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Kawasaki X2 Review and Specs [1986-1995 & 2006]

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The Kawasaki X2 was one of the first sit-down type Kawasaki jet skis ever built. The first generation of this model was manufactured from 1986 through 1995, while the second generation made its debut in 2006.

If you want to discover this very first sit-down Kawasaki jet ski, you are in the right place.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Kawasaki X2 review!

1986-1995 & 2006 Kawasaki X2 Review

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Review (GEN I)

In 1986 Kawasaki introduced its first sit-down jet ski, the X2, which actually created a new class of PWCs! Although this unique machine featured a narrow seat, it was mainly ridden in a standing position. Because of this, the X2 was a mix of a stand-up and sit-down jet ski.

Since the ski was unique in many ways, to be able to race them, an entirely new race category was created for them, named “sport class.”

Before the introduction of the X2, Kawasaki exclusively manufactured stand-up jet skis. But in 1986, Yamaha introduced its all-new jet ski fleet featuring a sit-down type tandem WaveRunner 500 and the WaveJammer.

To keep up with the competition, Kawasaki decided to build a sit-down jet ski on a stand-up hull. Yes, you understood correctly, the Kawaski X2 was a sit-down type jet ski that utilized a stand-up platform.

However, unlike their real stand-up brothers, the ski was equipped with a lower, fixed steering column and a narrow seat. The main idea behind the X2 was to build a tandem jet ski that could even carry a passenger.

But despite that it was marketed as a two-passenger model, riding it with an adult passenger was virtually impossible.

With two adults on board, the ski became very tipsy, so eventually, it could only carry one rider and a small child as a passenger. Because of this, the X2 was typically ridden by one rider in a standing position.

Compared to today’s boat-like jet skis, the X2 was surprisingly small and agile. The machine measured 86.8 inches in length and 26.8 inches in width, and its dry weight was as low as 282.2 pounds. In contrast, the latest flagship Kawasaki jet ski, the Ultra 310LX is 132.7 inches long and weighs more than 1,000 pounds.

The engine of the Kawasaki X2 was a 2-stroke, 635cc, 2-cylinder power mill featuring a single 28mm Keihin carburetor, CDI ignition, oil injection system with a 3-quart oil reservoir, and an open-loop water cooling system.

This lively twin cranked out 52 HP at 6,000 RPM while its single-stage axial flow pump delivered a thrust of 463 pounds.  The X2 shared its engine and pump with its brothers, namely the TS650, JS650, and the legendary Jet Mate.

To keep the noise level of this machine down, the Japanese manufacturer released this model with a water-jacketed exhaust system. Unfortunately, it was a little restrictive, so it was often modified by performance-minded tuners.

Standard features included an adjustable trim system, adjustable handlebars, 12V battery, and electric start.

The maximum fuel consumption of the machine was 5 GPH at full throttle, so the 4.5-gallon fuel tank offered a 38-mile fuel range or 55 minutes of playtime.

According to the official owner’s manual, the top speed of the Kawasaki X2 was 41 mph, but with some aftermarket mods, it easily topped out at 45-50 mph. The turning radius of the ski was 9.3 feet, and its draft was only 8.7 inches.

Since this ski was in production for a decade, it went through some changes. Let’s take a closer look at these differences year by year!

1986: The introduction of the model. The 635cc engine featured a 28mm Keihin carburetor but lacked a rev limiter. Its gas tank was vented by open air and had no water trap. The air intake of the ski was hidden in a hump on the hood. Although it was a nice-looking design, it was prone to taking on a lot of water.

 1987: The air intake was moved from the middle to the left side of the hood while the gas tank vent got a water tap. The fuel pump and the trim system also saw some minor changes.

1988: Only a few smaller parts got some minor changes, including:

  • Crankshaft positioning ring and bearing
  • Rubber head pipe coupler
  • Flame arrestor element
  • Carburetor jetting

1989: A direct cable linkage replaced the outdated squirrel cage steering system, but it proved to be much less responsive than its predecessor. One of the key changes this year was that the CDI was already equipped with a rev limiter. The flywheel also got a bigger, 10mm bolt.

1990: The squirrel cage steering system made a comeback, and the cable linkage mechanism was permanently dropped. Keeping safety in mind, metal reed petals were replaced with plastic units. (They didn’t damage the internals when they accidentally fell apart.)

1991: For this model year, the X2 got a lot of changes, which were as follows:

  • New 38mm Keihin carburetor
  • The Reserve and On positions on the fuel petcock were reversed
  • Electronics were integrated into one box
  • The water box featured one-piece molded hoses
  • The bilge hose and filter were replaced for larger units
  • Stronger crankshaft with the same diameter over its entire length

1992-1993: The X2 only saw some minor updates during these years, like a more advanced engine flush fitting and different wire colors in the electrical box. For these years, the engine got a silver paint job.

