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Kawasaki SX-R 160 Specs and Review [Video]

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Specs and Review [Video]

The SX-R 160 is the only production Kawasaki stand-up Jet Ski. It’s built on a large heavy platform and powered by a 4-stroke, 160 HP engine. Competitors of this ski are the new Yamaha Superjet as well as skis in the 2-stroke Krash family.

If you want to find out more about this machine, you’ve come to the right place.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this detailed Kawasaki SX-R 160 review!

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Review

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Engine

Let’s face it, the Kawasaki SX-R 160 is a rebranded SX-R 1500. The ski got a new name and different decals, but otherwise, it’s identical to its predecessor.

This ski was introduced in late 2016 for the 2017 model year, as the world’s first 4-stroke stand-up jet ski. Since then, the 4-stroke SX-R has been manufactured without any significant changes.

The power source for this ski is the proven naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter Kawasaki marine engine derived from the Ninja ZX-14R motorcycle.

This 4-stroke, 1498cc, DOHC, in-line 4-cylinder engine is rated at 160 HP and can be controlled with a standard wire throttle.

The engine is located as far and low in the rear as possible to help the ski go through waves, ensuring a smoother riding experience.

It was slightly tailored for the small engine compartment of the SX-R, so its waterbox was narrowed to fit in the rail of the tray.

Engine power is delivered to a direct drive axial-flow jet pump, borrowed from the non-supercharged Kawasaki STX series.

It houses a 148mm, three-blade, oval-edge impeller, but it has a large (87mm) steering nozzle for the best performance.

The intake grate was inherited from the predecessor SX-R 800, but it was lengthened to fit on the larger hull.

Kawasaki uses the same power source and pump across all its non-supercharged jet ski series.

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Hull

The SX-R 160 is built on an unusually large V-shaped platform measuring 104.5 inches in length, 30.1 inches in width, and 33.1 inches in height. The curb weight of the SX-R is an impressive 551 pounds.

In contrast, the predecessor SX-R 800 was only 90.6 inches long and 28.7 inches wide and only weighed 397 pounds.

To reduce water spray, the deeply-straked hull of the SX-R 160 features Kawasaki Splash Deflectors (KSD).

Its large, 16″ x 34″ tray slopes 5 degrees forward to force the rider toward the handlebars.

The fins feature a rounded design while their inner sides and the tray are covered by Hydro-Turf mats for maximum traction and comfort.

Keeping safety in mind, the top of the handlebar pole is also carefully padded.

On the sides of the rear portion of the hull, you will find two sizeable sponsons, which are almost as large as standard runabout sponsons.

The fuel capacity of the ski is 6.1 gallons but it lacks any storage units.

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Riding Experience

The large hull of the SX-R 160 is so buoyant that it allows a smaller rider to stand on the tray even when the engine is off.

As you can imagine, this bulky ski is much less nimble and playful than its lightweight 2-stroke predecessors.

On the other hand, it’s much easier to reboard, which makes it appealing for beginners or even bigger riders.

The SX-R 160 offers aggressive accelerations and a top speed of 62-63 mph under ideal conditions.

In terms of fuel economy, the ski gets 11.4 GPH at full throttle. Its 6.1-gallon fuel tank offers a fuel range of 28 miles, but if you just want to play around, you can expect a riding time of 29 minutes.

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Features

The key features of the SY-R 160 include:

  • 4-stroke, 1.5L Kawasaki marine engine
  • 16″ x 34″ tray
  • Hydro-Turf deck mats
  • Padded handlebar pole
  • Kawasaki Splash Deflectors (KSD)
  • Safety lanyard
  • Mooring cleats
  • Sponsons
  • Color: Ebony/Lime Green

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specifications of the Kawasaki SX-R 160 into these charts:

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Engine Specs

Kawasaki SX-R 160Engine Specs
Type4-stroke, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve, water-cooled
Displacement1 498 cm³ (91.41 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke83 × 69.2 mm (3.27 × 2.72 in.)
Compression Ratio10.6 : 1
Ignition SystemDigital transistor
Lubrication SystemSemi-dry sump
Fuel SystemDigital fuel injection
Research Octane Number (RON)Minimum Rating 87
Starting SystemElectric starter
Battery12 V 18 Ah (10 HR)

