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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Kawasaki Ultra 300X

    If I was to choose the next watercraft brand for us it may well be Kawasaki.

    So it was with some interest that we took a loaner 2013 Kawasaki 300X to the Big Rideau Watercraft Ride for Dad on July 12, 2014.

    Here are the initial very rough video edits from that day on the water.


    It starts getting interesting around the 2:20 mark and Marion demonstrates how to use power to recover from an imminent roll over starting near 4:40

    After that you can watch all the PWC come out of the lock ...

    Last edited by K447; 07-15-2014 at 09:36 AM.


  2. #2
    Connecticut CrazyA's Avatar
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    I don't mean any disrespect to Polaris, but how was it to ride a modern day machine making some real power? Did the large, heavy hull negate the feel of raw power? Somehow I doubt it.....

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    "just sayin".. jetdave56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyA View Post
    I don't mean any disrespect to Polaris, but how was it to ride a modern day machine making some real power? Did the large, heavy hull negate the feel of raw power? Somehow I doubt it.....
    The reeeal raw power is when your in the 1-2 ft chop with 4 ft boat rollers going over a long distance at a steady 65-68 mph ..
    Somehow I doubt a Polaris can do it though I never rode one..
    Not to mention a monster holeshot..

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  5. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdave56 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyA View Post
    I don't mean any disrespect to Polaris, but how was it to ride a modern day machine making some real power? Did the large, heavy hull negate the feel of raw power? Somehow I doubt it.....
    The reeeal raw power is when your in the 1-2 ft chop with 4 ft boat rollers going over a long distance at a steady 65-68 mph ..
    Somehow I doubt a Polaris can do it though I never rode one..
    Not to mention a monster holeshot..
    The MSX hull is the closet thing from Polaris in terms of rough water ride and overall hull dynamics. Which is why we were looking forward to running them side by side during the rough churn of the charity ride. Perhaps next time...

    On the trailer the Kawasaki Ultra hull is a handful of inches longer than the MSX. Also noticeably taller from bunks up the handlebars. The Ultra upper deck and hood forward of the handlebars is larger/higher than the MSX which can make the Ultra look even bigger than it actually is.

    Marion's initial comment was that the Ultra feels like a refined version of the MSX. If Polaris had stayed in the game and found an engine I could imagine the next generation MSX hull being very comparable.

    Weight is tricky to compare. My understanding is that Kawasaki specs the Ultra weight with a full load of fuel and oil while the other brands spec the weight dry.

    Certainly the Ultra hull is trustworthy in rough water at speed. The speed part is important. At medium planing speeds when I was pacing the group (circa 35+ mph) the Ultra hull could produce a lot of bow spray over the handlebars. If I had an Ultra I would be investigating a splash guard under the front rub rail.

    Throttle control was surprisingly fatiguing. I only rode using the full power key. Marion spent some riding time with the SLO key. With 300HP and instant throttle response at any RPM even tiny twitches of the factory finger throttle can yank the machine forward. If you inadvertently slipped off the throttle the Ultra hull decelerates instantly and the rider surges forward if not expecting it.

    Holding a precise mid-range throttle position while pounding along (which means a tight grip on the handlebar) required more focus than I had expected. Both our Polaris have thumb throttle levers (rotated from factory on the MSX 140) so the muscle memory is necessarily different.

    Pick up the pace on rough water and the Ultra climbs on top of the waves and levels out. The rider becomes confident that the hull is not going to do something unexpected.

  6. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    MSX 140 specs (cribbed from the Internet)

    Fuel Tank 17.8 U.S. gallons (67.4 Liters)
    Full fuel tank adds 108 pounds, 49Kg to the total.

    Oil Reservoir Capacity 1.5 U.S. gallons* (5.68 liters)
    Oil adds roughly 11 pounds or 5Kg
    * The Polaris MSX 140 Owners Manual has this listed incorrectly as 6 US gallons.

    Rider Capacity/Rider Weight Limit 1-3 persons/500 lbs (227 kg)
    Total Weight Capacity 565 pounds (256 Kg)

    Total Length 126.0 inches (320 cm)
    Width 48.3 inches (122.6 cm)
    Height 42.5 inches (108 cm)

    Dry Weight 690 pounds (315 kg)
    Note: There is some doubt regarding this weight number and my understanding is that the 2003 hulls are about 35 pounds heavier than the 2004 version. Actual weights for the MSX 140 may be different than the listed spec.

    Front Storage Capacity 30.0 gallons
    Glove Box 1.8 gallons

    With fuel and oil the MSX 140 is somewhere around 809 pounds, probably closer to 840 for the 2003 model. Plus whatever weight of gear is stuffed into the front storage area.

    For the 2013 Kawasaki Ultra 300X

    Overall Length 132.7 in.
    Overall Width 47.0 in.
    Overall Height 45.3 in.
    Curb Weight 1040.8 lb.
    ** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)

    Load Capacity 496 lbs.
    Storage Capacity 60 gal.
    Fuel Capacity 20.6 gallons, 78 liters (126 pounds or 57 Kg)
    Oil Capacity 5.3 qt. (or 5.0 liters) About 10 pounds or 5Kg

    ======================
    Specification-wise, the Ultra 300X is about 200 pounds heavier than the MSX 140 with full fuel and oil.

