The original ‘jet-ski’ dates back over four decades. It was 1973 when Kawasaki introduced just two models – the WSAA and the WSAB – of watercraft that helped to change the way many of us play on the water. Some 42 years later, for the 2015 season, Kawasaki’s Jet Ski lineup includes a total of six personal watercraft models, each filling a unique purpose.
Their STX -15F model features an edgy lime-green-and-ebony deck with crisp clean lines and eye-popping graphics that are light years ahead of the original. The black composite construction and race-bred hull measures just under 123 inches. That’s plenty of running surface to deliver a comfortable ride for three passengers, but yet short enough to also deliver exciting single-rider performance when you want to go out for a ride on your own.
The helm features an all-digital speedometer, fuel level gauge, tachometer, oil level, trip, hour meter and water temperature gauge. Twin rear-vide mirrors are mounted low leaving the handle grips clean and unencumbered, but this requires the driver to dip their head to see in most cases.
A full 160 horsepower performance is delivered by Kawaskai’s 1498 cc DOHC 16 valve inline four-cylinder four-stroke watercooled engine with digital fuel injection. Again, there’s more than enough power there to peg the digital electronic displays even with three passengers – or two riders with one enjoying the view from the end of the tow rope hooked to the standard ski hook. That power is respectful to the environment as well. The engine has earned a Three-Star Ultra-Low Emissions rating from the California Air Resources Board and it also meets the US Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest standards. The direct fuel injection provides even more range from the large 62 litre fuel tank.
The STX-15F is packed with performance and luxury features, in a highly affordable package. The STX-15F comes with a full one year warranty, and Kawasaki’s affordable Good Times Protection Plan extends this for an additional 24 or 36 months at the buyer’s option.