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  1. #1
    JP44's Avatar
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    New to Kawasaki Stand up, old to website

    Hey Guys. I just picked up a 1990 JS 550. Mint condition, runs perfect, could eat off the engine compartment. Just rode it tonight for the first time, it was a workout, but it was a blast. I have two sit down jet skis, and I have received tons of information from the Polaris guys for my slt750. I was searching through the kawasaki links, looking for general info or all around useful information for beginers, and I am having no luck. If someone could point me in the right direction, that would be great. Thanks alot.


  2. #2
    I just picked up a 1991 JS550 for myself as well. In fact, I just brought it home a few hours ago!















    Let's see yours!

    There is not too many posts about standup skis in this web-site which is more into 4-stroke skis.

    Check out:

    http://www.pwctoday.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16&


    This is my 5th standup ski.
    What do you need to know about your 550?

  3. #3
    JP44's Avatar
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    First of all, thanks for the reply, and I like the stand/cart that you have. That would be handy. Really nice looking ski was well. Looks cleaner than mine.

    I guess what I am looking for is some general information about common problems that these machines have, that could be prevented if a guy knew what to look for. This is the first time I have ever touched a stand up ski, and I just feel like a fish out of water. After spending a year under the hood of my slt750 rebuilding it, and many nights reading the numerous polaris posts, I know what all of the parts are of the 550, I just don't know where the common problem areas are. One question I have is about the through hull bearing on the drive shaft. On the polaris you can grease this bearing. I can't even see it in the 550. Other than that I just want to learn about the whole ski in general. I don't want to do something dumb that I could have known about.

    Also, pros and cons of the lanyard kill switch? I ordered the lanyard upgrade switch today. Mine circled perfectly. It would go about 10-20 yards and then begin to circle, but I like the idea of it stopping when (and trust it is when, not if) I fall off. Any cons of having the lanyard, besides having to restart the engine often?

    Are there any upgrades that need to be done? The polaris needs a triple outlet fuel pump to replace the single outlet from the factory. Anything like that? What does your exhaust upgrade do? Top speed? My buddy was next to me on my seadoo and he said I was doing around 35, I weigh 210, full tank of gas, little choppy. Why would someone remove the water box? Any riding tips? Besides lots of practice? I am a little sore today!

    The link you posted might answer some of these questions. I will check that out.

    Thanks for any insight that you have, and since you have had 5 of them, I'm sure you have plenty.
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  4. #4
    Thru hull bearing, aka driveshaft carrier bearing for Kawis.
    Replace when you see water start to seep in or when drive shaft develops excessive wobbling/vibration. It happens at around 150-200 hrs on Kawis. There is no zerk fitting for greease.

    Mods to be done:
    > Remove the oil injection pump (if equipped) and use pre-mix fuel.
    > Install primer-kit (use high quality brand).
    > Install electric bilge.
    > Install sponsons
    > Lose weight! (seriously, lighter you are, better you would be riding at and ski would go faster).
    > Start jogging/running (you won't be as sored after riding a standup and would be able to ride longer distance w/o getting tired).

    But wait!
    Don't do all that yet. Spend some time on the 550 and see if all that investment would be worthwhile doing them.
    If you would really like riding standup ski, you may eventually upgrade to 750 or 800 (skip 650).

    Real guys do it standing up!

  5. #5
    JP44's Avatar
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    Jeez, you sound like my wife...lose weight...

    I am working on that, but I don't have a ton to lose. If I get down to 200 that would be about it.

    Its funny, I've only ridden a stand up for about 3 hrs, and I'm already thinking about a bigger one! But I will ride the 550 until I get a lot better at it. Primer kit for better starting? Electric bilge for a backup if the venturi bilge doesn't work? Or is that if it gets swamped?

    Any opinion on the lanyard kill switch? And whats the deal with the exhaust out the side like I've seen on a lot of videos? I don't know anyone that rides these, so thanks for all of your replies to my newbie questions MGM.

  6. #6
    Primer kit is for easy starting on carbed skis.

    Elec bilge works all the time at maximum flowrate.
    Factory/venturi bilge works only when engine is running and its flowrate depends on engine rpm.

    Lanyard with kill switch is highly recommend. W/O it the circling ski may hit other moving or non-moving object in the water. All other later model year standup skis come with the kill-switch equipped lanyard.

    Rear exhaust - you don't get nausiated by the side exhaust when you are going out of the no-wake zone or draggin behind the ski. All othe later model year standup skis come with the rear exhaust.

  7. #7
    Chris crisistc's Avatar
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    I just picked up a kawi js550 earlier today, going to be a project...
    Last edited by crisistc; 09-03-2012 at 11:36 PM.

  8. #8
    JP44's Avatar
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    I've been riding some more, and getting better. Man is it fun. I could see where more power would be better for my size, but this is a great little machine. One question-and this may be dumb-but how hot is the water supposed to be that comes out of your cooling tell tale? I don't know why, but I put my fingers under it while I was riding, and it was HOT. I could keep my fingers under the water coming out for maybe two to three seconds. I know it is absorbing heat from the engine, but it seems a little too hot. Maybe this is normal. Also not much water comes out of the telltale. Not like on an outboard. It just kind of trickles out. Any input would be great, hope I'm not wasting your time. Thanks.

  9. #9
    I can put my hand on the side pisser all day long and it's not hot at all. I will say it's very warm but not hot. Also, it shoots out strongly.Y
    I think there is some kind of clogging in your cooling system.
    While running on a garden hose with ski on a trailer/stand, can you put you hand on the cyl head or exh pipe for some time w/o burning your hand?
    If you can't, your cooling system has a problem.
    I can do that no problem on my 550.
    You should start checking from the jet pump and go down stream.

    Oh yea, standup skis are so much funner. Once you start doing it standing up, you don't want to do it sitting down anymore.
    Guys do it standing up anyway.

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