This Custom ’87 Kawasaki Hydrofoil JS550 Can Be Yours


Two days ago, we brought you what we thought would be the most bizarre vintage Kawasaki we’d ever come across. As of today, we couldn’t have been more wrong. The unusual X2 with a custom sidecar is nothing compared to this Kawasaki hydrofoil jet ski. Noted as a 1987 JS550, the Bay Area Craigslist ad where we found this Frankenstein lists the ski for a paltry $400. We’ve seen completely bare JS550s go for more, so we’re a little surprised to see it so low. Then again…we kinda get it.

The listing states, “This is a 1987 JS550 with a custom hull built around it, Whoever did this must have spent a lot of time of it. I assume this is “a one of a kind” – I did have this running last summer but since then took the 550SX Reed engine out of it. So besides a barren engine compartment, the JS550 hydrofoil does feature some very unique modifications. The hull has been grafted to a genuine catamaran-style hull (rather than the mislabeled “hydrofoil” design), and has been significantly widened and lengthened.

The tray has been replaced with what looks to be a WetJet seat (although we can’t say for certain), which seat has been grafted to the handle pole that appears to remain fixed while under operation. The bench is wide and almost void of any form of padding, so expect a very rough ride. The seller does note that the ski has a clean title and new registration, and is a complete ski other than the missing engine, CDI and battery.

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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