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Tuning Specifications

Kawasaki SX-R 160Tuning Specifications
Spark PlugNGK CR9EKB
Spark Plug Gap0.7 - 0.8 mm (0.028 - 0.031 in.)
Spark Plug TerminalSolid post terminal
Ignition Timing3° ATDC @1 300 r/min (rpm) - 32° BTDC @3 000 r/min (rpm)
Idle Speed - in water1 300 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Idle Speed - out of water1 300 ±100 r/min (rpm)

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Drive System

Kawasaki SX-R 160Drive System
CouplingDirect drive from engine
Jet Pump - TypeAxial flow, single stage
Jet Pump - Thrust4 250 N (433.4 kgf) (955.6 lb)
SteeringSteerable nozzle
BrakingWater drag

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Performance

Kawasaki SX-R 160Performance
Minimum Turning Radius4.0 m (13.1 ft)
Fuel Consumption43 L/h at full throttle (11.4 US gal/hr)
Cruising Range46 km at full throttle (28 mi) - 29 min

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Dimensions and Capacities

Kawasaki SX-R 160Dimensions and Capacities
Maximum number of riders1 person
Load Limit75 kg including rider and luggage (165 lb)
Overall Length2 655 mm (104.5 in.)
Overall Width765 mm (30.1 in.)
Overall Height840 mm (33.1 in.)
Curb Mass250 kg (551 lb)
Fuel Tank Capacity23 L (6.1 US gal)

Kawasaki SX-R 160 Engine Oil

Kawasaki SX-R 160Engine Oil
Engine Oil TypeAPI SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2
Engine Oil ViscositySAE 10W-40
Engine Oil Capacity5.0 L (5.3 US qt)
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 SX-R 160!

What is a Kawasaki SX-R 160?

The SX-R 160 is the only production Kawasaki stand-up jet ski.

When did the Kawasaki SX-R 160 Come Out?

The 4-stroke SX-R was introduced in 2014 and was rebranded as SX-R 160 in 2023.

What Size is a Kawasaki SX-R 160?

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 measures 104.5 inches in length, 30.1 inches in width, and 33.1 inches in height.

How Much Does a Kawasaki SX-R 160 Weigh?

The dry weight of the Kawasaki SX-R 160 is 503 pounds, while its curb weight is 551 pounds.

How Many People can Ride on a Kawasaki SX-R 160?

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 can carry 1 adult rider.

What Kind of Engine is in the Kawasaki SX-R 160?

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 is powered by a 4-stroke, fuel-injected, DOHC, 1498cc, 4-cylinder Kawasaki marine engine.

Is the Kawasaki SX-R 160 Supercharged?

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 utilizes a naturally-aspirated (non-supercharged) engine.

Is the Kawasaki SX-R 160 a 4-stroke?

Yes, the Kawasaki SX-R 160 is powered by a 4-stroke engine.

How Much Horsepower Does a Kawasaki SX-R 160?

As the name suggests, the Kawasaki SX-R 160 produces 160 HP.

How Much Fuel Does a Kawasaki SX-R 160 Use?

The fuel consumption of the Kawasaki SX-R 160 is about 11.4 GPH at WOT.

How Much Fuel Does a Kawasaki SX-R 160 Hold?

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 is equipped with a 6.1-gallon fuel tank.

How Fast Does a Kawasaki SX-R 160 Go?

The top speed of a Kawasaki SX-R 160 is about 62-63 mph under ideal conditions.

Does the Kawasaki SX-R 160 Have Reverse?      

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 comes without a brake and reverse system.

Does the Kawasaki SX-R 160 Have Cruise Control?         

The Kawasaki SR-X 160 comes without cruise control.

How Much is a Kawasaki SX-R 160?

The Kawasaki SX-R 160 is marketed for $11,599 in the 2023 season (USD, MSRP).