July 23, 2007 – Performance rumors afloat for ’08 models

If the Internet is to be believed, consumers once again have the need for speed ... at least from their personal watercraft.
After several years of being dominated by a push for that once elusive inexpensive four-stroke, all early indications are that the major OEMs are once again turning their attention toward high performance for 2008.?
Already, Kawasaki got the ball rolling in ’07. The company’s Ultra 250 leapfrogged the competition to take the title of highest horsepower production machine on the water. And although the company is playing its cards close to the vest, indications are the 250 has been selling very well, currently residing comfortably within the top five in overall retail sales. Kawasaki recently told interested dealers the company would produce a second run of the vehicles at Kawasaki’s Lincoln, Neb., production facility, delivering yet more Ultras to dealers who have customers willing to hold off until summer. That second run of craft should now be in dealer showrooms.
As to what we can expect in the coming months, all indications are that some, if not all, of the four major OEMs will be introducing more powerful craft for 2008. Both Yamaha and Sea-Doo have already scheduled sneak peeks of their line for the boating press. If rumors are to be believed, the new lines will include models that will come close to, if not surpass, Kawasaki’s current horsepower rating. In fact, Yamaha is rumored to be producing the largest diplacement engine ever seen in the personal watercraft market. There is also speculation the manufacturer might be turning a little attention once again to the stand-up market. Details should be available to the public around the time of each manufacturer’s dealer meetings, currently scheduled for mid-August. psb

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