1994: Some notable improvements including:

  • The color of the seat was changed to purple
  • New 40m, Keihin carburetor
  • The color of the rubber trim was changed from black to gray
  • Extra foam was added to the hull to increase flotation

1995: Last year of production of the first generation Kawasaki X2. For this year, the machine got a 5-blade stainless steel impeller. Besides this, the ski remained basically unchanged.

2006: Kawasaki introduced the second-generation X2. Let’s take a closer look at this machine, too!

2006 Kawasaki X2 Review (GEN II)

The 2006 Kawasaki X2 featured an entirely new hull and a top deck designed from scratch. This larger platform was 90.9 inches long, 28.7 inches wide, and 34.6 inches high.

The all-new X2 shared its pump and engine with the widely popular SX-R 800 stand-up jet ski.

To the delight of performance-minded riders, this 2-stroke, 781cc twin already produced 80 HP, translating to a thrust of 697 pounds. Standard engine features included two Mikuni MB40I-38 carbs, CDI ignition with rev limiter, electric starter, shut-off switch, and open-loop water cooling system.

The fuel consumption of this unit was 8.5 GPH at full throttle. Therefore, the 4.5-gallon fuel tank provided only 32 minutes of cruising time and a fuel range of 75 miles if you were being really hard on the throttle.

Compared to its predecessor, the 2006 Kawasaki X2 utilized a very short seat, indicating that this ski was designed for solo rides.

But to the greatest regret of many X2 enthusiasts, this model was released in a limited edition and was never marketed in the U.S. because of 2-stroke emission restrictions.

Since it was a lesser-known model, Kawasaki wanted to use all of its EPA emission credits on the widely popular SX-R 800 stand-up.

The X2 was designed for racers and hardcore riders, and the race market in the U.S. was only a small percentage of total sales. Because of this, Kawasaki focused on the growing 4-stroke market rather than forcing the sales of an unknown and outdated ski.

However, there are rumors that a couple of them were shipped to the U.S.

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Specs Chart

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 1986-1995 and the 2006 Kawasaki X2 specifications into these charts!

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Dimensions

Kawasaki X2 Dimensions
Overall Length 86.8 in (2.205 m)
Overall Width 26.8 in (0.680 m)
Overall Height 29.9 in (0.760 m)
Dry Mass 282.2 lb (128 kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity 4.6 US gal (17.5 L) including 1.0 US gal (4 L) reserve
Engine Oil Tank Capacity3.0 US qt (2.8 L)

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Engine Specs

Kawasaki X2Engine Specs
Type2-stroke, vertical twin, crankcase reed valve, water cooled
Displacement 635 cm³ (38.7 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke76 × 70 mm (2.99 × 2.75 in.)
Compression Ratio7.2 : 1
Ignition System Magneto CDI
Lubrication System Oil injection
Gas/oil premix ratio50:1
Carburetors System Keihin diaphragm type (28 mm venturi)
Idle Speed - in water1 250 ± 100 r/min (rpm)
Idle Speed - out of water2 300 ± 100 r/min (rpm)
Compression Pressure 1 225 kPa (12.5 kg/cm3, 178 psi)
Engine Oil Type 2-stroke, NMMA Certified for Service TC-WII

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Drive System

Kawasaki X2 Drive System
Coupling Direct drive from engine
Jet Pump Type Axial flow, single stage
Jet Pump Thrust 463 lb - 210 kg (Static)
Steering Steering nozzle
Brake Water drag

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Performance

Kawasaki X2 Performance
Maximum Horsepower 52 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Maximum Speed41 mph (67 km/h)
Maximum Torque na
†Minimum Turning Radius 9.3 ft (2.8 m)
†Fuel Consumption 5.0 US gal/h (19 L/h) @full throttle
†Cruising Range 38 mile (61 km) @full throttle
†Cruising Time 55 minutes

1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 Electric Features

Kawasaki X2Electric Features
Starting System Electric Starter
Spark Plugs Type NGK BR7ES
Gap 0.7 - 0.8 mm (0.028 - 0.032 in.)
Terminal na
Ignition Timing 17° BTDC @ 6000 r/min (rpm) - 2.0 mm @ 6000 r/min (rpm)
Battery 12 V 19 Ah
Maximum Generator Outputna

These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

†: This information shown here represents results under controlled conditions, and the information may not be correct under other conditions  

