JET SKI Performance Taken to a Whole New Level
You power junkies know who you are. You’re hard-core, and you won’t settle for anything less than the most capable watercraft available. Well, Kawasaki has exactly what you need in the form of the new and supremely powerful Jet Ski® Ultra® 300X – the most powerful Jet Ski ever built, one packing 3001 horsepower and all the massive, arm-straightening thrust that goes with it.
It’s OK. We’ll pause for a moment or two while your pulse slows down a bit…
As befits Kawasaki’s top-shelf performer, the Ultra 300X has been thoroughly redesigned for 2011, from nose to jet pump and everything in between. There’s more power and thrust, along with loads of engine strengthening to handle all that power and help ensure typical Kawasaki reliability. There’s new technology in the form of an all-new and high-tech supercharger and Kawasaki’s Electronic Throttle Valve system. And the race-derived hull has been extensively updated to provide the sort of top-tier handling hard-core enthusiasts expect.
Power and thrust are key ingredients in the Ultra 300X package, and the thoroughly massaged, 1,498cc inline-four DOHC engine supports that recipe like no other powerplant in all of watercraftdom. (Not a real word, we know. But we get so excited talking about this amazing engine!)
The big news for 2011 is the use of an all-new supercharger, one that’s two steps beyond the abilities of the roots-type unit fitted to previous X-model Jet Ski watercraft. Roots-type superchargers are known as fixed-displacement units, which produce large quantities of boost at all rpm levels, even right off idle, for a flat torque curve and usable, step-free power across the rev range. That’s a good thing.
The new unit is known as an Eaton Twin Vortices Series (TVS) roots supercharger, which features twin four-lobe rotors and offers a significant performance increase over the already impressive previous unit. Where the standard roots unit delivered compressed air in waves, the TVS unit offers continuous delivery for more power and smoother power delivery. Boost pressure is up significantly, from 11.0 psi to 17.0 psi. Supercharger efficiency is also up too, nearly 30 percent, while mechanical losses have been reduced to just 10 percent. A liquid-cooled intercooler helps keep the compressed intake charge cool, which stops power-robbing heat from sapping the system’s efficiency.
There’s more. Stronger and more advanced internal engine parts assist power production and help maintain the high level of reliability you’ve come to expect. Revised pistons team with a pumped-up valve train that includes stronger, hardened-nickel valves with thicker stems, a beefier cam chain and reworked exhaust camshaft with revised lobe profiles and increased durability. Stronger crankcases help harness all this extra horsepower, while an advanced and more efficient oil cooler helps minimize temperatures when the action gets really hot upstairs by sandwiching oil between two cooling jackets instead of one as before. The result is a staggering 300 horsepower, a significant jump from the previous model.
Controlling all this substantial power is made easier via the 300X’s array of futuristic electronics, which include a highly advanced fuel injection system controlled by a high-tech Electronic Control Unit (ECU), the “brain” of the entire system. The ECU not only commands the injectors and throttle bodies to route a precise amount of fuel/air mixture into the combustion chambers with help from the all-new Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV) system (which converts throttle lever inputs into electronic signals that are then passed on to the throttle body), it also allows a host of other technologies.
These include a range of varied riding “modes” such as Fuel Economy Assistance mode (for maximum economy during slower going), one-touch 5 mph mode (for use in no-wake zones), the 300X’s handy Electronic Cruise Control system (for steady cruising speeds when touring) and the Smart Learning Operation (SLO) mode, which allows newer riders to become familiar with the handling and response of this Jet Ski at a more relaxed pace. The setup also includes a digital dash display called the Economical Riding Indicator that shows the rider when riding conditions are most efficient (such as at planing speed, where hull resistance is minimal).
Another example of advanced design is the 300X’s Electronic Trim Control (ETC) system, which controls the nozzle angle of the revised, 160mm jet pump to adjust hull attitude to suit water surface conditions and riding style. The system has a plus-or-minus range of eight degrees, and works with the revised hull design to allow quicker turning characteristics. A redesigned impeller is better suited to the new engine’s performance, while the addition of horizontal guide “vanes” on the propulsion grate improves stability and hook-up during acceleration. With an even stronger engine coupling assembly, it all adds up to the most advanced watercraft powerplant in the industry.
The race-derived, fiberglass-reinforced plastic hull motivated by this astounding engine has also been redesigned for 2011. Engineers re-examined every inch of the already excellent-handling Ultra hull form, to enhance strength and achieve weight savings where possible. Hull thickness was reduced slightly throughout, and combined with special reinforcements in the inside bow area, the result is a lighter, stronger, more maneuverable and more stable hull. The hull cleaning system has been replaced with a two-circuit design, each with a dedicated flushing port for easier maintenance. Revised styling through the use of more radically edged contours results in a more aggressive look up front, too.
The Ultra 300X’s cockpit and rider accommodations didn’t escape the designers’ efforts either. An all-new high-visibility instrument panel has been fitted, which features an all-LCD info screen and visor that’s not only futuristic but wildly informative. The highly legible LCD display accommodates the aforementioned riding-mode displays along with a range of other functions, including clock, time, trip and hour meter, digital or bar-graph tachometer, water and air temperature gauges, speedometer and max-speed functions. You’ll always know what’s what when aboard the 300X.
Hard to believe, but revised ergonomics improve comfort significantly over the already plush 260X. The handlebar remains five-way adjustable to fit a range of riders and riding styles, with grips positioned nearly an inch wider to accommodate all-new handlebar switch assemblies. The wider bar allows even better maneuverability and is more comfortable, especially on longer rides. The two-piece seat offers roomy accommodations for three people, while a slightly narrower seat (at the front) makes it easier for riders to ride sitting or standing. The ergonomic deck design gives all riders plenty of legroom for increased comfort, and a redesigned reverse lever on the left side of the craft features a more ergonomic design and lighter operation.
Increased comfort means that longer, farther rides are easier than ever. And with nearly 21 gallons of fuel capacity – the most in its class – the 300X allows plenty of range for long-distance treks. A convenient storage bin with 54 gallons of capacity hides under the front cowl, and a dual drink holder keeps refreshments just a reach away.
Perhaps most stunning of all about all these performance- and comfort-related advancements is the fact that the new Ultra 300X weighs nearly 40 pounds less than a 2010 Ultra 260X.
Lightweight, powerful, blessed with superb handling and comfort, and featuring Kawasaki’s world-renowned design and reliability, the new Ultra 300X doesn’t just sit atop the performance watercraft pyramid – it commands the position proudly.
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1 Horsepower measured in PS at the crankshaft under controlled conditions. Actual performance may vary.