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CruisinGA
05-04-2010, 09:30 AM
Been wanting one of these pretty bad, they look like a blast.

Since I don't know anything about them or even how to ride one, trying to keep my investment low, so I'm looking at late 80's models.

Anyone know particular models/engines to steer clear from?

I want to say someone told me that you want one with an engine larger than 500cc, that size or smaller and they are underpowered, is that true?

Thanks for any help!

SkiDog
05-04-2010, 09:32 AM
Been wanting one of these pretty bad, they look like a blast.

Since I don't know anything about them or even how to ride one, trying to keep my investment low, so I'm looking at late 80's models.

Anyone know particular models/engines to steer clear from?

I want to say someone told me that you want one with an engine larger than 500cc, that size or smaller and they are underpowered, is that true?

Thanks for any help!

You talking about jetski's?:confused:

coz
05-04-2010, 09:40 AM
Been wanting one of these pretty bad, they look like a blast.

Since I don't know anything about them or even how to ride one, trying to keep my investment low, so I'm looking at late 80's models.

Anyone know particular models/engines to steer clear from?

I want to say someone told me that you want one with an engine larger than 500cc, that size or smaller and they are underpowered, is that true?

Thanks for any help!

If you're gonna get an 80's ski, yes don't get anything below the 550 and stick with Kawasaki, they're the ones that started it all.

CruisinGA
05-04-2010, 09:40 AM
You talking about jetski's?:confused:

Yeah, stand up jet skis.


If you're gonna get an 80's ski, yes don't get anything below the 550 and stick with Kawasaki, they're the ones that started it all.


Good deal, thanks.

dog paw
05-04-2010, 09:45 AM
Man those things are a flat out blast. They will give you a good workout to boot. I would look for a 500cc. Put quite a few hours on my brothers kawi square nose... Rode the 330's also they are a bit slow out of the water for my fat self anymore. I have been out of the stand up loop for a while but i think Kawi is pretty much the only ones out there now.

Check out PWCtoday .com, lots of stand up riders there.

Sodar
05-04-2010, 09:59 AM
I have owned a few and kick myself for selling my superjet.

The set on the trailer were 1990 550sx and were bulletproof and fun as hell. They are much smaller and lighter, so you can kind of throw them around a little more than the 650's and beyond. The 650's were not exactly a hit and don't seem nearly as desirable as the 550's or 750's. I only rode a 650 a few times, so I cannot really comment.

I am not sure what your price range is, but my recommendations for older skis are (in no particular order) 550sx with a reed motor ('92+), 750sxi (dual carb... '95+) or a round nose superjet ('96+).

I have ridden the SX-R's alot and power is far from lacking... they are a blast, but they are heavy, heavy and BIG! My favorite ski of all time was my '96 Superjet. It was the perfect balance of size and power. I really regret selling it when I got my first MC, but I needed the $$$$.

CruisinGA
05-04-2010, 10:25 AM
Thanks for the input, keep it coming! Sodar- that is one sharp trailer with two matching stand ups.

It's looking like a friend and I will share one.

He is graduated and has the money, I'm still in school but have the lake house and the mechanical aptitude to maintain/fix one.

Around here, it seems you can get a decent 550 or 650 for $500-$800, which is our price range.

Sodar
05-04-2010, 10:37 AM
My best advice is to look for skis that are 100% bone stock. In high school when we bought the 550's, my best friend and I were in the same boat as you and your buddy. We went in halves and had little $$$$ to waste. We found the first ski and thought it was awesome that it had a pipe, head, dry waterbox and upgraded ignition. Unfortunately, that ski took more tuning and work to get it reliable than the second bone stock ski we found. My buddy still swears that the modded 550 was better, but the only difference I could tell was that the modded ski was louder. :D

When you are looking for skis, go buy a brand new battery and a compression tester. Come armed with the compression tester and new battery. You will find tons of guys out there that say "just needs a new battery" when in reality, the battery is shot, but so is the starter. The starter is mounted low on the motor as is susceptible to getting wet and ruined.

After being screwed on my superjet purchase (lower bearings seized the 2nd weekend out), I am very leary of buying used skis and vow to go over them very, very carefully. It's just not worth paying $500 for a ski that is going to take $1000 to get right when you can spend $1000 on a ski that already is right.

Dylan
05-04-2010, 10:49 AM
Absolutely great advice Sodar. I would definitely look for an old Superjet, and can usually be had for under $2000. Since we're showing them off, here's mine:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/02fx4/superjet.jpg

coz
05-04-2010, 10:50 AM
My best advice is to look for skis that are 100% bone stock.

