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  1. #1
    Ssvinator's Avatar
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    Question Yamaha or Kawasaki?

    Okay... I can't decide...
    I'm new to Jetskis, infact this will be my first.
    I'm looking at the moment at either an '07 FX HO Yamaha with 250 hours on the clock or a brand new Kawasaki Ultra 310LX.
    I know right about now you're probably thinking I'm stupid right? Unable to decide second hand over a new ski. But! I'm looking for long lasting, durable, quality product that's gonna last.

    I'll be scooting around in the ocean. This being wavy and of course salty. (Busselton in WA for any of you WA folk.)
    I want to be able to tow a biscuit/tube.
    I want something that will last till I get bored or find something else to throw money at.

    In previous posts I've heard about Yammis having cracked hulls and paint peeling off in rough water, but I've also heard mechanical problems from the 'saki side.

    Please if I could get the most straight answers without too much bias-ism that would be splendid!

    (Any further questions about what I'm going to be doing with the ski to help select which would be better for me, I'll happily answer.)

    Cheers!
    Josh


  2. #2

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    Keep a few points in mind here:

    1) It is an internet forum...with that being said, you will always find more folks reporting problems than folks reporting they've never had any issues. Usually people look for a forum because they have an issue they are looking for info to resolve, they are entertaining purchasing something (you) and then the rest of us "addicts" (me and likely the rest that will respond to your questions).

    2) If you are truly worried about any possible issues with either brand....buy new and buy an extended warranty.

    3) Test ride the 07 prior to buying

    4) Towing a tube is way more fun with boost...

    5) Yamaha's are bullet proof from their core design/build principles as a company. Look at the rest of their powersports products for additional proof.

    6) Kawi's are king of the ocean (according to all the reviews I've read...no 1st hand experience at all with any ski) Not that Yamaha skis don't do well or great...

    7) If you think this may just be a fad...buy used or a hold over ski so you don't lose your ass on resale in a year.

    Buy a boosted ski........!

  3. #3
    Ssvinator's Avatar
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    Haha yeah, forums are like that but just looking for basically what you've just mentioned, simply a brief cover of both makes without definitively picking on one another.

    With the skis with the superchargers, this case the 'saki, I read a post somewhere regarding if you ever buy a second hand ski the first thing you should ever do is replace the washers or spacers or something in the superchargers? I have absolutely no knowledge or understanding what-so-ever on this? Anyone else know or read anything alike? Maybe I was just dreaming... :P It is usually late when I end up on forums... :P Spend the rest of my day fantasizing and looking at peeeeerty pictures of shiny skis :P

    The 'Saki does have speakers... Not that I completely believe that they'd be any use... but still :P

    (Off-topic question, this came from seeing the speakers... I assume the skis have some sort of alternator/generator? Being petrol and SI engines they'd have to have some sort I guess?)

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    The Kawasaki uses a "roots" type of supercharger so there are no washers to worry about.

    The rest of my input is about "new vs. used." I bought brand new about a year ago. I regret that I did. I thought that since I'm in my mid-50's and (somewhat) responsible, it wouldn't be a problem. However, since I had very little experience I have damaged the skis waaaaaaaaaaaay more than I expected to; mostly while docking.

    I have scuffs toward the rear from the rear going under the dock and scuffing against the wood. Shucks, I even went completely under the yacht docks in Bimini and really gouged some places on the upper part of the ski from the long bolts that hold the dock together. I also have some pretty serious scratches from one time docking at low tide and not knowing that there are barnacles on the bottom side of the wood. So now I really need to repaint my ski.

    I'm bringing this up because I never expected any of that to happen. But it was due to my inexperience. There is a steep learning curve with these machines and it's better to learn on something that you're not going to feel as bad about scratching/scuffing. Learn first, then go new.

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  6. #5
    I'd ride the kawi before an 07 fx ho especially since it's new. If you want long term durability, Yamaha all day. If you don't care for speed, stick to a regular high output non supercharged fx.

  7. #6
    DH300's Avatar
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    If you got the money for the 310, get it no doubt. Not much of a comparison here. The 310 is a better ride in rough water, faster, more storage, WAY more features, more power for pulling tubes, and has 250 less hours. The only thing the FX HO has over the 310 is fuel economy.
    like black sti said, this is a forum, where people ask for help with all their problems more than telling you what a good weekend they had on their ski.

