With the final round of the 2017 US AquaX Championship heading to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, another class joins the usual suspects on the schedule as the 2017 Kawasaki SX-R makes its US debut on the AquaX tour.
Already featured on the European tour in Port Balis, Spain last month, the SX-R has been a hugely popular introduction in the world of stand-up jet ski racing since it’s release earlier this year and was heavily featured at the IJSBA World Finals.
So what went into the development of this monster? And just what makes it stand out amongst the crowd?
Joe Heim from Kawasaki said the manufacturer is excited to see the SX-R in action on the AquaX tour for the first time.
“Minoru Kanamori spent two years developing this new ski to make sure it would be fun for the recreational rider as well as competitive on the race course,” Joe said.
“The new SXR was a collaboration between our Jet Ski engineers in Japan and our development team in the US. The US development team has been working with the
engineers in Japan for over 20 years, so the SX-R development went very smoothly.
“We were also able to speed up development by using our existing 1500cc 4 cylinder, 4 stroke engine platform.
The SX-R is Kawasaki's first 4 stroke stand up. The new SX-R is longer and weighs a little more than the 800 SX-R, but it still has responsive lean in turning and better straight line stability compared to other skis.
“Most racers can adapt to the new SX-R after a few laps around a buoy course. The SX-R lends itself to racing very well because it is already fast out of the box and with a few handling modifications to suit the riding style of the racer, it is ready to race.
“We were extremely happy to see that so many racers had already made the switch to the new SX-R at the IJSBA World Finals this past October.
“We are looking forward to seeing some exciting racing this weekend in the new SX-R class!"
European racer Harry Robinson has been racing the SX-R this season, most recently in Port Balis, and he believes Kawasaki have taken a big step forward with the new model.
"I have ridden an SX-R 800 since I started racing in 2013 and the new SX-R is on another level," said Harry.
"Blistering speed and fantastic agility - this thing just keeps on pulling. I'm looking forward to riding the SX-R next season where I hope to take my racing to the next level"