Kawasaki engineers designed the STX series, which includes 750 and 900 cc models, to be its luxury line of personal watercraft. An index finger-full of throttle and a quick blast across the lake may have you thinking this is a performance machine.
Using the same 120 hp, 1,071 cc engine as its performance-oriented stablemate, the 1100 ZXi, the STX combines maximum performance without sacrificing the creature comforts needed for all-day touring. Surrounding decking on the STX provides enough room for all three passengers’ feet. In addition, the STX features footrests to help stabilize a rear-facing spotter when pulling skiers, boarders and tubers. There is also reverse and an automatically retracting boarding ladder.
Beneath the two-piece seat lies 3.2 gallons of water-resistant storage. Because the seat is in two pieces, the passenger can access storage without disturbing the driver. In front of the seat, Kawasaki designers included a glove box for things you want to keep close at hand such as wallets and keys. Forward of the handlebars, you’ll find two mirrors and a large storage compartment that’s removable in case you need to access the fuel and oil tanks.
Riders can monitor all fluid levels with the LCD instrument cluster, which also displays speed, engine rpm, distance traveled and time of day. If you don’t monitor the oil level closely, the STX has a warning light to alert the rider. Another light flashes when the engine temperature creeps too high. And to help prevent theft or unauthorized use, the STX has a magnetic keyed ignition switch.
The hull is made from hand-laid fiberglass and features new-for-1998 sponsons that improve cornering and tracking and help prevent porpoising. Scratch-resistant gel-coat helps
keep the machine looking new, and Kawasaki’s proprietary splash deflector makes it possible to spend a day without getting wet.
But it’s inside the hull where the true pulse of this machine thrums. Kawasaki has years of experience with two-stroke technology. Its 500 cc Mach 1 street motorcycles from the mid-1970s are legendary to this day – and the STX has more horsepower. Its three-cylinder engine features a wide powerband for brisk acceleration from a standstill, with more power left over at the top end. For 1998, Kawasaki switched to constant velocity carburetors to provide smoother acceleration, better throttle response and fuel economy. The digital ignition system features a tricky little sensor that signals the igniter to advance ignition timing when intake air temperature reaches a certain level. That means power fade that accompanies high operating temperatures – common on hot summer days – is virtually eliminated.
Fuel Type:UNLEADED GAS (93 OCTANE)
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