  8. #7
    Ssvinator's Avatar
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    Haha good point Ziggy, never really thought of it that way. Sounds like an interesting learning curve :P
    Can't think of anywhere around here that have docks mainly just be beach launching it I think. Oh besides the marina but too many officials down there that would piss me off wanting to scour through my shit. Not that I have anything to hide, would just piss me off.

    Average life expectancy for both brands? What am I looking at? I know this question would vary A LOT with different factors, these machines being using is Salt or fresh water, skimming across a mirrored bay or jumping tidal waves but just an average ocean use life expectancy? Is there one?

    EDIT:
    Cheers DH300, was originally looking more towards the Yammi but moreso to the Kawasaki now.

  9. #8
    SCHNORR12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ssvinator View Post
    Okay... I can't decide...
    I'm new to Jetskis, infact this will be my first.
    I'm looking at the moment at either an '07 FX HO Yamaha with 250 hours on the clock or a brand new Kawasaki Ultra 310LX.
    I know right about now you're probably thinking I'm stupid right? Unable to decide second hand over a new ski. But! I'm looking for long lasting, durable, quality product that's gonna last.

    I'll be scooting around in the ocean. This being wavy and of course salty. (Busselton in WA for any of you WA folk.)
    I want to be able to tow a biscuit/tube.
    I want something that will last till I get bored or find something else to throw money at.

    In previous posts I've heard about Yammis having cracked hulls and paint peeling off in rough water, but I've also heard mechanical problems from the 'saki side.

    Please if I could get the most straight answers without too much bias-ism that would be splendid!

    (Any further questions about what I'm going to be doing with the ski to help select which would be better for me, I'll happily answer.)

    Cheers!
    Josh
    First of all, this is the Yamaha sub-forum so you're likely to experience some bias towards Yamaha here. With that said, bias is a part of life and after you gain a little experience you will probably have some bias as well towards certain makes and models. If possible, the best thing you can do is actually try the skis you're considering (especially the Yamaha since it's used).

    First in regards to the Yamaha you should be forewarned that 250 hours is really getting up there. Do you really want to worry about fixing/replacing/maintaining a ski with that kind of use? It's your first ski so you're going to be inexperienced. If that inexperience leads to dealer labor it might be cheaper in the long run to have gone with a new, or newer, ski. I'm not saying it has to be the Kawasaki, I'm just trying to put things into perspective for you. Personally, I've never owned a ski with 250 hours. I try to get rid of them far before they reach that kind of use.

    As far as the Kawasaki is concerned, you should be cautioned on resale and that fact that... there really is none. You're going to take a hit when the time comes to sell whether that is the next year after you purchase it, three years down the road, or even longer (which becomes obvious at that point). You might consider a left over model for this reason. I've actually seen some good deals on left over skis in my area lately. A buddy of mine just bought a brand new 2011 Ultra 300x for $9,999.

    You can tow a tube with both of those skis. You won't get bored of 310 horsepower. Some people have had issues with the nano hulls but it's a forum so you're going to have people posting about things like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BLACKSTI View Post
    Keep a few points in mind here:

    1) It is an internet forum...with that being said, you will always find more folks reporting problems than folks reporting they've never had any issues. Usually people look for a forum because they have an issue they are looking for info to resolve, they are entertaining purchasing something (you) and then the rest of us "addicts" (me and likely the rest that will respond to your questions).

    2) If you are truly worried about any possible issues with either brand....buy new and buy an extended warranty.

    3) Test ride the 07 prior to buying

    4) Towing a tube is way more fun with boost...

    5) Yamaha's are bullet proof from their core design/build principles as a company. Look at the rest of their powersports products for additional proof.

    6) Kawi's are king of the ocean (according to all the reviews I've read...no 1st hand experience at all with any ski) Not that Yamaha skis don't do well or great...

    7) If you think this may just be a fad...buy used or a hold over ski so you don't lose your ass on resale in a year.

    Buy a boosted ski........!
    These are all good points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssvinator View Post
    Haha yeah, forums are like that but just looking for basically what you've just mentioned, simply a brief cover of both makes without definitively picking on one another.

