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Are Kawasaki Jet Skis Reliable and Good? [Video]

Home/News/Are Kawasaki Jet Skis Reliable and Good? [Video]

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Kawasaki Jet Skis are known for their reliability, high quality, and outstanding engine power. This is why this brand is considered to be one of the major players in the PWC industry!

If you want to find out more about Kawasaki jet ski’s reliability and durability, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

Are Kawasaki Jet Skis Reliable?

There’s no question that the Kawasaki Jet Ski is one of the most well-known PWC brands. Surprisingly in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Kawasakis were the only commercially successful PWCs in the marketplace.

Thanks to its thoughtful marketing campaign, their stand-up machines became extremely popular and made this sport known worldwide.

The brand was so successful that the “Jet Ski” brand name has become genericized, and today it’s commonly used by any brand of PWCs.

Are you wondering how reliable Kawasaki jet skis are?

Industry experts agree that Kawasaki Jet Skis can be as reliable as any other PWC brand with correct maintenance and care.

Let’s see what the experts have to say:

The good news is each Jet Ski or personal watercraft brand generally has excellent reliability – as long as they are properly maintained according to their individual service schedule. (…) So while you may hear horror stories about various brands, it’s worth asking yourself if that particular Jet Ski or personal watercraft was properly maintained – or was it abused or neglected, or not serviced correctly?

The reality is all three mainstream brands – Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki – have advantages and disadvantages over their rivals.”

Source: Joshua Dowling (Watercraft Zone)

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the reliability of Kawasaki jet skis in detail.

Are Kawasaki Jet Skis High Maintenance?

Generally speaking, PWCs are considered to be high maintenance machines, and Kawasaki Jet Skis are no exception. What’s more, compared to Yamaha WaveRunners, Kawasaki Jet Skis require slightly more attention and care. Why?

The reason is the higher engine compression and worse cc/HP ratios, as well as their unique systems.

Kawasaki PWCs are well-known for their extreme engine power, as these supercharged models crank out 310 HP. But surprisingly, their engines have a smaller displacement than supercharged Yamaha WaveRunners.

The latter models come with a 1,812cc engine rated at 250 HP, while the 1,498cc supercharged Kawasaki engine puts out an amazing 310 HP.

For a better comparison, we’ve listed the available jet ski engines in one chart:

BrandEngine TypeccHPHP/ccCylindersSuper- charged
YamahaTR-11049100/ 110/ 12510.5/9.5/8.43No
YamahaYamaha Marine HO181218010.14No
YamahaYamaha Marine SVHO18122507.24Yes
Sea-DooRotax 900 ACE8996015.03No
Sea-DooRotax 900 ACE HO8999010.03No
Sea-Doo Rotax 1630 ACE1630130/17012.5/9.63No
Sea-Doo Rotax 1630 ACE1630230/3007.1/5.43Yes
KawasakiKawasaki 149814981609.44No
KawasakiKawasaki 149814983104.84Yes

As you can imagine, the worse HP/displacement ratio and higher compression put more stress on the engine.

This is why Sea-Doos and Kawasaki Jet Skis both require high-quality engine oil and more attention.

It’s also good to know that the supercharger on Kawasaki Jet Skis is driven by a belt, which is not the best option.

On top of that, Kawasaki jet ski engines are harder to work on due to their design.

What Are the Most Reliable Kawasaki Jet Skis?

As a rule of thumb, the most reliable Kawasaki Jet Skis are the non-supercharged models, including the STX-160 series, the Ultra LX, and the SX-R 1500.

FAQs About Kawasaki Jet Skis

If you want to find out more about Kawasaki Jet Skis, keep reading. We’ve answered the most frequent questions about this iconic PWC brand!

Does Kawasaki Still Make Jet Skis?

Yes! If you are in the market for a Kawasaki Jet Ski, the good news is that the Japanese manufacturer still has a large fleet of PWCs. Aside from the stand-up SX-R 1500, Kawasaki offers a wide range of runabouts from the entry-level STX-160 to the flagship Ultra 310 LX.

Does Kawasaki Still Make a Stand-Up Jet Ski?

Yes, Kawasaki still produces a stand-up jet ski, called the SX-R 1500. Compared to its predecessors, this machine features a large hull and a 4-stroke 1,498cc power source rated at 160 HP.

When did the Kawasaki Jet Ski First Come Out?

The first Kawasaki Jet Skis came out in late 1972. The first mass-produced Kawasaki Jet Ski was the iconic JS400, which created an entirely new sport.

Since the first 1968 Sea-Doo watercraft was a failure, the JS400 became the world’s first commercially successful PWC.

Who Invented Kawasaki Jet Skis?

The Kawasaki Jet Ski was invented by Clayton Jacobson II, who was an avid motorcycle racer. The main idea behind the Jet Ski was to build a tiny vessel that offered a dirt-bike-like riding experience on the water.

Where are Kawasaki Jet Skis Made?

As reported by PowerSport Business, Kawasaki Jet Skis are manufactured in the USA (Maryville, Missouri.)

Does Kawasaki own Sea-Doo?

No, Kawasaki doesn’t own Sea-Doo, as this brand belongs to the Canadian Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).

What Year did Kawasaki Jet Skis Become Fuel Injected?

The first fuel-injected Kawasaki Jet Skis debuted in the 2000 model year.

When Did Kawasaki Start Making 4-Stroke Jet Skis?

Kawasaki started making 4-stroke jet skis in 2003 when the company released its new flagship PWC, the STX-12F. This 3-seater runabout featured a 4-cylinder, water-cooled, 1,199cc power mill fed by an electronic fuel injection system.

The design of the machine was inspired by the Ninja ZX-12R motorcycle, while its one-piece fiberglass hull was covered by gel coat.

When did Kawasaki Stop Making 2-Stroke Jet Skis?

Kawasaki stopped manufacturing 2-stroke Jet Skis in 2011 due to the new EPA restrictions. The last 2-stroke Jet Ski was the widely-popular 2011 SX-R 800. Although the iconic SX-R family made a comeback in 2017, the new model came powered by a 4-stroke engine.

How Long is the Warranty on a Kawasaki Jet Ski?

The limited warranty on a Kawasaki Jet Ski is 12 months. If you are looking for an extended Kawasaki warranty, the good news is that you can choose Kawasaki’s Protection Plus warranty as an option.

Conclusion – Are Kawasaki Jet Skis Any Good?

Kawasaki is one of the most popular PWC manufacturers in the world, and for good reason.

The company is well-known for its extremely powerful engines and deep-V-shaped hulls that handle well on rough waters. Because of this, Jet Skis are boldly recommended for offshore rides!

The Jet Ski fleet had been basically unchanged for many years, but in 2021 the manufacturer surprised the market when its all-new Ultra 310 series was introduced.

When it comes to reliability, experts claim that Kawasaki Jet Skis can be as reliable as any competitor PWC model, as long as they are properly used and maintained!

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