Video: Kawasaki Teases All-New 4-Stroke 2017 SX-R Standup

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OK, ladies and gentlemen. Here is the biggest news to hit the personal watercraft industry since, well…ever. Kawasaki, the company who first introduced the standup JetSki 43 years ago, has just announced the return of the JetSki SX-R. The video below is both a celebration of the company’s long and illustrious history with the JetSki, as well as a tease for the standup that will be revealed in October.

Obviously, this is a major revelation and The Watercraft Journal is excited to be sharing it first to you all. It’s been a long year of trying to play it cool and shoot down a whole heck of a lot of questions (many from personal friends and family), so finally we’re able to let the cat (if only just a little) out of the bag. Now there’s still a lot of information yet to be revealed, and much of it we don’t know ourselves, so stay tuned!

Here’s the original press release:
Foothill Ranch, Calif. (August 22, 2016) — Kawasaki introduced its first stand up Jet Ski personal watercraft 43 years ago and soon the 2017 Jet Ski® SX-R™ watercraft will make its return to the water. Now in its final stages of development, the all-new Jet Ski watercraft is propelled by a four-stroke power plant that brings back all of the excitement of stand-up riding on the water.

About Kawasaki
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) started full-scale production of motorcycles over a half century ago. The first Kawasaki motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines, and Kawasaki’s entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by the company’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Numerous new Kawasaki models introduced over the years have helped shape the market, and in the process have created enduring legends based on their unique engineering, power, design and riding pleasure. In the future, Kawasaki’s commitment to maintaining and furthering these strengths will surely give birth to new legends.

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and Jet Ski® watercraft through a network of approximately 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,700 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 300 of them located at KMC’s Foothill Ranch, California headquarters.

Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.®”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – 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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  1. linkman 22 August, 2016 at 07:01 Reply

    Familiar black, Kawi green, and white graphics. 4 stroke. Apparently a racer. Still going to be called an SX-R. Coming October 2016. Two lense-looking things on the handlepole pad.

    Need more info! How can they just tease us this way?!!!

  2. Ryan 22 August, 2016 at 08:19 Reply

    YES!!!!! Kawasaki just blew the door wide open. This is the best news from them since they launched the SXR in 2003 (IMO). Anyway I am so stoked. From a business perspective, this is the best move they can make to re-energize their watercraft products in the market place.

    Kevin, I have no idea how you were able to stay quiet about this news. I wouldn’t have been able to keep a serious face at all. I would have been smiling the whole year.

    Well, I think my SXR could use a little brother

  3. Rispoli 22 August, 2016 at 11:51 Reply

    We, Kawasaki Stand up lovers, have been waiting for this a few years! The news is great!! Lots of questions…Is a 4 stroke stand up going to be able to spark the enthusiasts for the most fun toy in the water ever? …price wise, maintnance wise….we´ll see!

  4. Faxon 23 August, 2016 at 11:56 Reply

    Kevin…you said it would never happen and I needed to stop living in the past :). I am so glad you were putting me on!! Me and my friends will for sure be pre-ordering one (along with thousands of others)! Kawasaki once again proved they are the leader!!!

  5. Jose Rispoli 23 August, 2016 at 14:34 Reply

    There is a video in the web where someone spot 2 new SX-R palying in Bodybeach AZ … We have been hearing that the new one is 30cm bigger and 50 kg heavier!…also heard that is equiped with a natural aspirated 160 hp 1500 cc engine inside (15F engine?).
    Anticipating now (Brain Strorm): I am so disapointed with Kawasaki!! Come one wait since 2011 (5years) to see a SX-R more than tested and succeded hull be replaced by a bigger and heavier one? Personnaly I was expecting to see a new powerfull small 4 T engine in the same spetacular hull! ..Not a old cow…
    If that is true …I ´d rather stick with best boat ever : SX-R 1100!!!

