Remember back in the late ’80s when the stand-up Jet Ski was the cool thing to do? You know, the ones that the handlebar section lifts up and down while your standing on what appears to be a mini Waverunner style watercraft. They were very popular for a while there, but then the sit-down style massively took over. Most people didn’t know they even made stand up jet skis anymore, myself included. But then I saw this latest release from Kawasaki called the SX-R.
Said to be a 2017 model, the SX-R is actually really impressive when it comes to the power aspect. See under that fiberglass casing sits a 1,498cc inline 4 cylinder engine! That’s basically like taking the engine from the ZX-14 street bike and slapping it into a jet ski. The SX-R only weighs 550lbs and while I didn’t see exact horsepower numbers, Kawasaki claims that the power to weight ratio is unmatched in the personal watercraft industry. With that big of an engine, that would make perfect sense.
Now I must admit, watersports have never really been my forte. The sit-down style has been somewhat appealing but only because it’s slightly similar to riding a snowmobile. I’ve never been on one of these stand-up set skis but to my understanding they can be extremely difficult to learn to ride but quite fun because of the challenge. According to Kawasaki officials, the SX-R is specifically designed to be the perfect all around machine for both the novice rider, hardcore racer, and even the freestyle specialists.
It was always impressive to watch riders attempting to do flips and diving down under the water like a damn seagull searching for dinner. Even though the market has at least appeared to be dead for the past 5 years, Kawasaki firmly believes that this new machine can reignite the passion that people once had for the Jet Ski personal watercraft. The SX-R is scheduled to be released in early 2017 so I guess only time will tell. Having all that power sure seems appealing though, I have to admit.