You hear the words ultimate, luxury and performance bandied about all the time in the watercraft business. But in the case of Kawasaki’s new Jet Ski® Ultra® 300LX watercraft, the terms are absolutely appropriate.
See, with the 300LX, you’re not only talking about the plushest, most luxurious boat anywhere, one that coddles riders and passengers with an amazing level of comfort and luxury, you’re also talking about the most powerful and performance-oriented personal watercraft in the world, one that pumps out 300 horsepower! Folks who are into this sort of exceptional performance and luxury know exactly who they are.
The 300LX has been thoroughly redesigned, from top to bottom and from stem to stern. Its special luxury features include large chromed trim pieces, a special paint scheme and the LXury seat, a scalloped seat designed for the ultimate in rider and passenger comfort. Contoured for a superb fit, the two-tone saddle is thickly padded for exceptional plushness. A GPS-mountable handlebar pad – which allows the use of a wide range of popular GPS devices to be mounted using accessory hardware– is also standard equipment on the Ultra 300LX.
The Ultra 300LX offers more power and thrust for 2013, 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.
The big news for 2013 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 Skis. Roots-type superchargers are known as fixed-displacement units, which produce large quantities of boost at all rpm, 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 new Eaton TVS unit offers continuous airflow for more power and smoother power delivery. Boost pressure is up significantly, from 11.0 psi to 17 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 unit cool, preventing 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 from this 1,498cc, DOHC liquid-cooled inline-four. Revised pistons team with a pumped-up valve train that includes stronger, hardened-nickel valves with thicker stems, a beefier cam chain and reworked camshafts with revised 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 2010 Ultra 260X.
Controlling all this substantial power is made easier via the 300LX’s array of futuristic electronics, which include a highly advanced digital 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 body 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 300LX’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 300LX’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 8 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 improve 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 2013. Engineers re-examined every inch of the 260X’s already excellent-handling hull to improve strength balance 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 and new nose trim results in a more aggressive look up front, too.
The Ultra 300LX’s cockpit and rider accommodations didn’t escape the designers’ efforts either. An all-new high-visibility instrument panel has been fitted – 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 300LX.
Hard to believe, but revised ergonomics improve the 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-tone LXuxury seat offers roomy accommodations for three people and the highest possible comfort levels. 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 300LX allows plenty of range for long-distance voyages. 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. Total combined storage capacity is an industry leading 60 gallons!
Perhaps most stunning of all about all these performance- and comfort-related advancements is the fact that the new Ultra 300LX weighs nearly 40 pounds less than the Ultra 260LX.
Lightweight, powerful, blessed with superb handling, and featuring comfort and luxury features rarely seen in the personal watercraft world, the new Ultra 300LX is the ultimate Jet Ski – bar none.