Compare Specs Discover '24 PWCs Browse Reviews
1989-1996 Kawasaki TS 650 Review and Specs [Video]

1989-1996 Kawasaki TS 650 Review and Specs [Video]

The Kawasaki TS (a.k.a. TS 650, Tandem Sport) was the first true sit-down Kawasaki Jet Ski in the marketplace. It was built on a wide stable hull and enjoyed a 635cc twin engine rated at 52 HP. This model debuted in 1989 and remained in production through 1996.

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

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

1987-1993 Kawasaki TS 650 Review

The first runabout-style Kawasaki Jet Ski was the sporty X-2 introduced in 1986.Although this ski was marketed as a 2-seater, it was actually a blend of a stand-up and sit-down ski. It was primarily used for sport and racing purposes rather than double rides.

Because of this, many riders claim that the first real sit-down type Kawasaki Jet Ski was the 1986 Kawasaki TS. The official name of this model was the TS (JF650-B) but it was often referred to as the TS 650, 650 TS, or Tandem Sport.

Let’s drill into the details and talk about the features of this ski in detail!

Kawasaki TS Hull and Top Deck

As the name suggests, the Kawasaki Tandem Sport was engineered with double rides in mind.

To handle the weight of two riders, the TS was built on a purpose-built runabout-style PWC hull.

This platform measured 109.4 inches in length, 41.9 inches in width, and 38.2 inches in height, while the dry weight of the ski was 419 pounds.

Thanks to its large dimensions and weight, it offered significantly more stability than any of its stand-up brothers.

Unlike today’s jet skis, the TS had a weird top deck featuring an empty area between the handlebar column and the saddle. At first glance, it looked like the body of a moped rather than a powersport vehicle!

This design got some criticism and was often sarcastically referred to as a “toilet seat” by some riders.

The TS housed a 6.3-gallon fuel tank, a 2.4-quart oil tank, an innovative bow storage compartment, and a storage pocket in front of the operator’s legs. This tiny storage compartment was the predecessor of the industry-standard glovebox.

Kawasaki TS Engine and Propulsion

The engine of the Kawasaki TS was a high-performance, 2-stroke, 635cc, vertical twin rated at 52 HP, of which the key features were as follows:

This power source was used in many high-performance Kawasaki Jet Skis, including:

This engine was matched with an axial-flow, single-stage jet pump, housing a 3-blade, aluminum impeller.This propulsion system offered a maximum thrust of 463 pounds in stock condition, but many riders upgraded it with a steel impeller for better durability and performance.

Fueling the ski was easy thanks to its advanced oil injection lubrication system that produced a gas/oil mixture of 50:1.Although this oil injection made life much easier, it was prone to failure, which translated into an instant engine seizure. Because of this, many owners disabled the oil injection system on their TS and switched to a 40:1 premix.

Kawasaki TS Features

The TS came standard with many advanced features, including:

The key feature of the TS was its shut-off valve, which was intended to stop the engine when the rider fell into the water. This ensured more comfort and safety than the outdated “self-circling” system.

This handlebar-mounted shut-off valve became the industry standard across the entire PWC industry.

Kawasaki TS Riding Experience

Let’s face it, the Kawasaki TS was one of the slowest jet skis ever made. According to the original operator’s manual, its claimed top speed was only 35 mph.

On the other hand, it was considered a great beginner ski due to its easy operation and user-friendly features.

The TS built a reputation for reliability and durability while its stable hull made it suitable for a variety of purposes.

This vintage ski could even be used for jet ski fishing since its unique top deck offered room for fishing gear while the hull offered great stability.

Unlike the nimble stand-ups, the TS was much easier to ride, making this sport more appealing to a much wider audience.

Therefore, there’s no question that the Kawasaki TS is one of the most important PWCs ever built.

Kawasaki marketed this model from 1989 through 1996 when it was phased out by more advanced sit-down jet skis like the 750 ZXi and 900 ZXi.

Kawasaki TS 650 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 1989 Kawasaki TS 650 into these charts:

Kawasaki TS 650 Engine Specs

Kawasaki TS 650Engine 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 2.76 in.)
Compression ratio7.2 : 1
Ignition systemMagneto CDI
Lubrication systemOil injection (break-in period: oil injection and gas/oil mixture 50:1)
CarburetorKeihin diaphragm type (28 mm venturi)
Starting systemElectric starter
Engine oil type2-stroke, NMMA (BIA) Certified for Service TC-WII
Engine oil tank capacity2.3 L, 2.4 qt (US)
Battery12 V 19 Ah

Kawasaki TS 650 Tuning Specifications

Kawasaki TS 650Tuning Specifications
Spark Plug TypeNGK BR7ES
Spark Plug Gap0.7 ∼ 0.8 mm (0.028 ∼ 0.032 in.)
Ignition Timing15° BTDC @6 000 r/min (rpm) - 1.57 mm(0.06 in) @6 000 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 Pressure1 225 kPa (12.5 kg/cm2) 178 psi

Kawasaki TS 650 Drive System

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

Kawasaki TS 650 Performance

Kawasaki TS 650Performance
Maximum Speed56 km/h (35 mph)
Draft (Stationary)175 mm (6.9 in)
Fuel Consumption19 L/hr (5.0 US gal/hr) @full throttle
Cruising Range (1)71 km (44 mi) @full throttle
Cruising Range (2)1 hour and a quarter

Kawasaki TS 650 Dimensions

Kawasaki TS 650Dimensions
Overall length109.4 in (2780mm)
Overall width42.1 in (1070 mm)
Overall height38.2 in (970 mm)
Dry Weight188 kg (415 lbs)
Fuel tank capacity6.3 US gal (24 L) including 1.1 US gal (4 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 TS (1992 model):

What is a Kawasaki TS?

The Kawasaki TS was the first true Kawasaki sit-down Jet Ski.

When did the Kawasaki TS Come Out?

The Kawasaki TS debuted in 1989.

What Years Did Kawasaki Make the TS?

Kawasaki marketed the TS from 1989 through 1996.

What Size was a Kawasaki TS?

The Kawasaki TS measured 109.4 inches in length, 42.1 inches in width, and 38.2 inches in height.

How Much Did a Kawasaki TS Weigh?

The dry weight of the Kawasaki TS was 415 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Kawasaki TS?

The Kawasaki TS could carry two riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Kawasaki TS?

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

Was the Kawasaki TS Supercharged?

The Kawasaki TS was powered by a naturally-aspirated engine.

Was the Kawasaki TS a 2-stroke?

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

How Much Horsepower Did a Kawasaki TS Have?

The Kawasaki TS produced 52 HP out of the box.

How Much Oil Did a Kawasaki TS Hold?

The Kawasaki TS had an oil injection system featuring a 2.4-quart oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Kawasaki TS Hold?

The Kawasaki TS was equipped with a 6.3-gallon fuel tank (incl. 1.1 gal reserve)

How Much Fuel Did a Kawasaki TS Use?

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

What was the Fuel Range of the Kawasaki TS?

The fuel range of the Kawasaki TS was about 44 miles (or 1 hour 15 minutes) at full throttle.

How Fast Did a Kawasaki TS Go?

The claimed top speed of a Kawasaki TS was 35 mph.

Did the Kawasaki TS Have a Reverse?   

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

Did the Kawasaki TS Have a Brake?       

No, the Kawasaki TS was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Kawasaki TS Cost?

The asking price of a used Kawasaki TS varies between $500 and $2,500 depending on the year and its condition.