  6. Ryan 23 August, 2016 at 21:33 Reply

    Kevin….30,000 plus views!!! Unreal! This is the biggest news in PWC history, hands down (well since the original was launched in 73-74)…and just the fact that so many people have come to this site to see it…congrats!…

  7. faxon 24 August, 2016 at 15:31 Reply

    Kevin…this thread has 7.5 times as many views as the 2017 Yamaha Model release page and it’s only a day older. Not to mention it’s only a teaser video and the other is a full model year release. Again, approximately 7.5 times as many views. They cannot deny it any longer the market wants new fun ski’s not the same old boring barges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kevin Shaw 24 August, 2016 at 15:34 Reply

      There’s NO denying the interest. But I suggest you start looking around for the leaked footage of the new SX-Rs going around Body Beach. You can find it on Instagram. Look closely. It’s very telling.

  8. faxon 24 August, 2016 at 15:39 Reply

    The Sea Doo sneak peak video from 2 weeks ago still has 15 times less views. I must be thick because I watched the video and must be missing something.(I noticed it was a little large but is there something else? Tell me the rumors that it’s 500+ lbs are wrong…Don’t leave me hanging buddy!

    • Kevin Shaw 24 August, 2016 at 15:52 Reply

      I literally cannot comment one way or another. Drop into and look up 2017 SX-R threads, or peruse Instagram. You’ll get a feel for what the diehards are saying.

  9. faxon 24 August, 2016 at 16:07 Reply

    Last question…can you still confirm as you have in previous posts that Kawasaki is coming out this year with a Spark fighter? Or was this the surprise?

  10. faxon 24 August, 2016 at 16:26 Reply

    If some of these guys are right on X-H20 and it’s huge and slow we could be looking at the biggest flop in PWC history. On the flip side, if they are wrong it will be a smashing success. I have to admit I’m a little scared now!

  11. Justin K 27 August, 2016 at 03:31 Reply

    I don’t think Kawasaki would be silly enough to release a product that is a huge step backward. It might be different to the last SXR but they know what Yamaha will be bringing next (those guys watch each other like hawks!) and will be bringing their A game for sure. Not to mention that they may have a plan to role out multiple versions depending on purpose.
    Personally i think anything that brings the focus back onto the stand up is a great thing for the sport.
    Stand ups will always be the “Formula 1” cars of our sport as they require the most athleticism, skill and daring to produce a result. Between the explosion of aftermarket and small scale manufacturers and the “big two” throwing down, it’s an exciting time to be into stand ups – clearly Kawasaki thinks the same – bring it on I say.

  12. SKIP STOCKETT 27 August, 2016 at 03:59 Reply

    I’m 45 today. I got my first jet ski at, 8 you couldn’t get me off that thing. It was the 440. Then got the 550. When the 650 or 660 came out it was junk. I really hope it has the feel of the old school skis. They need to slide if you want it to slide and sick when you need it to stick. The 650 was shorter and just rolled wouldn’t slid it sucked. Please be that old school feel. There wasn’t much I couldn’t do on that thing.

  13. Faxon 28 August, 2016 at 20:17 Reply

    Thread on PWCtoday and x-h2O just hit tonight. 550lbs, foot longer than current SXR modified 12f motor. If it’s true I’m heartbroken! Please tell me not to believe everything on those forums;

    • Kevin Shaw 28 August, 2016 at 20:44 Reply

      Don’t worry about what I’m NOT saying (I’ve already said my peace – I would rather have seen a “Spark fighter”), worry about what the people are saying. Also, the 12F motor has been out of production for 11 years. Kawi isn’t bringing that engine back.

      From what I’ve been told, tales of a 15F engine were prominent, but only until the chatter turned negative did “leaks” reveal the engine to be a 110-lbs. H2 4-cylinder 1-liter. It should shave SOME weight, but not enough to make up for the size increase (that is, “if” the info is right).

  14. Lance Malusky 29 August, 2016 at 14:52 Reply

    I am 68 and retired. Riding an 08 800 in all 50 states this summer (super jet 11 spare ready if needed too). I started riding stand ups in 76. At 230#s I’d like more beef. If power offsets weight I’m sure it will still be a good ride. 800 is too top heavy as it is. And the superjet’s lightness underloads the cut without a forward lean. A compromise was needed. I believe KawAmike can pull it off after 8 years tinkering.

  15. jim 29 August, 2016 at 15:05 Reply

    Would be amazing with Kawi’s R&D budget that they couldn’t couldn’t come in under that 438 pound Benelli mark…

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