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Articles / Standup / Trials & Tribulations of Mikes 550 days

Trials & Tribulations of Mikes 550 days

13 March 2020
Article Trials & Tribulations of Mikes 550 days
I'm writing this to all the new riders out there and just help make this a little easier. I know everyone will have their own opinion but this is just mine to see it from a rookie racer standpoint and average rec rider. 

Recently there been a whole debate with the 440 550x and the 750 pumps and here is my takeaway from it.
For a long time, I was such a hard core 440 pump guy. I did everything you could have done to make the fastest vintage ski alive. From ported to the max PJS motor to extrude hone pump, blueprint, after market nozzle bored stock nozzle to custom kicker prop you name it, I’ve done it.

I didn't cut any corner whatsoever. I spent well over $10,000 USD total by the time my race ski was finished. I was so excited to have this setup and I go out to the local races and competing in region 1 which is known to some fast racers - you all know who you are.

I didn't cut any corner whatsoever. I spent well over $10,000 USD total by the time my race ski was finished.
As I got out there to the line, I started my beautiful PJS motor with that ever so sweet 440 pump thinking I had the hot setup. The band drop, and you guessed it, I'm the last sucker off the line due to me try to keep that pump spooled. Now I'm sucking in everyone prop wash which made it cavitate like I never though a pump could do.

So, after the horrible start I said, “screw it”, let’s see if I can keep up with anyone with a 750 pump. I did for minute on the turn but as soon as the straight - they were gone. Gone so bad I was embarrassed. See I didn’t listen to what my engine builder had said before. Now I know someone will say “well you built it wrong” and that’s fine, but when BJS performance skis are winning you know he is doing something right!
So now in with the 550x pump. What can I say about this pump? Nothing but good things. It’s a great rec ride pump and it will almost keep up with a 750 pump. Flying Hawaiian proved this last weekend - he was only running a piston port motor and we switched just to make the playing field even.

What knowledge I've gained from this pump is that when I switch from my JS to the SX pump on a stock 85 piston port, which I've been purposely trying to blow up and it doesn't; the amount of whole shot I gained was huge and surprisingly the top end felt fantastic! The traction in rough water was awesome as well! For rec riding is was pure awesomeness. There’s nothing negative about this pump. If you ever come across one buy it, and swap it, and you won't be disappointed.

Now on with the 750 pump. My first reaction was “wow!” I've never felt so much power out of my 550 race ski. It whole shot like you've never felt before. The ski stays planted even better than the 550 SX pump and why you might ask? Well because it hangs about 1 inch lower to my belief (someone could correct me on this).

Now, I use to be the biggest advocated of trying to rule this pump out in the races and so against it, but after racing them and now having it I won't ever go back to that old 440 pump ever again. One thing I noticed with this pump is it stays hooked and the RPM’s aren't spinning what they use to, which in the long run saves your motor. The only negatives I have about this pump is what you have to buy in order to make this work. It tends to be little pricey, but totally worth it in the long run.

My first reaction was “wow!” I've never felt so much power out of my 550 race ski.
Now since were done ranting about the pump let’s talk about the average rec ride setup that tends to work the best without tearing a huge hole in your wallet - in my opinion!

Rec ride set up that I personally found what works best;
  • piston port motor or Reed motor - JS550 or SX550 pump both works great!
  • prop pitch of 15 or 15.5. Both do the job
  • any brand half pipe will work well
  • straight Blowsion bars
  • simple quick steer
  • an open grate so you can slide you ski around or do some tricks - works great! If you want hook up then go with an R&D, PJS or Jet Dynamics intake grate - all do the job in my opinion!
  • SBN 44 made a difference on a bone stock motor over the BN38
  • extended the ride plate with any of your choice. I use a Mariner
These are just a few things for the rec ride, but it will give you a good starting point on what to buy etc.

All in all, I hope this helps anyone out there on deciding what to do. I just wanted to give my experience and hoping someone could learn from this. Please keep the comments constructive and no negative bashings. Just take this article and apply it to what you know and most of all have fun! Thats what the good times are all about.



Mar 2020
Also, to note that this experiment was done with a PJS 550 reed motor and a modified piston port motor for the 550sx pump. You also really need a heavily modified 550 to make the 750 pump work.
Something else to be noted so you don’t get confused towards the end of the article and go “well I have a 440 engine should I put the 750 pump on her?”, because no it will not work. On that case you stick with that engine and pump and you build the crap out of it!