Compare Specs Discover '24 PWCs Browse Reviews
1987-1993 Kawasaki 650SX Review and Specs [Video]

1987-1993 Kawasaki 650SX Review and Specs [Video]

The Kawasaki 650SX was the bigger brother of the single-cylinder 300SX. It featured an all-new platform and a 2-stroke, 635cc, twin-cylinder engine. Kawasaki marketed this popular high-performance stand-up Jet Ski from 1987 through 1993.

If you want to find out more about this legendary ski, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Kawasaki 650SX review!

1987-1993 Kawasaki 650SX Review

Kawasaki 650SX Hull and Top Deck

The Kawasaki 650SX was introduced for the 1987 model year. It was built on a new V-shaped hull designed from scratch.

Contrary to popular belief, this platform had not been borrowed from the single-cylinder 300SX. Although these skis looked quite similar at first glance, the 650SX featured a bigger and heavier body.

In terms of dimensions, this platform measured 86.8 inches in length, 28.8 inches in width, and 29.9 inches in height. The dry weight of the 650SX was 282.2 pounds, 61 pounds heavier than the 300SX.

Unlike the predecessor’s original JS platform, the all-new 650SX featured a much more modern, rounded design.

It housed a 4.6-gallon fuel tank, a 3.0-quart oil tank, and a fire extinguisher storage unit mounted on the side of the top deck. You could also find another small tubular storage compartment nestled inside the engine compartment.

The tray featured narrow rails covered by deck mats for an adequate grip and improved comfort.

The lockable fuel tank cap was integrated into the top deck of the ski while the oil tank cap was hidden inside the engine bay.

Kawasaki 650SX Engine and Propulsion

The power source of the 650SX was a 2-stroke, 635cc, vertical twin Kawasaki marine engine rated at 52 HP. This engine was shared with many other popular jet skis including the Jet Mate, the sporty X-2 and the weird Kawasaki 650 SC “Super Chicken”.

The Kawasaki 650 engine was designed with many advanced features, including:

  • 2-stroke, vertical-twin, crankcase reeed valve configuration
  • Single Keihin CDK 38-32 carburetor
  • NGK BR7ES spark plugs
  • Crankcase reed valve
  • Oil injection system
  • Magneto CDI ignition system
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • Electric starter
This engine was matched with an axial-flow, single-stage jet pump, housing a 3-blade, aluminum impeller.

The propulsion system offered a maximum thrust of 463 pounds, converting to a top speed of 41 mph.

The fuel consumption of the 650SX was 5 GPH, so its 4.6-gallon fuel tank ensured a cruising range of 38 miles or a riding time of 55 minutes.

Kawasaki 650SX Features

The 650SX came standard with many advanced features, including:

  • Handlebar-mounted start/stop button
  • Control panel
  • Choke knob
  • Fuel valve knob
  • Starter interlock switch
  • Thumb throttle
  • Throttle limiter
  • Continuous self-activating bilge pump
  • 4.6-gallon fuel tank (inc. 1.2 gal reserve)
  • Fire extinguisher compartment
  • Storage compartment
  • Tool kit
  • Deck mats on the tray and the rails
  • Chin pad
The control panel of the ski was nestled in front of the tray. It featured a choke knob, a fuel valve knob, and the engine’s cover latch.

Keeping convenience and safety in mind, the start/stop buttons were mounted on the left handlebar, while the thumb throttle lever was positioned under the right handlebar.

The latter was equipped with a throttle limiter intended to decrease maximum engine power for novice riders. It was an adjustable bolt that restricted how far the throttle lever could be moved.

It did the same job as the “Slow” or “Learning” modes of modern jet skis.

Although the 650SX came standard with many advanced features, it still lacked a shut-off switch and a safety lanyard.

This means its engine didn’t stop automatically when you fell into the water. Instead, the ski started to go slowly in circles, which meant that you had to catch it to reboard.

After seven years of production, the 650SX was discontinued in 1993 to make room for the more powerful 750SX and 750 SXi.

