Thought I would post my broken bars in order to get more attention to this poor design. Seadoo is going to warranty the handlebars, but that isn't going to remedy an engineering flaw. I weigh 155lbs and have about 20 hours on the boat. I leaned back after spinning the thing and the bars sheared right off.
I understand the leaning back and taking the brunt with your arms BUT the WHOLE steering colum ripping out is a little to much. Wouldnt mind if STEVE from BRP would ring in again and put us at ease once more.
Seriously what is going on? I mean is there really THAT much of a difference between the experienced guys and the rest? How come all the guys who run their Sparklers hard, wake jumping, racing, what nots are having ZERO issues with bars, but regular folks keep having their bars break...
Just on that alone you could assume it has something to do with riding style, but I can't believe its simply chalked up to that...
My friend thinks that people are leaning too hard on the front handle bars instead of supporting their weight more with the feet and legs. That sounds possible to me, though I still think that the bars should be able to handle that.
I tend to agree with less experienced riders putting full body weight on the bars. The bars should have been designed to handle the load of the least common denominator of rider.
Here is one other thing I have learned from the RC car racing is newer plastic is much more likely to snap and break than older plastic due to the phenomenon of moisture absorbtion. When we had issues with new plastic parts snapping we ended up boiling them which made a huge difference in durabilty just by adding 1 or 2 percent of moisture to the plastic. And if it was to flexible you dried them in an oven to reduce the moisture content. Plastic normally would take 6 months to naturally absorb moisture from the air. Boiling just speeded up the process to minute instead of months.
I would be interestedif there is a corelation from build dates to break dates.
I was riding alone when the bars broke. I have never ridden two up on my Spark. I was pulling back on the bars to stand the front end and they sheared off. I've never ridden the Spark in the ocean, only lake duty, though I have ridden my old SPX in 6 foot swells in Ocean City with no problems. I've been riding skis for 14 years and have never had any problems with handlebars-stock or otherwise. Like I said, I weigh 155lbs. Weight is not the issue.
I only ride in lakes as I am located in the center of Canada... I have been dirt jumping my pedal bike(giant stp 2) for the past 6 years and my bmx bike for many years before that. With a bike with shocks you dont notice you are putting to much force/ weight on the bars unless you bottom out the shocks which is nearly impossible when you have 80psi in them... but with a bmx bike you know from even a slight bunny hop if you arent landing properly as you feel like you broke your wrists.
I have been wave jumping my spark for several hours and am no where near being amazing at it but I have fun. the waves on a rough day are about 3 feet from peak-valley of wave and a minimum of 10 feet from peak-peak. Going from peak to peak against the waves is very smooth and I have landed and pinned the throttle to hit the waves again with caused me to land on the second peak so I pinned it again and scared the crap out of myself by landing on the third peak.... I wish I had a picture or video to see how far out of the water I was but I was alone on the lake.
The moral of the story is that from my experience I do not think it is the material but the rider and how much force they put onto the spark itself instead of their own body cushioning the impact. I have seen many forks/ shocks break over the years on bikes due to impact and misuse but have never broken any myself.
I may end up eating my own words if mine break but this is my opinion as of now.
I am not claiming to be a pro on a sea-doo as this is my first sea-doo and I just have over 11 hours on the meter...
Wiz thats an interesting theory, sounds plausible enough, but then again what doesn't when the situation is so mysterious.
TO take it one more step though I don't think its simply just the raw weight of rider on the bars, I think its a combination of raw weight and G forces. Coming down, if loaded on the bars, its not only just rider weight being loaded but the entire total of the weight transfer (G's and all that). Same goes for the current situation where he went to pull back on the bars and stand it up, pull back plus throttle makes the tug much more stressful than 155 lbs.
Personally I think that's the missing piece of the equation...