Typically there’s nothing extra enjoyable than pure, wretched extra. Which is why I by no means obtained uninterested in squeezing the throttle of the brand new Kawasaki Jet Ski Extremely 260X. Cruising alongside at 40 mph, I would crack the throttle and really feel an immediate rush of supercharged thrust attempt to pull the large Extremely proper out from below me.
The digital speedometer exhibits 60 within the blink of a watch. Going that quick will get previous in a rush, particularly on a 50-degree afternoon. So I would again off to a extra comfy velocity and attempt to admire the desert shoreline of Lake Mead, solely to seek out myself pulling the set off once more, simply to really feel that intoxicating rush. Acceleration by no means will get previous.
Getting into its third 12 months within the Jet Ski line, the large Extremely will get an intensive powertrain overhaul for 2009 that reinforces output from 250 to 260 horsepower and makes this 1.5-liter, supercharged/intercooled four-cylinder creation the most-powerful manufacturing PWC engine on the planet. I detailed the technical updates in a earlier column, however the highlights embrace revised pistons that elevate the compression ratio from 7.eight:1 to eight.four:1, and new consumption and exhaust camshafts with extra raise.
The engine circumstances are stronger to face up to the added strain, and the cooling system is up to date to assist the engine retain extra warmth in chilly water. This final change is in response to an issue some Extremely 250X house owners had been having with unburned gas seeping previous the piston rings and amassing within the oil sump. Lastly, the impeller is revised to match the brand new engine’s energy curve and to enhance acceleration.
This 4 % achieve in peak energy produces a two % achieve in high velocity, from about 66.5 mph to 67.eight mph in my trip in February on Lake Mead. That is in keeping with GPS, with 180-pound me on the saddle in my greatest aerodynamic tuck, and the 20.6-gallon gas tank stuffed to the brim. Acceleration, as I’ve already famous, stays livid. Anticipate a zero-to-30 time below two seconds.
The Extremely platform has all the time mixed consolation and velocity on one bundle, and for 2009 its primary persona is unchanged. It is large and heavy and never particularly agile – each the Sea-Doo RXT-X and the Honda F-15X are 100 kilos lighter and have faster reflexes than the Extremely – however level this craft’s hammerhead bow at a large stretch of open water and it’ll gobble up the miles at an unimaginable price.
Its locomotive-like mass – Kawasaki specs it at 1,027 kilos with the beneficiant 20.6-gallon gas tank full – crushes typical lake chop and helps maintain the boat on target by stiffer seas. That mass can be reluctant to vary instructions, nevertheless. Arc the Extremely right into a flip and the bow pushes a number of water, which often finally ends up as spray within the rider’s face, particularly when that large gas tank is full and heavy. Attempt too onerous and the tail will get unfastened, permitting the Extremely to slip, somewhat than carve, by a nook.
That is additionally not a ship for gizmo-lovers. There isn’t any drive-by-wire throttle or fuel-flow gauge, no cruise management or GPS, and no trimmable jet nozzle – all options discovered on among the competitors. It does supply essentially the most stowage within the class, greater than 60 complete gallons together with an enormous 53-gallon bin within the bow and a big glove field. The steering adjusts by 5 positions. And there is a ski eye and a flip-down boarding step on the transom. Each the gas fill and a garden-hose flush becoming are situated below the bow stowage hatch. Word that this Extremely requires premium gas. An digital “key” situated below the glove field lid prompts the ignition, and the system instances out after a minute or two, so you have to open the lid, pull out the important thing, and reinsert it to begin the engine once more. This will get a bit of annoying however beats a useless battery, which is the purpose. A second, “slow-mode” key limits high velocity to about 35 mph.
For 2009, Kawasaki additionally provides the Extremely 260LX ($12,299), equivalent in each respect to the 260X aside from a touring seat that includes a deeper, bucket-shaped bolster for the rider and passenger, and a classy silver-and-white shade scheme. After our spin on Lake Mead, I can report that this seat is among the greatest I’ve ever skilled, very supportive however not too squishy and effectively price the additional $300 Kawasaki asks for the Extremely 260LX. It is the proper saddle to carry a rider in place as he squeezes the throttle, repeatedly.