Kawasaki 650SX Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 1992 Kawasaki 650SX into these charts:

Kawasaki 650SX Engine Specs

Kawasaki 650SXEngine Specs
Engine type2-stroke, vertical twin, crankcase reed valve, water-cooled
Displacement635 mL (38.7 cu in.)
Bore and stroke76.0 x 70.0 mm (2.99 x 2.75 in.)
Compression ratio7.2 : 1
Ignition systemMagneto CDI
Lubrication systemOil injection (break-in period: oil injection and gas/oil mixture 50:1)
CarburetorKeihin CDK 38-32
Starting systemElectric
Battery12 V 19 Ah
Engine oil type2-stroke, NMMA Certified for Service TC-WII
Engine oil tank capacity2.8 L, 3.0 qt (US)

Kawasaki 650SX Tuning Specifications

Kawasaki 650SXTuning Specifications
Spark Plug TypeNGK BR7ES
Spark Plug Gap0.7 ∼ 0.8 mm (0.028 ∼ 0.032 in.)
Ignition Timing17° BTDC @6 000 r/min (rpm) - 2.0 mm(0.08 in) @6 000 r/min (rpm)
Carburetor Idle Speed - in water1 250 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Carburetor Idle Speed - out of water2 300 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Compression Pressure1 225 kPa (12.5 kg/cm2) 178 psi

Kawasaki 650SX Drive System

Kawasaki 650SXDrive System
CouplingDirect drive from engine
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Jet Pump Static Thrust210 kg (463 lb)
SteeringSteerable nozzle
BrakingWater drag

Kawasaki 650SX Performance

Kawasaki 650SXPerformance
Maximum Speed67 km/h (41 mph)
Minimum Turning Radius2.8 m (9.3 ft)
Draft (Stationary)220 mm (8.7 in)
Fuel Consumption19 L/hr (5.0 US gal/hr) @full throttle
Cruising Range (1)61 km (38 mi) @full throttle
Cruising Range (2)55 minutes

Kawasaki 650SX Dimensions

Kawasaki 650SXDimensions
Overall length86.8 in (2205 mm)
Overall width26.8 in (680 mm)
Overall height29.9 in (760 mm)
Dry Weight128 kg (282.2 lbs)
Fuel tank capacity4.6 US gal (17.5 L) including 1.2 US gal (4.5 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 Kawasaki 650SX (1992 model):

What is a Kawasaki 650SX?

The Kawasaki 650SX was a high-performance, 2-stroke, stand-up Jet Ski.

When did the Kawasaki 650SX Come Out?

The Kawasaki 650SX debuted in 1987.

What Years Did Kawasaki Make the 650SX?

Kawasaki marketed the 650SX from 1987 through 1993.

What Size was a Kawasaki 650SX?

The Kawasaki 650SX measured 86.8 inches in length, 26.8 inches in width, and 29.9 inches in height.

How Much Did a Kawasaki 650SX Weigh?

The dry weight of the Kawasaki 650SX was only 282.2 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Kawasaki 650SX?

The Kawasaki 650SX could carry only one rider.

What Kind of Engine was in the Kawasaki 650SX?

The Kawasaki 650SX was powered by a 2-stroke, 635cc, vertical twin Kawasaki marine engine.

Was the Kawasaki 650SX Supercharged?

The Kawasaki 650SX was powered by a naturally-aspirated engine.

Was the Kawasaki 650SX a 2-stroke?

Yes, the Kawasaki 650SX was powered by a 2-stroke engine.

How Much Horsepower Did a Kawasaki 650SX Have?

The Kawasaki 650SX produced 52 HP out of the box.

How Much Oil Did a Kawasaki 650SX Hold?

The Kawasaki 650SX had an oil system featuring a 3.0-quart oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Kawasaki 650SX Hold?

The Kawasaki 650SX was equipped with a 4.6-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Kawasaki 650SX Use?

The claimed fuel consumption of the Kawasaki 650SX was about 5 GPH at full throttle.

What was the Fuel Range of the Kawasaki 650SX?

The fuel range of the Kawasaki 650SX was about 38 miles (or 55 minutes) at full throttle.

How Fast Did a Kawasaki 650SX Go?

The claimed top speed of a Kawasaki 650SX was 41 mph.

Did the Kawasaki 650SX Have a Reverse?           

No, the Kawasaki 650SX didn’t have a reverse system.

Did the Kawasaki 650SX Have a Brake?

No, the Kawasaki 650SX was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Kawasaki 650SX Cost?

The asking price of a used Kawasaki 650SX varies between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on the year and its condition.