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  1. #1

    Buying a 1989 Kawi 650SX

    Hey everyone, Ive got a quick question. Ive been searching for a decent stand up for this summer and came across a 89' 650SX stand up. Talked to the guy, who seems pretty cool, he has the title in his name and everything, but once ask him the last time the engine was rebuilt he says "as far as I know, never has been". This kindof scares me. I know its possible though because my friends TS650 is on its factory build and running strong, but stand up engines get a little more abuse. He says it runs strong and I plan to take a compresson test, but what else? I offered him $650 and he took it. Are the seals going to go out on me? Just want to know. Thanks.


  2. #2
    SplishSplash's Avatar
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    Looking at the ski can tell a lot.
    1. Is the inside of the hull dirty (other than mildew), oil all over indicates poor maitenence.
    2. Is it running premix or Injection? Lots are converted to premix, no reason to but lots are.
    3. Impeller condition. Standups operate in shallow water and props can get beat up bad.
    4. Hull condition, scratches ok but gouges and cracks not good
    5. Does it start right up? Critical on a stand up, that it fires right away when warmed up.
    6. Compression test, yes, and should be within 10% of each other
    7. Modifications from stock, exhaust, intake etc, if so does it look like a quality install.
    8. Steering, moves freely and smooth.
    9. TEST ride if you can, be sure its pissing water out the pisser. (if not its probably been over heated)
    10. These skis do not use a lanyard, if you fall off, it will circle back. (a feature i like)
    11. Salt or fresh water use? Salt, means more corrosion.
    12. Start it in the water, cover off, look for leaks around manifolds and where the drive shaft is
    13. Be sure the PTO cover is installed, if not you will have to buy one (will throw water up into th carb if its missing)
    14. Check motor mounts, for cracks, and are there.
    15. Check all hoses, and fuel bowl( just below the arm) for its condition.
    16. Mats, if they are shot, they will have to be replaced, good kits out there or you can do your own.
    17. PRICE, they are all over the place depending on condition. A good one in good shape should not be over $1500 to $2000 at most. A basket case can be from free to $250.
    These are a fun ski to learn on, go about 35 mph (plenty fast) and they have some tricky handling is corners. Mine, I modified the ride plate to make for better turns.

    I have one in my fleet, Love it, even though i have an 800SXR, I still love to play onn the 650 SX

    Good luck!!!

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  4. #3
    Myself's Avatar
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    I have an '89 that I love riding. Mine has never been rebuilt and runs great. Buy it, ride it, fix it when it breaks!

  5. #4
    badjoka's Avatar
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    Awesome skis! Fun, economical and easy to fix. Cant bring myself to sell mine.

  6. #5
    Hi all, sorry for not getting to reply here for a while. I bought it. Runs great 155 psi in each cyl. Now for a story.... so It was killing me just sitting there in my garage and not riding it, so theres a large pond close to my house so I went ahead and put it in, rode it around for probably 20 mins. The water was only like 50 degrees but atleast I took the edge off wanting to ride. It was almost dark by the time I was finished so i decided to leave it (I knew it was okay since its surrounded by trees and not in view)- next day- BAM suprise snow storm, and it snowed a good 3 inches of wet snow. In the middle it was just too nasty to go pull it out of there. It wasnt in the water but on the grassy bank. I went down there and fired it up hoping to blow the water out so it woundnt freeze inside it. The whole day I was putting new carpet and and wood on my tandem trailer, and decided to get it once I got one bunk done. The bank is very steep and I ended up having to pull it up the bank with my polaris ranger, then with the help of a friend we lifted it on to the trailer and got it back to my garage...... I know im an idiot but hey I learned something... Wait.. just because its 70 degrees out doesnt mean it will be like that the next day haha. Oh well. I inspected it once in the garage and the intake grate and part of the pump was filled with snow. I about want to cry that I did this to my baby. There was no time left I had to get in to my house and just let it sit on the trailer over night. Tomorrow I definantly plan to get all the snow out of it and fire it up. It runs so good all you have to push the button and she fires right up. My main concern is about the snow and possible water in it. Do these alow standing water to stay in the exhaust? Im afraid of it freezing and cracking the block or exhaust. Maybe the pump for that matter. Just a story I thought id share. Hoped you enjoyed reading it. DON'T DO WHAT I DID

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  8. #6
    Alright. I don't know if anyone's reading this but it's fun to type. So I went out there today and all the snow had melted out of the intake grate/impeller area. Pulled a few twigs and leaves out before firing it up. Started it. Let I run just a little longer than I normally would just so it would evaporate any condensation on the pipe ect. Not long though. Probably all together 20- 30 seconds. But that's not all in one take I shut it down for a little bit and then went back and started it again. Ran perfect. Doesn't seem as though I did any harm. Can't wait to get it out on the real lake. I am knowledgable with kawasaki 2 strokes I've rebuilt 3 of them. Just bad timing.

  9. #7
    CJ's gpr's Avatar
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    you have to remember that these machines are cooled by pumping in sea water, when you shut the ski off that water is still sitting in the cooling system. When you take it out of the water always rev it up and blow out that last bit of water thats in the engine. Usually before the winter starts most of us run anti-freeze through the cooling system.

    Your a lucky man, your block could have cracked from the frozen water. trust me, I've been up at night worrying about my skis outside more than once

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CJ's gpr View Post
    you have to remember that these machines are cooled by pumping in sea water, when you shut the ski off that water is still sitting in the cooling system. When you take it out of the water always rev it up and blow out that last bit of water thats in the engine. Usually before the winter starts most of us run anti-freeze through the cooling system.

    Your a lucky man, your block could have cracked from the frozen water. trust me, I've been up at night worrying about my skis outside more than once
    I know I got lucky. I always blow the water out after riding. I shouldn't have taken it to that pond but temptation took over common sence. It was supposed to rain that day....not snow. Oh well. You live and learn.

  11. #9
    Myself's Avatar
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    That cooling setup is supposed to self drain when nothing is clogged. There is always residual water that sits in the waterbox/muffler but I've never seen one break. The expansion chamber is not a jacketed type so you also don't have to worry about an outer cooling jacket freezing there either. The water in the headpipe, manifold, and cylinder will naturally drain to the lowest level which should be a line leading out the rear by the jet pump.

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