That's all great advice but this is the best, especially when it comes to these things.

captain planet
05-04-2010, 11:18 AM
My best advice is to look for skis that are 100% bone stock. In high school when we bought the 550's, my best friend and I were in the same boat as you and your buddy. We went in halves and had little $$$$ to waste. We found the first ski and thought it was awesome that it had a pipe, head, dry waterbox and upgraded ignition. Unfortunately, that ski took more tuning and work to get it reliable than the second bone stock ski we found. My buddy still swears that the modded 550 was better, but the only difference I could tell was that the modded ski was louder. :D

When you are looking for skis, go buy a brand new battery and a compression tester. Come armed with the compression tester and new battery. You will find tons of guys out there that say "just needs a new battery" when in reality, the battery is shot, but so is the starter. The starter is mounted low on the motor as is susceptible to getting wet and ruined.

After being screwed on my superjet purchase (lower bearings seized the 2nd weekend out), I am very leary of buying used skis and vow to go over them very, very carefully. It's just not worth paying $500 for a ski that is going to take $1000 to get right when you can spend $1000 on a ski that already is right.

I will second that 150%. My buddy and I had 3 of them; a 300, and two 550's. The 300 and one 550 were stock. The stock 550 was bulletproof and almost always ran great. The modified 550 had a pipe and I think some other work because it had a stronger starter. Anyway, It was not nearly as reliable.

If you are going to look at stand-ups the 550 is probably your best bet. It is the most power in the smallest package. The 650 and 750? were different and larger in size. The later model 440 and 550's had the exhaust that came out below the "rub-rail" of the ski and some had it come out the back at the bottom right hand corner of the ski. I wouldn't buy one that has the exhaust that comes out above because when you have to go through no wake zones you will get a face full of exhaust if it isn't.

Carbon Dreams
05-04-2010, 11:48 AM
If you get a stock 550 get a 1992-1994 SX model. They are the ones with the Silver Reed engines and rear exhaust. Probably one of the most bullet proof ski's out there. Lots of mods available that don't hurt reliability.

If you want the most fun you can have on a ski, get an X2. I get them for around 500 bucks and restore them. I'll have to say that they are the most fun on water second to the MC.

Datdude
05-04-2010, 12:41 PM
I was lucky enough to get a new 1987 Kawasaki 300 for my 9th birthday. I would love to know how many hours I put on that ski in the 6 years I had it. Two years ago I had the itch to get another ski and found a clean, stock 1987 550. Unfortunately I did not have a lot of time to use it and ended up selling it for what I paid ($500).

the 300 pictured was not mine, but identical
The 550 was mine

CruisinGA
05-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Looks like I need to find a Kawasaki 550 or a SuperJet. I would love to have one with the retro decals like yours DatDude.

Seems like it would be best to water test whatever we look at, but might be difficult since neither of us have ever ridden one, and not all of the ones we've seen are for sale close to lakes.

CruisinGA
05-04-2010, 01:14 PM
If you want the most fun you can have on a ski, get an X2. I get them for around 500 bucks and restore them. I'll have to say that they are the most fun on water second to the MC.

Is an X2 really a stand-up? This is the picture I found-
http://www.kawasaki.ca/images/corporate/jetSkiMuseum/86-X_2-650A.jpg

Sodar
05-04-2010, 01:15 PM
Yup. X2's are awesome! I have a picture of me eating a snow cone on my dad's when I was about 4 years old. I'll post it tonight... it looked JUST like the one above!

CruisinGA
05-04-2010, 01:20 PM
How come the X2 doesn't have the flip up handle bars like the 550's etc? Are you supposed to ride it more crouched?

Sodar
05-04-2010, 01:37 PM
With the fixed bars, you can carve harder than a stand-up. Some guys freestyle them, too.

MIMC
05-04-2010, 04:19 PM
I had a 1996 Kawasaki 750 SXi (original owner) stand up, only thing that was not stock was the hydro-turf ride pad! That year they put in the best engine ever built by Kawasaki - look it up, you will see the reviews for that engine. It was mint, it was a blast, it was reliable, it had more than enough power (I'm 210 lbs) and as of last fall it is totaled! :( A story I'd rather not repeat; all I will say is make sure to take off the laynard when not in use! One of the worst, but also best days of my life! With the proper safety precautions they are so much fun to ride! No regrets!

MIMC

Carbon Dreams
05-04-2010, 05:44 PM
How come the X2 doesn't have the flip up handle bars like the 550's etc? Are you supposed to ride it more crouched?