    With the skis with the superchargers, this case the 'saki, I read a post somewhere regarding if you ever buy a second hand ski the first thing you should ever do is replace the washers or spacers or something in the superchargers? I have absolutely no knowledge or understanding what-so-ever on this? Anyone else know or read anything alike? Maybe I was just dreaming... :P It is usually late when I end up on forums... :P Spend the rest of my day fantasizing and looking at peeeeerty pictures of shiny skis :P

    The 'Saki does have speakers... Not that I completely believe that they'd be any use... but still :P

    (Off-topic question, this came from seeing the speakers... I assume the skis have some sort of alternator/generator? Being petrol and SI engines they'd have to have some sort I guess?)

    Cheers!
    Pre-2008 Sea Doos with superchargers had issues with ceramic washers that would break loose and cause catastrophic engine damage. They also had to be rebuilt every 100 hours. In 2008 they started making them with metal washers which solved the issue, but the supercharger still has to be rebuilt every 100 hours (about $403 + shipping if you do it through Jerry here). The new Sea Doos require the supercharger be rebuilt every 200 hours, although some say you should still do it every 100 hours. It's not really something you need to worry about unless you being to look at Sea Doos as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrivingZiggy View Post
    The Kawasaki uses a "roots" type of supercharger so there are no washers to worry about.

    The rest of my input is about "new vs. used." I bought brand new about a year ago. I regret that I did. I thought that since I'm in my mid-50's and (somewhat) responsible, it wouldn't be a problem. However, since I had very little experience I have damaged the skis waaaaaaaaaaaay more than I expected to; mostly while docking.

    I have scuffs toward the rear from the rear going under the dock and scuffing against the wood. Shucks, I even went completely under the yacht docks in Bimini and really gouged some places on the upper part of the ski from the long bolts that hold the dock together. I also have some pretty serious scratches from one time docking at low tide and not knowing that there are barnacles on the bottom side of the wood. So now I really need to repaint my ski.

    I'm bringing this up because I never expected any of that to happen. But it was due to my inexperience. There is a steep learning curve with these machines and it's better to learn on something that you're not going to feel as bad about scratching/scuffing. Learn first, then go new.
    Good point. If you don't have any experience on the water, you will make mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssvinator View Post
    Haha good point Ziggy, never really thought of it that way. Sounds like an interesting learning curve :P
    Can't think of anywhere around here that have docks mainly just be beach launching it I think. Oh besides the marina but too many officials down there that would piss me off wanting to scour through my shit. Not that I have anything to hide, would just piss me off.

    Average life expectancy for both brands? What am I looking at? I know this question would vary A LOT with different factors, these machines being using is Salt or fresh water, skimming across a mirrored bay or jumping tidal waves but just an average ocean use life expectancy? Is there one?

    EDIT:
    Cheers DH300, was originally looking more towards the Yammi but moreso to the Kawasaki now.
    Let's put it this way, if that Yamaha was a car it would have well over 100,000 miles.

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  11. #9

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    A kawi supercharged ski will have better life for the supercharger than a seadoo or yamaha. There is no clutch on the kawi and they come with a blow off valve...at least they did in 07 when I had one.

    Anytime a ski comes unhooked from the water....the rider needs to learn throttle control to help pro-long the life. Drop the throttle and grab a fist full after it's hooked back up to the water. Don't let it just bounce off the limiter everytime.

  12. #10
    64physhy's Avatar
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    The 310 is still fairly new, so not a lot to base long-term reliability on. The 300's had some issues early on, but I'm sure Kawi has taken steps to correct them. The peeling paint issues you've read about on the Yamaha's have probably been on the 2014's, I haven't heard of issues with earlier paint, only the 2014's. I have 2 '09 Yamahas, and have had no paint issues.

    250 hours is starting to get up there, but I know people who've logged over 500 hours of all ocean riding on FX's with nothing more than routine maintenance and proper flushing. The FX hull is good in the ocean, but the Kawi is better. Kawasaki has been dominating West Coast Off-Shore racing since the 300 came out because of its rough water handling.

    Kawi's are typically higher maintenance than Yamaha, especially when comparing a supercharged ski to a non-supercharged ski, but it has the advantage on power and ocean handling.

    If you expect to get bored of the ski and not ride it much, go with the used one so you're not out so much $ when you sell it.

    I don't think you'd be disappointed with either ski.

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