Kawasaki's 2006 line-up of personal watercraft features four models, down from six models offered for 2005. The PWC were unveiled at the manufacturer's annual dealer show, held Sept. 16-18 in Orlando.
Kawasaki spearheaded the PWC market with its first Jet Ski model in 1973. The descendent of that 400cc stand-up unit is the 781cc two-stroke Jet Ski 800 SX-R.
Also returning for '06 is the entry-level 900 STX. Outfitted with an 891cc two-stroke, the 900 STX is the least expensive of the brand's three-person models.
Kawasaki entered the four-stroke market with the STX-12F for 2006. Powered by a 1,199cc water-cooled, fuel-injected DOHC engine with a 54mm throttle body, the 12F garnered the California Air Resources Board (CARB) “three-star” rating in 2003 - a full five years prior to the time limit allowed for such craft to be implemented.
The 12F comes with reverse, plus three returning Kawasaki innovations: Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS), Smart Learning Operation (SLO), and a hull featuring a molded-in Kawasaki Splash Deflector (KSD).
KSS features a steering sensor that is electronically linked to an on-board microprocessor. If the handlebar is fully turned in either direction and the engine rpm drops from a designated rpm, KSS raises engine rpm to provide enough thrust to initiate the desired turn. SLO is accessible directly on the instrument panel and can be programmed to place a limit on maximum engine speed so novice riders can experience riding at a reduced speed while they master proper riding techniques. KSD simply helps minimize spray on the operator.
The largest unit in Kawasaki's PWC line-up for 2006 is the STX-15F. While the bore of the 15F is the same as that of the 12F, the stroke is 13.8mm longer, increasing the motor's displacement to 1,498cc. Plus, the 15F has a 60mm throttle body.
However, like on the 12F, the 15F comes with reverse, Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS), Smart Learning Operation (SLO), and a hull featuring a molded-in Kawasaki Splash Deflector (KSD). Prices for Kawasaki PWC were not available as this issue of Powersports Business went to press.
Copyright 2005 Powersports Business