The X-2's are definitely stand up's. The seat is just to lure you in thinking you'll just toodle around the lake looking at the scenery...Wrong...The X-2 is my favorite ski, bar none. The Superjet's are fun too if you like the articulating handlebars, but are twice the price of a good Kawi. The order of buying for me is: X-2, Super Jet Round nose of FX-1, then '94 550SX.

X-2's when setup properly, can rip hard. A lot of guys are running 800cc SXR engines and some have shoe horned 1100 triples into them. Just make sure to install an electric bilge.:D

Braaaaaaap!

Edit: Fixed bars are the way to go for carving and riding like a dirtbike.

YooperScott
05-05-2010, 08:18 AM
Another 550sx here ('92 I think?, has the through hull exhaust). I bought it in '01 or '02 for $900 if I recall? Had to replace a battery or two along with a starter but otherwise it just keeps on ticking. Every year I think about getting a newer one but have yet to do it. I think my favorite thing about it is watching people that have never ridden a stand up try to ride it. :D

Scott
'95 LT-1 Prostar 190

Datdude
05-05-2010, 10:12 AM
I am really surprised the Sea Doo 3-D never caught on. It was obviously not as nimble as a Kawasaki but still fun to ride standing up

Panda Cub
05-05-2010, 10:43 AM
I cannot believe how cheap you can get a stand up for, the stock ones go for around a grand in good condition! I looked on craigslist and there are tons of em! this is nuts!

Carbon Dreams
05-05-2010, 12:59 PM
I am really surprised the Sea Doo 3-D never caught on. It was obviously not as nimble as a Kawasaki but still fun to ride standing up

The 3D's are really heavy in comparison. +The stand up enthusiasts found them to be way too stable and not capable of doing the tricks they are used to doing on a real standup. Basically it is a couch with the option of standing. If Sea Doo could have made them more along the line of a Super Jet, or SXR, they would have done fairly well. It seems as if they tried to mix the market segments with neither buying into it.

Sodar
05-05-2010, 01:10 PM
Anyone seen the new custom built Hydrospace 4-stroke stand-ups?

Ugly and beautiful all at the same time!

http://www.aquariders.net/data/essais/hydrospace/reportage_20060128/reportage_S4_hydrospace_jetski_08.JPG

Carbon Dreams
05-05-2010, 02:06 PM
Anyone seen the new custom built Hydrospace 4-stroke stand-ups?

Ugly and beautiful all at the same time!

http://www.aquariders.net/data/essais/hydrospace/reportage_20060128/reportage_S4_hydrospace_jetski_08.JPG

Pretty sweet rides for sure! They haven't made too much of a splash here in the US with a price tag of 13 g's. Especially not when most of us are eating cold cereal.

vision
05-05-2010, 03:02 PM
I have a friend who has an older standup jetski for sale. Runs fine and I rode it last Summer. It could use some cosmetic work if I remember correctly. If anyone is interested let me know and I will see what he is asking for it.

dog paw
05-05-2010, 03:48 PM
Pretty sweet rides for sure! They haven't made too much of a splash here in the US with a price tag of 13 g's. Especially not when most of us are eating cold cereal.

Man, check out the new Kawis. Thats some sticker shock LOL! $7300.

http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/subCategory.aspx?id=21

I think Sea Doo is trying with all there might to shoot themselves in the foot. That 3d thing was a joke to even try to compare to a stand up. Pretty sure thats a RX hull with a scabed together top deck. I think they topped that atrocity with that new GTXIS "BOAT" with brakes crap they are trying to pawn off as a PWC. Sorta remind's me of the auto industry..

Carbon Dreams
05-05-2010, 06:01 PM
Amazing at the cost of new toys these days. It makes me feel much better when I am having the exact same amount of fun on my $500 X-2's.

Panda Cub
05-06-2010, 09:49 AM
I'm trading a guy my mini bike for a 91 650 and an 89 550. The 650 runs good, and the 550 needs to be put back together. It sounds like a fun project!

DemolitionMan
05-06-2010, 10:49 AM
Saw this on ebay.

Panda Cub
05-06-2010, 11:03 AM
are kawasaki 550s and 650s easy to get parts for?

Panda Cub
05-06-2010, 11:04 AM
and easy to work on?

Datdude
05-06-2010, 11:14 AM
The 3D's are really heavy in comparison. +The stand up enthusiasts found them to be way too stable and not capable of doing the tricks they are used to doing on a real standup. Basically it is a couch with the option of standing. If Sea Doo could have made them more along the line of a Super Jet, or SXR, they would have done fairly well. It seems as if they tried to mix the market segments with neither buying into it.

