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1997-1999 Kawasaki 1100 STX Review and Specs [Video]

1997-1999 Kawasaki 1100 STX Review and Specs [Video]

The Kawasaki 1100 STX was the flagship 3-seater runabout in the Kawasaki Jet Ski fleet from 1997 through 1999. It shared its 2-stroke, 1071cc, 120 HP, triple engine with the sporty 1100 ZXi but was built on the larger and heavier STX platform. The 1100 STX was phased out by the fuel-injected 1100 STX D.I. in 2000.

If you want to find out more about this popular 2-stroke Kawasaki Jet Ski, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Kawasaki 1100 STX review!

1997-1999 Kawasaki 1100 STX Review

Kawasaki introduced the new STX series in 1997 as the high-end 3-seater runabout line.

Family members included the entry-level STX 750, the mid-range 900 STX, and the top-of-the-line 1100 STX.

Each of these skis featured the same SXT platform but as their names suggest, they came with different engine options.

Unlike the short-lived 750, the flagship 1100 STX was manufactured from 1997 through 1999 and was re-introduced as a fuel-injected (“D.I.”) model for the Millennium.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about this popular machine in detail!

Kawasaki 1100 STX Hull and Top Deck

The 1100 STX was built on a deep-V hull featuring a deep keel and long strakes, which ensured smooth and predictable handling.

Regarding dimensions, this shell measured 122.1 inches in length, 46.1 inches in width, and 41.3 inches in height.

Its roomy top deck housed a flat, 3-rider seat, and a lot of storage spaces including a bow storage, an under-seat storage case, and a glovebox.

The fuel capacity of the 1100 STX was 14.0 gallons completed with a 5.3-quart oil reservoir.

In terms of color scheme, the hull was covered by white Gelcoat while the top deck got a bright red dress. The front hood and the top of the deck were grey, just like the two-tone grey saddle.

This design was carried over to 1998 without any changes, but in 1999 the top deck was red and the design of the seat was also revamped.

Kawasaki 1100 STX Engine and Propulsion

The engine of the Kawasaki 1100 STX was the proven 2-stroke, 1071cc, vertical triple Kawasaki marine engine rated at 120 HP. This model shared its engine with the 2-seater 1100 ZXi and was the predecessor of the fuel-injected 1100 Kawasaki engine.

The key features of the carbed 1071cc Kawasaki triple were as follows:

The ‘97-’98 models featured a Magneto CDI ignition upgraded for the DC-CDI ignition in ’99.

The propulsion system of the 1100 STX was an axial-flow, single-stage jet pump, housing a stainless-steel, 3-blade impeller.

This high-capacity jet pump was rated at a maximum thrust of 803 pounds.

Kawasaki 1100 STX Features

The 1100 STX came standard with many advanced features, including:

  • Digital instrument panel
  • Choke knob
  • Fuel knob
  • Handlebar-mounted start/stop buttons
  • Engine shut-off lanyard
  • Front storage compartment
  • Fire extinguisher compartment
  • Under-seat storage pocket
  • Front storage pocket (glovebox)
  • 3-rider seat
  • Seat latch
  • Tool kit
  • Drain plugs
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Throttle limiter
  • Dual mirrors
  • Tow hook
  • Mooring cleats
  • Reboarding step
  • Rear grab handle
  • Sponsons
  • Underwater exhaust outlet
  • Deck mats
The digital instrument panel of the 1100 STX had many useful features, including:

  • Speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Time/Trip/Hour meter
  • Fuel level gauge
  • Low fuel warning light
  • Water temperature symbol
  • Engine oil level gauge
  • Low oil warning light
  • Clock
Ulike its smaller brothers, the 1100 STX came standard with a reboarding step.One of the biggest flaws of this ski was that it lacked a manually-adjustable trim system.

Kawasaki 1100 STX Performance

Thanks to its high-performance engine and pump, the 1100 STX could reach a top speed of 51 mph under ideal conditions.

Its deep-V hull offered smooth rides and great rough water capabilities.This superior handling combined with its 3-seater configuration made this ski a great towing PWC, but it was also commonly used for touring.Its claimed fuel consumption was  12.2 GPH at full speed so its 14-gallon fuel tank offered a cruising range of 58 miles.

Kawasaki 1100 STX Problems

It is safe to say that the biggest problems of the Kawasaki 1100 STX were as follows:

  • Complex engine with three CDCV carbs
  • Poor electrical box and trim box sealing
  • Aging oil hoses
  • “Swelling” wear ring issue
Although the engine of the 1100 STX was fairly reliable, its triple-carb, 3-cylinder setup offered a much more complex architecture than its twin siblings.

Its Keihin CDCV carburetors were more difficult to correctly set and synchronize than the regular Keihin CDK carbs.

Furthermore, the sealing of its trim box and the electrical box was also prone to cracking over time. Once water got into these boxes it caused various electrical issues and corrosion.

The factory oil lines of the STX were also prone to breaking while aging.

Because of this, many owners replaced them with more durable polyurethane hoses, while others preferred to remove the entire oil injection system and use premix instead.

The entire STX family suffered from the “swelling” wear ring issue, and the 1100 STX was no exception.

