Let’s be honest, the announcement of Kawasaki’s 2014 lineup of PWC didn’t really land all that well. Sure, we all looove more horsepower, but when no competitor is remotely close to topping the Big K’s whopping 300 ponies, an extra 10 really doesn’t push the fence-sitters over the edge. In fact, in light of Sea-Doo’s open-armed welcoming of a whole new age demographic, Kawasaki’s posturing to go “exclusive” look pretty bad.
So what could turn the ship around for the brand who gave us the first JetSki? Well, besides a true four-stroke standup (which we know you have sitting on the self, guys. Seriously, cough it up already), a fresh-faced and lightweight entry level runabout would do wonders. The brand’s STX is over a decade old and frankly, shows every wrinkle and gray hair.
Our imaginations went wild when the Japanese manufacturer unveiled the first production motorcycle engine equipped with a supercharger at the Tokyo Motor Show last week. At “close to 1,000cc,” this powerful little four-stroke is purported to power the next generation ZX-14R, but details are still a little fuzzy according to a release published in Ride Apart.
The smaller, lighter engine could easily find its way in a new entry-level runabout while still providing horsepower on par with larger full-sized competitors, thus ensuring Kawasaki’s apparent commitment to producing more horsepower than the average rider should have.