 130hp 40mph sea doo lol!!! Have you ripped it yet w the proper settings? I haven’t yet. I can’t wait. It feels like a Cadillac compared to my 3 up spark.

      • Had it out today on Lake Geneva. 51 in chop. Night and day difference. It also unlocked eco mode. So all is good now! I’m very happy w this GTI.

    • Some manufacturers like Yamaha recommend around 10 hours for the first service. Sea-Doo has gotten less picky and allowing 50 hours or the first year. I personally do the first service around 20 to 25 hours no matter what for my Sea-Doo and then a service once a year after that. The first 5 hours is meant to take it easy with the engine, avoid keeping it at one speed for too long.

  12. I recently bought a 2018 Wake 155. The dealer didn’t mention anything about a break in period so I completely ignored it for the first 3 or 4 hours. We did a decent amount of skiing behind it in that period at continuous speeds. Since then, I’ve noticed that the jet ski doesn’t hit the advertised top speed of 55 mph, and instead only gets to 53 and maybe 54 mph. Do you think that this slightly lower than advertised speed is due to the ignored break in, or is it just a normal top speed variation for a jet ski? I’d also like to know what, if any, problems I may encounter down the road due to ignoring the first 3-4 hours of the break in period and. Thanks.

    • 50 MPH to 55MPH is normal for that watercraft. Just make sure to get the first service done and winterize it if it gets cold where you live.

  13. My 2- 2018 GTI 130 seem to have a break-in program… I’ve used them both for over 6 hours and they still will not reach over 5500 rpms (42 MPH) and slow out of the hole, and no difference between sport and touring mode. Do you think Sea-Doo is forcing the break-in 10 hour program on us now??

    • First 5 hours vary your speed, don’t keep it at one speed for too long. You should avoid towing someone for those first 5 hours because that is all you do in pull sports is keep at one speed. After that go have some fun and make sure to follow your service schedule in your owners manual.

    • Every jet ski will be different in the way you break it in. The break-in procedure is more important the more HP and the more moving parts you have. An improper break-in could damage the engine in the long run or cause other issues down the line. The good news is that many of the modern watercraft you get these days have a forced break-in mode to help you break it in and also they can take some abuse. The best thing to do is change up your speed often and DO NOT keep the watercraft at one speed for a long time when in the break-in mode.

        • You should be going much faster than that during the break-in period. Most watercraft, except the performance ones, are not limited to top speed during the break-in period. The goal of the break-in period is not going too fast but keeping it at one speed for too long. You want to go 30mph for a few minutes then change it to 50mph for a few minutes, then change it to 35mph, and so on. Just don’t keep it at one speed, this means avoid pull sports and cruising for too long before the 5 hours are up.

          • We are having the same problem. Wouldn’t go over 8mph without it shaking. Does it have anything to do with the modes?

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