I know the 3D was a much bigger boat than a regular stand up, but I would personally rather ride a 3D standing up than sit on a 3-seater all day long. The ability to have a few different skis in one was a good idea.

classic_speed
05-06-2010, 11:43 AM
If you want something that you will ride rather than work on constantly, get a Yamaha Superjet.

Carbon Dreams
05-06-2010, 12:28 PM
are kawasaki 550s and 650s easy to get parts for?

Parts are plentiful and relatively cheap. 550's and 650's are very easy to work on let alone completely rebuild. Superjet parts are more expensive and getting harder to find in general. There is a pretty good rivalry between Kawi and Yami guys, so you will get a fair amount of biased information. I prefer the Kawi's due to a plethora of parts and they are very cheap which suits my budget for toys.

Carbon Dreams
05-06-2010, 12:28 PM
I know the 3D was a much bigger boat than a regular stand up, but I would personally rather ride a 3D standing up than sit on a 3-seater all day long. The ability to have a few different skis in one was a good idea.

Agreed. Just not a good execution on design.

Sodar
05-06-2010, 12:54 PM
If I were to go out tomorrow and buy a new stand-up, a new Superjet would be in the back of my truck. The SX-R's are cool, but they are too big and bulky and heavy. If you want a buoy boat, the SX-R is your deal. If you want a fun and nimble ski, the SuperJet is the way to go.

From 96' to '03ish... it is a toss-up between with SXI Pro's and the Superjet's... both were sweet skis.

Anything older than '95 is Kawi all the way. The availability of parts makes them that much sweeter, too.

This is just my opinion and I hold no responsibility for my thoughts. My buddy Doug will be by later with a full legal disclaimer! :D

Ironhorse
05-06-2010, 02:58 PM
I have been riding stand ups since 93. My first 3 skis were all Kawi 750's. I have also owned a 95 square (superjet) and a 2001 superjet. The posts above are correct. If you want to put in footholds and do some freestyle, you cant beat a superjet. I am currently riding an 04 SXR and it is a blast but a lot heavier to throw around. In your price range.... stick with a stock 550 or look for a good deal on a Superjet square (95 or older). Good Luck.

CruisinGA
01-31-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the advice and info...

I know its not a 550, but what about this one?

$550
Super clean all stock 1984 Kawi 440 Stand up Jet ski!
You want find a nicer 440!
Starts right up and runs great!
http://images.craigslist.org/3n23k83p35O15W05R5b1sa0292cb38af6177d.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3k43o33l25O65Z45T2b1s5d50f025778814d8.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3pf3o23lf5O25V35T2b1s0b79b3ebb28c1aef.jpg

Kyle
01-31-2011, 05:04 PM
I had a Kawi 650sx that I bought in 99 and sold in 03 for the same price as I bought it. It had a trailer and everything. It was in great condition. Bought and sold for $800 I believe that the ski was a 93 ish. The only thing that I needed to do was recarpet the trailer. I would look for a 650.

My ski was fun to ride but I wanted one with more power and faster after a coulple of times of riding it. Dont think that you are going to just jump on and ride the heck out of it and be Mr Pro on the first day like you would with a sit down. It takes a little skill and learing how to lean and put your feet when you turn. I spent a lot of time swimming at first, wich kept me going out and riding it. After learning how to ride it and got pretty good on it, the fun started to fade. Oh and if you dont have anyone to ride with......The ski will get old fast and you will end up getting bored with it.


They wear you out and its a good work out. Personally I would not go for anything under a 650cc.

Kyle
01-31-2011, 05:08 PM
Oh and mine had an impeller upgrade, water intake upgrade, and some carb work done to it. I still wish it was stronger.

captain planet
01-31-2011, 05:09 PM
Thanks for the advice and info...

I know its not a 550, but what about this one?

$550
Super clean all stock 1984 Kawi 440 Stand up Jet ski!
You want find a nicer 440!
Starts right up and runs great!
http://images.craigslist.org/3n23k83p35O15W05R5b1sa0292cb38af6177d.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3k43o33l25O65Z45T2b1s5d50f025778814d8.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3pf3o23lf5O25V35T2b1s0b79b3ebb28c1aef.jpg

One thing for sure, with the exhaust coming out where it does on that one you are going to hate no wake zones.

"All stock" = much more reliable in my opinion.

M-Funf
01-31-2011, 05:10 PM
I have owned a few and kick myself for selling my superjet.

The set on the trailer were 1990 550sx and were bulletproof and fun as hell. They are much smaller and lighter, so you can kind of throw them around a little more than the 650's and beyond. The 650's were not exactly a hit and don't seem nearly as desirable as the 550's or 750's. I only rode a 650 a few times, so I cannot really comment.

