09-09-2014, 12:40 PM #1
Gallery: 2015 Kawasaki JetSki Lineup Released
“Hope springs eternal.” At least so says essayist Alexander Pope. But it would seem never more so than for those loyal to Kawasaki. The brand has possibly one of the most devout followings in the realm of personal watercraft. Many wear their “Team Green” colors with pride, happily going to the defense against haters and naysayers. Even as Kawasaki’s presence in the sport has dwindled, those who bleed green continue to do so with aplomb.
Last year, their loyalty was rewarded with two new Ultra models (the 310X Special Edition and the offshore-specific 310R), as well as a completely reworked powertrain, which radically reduced internal engine temperatures by improving semi-dry sump oiling, cooling and fuel consumption, all of which freed up an additional 10 horsepower over the previous model’s 300 ponies. Comically, the 310-horsepower number is almost superfluous, as no other manufacturer nears such a colossal power output.
For those equipped with the Twin Vorticies Roots-style Eaton supercharger, optimized fuel economy is still a long ways away. Pressing 16.8-pounds of boost through the dual-cam 1,498cc plant to the redesigned 8.2:1 compression pistons, the Ultra produces an impressive 1,890-pounds of thrust through the 160mm pump. By no means will the Ultra 310X be confused for a dainty fuel-sipper.
Of course, the Kawasaki’s Ultra lineup is much more than the powerplant beneath its seat. Of which, two new seats were introduced last year that continue for 2014; a narrowed, high traction race seat on the 310R and 310X SE, and a heavily bolstered, scalloped LXury bench with the industry’s first heat-resistant covering.
These attributes helped Kawasaki pick up a bit of market share in 2014, as the brand witnessed a much-needed uptick in sales alongside rivals Yamaha and Sea-Doo who saw percentages climb into the double digits.
The brand has been nothing but enthusiastic about the offshore racing community’s adoption of the Ultra. This past July’s Long Beach-to-Catalina Offshore Championship witnessed a 9-out-of-10 sweep of the Top 10, with Kawasaki Ultra 310Xs comprising the top podium spots there as well as in Guadalupe Island’s KaruJet Championship and Russia’s Russki JetRacer Offshore event.
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