Jan. 17, 2011 – A speed control override system

Leading aftermarket performance manufacturer RIVA Racing continues to tinker with the stock OEM watercraft formula.

The company recently released the RIVA Sea-Doo Speed Control Override Module, a plug-and-play add-on that overrides the speed limiter present on 2010-’11 Sea-Doo 255 and 260 hp iControl models featuring GPS-based speedometers. The module, which retails for $249.95, promises to instantly increase the speed of U.S. models by 3 mph with no other modifications.

RIVA’s Override module retains the existing stock Electronic Control Module, and plugs into the Diagnostic Port on the stock wiring harness. The diagnostic port is located at the rear of the craft next to the battery, accessible via a deck hatch. The module interacts with the communication between the onboard GPS and the ECU to prevent throttle body closure at top speed. The speedometer still functions, as do all other systems.

Cheap Speed?

This is certainly not the first time RIVA has provided a performance override for an element of a stock boat’s electronic controls, but the simplicity of the module — and the solid gains the company promises are the instant result — will likely make the module a popular seller.

It’s relatively common knowledge that Sea-Doo had limited top speed via its GPS-based speedometer, a decision most likely heavily influenced by the manufacturer’s long-standing “handshake” agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to limit top speeds to 65 mph. (A leeway built into the agreement has allowed a lightly loaded PWC in ideal conditions to reach the 67 mph mark.) European Sea-Doo models are not required to fall under that agreement, and as such feature a different ECU. By comparison, a recent test by European magazine FunJet clocked the Sea-Doo RXT-X 260 RS at 68.42 mph.

“In the competitive PWC performance category, OEMs continue to increase horsepower and displacement to appeal to performance buyers,” explains RIVA’s Dave Bamdas. “This results in craft with extremely fast acceleration that must be governed to limit excessive top speed. BRP’s solution for the new 260 hp iControl lineup was to utilize a GPS-controlled speed limiter system that automatically closes the throttle at a preprogrammed top speed. Riva Racing is in the business of providing aftermarket solutions for PWC racing and recreational performance. We designed a cost-efficient, easy-to-install device that plugs into the factory wiring harness and overrides the speed control function.

“The unit adds 3 mph top speed to a stock craft and allows further speed gains with additional aftermarket parts. Our Stage 1 Kit for Sea-Doo RXT-X 260 consists of only four parts and delivers 74-75 mph.”

Previously, owners had turned to the Internet to try to secure the European ECU for their U.S. models, but RIVA’s is the first truly simple plug-and-play solution.

Additional Changes

Top speed is not the only change the Override module brings to the stock Sea-Doo setup. The module also addresses an issue that has been suggested by both consumers and several members of the watercraft press — the fact that all iControl models start in Touring mode by default, and have to be manually manipulated to enter Sport mode, which offers a more aggressive acceleration curve. Users wanting to unleash the full performance of the craft are forced to physically opt out of Touring mode via handlebar-mounted controls to activate the more aggressive Sport mode. RIVA’s Override Module essentially reverses that setup, enabling an iControl-equipped model to start in the speedier Sport mode by default. The gentler Touring mode is now the optional mode accessed through the controls after start up if a rider desires.


Tradeoffs are apparently small, if any. All original dash functions are retained, and further top speed gains can still be achieved through aftermarket modifications.

As to how the Speed Control Override Module may affect the warranty of boat models that may still have coverage, it’s a sensitive issue. Technically, any add-on should void the manufacturer’s warranty, meaning those who adopt the system may literally have to pay for their play should they encounter problems down the road. It’s a fine line RIVA has always faced with its performance parts, and a risk that many performance enthusiasts willingly accept year after year in return for the returns in speed and/or acceleration. PSB

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