I am not sure what your price range is, but my recommendations for older skis are (in no particular order) 550sx with a reed motor ('92+), 750sxi (dual carb... '95+) or a round nose superjet ('96+).

I have ridden the SX-R's alot and power is far from lacking... they are a blast, but they are heavy, heavy and BIG! My favorite ski of all time was my '96 Superjet. It was the perfect balance of size and power. I really regret selling it when I got my first MC, but I needed the $$$$.

Surprise, surprise...they're white :rolleyes:

Sodar
01-31-2011, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the advice and info...

I know its not a 550, but what about this one?

$550
Super clean all stock 1984 Kawi 440 Stand up Jet ski!
You want find a nicer 440!
Starts right up and runs great!
http://images.craigslist.org/3n23k83p35O15W05R5b1sa0292cb38af6177d.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3k43o33l25O65Z45T2b1s5d50f025778814d8.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3pf3o23lf5O25V35T2b1s0b79b3ebb28c1aef.jpg

Honestly, look for a 550 or a 750... you will be glad you did. The 440's are dogs.

550's are fun. They can be tossed around like a rag doll. If you have the means for a 92 or newer 550 with a reed motor, you will greatly appreciate it. They really are far and away better than the older motors. You can pick a non-reed motor ski up for ~$600 and a reed motor for ~$900

The 750sxi or SXI Pro is the way to fly, but still fetch ~$2800 for a nice one.

Kyle
01-31-2011, 05:17 PM
One thing for sure, with the exhaust coming out where it does on that one you are going to hate no wake zones.

"All stock" = much more reliable in my opinion.

100% agree

My 1993 650sx came out the back of it. When you lay down and let it pull you it will mix with the water first and not burn you. When you stand up you are out of the way of it.

On this version your looking at you will hate in no wake zones and when you make hard turns you probably will end up wearing hot water.

I would say keep looking.

Luv2Ski
01-31-2011, 05:54 PM
I know it was mentioned but then faded, but to echo others.... the X2 is an incredibly fun machine. My experience is based on riding PWCs ranging from the old 400, 550, 650sx and up to a super charged Honda 4 seater that was closer to a boat than a PWC.

The X2 is a very unique and very awesome design that allows carving hard enough to dip the handlebar into the water (probably leaning over at 85+ degrees). It is very light and will FLY when once you learn how to shift your weight. Don't trust me.... watch this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwt7W-IzJDA&feature=related)... then watch a few other youtube vids. I have owned a 1989 since 1994 and have no vision of ever selling it. There are few things that provide more entertainment when watching a new rider - it is not easy.

Also, bone stock is not necessarily the best thing... I strongly recommend looking for one without internal mods as these do hurt reliability. The newer SBN carb with a high performance intake, reeds, and pipe/waterbox, will provide huge power gains without impact on reliability. Remove of the automatic oilier (failure=sized engine), an intake grate, ride plate, and stainless impeller are MUST HAVES for the X2 or SX. You can find a ton of them for sale these days, and so incredibly inexpensive.

CruisinGA
01-31-2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks for the help fellas.

This is more to be a lake "toy" than anything else-something to keep on the dock, mess around when the yahoos are out etc. I've ridden plenty of fast (70+) sit downs, that doesn't really excite me compared to a nimble bike. Don't have to deal with no wake zones either, it won't ever go through one.

Sounds like I really need to hold out for a 92+ reed motor 550. I'll keep my eye out for an x2, but for some reason I'm pretty stuck on the folding bars.

blakehardesty
01-31-2011, 10:23 PM
I have rocked my Yamaha FX-1 since brand new in 95. The best ski out there hands down. I have ridden them all. My friend has a 2009 Kawasaki sx-r that doesnt even compare. It is basically a kawasaki 550 with a 701 powerplant. I have quite a bit of work done to it. They are really hard to find due to rareness but if you fine one......... BUY IT!

blakehardesty
01-31-2011, 10:31 PM
Here is a pic of it. My wife was trying to snap the duck but I would rather look at my ski.

milehigh970
02-01-2011, 12:23 AM
Hey luv2ski... Got 3 x2s.. Nicest one is shortened 4 inches, lightweight hood, and custom engine mounts with a yami 701 ported and polished... Backflip machine! I say buy a superjet.. Yami reliablity can't be beat! If it ain' t a x2, yami all the way!