2006 Kawasaki X2 Specs Chart

2006 Kawasaki X2 Dimensions

2006 Kawasaki X2 Dimensions
Overall Length 90.9 in. (2.310 m)
Overall Width 28.7 in. (0.730 m)
Overall Height 34.6 in. (0. 880 m)
Dry Mass 351 lb (159 kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity 4.5 US gal (17 L) including 0.8 US gal (3 L) reserve
Engine Oil Tank Capacityna

2006 Kawasaki X2 Engine Specs

2006 Kawasaki X2Engine Specs
Type2-stroke, 2-cylinder, crankcase reed valve, water cooled
Displacement 781 cm³ (47.7 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke82 × 74 mm (3.23 × 2.91 in)
Compression Ratio7.2 : 1
Ignition System Digital DC-CDI
Lubrication System Oil injection
Gas/oil premix ratio60:1
Carburetors System MIKUNI BN40I-38 × 2
Idle Speed - in water1 250 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Idle Speed - out of water1 700 ±100 r/min (rpm)
Compression Pressure 1 275 kPa (13.0 kgf/cm², 185 psi) @490 r/min (rpm)
Engine Oil Type 2-stroke, N-M, M, A, Certified for Service TC-W3

2006 Kawasaki X2 Drive System

2006 Kawasaki X2 Drive System
Coupling Direct drive from engine
Jet Pump Type Axial flow, single stage
Jet Pump Thrust 3 100 N (317 kgf, 697 lb)
Steering Steering nozzle
Brake Water drag

2006 Kawasaki X2 Performance

2006 Kawasaki X2 Performance
Maximum Horsepower 58.85 kW (80 HP) @ 6 250 r/min (rpm)
Maximum Speed
Maximum Torque 94.2 N·m (9.6 kgf·m, 69.5 ft·lb) @ 5 750 r/min (rpm)
†Minimum Turning Radius 125.9 in (3.2 m)
†Fuel Consumption 8.5 US gal/h (32 L/h) @full throttle
†Cruising Range 24 mile (40 km) @full throttle
†Cruising Time 32 minutes

2006 Kawasaki X2 Electric Features

2006 Kawasaki X2Electric Features
Starting System Electric Starter
Spark Plugs Type NGK BR8ES
Gap 0.7 - 0.8 mm (0.028 - 0.032 in.)
Terminal Solid post
Ignition Timing 13° BTDC @1 250 r/min (rpm) - 20.2° BTDC @4 000 r/min (rpm)
Battery 12 V 13 Ah
Maximum Generator Output6.6 A/14 V @ 6 000 r/min (rpm)

†: This information shown here represents results under controlled conditions, and the information may not be correct under other conditions  

These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Vintage Kawasaki X2 for Sale

If you want to ride one, you probably want to know where to find a Kawasaki X2 for sale. It’s safe to say that this ski is already a collectible item, so finding one is not an easy task! The 2006 (gen II) models are especially rare in the U.S.

If you want one at all costs, you may want to start your research on dedicated Kawasaki jet ski forums and Facebook groups. Besides these sources, you may also find some used Kawasaki X2 for sale on Craigslist, eBay, PWC Trader, and other dedicated jet ski ad sites.

Takeaway

As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the iconic Kawasaki X2!

What Size was a Kawasaki X2?

The 1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 was 86.8 inches long, 26.8 inches wide, and 29.9 inches high. In contrast, the 2006 Kawasaki X2 measured 90.9 inches in length, 28.7 inches in width, and 34-6 in height.

How Much Did a Kawasaki X2 Weigh?

The dry weight of the first generation Kawasaki X2 was only 282.2 pounds, while the redesigned second-generation weighed 351 pounds.

What Kind of Engine Did the Kawasaki X2 Have?

The engine of the 1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 was a 2-stroke, 635cc twin featuring a single 28mm Keihin carb, while the second generation had a 2-stroke, 781cc twin with two Mikuni BN40I-38 carbs.

How Much Horsepower Did a Kawasaki X2 Have?

The first generation Kawasaki X2 provided 52 HP at 6,000 RPM, and the second generation cranked out an impressive 80 HP at 6,250 RPM.

How Fast Did a Kawasaki X2 Go?

Top speed of a 1986-1995 Kawasaki X2 was 41 mph in stock condition, but with some aftermarket mods, it could easily hit 45-50 mph. The second-generation 2006 X2 offered a top speed of about 48 mph out of the box!

How Much is a 1987-1990 Kawasaki X2 Worth?

It’s hard to tell the exact price of a vintage Kawasaki X2, as it depends on various factors like its year, condition, mods, and location. If you are looking for a side project, you can find one with a blown engine for a couple of hundreds of dollars. In contrast, the price of a restored Kawasaki X2 ranges from $2,000 up to a whopping $5,000+.

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