10 Hours In: An Owner’s Review oF the 2022 Kawasaki 310LX-S

On April 12th, 2022 Christmas came early. My Kawasaki dealer notified me that a 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310LX-S was just uncrated and was sitting on the showroom floor. Almost in shock, I rushed to the dealer as fast as legally possible. I chose the LX-S model primarily due to the Kawasaki Green color with sharp black and grey accents. I wanted the new Ultra Deck, but cared little about the stereo and speakers making the mid-range LX-S trim a solid choice for me.

From the moment the ski was loaded onto my trailer I meticulously documented my experiences on my YouTube Channel – JD’s WaterWorld. I quickly learned that words and videos alone do no justice for the 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310. One must ride this venerable beast to truly understand its command of the water.

Fast forward 10 hours, and just over a month, and even when the ski is sitting in my driveway, the adrenaline rush never seems to fade. Some say it is not the ski itself that draws us to a personal watercraft but rather the experience of riding. For me, the experience of riding has been elevated to heights I never knew possible by the 2022 Ultra 310 JetSki.

It all starts with the hull. They say a house is only as strong as its foundation, and Kawasaki continues to provide the ultimate foundation in the form of their fiberglass and gelcoat deep-V hull. This hull handles a stock 310 horsepower and nearly 2,000 lbs. of thrust with ease, and inspires the confidence to tackle even the most challenging ocean conditions safely.

The hull tracks very straight through rough chop, and corners surprisingly tightly for such a large ski. The Kawasaki is incredibly stable at all speeds, and offers a much drier ride than the previous generation Ultra 310s. Fly-by-wire throttle response is instantaneous, and the throttle trigger is weighted just right, reducing trigger-finger fatigue. The KSRD reversing system is easy to use, allowing single handed operation for docking or pulling up alongside another ski or boat.

I really like that the Kawasaki does not need to be heavily modded with aftermarket parts. You don’t need to improve the supercharger or the intercooler. You don’t need to improve the impeller or the jet pump. You don’t need to add a rear-exit exhaust, catch can, or a blow-off valve; these all are included stock. The current generation powertrain has a very low rate of failure, with a proven 5-plus year track record of real-world reliability. The stock performance is very impressive.

Kawasaki finally adopted much of the technology and ergonomics found standard on other brands’ base-model skis- namely a handlebar operated reverse and braking system and a modern display. I appreciate that Kawasaki publishes all of the engine’s specifications, and that the company is straightforward with their curb weight of the vessel.

Riding is a pleasure due to the vastly improved handlebar controls, large well-placed mirrors, and new dash functions. Wider and deeper footwells comfortably accommodate tall riders like me (6’2”), and the new tapered seat facilitates a more comfortable stand-up riding position.

The water deflection and channeling system on the top of the ski works incredibly well, while the splash deflectors molded into the bow minimize spray when plowing through chop. I am really impressed with the size and width of the new Ultra Deck and the versatility of the multi-mount rails. The size and stability of the new rear deck and drop-down step makes boarding from the water very easy.

I have purchased a few different Kawasaki accessories for this ski including the dry bag and the tie-down kit for the Ultra Deck. The tie-down kit is high quality, with anodized aluminum mounting points and stainless-steel hardware. The dry-bag fits perfectly in the gull-wing storage compartment, and keeps wallets, car keys, and paperwork dry.

When it comes to quirks, the gullwing compartments are not waterproof, and it’s very difficult to reach down into the front compartment while on the JetSki. The Ultra 310 also has a full engine cover with only a small access door to check the oil. The cover is easy to remove while on the shore, but could be troublesome if it has to be removed while out on the water.

If the Ultra 310 is filled with stale, old, or lower octane fuel it will throw a “Code 7B” – indicating that the Knock Sensor has detected detonation and triggered the ECU to retard timing- thereby putting the ski into “Limp Mode.” Add octane booster and fresh fuel as soon as possible if you get a “Code 7B – Knock warning.”

Some riders have reported abnormal or persistent “Code 69 – Knock sensor malfunction” warnings. According to the Kawasaki Service Manual, this code is related exclusively to the functioning of the knock sensor itself, and is not an actual issue with fuel or engine knock. Have your dealer conduct a diagnosis on your ski if you come across this issue.

Otherwise, the power delivery is crisp and instantaneous, and the ride is stable and comfortable. The ski gives me the confidence to tackle rough ocean chop common off the shores of South Florida. Running at an average of about 55 mph, my average fuel burn is about 4.8 gallons an hour. With 10 hours under my belt, I can confidently say that the 2022 Ultra 310LX-S is one of the most commanding and fun skis I have ever ridden.

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JD Brussels

A true Florida native, JD bought his first boat before he was old enough to drive. You can usually find him tinkering on one of his many projects, tearing up the ocean on his Ultra 310, or spending time out on the boat with his wife and 3 kids.

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