milkmania
02-01-2011, 02:05 AM
I have rocked my Yamaha FX-1 since brand new in 95. The best ski out there hands down. I have ridden them all. My friend has a 2009 Kawasaki sx-r that doesnt even compare. It is basically a kawasaki 550 with a 701 powerplant. I have quite a bit of work done to it. They are really hard to find due to rareness but if you fine one......... BUY IT!

http://tulsa.craigslist.org/boa/2142294375.html

nmcjr
02-01-2011, 12:23 PM
I had a '78 440, then a '84 550 and now have a '98 750 SXI Pro. I know the Pro is probably a lot more money than what you're looking at in the older 440's, but I found that I was always wrenching on the older ski's, and I wouldn't personally even consider one. Basically my thought was that a stock 750 was higher performance and much better reliability than a modded 550 etc., so it paid for itself, especially if I factored in my time. It does around 50MPH stock and I have never done anything but change plugs.

Also, the Pro is 10X more stable than the older hull. The hull is heavier, but I think the increased power makes up for it. It's a quantum leap in overall performance and a blast to ride, so its at least worth considering IMO.

So there you have it, I'm out of the closet on owning a JetSki!

DooSPX
02-01-2011, 09:42 PM
I have always loved the round nose Superjets. As Sodar said, they are great. I have no experience with the kawi's...

nmcjr
02-01-2011, 11:12 PM
I have always loved the round nose Superjets. As Sodar said, they are great. I have no experience with the kawi's...

Yeah, that's a good choice too, maybe even better. I don't have any experience with the SJ's myself, and its been a while since I was really into it, but as I recall the SJ was more of a freestyle platform and the sxi pro more of a race platform.

My main point was that they both came a long way by the late 90's to early 2000's in terms of performance and at least for me, reliability. I was constantly working on the older ones and my 98 was 100% trouble free.

Luv2Ski
02-02-2011, 09:29 AM
Hey luv2ski... Got 3 x2s.. Nicest one is shortened 4 inches, lightweight hood, and custom engine mounts with a yami 701 ported and polished... Backflip machine! I say buy a superjet.. Yami reliablity can't be beat! If it ain' t a x2, yami all the way!

Awesome, between my brother and I we have three as well but it sounds like you have serious play toy there. My bro also has a waveblaster which is pretty fun as well. And like you said, the Yami is very reliable. I have had really good luck with the 89 x2 as well, might have just got a good engine and the right mods cause after all these years I have only rebuilt once and it gets a lot of hours. My brothers heavily modified 91 is a blast to ride, but he wrenches on it all the time.

aremsing
02-02-2011, 09:33 AM
I have rocked my Yamaha FX-1 since brand new in 95. The best ski out there hands down. I have ridden them all. My friend has a 2009 Kawasaki sx-r that doesnt even compare. It is basically a kawasaki 550 with a 701 powerplant. I have quite a bit of work done to it. They are really hard to find due to rareness but if you fine one......... BUY IT!

I'll second this. If you can find an FX-1 it's hands down still the best ski out there

TayMC197
02-02-2011, 04:45 PM
I had an 01 yamaha superjet.. it was pretty fun, enough for me to handle and I'm crazy.

flipper
02-02-2011, 04:48 PM
I had a 440 that would scream, but it was far from stock and I was working on it more than riding it. Keep what ever you get stock is about the best advice I can give

Jetlag
02-02-2011, 09:02 PM
Still ride my old SN

milehigh970
02-03-2011, 12:47 AM
That's a clean square! ;)

CruisinGA
02-04-2011, 08:49 AM
OK-
So ya'll have convinced me to write off any Kawi smaller than a 550 and after watching that guy throw a backflip on an X2, I'm sold there. Guess that narrows my search down to
Kawi 550, 650, 750, X2
Yamaha Superjet, FX-1

Here is what the ad claims is a '97 Kawasaki 500. However, Nada doesn't list anything smaller than a 750 in '97 from Kawasaki, what gives? I hate the paint, but that can be fixed.
http://images.craigslist.org/3n53m23pb5O35Z15X2b1s973e927215061bb3.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3n03k33od5Y15W55P6b1sbc921f2414f91be3.jpg

Sodar
02-04-2011, 09:14 AM
OK-
So ya'll have convinced me to write off any Kawi smaller than a 550 and after watching that guy throw a backflip on an X2, I'm sold there. Guess that narrows my search down to
Kawi 550, 650, 750, X2
Yamaha Superjet, FX-1

Here is what the ad claims is a '97 Kawasaki 500. However, Nada doesn't list anything smaller than a 750 in '97 from Kawasaki, what gives? I hate the paint, but that can be fixed.
http://images.craigslist.org/3n53m23pb5O35Z15X2b1s973e927215061bb3.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3n03k33od5Y15W55P6b1sbc921f2414f91be3.jpg