When salt water got between the wear ring and the vane housing, the former started to bulge due to corrosion.

In other words, the clearance between the wear ring and the impeller decreased, causing the impeller to cut into the ring. In some cases, the impeller was blocked, locking up the engine itself.

If the corrosion was excessive, the vane housing had to be completely replaced.

Kawasaki 1100 STX Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 1999 Kawasaki 1100 STX into these charts:

Kawasaki 1100 STX Engine Specs

Kawasaki 1100 STXEngine Specs
Engine type2-stroke, 3-cylinder, crankcase reed valve, water-cooled
Displacement1,071 mL (65.4 cu in.)
Bore and stroke80.0 x 71.0 mm (3.15 x 2.80 in.)
Compression ratio5.8 : 1
Ignition systemDC-CDI
Lubrication systemOil injection (break-in period: oil injection and gas/oil mixture 50:1)
CarburetorKeihin CDCV 38 x 3
Starting systemElectric
Battery12 V 18 Ah
Engine oil type2-stroke, NMMA Certified for Service TC-W 3
Engine oil tank capacity5 L, 5.3 qt (US)

Kawasaki 1100 STX Tuning Specifications

Kawasaki 1100 STXTuning Specifications
Spark Plug TypeNGK BR9ES
Spark Plug Gap0.7 ∼ 0.8 mm (0.028 ∼ 0.032 in.)
Spark Plug TerminalSolid post
Ignition Timing17° BTDC @1250 r/min (rpm) - 27° BTDC @3000 r/min (rpm)
Carburetor Idle Speed - in water1 250 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Carburetor Idle Speed - out of water1 800 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Compression Pressure940 kPa (9.6 kg/cm2) @ 445 r/min (rpm) - 137 psi

Kawasaki 1100 STX Drive System

Kawasaki 1100 STXDrive System
CouplingDirect drive from engine
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Jet Pump Static Thrust364 kg (803 lb)
SteeringSteerable nozzle
BrakingWater drag

Kawasaki 1100 STX Performance

Kawasaki 1100 STXPerformance
Minimum Turning Radius4.0 m (13.1 ft)
Fuel Consumption46 L/hr (12.2 US gal/hr) @full throttle
Cruising Range (1)93 km (57.8 mi) @full throttle
Cruising Range (2)1 hour and 9 minutes

Kawasaki 1100 STX Dimensions

Kawasaki 1100 STXDimensions
Overall length122.1 in (3 100 mm)
Overall width46.1 in (1 170 mm)
Overall height41.3 in (1 050 mm)
Dry Weight278 kg (613 lbs)
Fuel tank capacity14.0 US gal (53 L) including 1.8 US gal (7 L) reserve
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.


As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the 1996-2003 Kawasaki 1100 STX:

What is a Kawasaki 1100 STX?

The 1100 STX was a high-performance 2-stroke, 3-seater Kawasaki Jet Ski.

When did the Kawasaki 1100 STX Come Out?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX debuted in 1997.

What Years Did Kawasaki Make the 1100 STX?

Kawasaki marketed the 1100 STX from 1997 through 1999.

What Size was a Kawasaki 1100 STX?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX measured 122.1 inches in length, 46.1 inches in width, and 41.3 inches in height.

How Much Did a Kawasaki 1100 STX Weigh?

The dry weight of the Kawasaki 1100 STX was 613 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Kawasaki 1100 STX?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Kawasaki 1100 STX?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX was powered by a 2-stroke, triple-carb, three-cylinder, 1071cc Kawasaki marine engine.

Was the Kawasaki 1100 STX Supercharged?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX utilized a naturally-aspirated engine configuration.

Was the Kawasaki 1100 STX a 2-stroke?

Yes, the Kawasaki 1100 STX was powered by a 2-stroke engine.

How Much Horsepower Did a Kawasaki 1100 STX Have?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX produced 120 HP out of the box.

How Much Oil Did a Kawasaki 1100 STX Hold?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX had an oil injection system featuring a 5.3-quart oil tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Kawasaki 1100 STX Hold?

The Kawasaki 1100 STX was equipped with a 14.0-gallon fuel tank, including a 1.8-gallon reserve.

How Much Fuel Did a Kawasaki 1100 STX Use?

The claimed fuel consumption of the Kawasaki 1100 STX was 12.2 GPH at full throttle.

What was the Fuel Range of the Kawasaki 1100 STX?

The claimed fuel range of the Kawasaki 1100 STX was 57.8 miles or 1 hour and 9 minutes at WOT.

How Fast Did a Kawasaki 1100 STX Go?

The top speed of a Kawasaki 1100 STX was about 51 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the Kawasaki 1100 STX Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Due to its three-seater configuration and powerful engine, the Kawasaki 1100 STX could easily and legally tow a wakeboarder or skier.

Did the Kawasaki 1100 STX Have a Reverse?     

No, the Kawasaki 1100 STX came standard with a reverse system.

Did the Kawasaki 1100 STX Have a Brake?         

No, the Kawasaki 1100 STX was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Kawasaki 1100 STX Cost?

The asking price of a used Kawasaki 1100 STX varies between $1,000 and $6,000 depending on the year and its condition.