SAN DIEGO, Calif. – “Kawasaki Strong” was the key message of the day as the OEM kicked off its national dealer meeting last week. Kawasaki aims to continue to expand its presence in all of its efforts, but the top brass was quick to point out the product is the driving force behind our industry. To that end, Kawasaki unveiled something for every one of its dealers, whether they were focused on the PWC market, off-road, street, or all three.
Continuing the theme from the Times Square event held last year in New York, the San Diego Gaslamp Takeover featured all the new 2014 products on display for the public to check out, stunt riding from Jason Britton and Team No Limit, a well-received appearance by World Superbike points leader Tom Sykes, and plenty of high-energy music and swag giveaways.
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The message to both the general public and dealers in attendance was simple: Only Kawasaki has the ability and the chutzpah to stage such an event. Based on the reactions we saw from both dealers and fans in attendance, it certainly appears that Kawasaki has found a unique way to successfully reach its constituents and excite them to a fever pitch.
Here's the update on watercraft.
According to the general consensus at the dealer meeting, there were murmurs to the effect that Kawasaki was neglecting or even may abandon its personal watercraft lineup, despite creating the PWC market with the original Jet Ski in 1972. Kawasaki thoroughly squashed these thoughts with a significantly updated Jet Ski Ultra 310 lineup for 2014.
The “310” moniker represents the new horsepower figure of the Kawasaki Jet Ski family, which is claimed by Kawasaki to be the most powerful PWCs ever sold. A series of internal and external changes bump the output up to 310 hp on the 1498cc supercharged inline-four, including improved water jackets and oil-jet-cooled pistons, updated water-cooled intercooler and intake manifold, and a higher capacity fuel pump. An updated three-blade 160mm impeller puts the additional power to good use, and a new Fuel Economy Assistance mode joins the cruise control and electronic throttle to provide better control over the massive engine.
Outside of the engine bay, other updates for 2014 include new Hydroturf deck matting, a heat-resistant seat cover for improved comfort, and the industry-first JETSOUND audio system, which allows the rider to pump tunes through a pair of 30-watt speakers mounted to the console.
While much of the rest of the PWC remains status quo, the Ultra still features a variety of class-leading features, including a huge 20.6-gallon fuel tank, an agile deep-V hull design, 56 gallons of internal storage and clever electronic rider aids including Kawasaki Smart Steering and a beginner-friendly SLO-mode.
The top-of-the-range 310LX model with the JETSOUND system retails for $17,999, but the new 310 Ultra family includes four separate models, with a starting retail price of only $15,299 for the 310X.