I am pretty certain that 550's were only made through '95. The last 2 digits of the HIN will tell you the year. If it still has the HIN attached.

milkmania
02-04-2011, 09:11 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995-Yamaha-Super-Jet-stand-up-jet-ski-701-Skat-Trak-/190497337926?pt=Personal_Watercraft&hash=item2c5a86b246

Carbon Dreams
02-04-2011, 11:58 PM
Ride B4 you buy. The most common problem is..."it runs great just needs a little carb tuning". Generally, these older skis need the engines pulled and re-sealed and carbs rebuilt. Ethanol has done major damage to older carb parts. Not a big job, but one that requires time. I've done my share of rebuilds. If it does not run well in the water, you are in the drivers seat on price. They all will run on the trailer for a little bit, but on the water is a much different story. Go X2 or a pro built Superjet. I still think, even after all these years, the X2 is the most fun.

Carbon Dreams
02-05-2011, 12:01 AM
I am pretty certain that 550's were only made through '95. The last 2 digits of the HIN will tell you the year. If it still has the HIN attached.

I have a '94 550SX. '94 was the last full production import year. '95 was a partial production import year, as far as I know. If you find a clean stock '95 get it, if you don't get an X2 or SuperJet.

CruisinGA
02-28-2011, 04:30 PM
Went and looked at two skis yesterday, one was a 550 hull with a 750 motor and 650 jet drive. It was a hacked up piece of $hit and despite the allure of all that power, it was definitely a beat up basket case that the guy wanted $900 for.

Next ski we looked at the seller didn't know anything about it, even what size it was.
Turned out to be a completely stock '89 300sx. Gave the guy $250 for it and brought it home. I wouldn't call it cherry, but it obviously hadn't ever been messed with, at all. Still had the factory fire extinguisher.

Got it running in about 30 min at home. Took it to test today in a buddies pond, starts easily and runs smooth enough, but didn't develop enough power to get on plane and it got real hot. The seller claimed it needed a headgasket, I hope he is right and that is all.

When we run it on the stand with a garden hose hooked up, it stays very cool. When we ran it in the water, the little water port that I assume is to show you it has water sprayed some out but eventually started sputtering out some steam, which is when I shut it off.

Does this thing have an impeller or water pump? I've read that the thing to do is take a 650 metal headgasket and cut it in half and use it, apparently it is thinner and will give a little more compression than the stock gasket. Anyone know for sure about this?

I was hoping to end up with something larger, but we figured for $250 it was hard to go wrong to get out feet wet and if we really like it and decide we want more power we'll be more comfortable spending the money for a superjet or 550.

Luv2Ski
02-28-2011, 06:00 PM
A 300sx is going to take a while to get on plane in general, they were pretty underpowered unless you are a lightweight. Fun non the less and a good place to start as it is hard to get into too much trouble with one.

Indeed, steam coming out of the port is a bad sign. That port is there for the exact reason of letting the rider know if the cooling system is clogged.

The cooling water is forced through the engine by the jet pump and does not have an independent impeller or water pump. There is essentially a pickup behind the jet pump so that some of the propulsion water enters and is forced through the engine before exiting primarily out the exhaust. I would start by finding that line and seeing if it is clogged. This happens occasionally if running in water with a lot of vegetation.

Might be easiest to tip the ski on its side and remove the ride plate so you can get a good look at the pump. Clear out any obstructions you find in there. ALWAYS tip a jetski on the exhaust side, if you tip it the other way water in the pipe can flow into the cylinders.... not good.

There will also be a second line in the jet pump region as well. This one will be on the vacuum side and will effectively "pull" water from the engine bay (functions like a bilge pump).

Good luck.... and have fun!

CruisinGA
03-03-2011, 12:11 PM
I know these skis are supposed to be slow, but I rode a circle about 200 yards around at full throttle and didn't get close to getting on plane, leading me to believe there is a compression problem.

Going to investigate the cooling line and headgasket hopefully today. Got a js650 headgasket on the way.

Anything else I should be looking at?

Sodar
03-03-2011, 12:21 PM
Check the carb, too. It might need to be cleaned out.

nmcjr
03-03-2011, 01:06 PM
I've also seen exhaust leaks under the hood cause those symptoms too, so check the boot that goes to the muffler etc.

nmcjr
03-03-2011, 01:08 PM
Actually, if you are going to take it apart I'd be tempted to just hone it and re-ring it while you are in there.

