“Y’know its all BNG for next year,” Jetski World’s John Moyle yelled, although I was seated only a few feet away. Moyle needed to raise his voice over the din of the pits at the 2015 quakysense IJSBA World Finals, and “BNG” being a common industry acronym for “Bold New Graphics,” indicating only the slightest of changes from one model year to the next. Moyle’s eyes flickered from behind his wire-rimmed glasses, “Since Kawasaki decided not to do anything for 2016, I thought we should.”
Moyle is the patriarch of Jetski World, one of Australia’s most well-established authorized Kawasaki JetSki dealers. Over the decades, Jetski World has grown far beyond that of a traditional dealership, expanding to include an advanced machine shop where they develop and test their own performance products, an R&D team that extensively tests various configurations of proprietary and competitor’s products, and becoming Australia’s only licensed SBT dealer servicing the entire continent exclusively.
Although Sea-Doo’s announcement of its new 300-horsepower models permitted Kawasaki its unchallenged position of “King of Horsepower,” Moyle knew that it wouldn’t be long before BRP’s new ACE 300 would come a-challenging. Because Kawasaki’s 2016’s lineup revealed only cosmetic changes, Moyle felt a looming threat from Sea-Doo and took action to personally extend the brand’s grasp on the crown – even as Kawasaki refocuses its efforts towards a new entry-level runabout to challenge the BRP’s Spark in 2017 – by developing and offering two very attractive limited edition Ultra JetSkis.
Working frantically throughout the past several months, Jetski World developed (completely in house, mind you, by their own performance team), two special edition Ultras for 2016: the 340RE and 320LE. The two both offer increased overall horsepower, improved acceleration, rider input and ergonomic comfort. Equally, both craft are sold exclusively with paint-matched ODI grips, hand-stitched Jettrim custom seat covers, and new vinyl graphics made to look like OE decals (printed in house).
Yet, most impressive of all is that both of these machines will come with a special 3-year warranty guaranteed through Jetski World themselves. Moyle beamed, “Each is backed with a 3-year warranty fully covered by Jetski World and is identical in coverage as the factory warranty.” To claim performance is one thing, to back it up with GPS and radar results is another, but to guarantee it with a personally-backed warranty to to show complete confidence in one’s product, and that is exactly what Jetski World is doing here.
Moyle introduced us to the 320LE, or “Limited Edition,” saying, “It’s is based on the new Ultra 310x. The ECU is our Stage 1 unit reprogrammed by us for the best performance/reliability package for recreational riding in all conditions. The water flow to the intercooler has been redesigned, and the jet pump has been trued and realigned for optimum water flow and reduced drag. All of this results in increased performance through the whole rpm range and a top speed of 72mph.” All of which adds up to $23,000 USD asking price.
For the top-of-the-line performance enthusiasts, the 340RE (the “RE” standing for “Race Edition”) pushed the envelope even further with a ferocious combination of many of the above listed items and a few proprietary modifications special to Jetski World. Moyles explained, “The Ultra 310R was developed over 8 months of testing and 1000kms of racing the Australian tour resulting in a powerhouse product capable of awesome acceleration and a top speed of 76mph.”
He continued, “The ECU is our race ready Stage 2 unit coupled with our revolutionary new air intake system (design registered for protection). The supercharger has been upgraded to deliver the factory boost of 17psi, [according to Moyles, production models only make 14psi, although Kawasaki advertises a factory maximum of 16.8psi – Ed.]. The exhaust gaskets are replaced with our special self-sealing parts to eliminate water leaks (a common problem), the jet pump is modified to straighten the water flow and reduce drag, with a repitched Solas impeller, as well as the intercooler water flow is improved.”
It took comes with color-matched ODI grips, new vinyl graphics specific to the 340RE and of course, a 3-year warranty fully backed and covered by Jetski World identically matching the same coverage as the factory warranty. Priced at $25,000, the 340RE is a highly competitive craft, worthy of offshore/endurance races straight from the showroom floor (if the factory 310R wasn’t already race-ready enough). Although the changes aren’t overtly radical – at least at the onset – they are palatable.
It used to be that for an Ultra to reach 76 miles per hour, a completely new power-adder system (most commonly a turbo kit) needed to replace the Eaton roots-style blower, not to mention an aftermarket intercooler and even modifications to the engine internals. Jetski World has managed to achieve this feat without pulling the valve cover. Moyles is currently considering selling the individual components from the 320LE and 340RE as performance packages for those overseas, but understandably, without the 3-year warranty.
Already, speculation is swirling that depending upon the public reaction to Jetski World‘s special edition skis that Kawasaki might consider pushing the 310 just a tad further, maybe say…330? If only just to raise the bar all the more out of Sea-Doo’s reach. The ACE 300 is handily capable of 310, 315 or even 330HP, so we might be standing at the cusp of a new horsepower war.
All images by Daniel Durkin Images