When Kawasaki hit the drawing board to build off of its successful Ultra 260X, one of its major goals was to enhance the power and acceleration from the existing 1498cc supercharged Inline-Four powerplant. That mission was accomplished and more technical details can be found in our 2011 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 300X First Ride from The Bimini Islands earlier this year.
So with a bold check mark in the wide-open performance box taken care of, the next question is: Can this new Ultra 300X monster be tamed into a mild mannered member in the Smith family’s garage and show reservation when Mom throws a leg over, or when their son Billy wants to do a little wakeboarding?
With stiff competition in the top-of–the-line watercraft market, your platform must be solid enough to race on Sunday and be family-friendly enough on all the other days that end in Y.
All that is left to do is load up and hit the lake to put the 300X to the versatility test.
Fast forward five hours and my colleague Adam Waheed and I were in fiery hot Lake Havasu, Arizona. With temperatures well into the triple digits we wasted no time flirting with the college girls on the dock and hit the water spraying. [TEAM TYT!]
First up to bat was the tow-ability aspect of the new Kawasaki. With an arsenal of toys in the truck, we opted for the most popular PWC towing activity of Wakeskating (wakeboard without the bindings with a lighter/smaller board). The deep foot tray made for a nice secure place to carry the board around until we found the glassy waters. We needed to stow
the towrope and flag in the front compartment since the desired location of under the rear passenger/rider seat was lacking the capacity, which was a minor detail. The tow hook attachment point offered great access for quick connect and disconnect of the rope with no edges to snag on.
With my first yell of ‘Hit it!’ the Ultra 300X snapped me up out of the water nicely without cavitating the pump. It had solid traction which made it easy to stand up quickly and with less fatigue after numerous pulls.
Once we had the rope length dialed in the Ultras’ haul made a decent enough wake to have fun on. The rear end stayed planted as well during hard carves outside the wake. Some PWC’s have a tendency to feel loose during these situations.
From the driver’s perspective the torque of the motor while pulling the rider was fantastic with little throttle modulation required to stay at the sweet spot of 19 mph. We tried the cruise control feature but found more success without it during our tow sessions. [TYT AGAIN, WELL DONE]
All in all a well deserved ‘A’ was given in the towing department.
Fuel economy is another aspect in a versatile, well-rounded watercraft. The two days we tested and ripped around we definitely burned some gas. The overall conditions of the lake were flat and smooth, which tends to invite wide-open throttle blasts more so than in choppy conditions. Let the truth be told any musclecraft held wide-open will guzzle down petrol in an aggressive manner. We did some double-takes when the low fuel warning sounded from the dash. Though with all the fun being had and switching between three riders, the day goes by quick as does the fuel gauge inside the 20-gallon fuel tank. Make no mistake, this is no Toyota Prius!
Being categorized as a muslecraft the Ultra 300X may not appeal to family buyers looking for an all-around PWC. With confidence I can say the 300X can fit into any family whether they’re looking for wild or mild. Adding to the safety element, Kawasaki has your back when it comes to sending out timid rookies on the world’s fastest production JetSki. The Ultra 300X ignition requires one of the two keys supplied to be inserted before startup and during operation. One being a Dr. Jekyll key, and the other being fiesty Mr. Hyde. The yellow Dr. J colored key is labeled ‘SLO’ (Smart Learning Operation) and offers a heavily reserved power band. The other, Mr. Hyde, is an orange colored key that offers an unobtrusive full strength dose of the monster that is the 300X.
With its push-button five-mph no wake zone button and generous storage room the Kawasaki Ultra 300X is a good Jet Ski for family use.
The agility of our green machine was an improvement on the previous years Ultra 260X. The weight loss regimen assigned to the all-new deep-V hull added to the maneuverability. There is a trade-off in the design of PWC hulls, and Kawasaki opted to have a smoother ride on rougher water in exchange for a more nimble setup offered by other manufacturers. With the market and competitors nipping at the heels year in and year out, I’m sure Kawasaki will continue to refine the hull and dial-in a bit more nimbleness.
Kawasaki has designed this new Ultra to be capable of wearing many hats, which is not an easy feat and a credit to the engineers at Team Green for an awesome do-it-all Personal Water Craft. With that said, Adam and I are off to ride for Round 2 – just to double check everything!