CruisinGA
03-03-2011, 05:24 PM
Sodar- Will do. Don't suspect the carb as it cranks easily and runs smoothly, but I suppose it's worth checking while I'm in there.

nmcjr- Didn't see any leaks before, but I'll look closer this time. Since I've got two headgaskets (650 HG cut in two) I've got two shots. Hoping to see nothing wrong the first time and just replace the HG and have all my problems go away. :D We'll see if it works out that way.

One more question- Are engine parts interchangeable between the JS300's and 300SX's? I've been led to believe this is a 300sx since it is an 89 model.

Luv2Ski
03-03-2011, 06:03 PM
One more question- Are engine parts interchangeable between the JS300's and 300SX's? I've been led to believe this is a 300sx since it is an 89 model.

I don't have a positive answer on the 300, but "probably". Moving parts between the old Kawasakis is interesting, often there will be very small changes (like the color of a wire) but the parts remained functionally the same on many jetskis for many model years and even across engine sizes (e.g. 750 electronics are the same as 650). It is very hard to figure out exactly which parts will work, sometimes you just have to gamble, order, and hope for the best.

You may want to pressure test the block. 2-strokes require a good seal to work, if yours is starting to leak; then a lack of power would be the symptom.

I have an extra 650cc block in the garage that I keep meaning to sell. if you get temped to upgrade let me know.

CruisinGA
03-06-2011, 07:35 PM
Pulled the head off, the only problem I could find was a tiny pit in the head right in the middle of the area where the metal ring on the headgasket sits. Headgasket was very slightly discolored in this area. Head bolts were very loose.

See picture. Seems like decking the head could just about take off the imperfection. I don't think it is a through crack, just an imperfection allowing a small leak when the engine gets hot.

This ski still has the factory oil injection pump installed and working. I have noticed that a lot of people like to pull these pumps and just use premix gas-is this necessary with a stock engine?
The starter lube oil has a significant amount of 2 stroke oil mixed in. Don't know if its from someone pouring it in before, or if it is possible the oil pump could be leaking into that oil.

Thanks for the help!

CruisinGA
03-14-2011, 10:09 PM
Used a little RTV and bolted it back together. 140 PSI compression, so all seems good.

Put it in a river, still didn't get on plane, impeller is rough. Used stainless Solas prop is on the way.

Who needs a trailer?

Luv2Ski
03-15-2011, 10:19 AM
This ski still has the factory oil injection pump installed and working. I have noticed that a lot of people like to pull these pumps and just use premix gas-is this necessary with a stock engine?

I generally take them off because if the pump or oil jet fails/clogs the engine is toast. Premix guarantees the correct mixture is always present.


The starter lube oil has a significant amount of 2 stroke oil mixed in. Don't know if its from someone pouring it in before, or if it is possible the oil pump could be leaking into that oil.


This is not good. There is no starter lube oil. If I understand you correctly, you are talking about the chamber that is in front of the engine and has a small "t" handle plug that can be unscrewed. This is not a oil filling cap, but rather a inspection hole to check the ignition timing. It should be completely dry in there.

It is common for the seal that connects large cover to the block to fail and allow water to enter from outside the engine. But I have never heard of the engine front seal failing to fill it with a gas/oil mixture before. I bet the PO did not know what they were doing and pored the oil in. It may also be that your oil injection pump is leaking out the rear seal, in which case, get it off of there.

Given that the magneto is in there, I am actually a little shocked the engine is even running. I think you may have just found your power problem. I suggest you take the off the cover, remove and clean the flywheel and magneto. Put back together and give it another shot.

Love the trailer by the way!

waterbug
03-15-2011, 10:30 AM
There is quite a difference between the JS and SX models. The engines in the JS are piston port intake, SX is a reed valve intake. Quite a difference in performance. However, with these being easy to work on, and interchangable parts, you never know what you are going to get. I have had them all... 550's, 650's and 750's. My favorite is my round nose SuperJet. The square nose and round nose (up to 2008) both ride on the same hull, just different top decks. Both share the same motor, 701cc reed. Somewhere around 70hp stock. Except the early 650cc. Very easily modified and rock solid reliable. Here's a pic of mine on my parents beach on Lake Superior. Built by Blowsion, set-up for freeride surf. Hull is reinforced, footholds, tubbies etc... Somewhere around 120hp. Pull the trigger and hang on, the power hits hard... Enough to do a back flip on flat water. However, it came with a $15,000 price tag to have built.

It's pretty easy to find a good reliable stock square nose for $1200 or less

blakehardesty
03-15-2011, 12:58 PM
I have a ton of blowsion gear on my fx-1. They are quite pricey but make great products.