    The weight of water flowing through the cooling system is not included in these numbers, but water is heavy so the actual running weight will be higher for both. Both engines use raw water for cooling.

    Ultra is about 7 inches longer nose to tail and about 1 inch narrower than the MSX.

    From keel to top of the handlebars the specs are the same but the Ultra bars are adjustable for height. I assume the spec is with the bars in the lowest position.

    On my Triton trailer the ultra looked taller than the MSX. Bunk spacing was set wider for the Ultra hull so perhaps it was an illusion that the Ultra was taller.

    Regarding storage, when the MSX failed I literally transferred the entire full bucket of gear from the MSX into the Ultra hull. Anchor, many ropes, fenders, etc. And the Ultra storage area still looked mostly empty!

    The lower storage area in the Ultra is cavernous. The upper storage bucket is moderate size, less deep than the Polaris bucket so less chance of something wriggling so far down you cannot find it.

    There is a small storage area under the Ultra rear seat section but the rear seat is not hinged so you need to use two hands to lift it off and then put it down somewhere. I much prefer the hinged convenience of my Virage rear seat storage. I doubt I would use the rear Ultra storage much since it is not quickly accessible for docking ropes or such.

    Fuel tank capacity in the Ultra is only 10 liters more than the MSX 140.
    Last edited by K447; 07-15-2014 at 11:54 AM.

  7. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    The extra 170HP in the Ultra 300 engine plus the more modern Kawasaki jet pump results in much stronger acceleration right from idle, despite the extra 200 pounds overall weight difference.

    Those with Polaris MSX triple tuned pipe Matrix and MSX 4-Tec engine conversions can testify to the changes in MSX hull handling with the extra power and modest increase in overall weight.

    An MSX conversion using the Kawasaki 300 engine and jet pump would have serious potential, right up to the hydrodynamic limits of the MSX hull and tunnel.

  8. #7
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    I wouldnt say its necessarily a more modern jet pump. Its just a lot bigger. I think 160mm vs 148mm. It can process a lot more water.

    What did you find the fuel consumption was compared to what you are used to?

  9. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    ... What did you find the fuel consumption was compared to what you are used to?
    I was mildly surprised that the Ultra fuel tank is only 3US gallons larger than the Polaris MSX 140 tank.

    While the 2014 Ultra 310 Low Fuel warning triggers at around 25 liters, my understanding is that on the 2013 and prior years Ultra the Low Fuel warning occurs around 33 liters. That would be around 43% fuel remaining, so the low fuel beep happens fairly early in a long ride. I did not refill the loaner Kawasaki machine after the ride so I do not have an accurate sense of fuel consumption.

    Of course at full throttle it will be drinking roughly twice as much fuel per minute as the MSX 140. Making more than twice the power is going to burn roughly twice the fuel, give or take. But you are going faster

    Given the huge amount of space inside the Ultra hull I wish Kawasaki offered a larger fuel tank as an option, if not stock. The extra fuel weight only matters until you burn it off. From there on down it is the same weight as the current tank. Fuel capacity of 30 gallons would seem about right in the big Kawasaki.

    Our Ficht powered Virage TXi and MSX 140 each have a cruising range somewhere farther than 100 miles. We have done two 90+ mile tours so far this summer and each time we had one or two bars remaining on the gauge. Since we are riding with mostly supercharged Seadoo we are often flat out or slightly below just to stay with the group.

    I will miss this cruising range capability if the next machines we buy are limited to less than what we have now, distance wise.

    Not only would a larger Kawasaki fuel tank provide greater cruise range, it would also provide more hours of playing around riding time before having to load the trailer and drive to a roadside gas station to refuel. Many cottages and 'camps' are on lakes without water access to premium grade gasoline (the Ultra 300 wants 90+ octane) or the premium fuel is expensive at the local Marina.

    When I am at the cottage I try to minimize the number of times each week I must trailer the skis out to get more fuel. Using my 14 gallon portable gasoline caddy helps but having 50% more fuel right in the watercraft would make it that much easier to transport the 'extra' fuel, right in the main tank.

    Apparently the current Seadoo machines have 60 liter or 70 liter fuel tanks, depending on the model. Even the supercharged 260HP models. Which explains why they have less cruise range than my Polaris watercraft.
    Last edited by K447; 09-02-2014 at 01:01 AM.

  10. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    I wouldnt say its necessarily a more modern jet pump. Its just a lot bigger. I think 160mm vs 148mm. It can process a lot more water. ...
    I am including the intake tunnel design and the related ride plate and hull area. The whole package including the actual jet drive, nozzle, etc.

  11. #10
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    If you are worried about cruise range I would look at the yamaha FXHO. No supercharger to worry about, powerful, and good on fuel.

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