Kawasaki ULTRA 310: The Baddest Jet Ski on The PlanetJune 22, 2014
On this first glorious day of summer, I have a confession to make. I don’t like boats.
I don’t like what they represent: Lots of work, money, and unnecessary time sitting on the water with droves of intoxicated freeloaders taking pictures for their Facebook pages that simply say, “Wooo”, “Sunday Funday”, or the ever so popular, “Turn Down For What”.
I get it, jiggly girls on a boat makes sense for most, just not for me.
I’m too neurotic to sit and pretend that the 15 people I met 5 minutes ago will somehow enhance my social bravado and not devolve my existence.
I need something a bit more. Something that will make my teeth chatter. Something that will quite simply strike fear in my heart and make me question my decision-making skills and overall manliness. However, blistering speed is something I’m used to. I’ve been testing exotic cars, jet skis, and motorcycles since 2004, so it takes a lot to get this caramel ninja shaking in his shorts.
In comes the Kawasaki Ultra 310, a purebred ego killer. It could make the manliest man turn down for fear of getting thrown off north of 65-mph into the ocean. As Kawasaki celebrates 40-years of fun in the water, they couldn’t have produced a better homage to the racing champions before them.
As if Poseidon decided to birth something for Percy Jackson to fool around with during his down time, The Ultra 310 combines the best of both worlds, offering various creature comforts with raw power and unbridled energy. I will say this, if you’re going slow enough to hear music, you’re doing it wrong.
There are a cornucopia of factors that make the Ultra 310 powerful, but at the root of all the madness is a 1498cc supercharged engine producing a mere 310-horespower. Yeah, I wrote that correctly, and yes. You read it correctly. Torque and acceleration is downright scary, but not uncontrolled. If you can hang on, it will rocket you all the way up the stratosphere so smoothly that the Dos Equis guy would probably make you his best friend, all while taming a wild lion.
The Ultra 31o was very responsive, even in some seriously choppy waters. The 1600mm diameter jet pump really gives the 310 great bite. Be careful in dodgy waters though, the bite in combination with torque will test your hang on abilities.
The fiberglass hull sliced right through the ocean with the greatest of ease, and with good reason. It was designed to mimic Kawasaki’s race machines. High-speed stability is magnificent, and the hull design really deadens the shock through waves and swells.
For those that cannot observe no wake zones, like myself, the 5-mph button is a godsend. There’s also cruise control. I personally don’t see a use for it, as I have only one best friend who is afraid of water and speed, but it could be good if you’re out on a leisurely ride with a couple of passengers. There’s also an ECO mode that conserves fuel, also not something I used, nevertheless, for cruising around, very useful.
A great innovation for beginning riders is the Matrix- like, Green or Yellow key. Choose wisely, NEO. Better known as Smart Learning Operation (SLO), the yellow key reduces acceleration and top speed, and the green key, well, means go. I never got the chance to use the yellow key, but I do highly recommend it for newbies. The 310 is not a toy and should not be ridden with a green key by an inexperienced rider.
Other cool features include Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS), in which the ski assists you with steering in certain conditions. Also, the electronic trim setting is quite handy for adjusting on the fly during changing water conditions. Loads of storage, and ultimate convenience, the Ultra 310, is by far the best performance ski on the market to date. Unearthly power, great handling and acceleration, and at the end of the day, it’s like mainlining Redbull.
Get one, now.
The Ultra 310 comes in four different models. All of which I’m going to explain to my faithful jet-heads.
Ultra 310 LX: Comes with the world’s first “Jetsound” system, which syncs with your iPhone, audio player or usb stick. Also has a GPS mountable handlebar for specific Garmin units (72/26/78 series ), super comfy touring seat for three brave souls, heat-resistant material so you don’t cook your arse while out on the great blue, and new Hydroturf deck matting for improved grip and overall awesomeness. ($17,999)
Ultra 310 X: A more bare bones version of the 310. Not a lot of frills, but you get all the same power. Mount up and ride. ($15,299)
Ultra 310 R Sport: This was the version I tested, and it was awesome. A pure race machine, with 18-mountable positions for the handle bar and a more narrow and firm seat for harder riding. Not for the faint of heart. ($16,299)
Ultra 31o X Special Edition: Sport seat modeled after the R series, and special paint scheme. ($15,799)