The 2009 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260X is escalating the PWC power game to its next level.
History is about to repeat itself, as Kawasaki’s new Jet Ski Ultra 260X reclaims the title as the most powerful production PWC sold in the U.S. Only two years after shattering records with the supercharged and intercooled Ultra 250X, Kawasaki engineers have raised the horsepower stakes even higher with the new Ultra 260X.
Increased compression ratio, new high-lift cams and revised ignition timing help boost the 1,498cc engine’s output by 10 horsepower. Combined with a new impeller to translate that enhanced power into thrust, the new 260X can accelerate harder than ever; delivering an electrifying ride that’ll thrill even the most jaded PWC enthusiast.
With its Roots-type supercharger, the Ultra 260X is able to produce power comparable to a normally aspirated high-performance engine twice its size. Unlike centrifugal superchargers or turbochargers, the high-volume, direct-drive, Roots-type supercharger force-feeds the engine two-liters of air with every revolution, providing a stable supply of high-pressure air at all rpm, from idle through redline. This produces a smooth, linear torque curve that is perfect for accelerating this Jet Ski watercraft hard, all the way from a standstill through its breath-taking top-end.
With the 260X’s supercharger compressing the air to a maximum boost pressure of 11.4psi, the intake charge can reach extremely-high temperatures – potentially limiting the engine’s power output. However, Ultra 260X uses a large-capacity intercooler to overcome this handicap, bringing the pressurized air back down to ambient temperature or even less – ideal for maximum power production.
Utilizing lessons learned from Kawasaki’s race machines, the Ultra 260X’s huge 155mm jet pump was designed to deliver predictable thrust and good “traction,” even in rough water. Its sophisticated three-blade impeller delivers high performance smoothly and quietly. The revised impeller design features blades with less twist, to better convert the increased output from the supercharged 1,498cc engine into blistering acceleration performance.
A significant factor in this extra “traction” are the pump’s eight guide vanes that smooth the flow of water from the impeller for efficient and powerful propulsion. The pump also incorporates a groove from the center to the rear of the ride plate which makes it easier to hold a stable heading for straight line riding.
In addition to more power and acceleration than any other production watercraft on the planet, the Ultra 260X also boasts a race-developed hull. Its precise handling and superb stability are equally impressive, thanks to a hull specifically designed to capitalize on the engine’s awesome performance. The fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) hull is loaded with DNA from Kawasaki’s IJSBA championship winning machines. This includes carefully designed sponsons and chines for enhanced straight-line stability and more precise cornering, combined with a 22.5° deep-V hull that leans into corners like a motorcycle. This provides a smoother ride in rough water, reduces the lateral G-loads generated during turns and helps keep the rider in control.
The seaworthy hull design is just as comfortable in rough conditions as in calm. Even at high speeds, rough water can do little to deter the Ultra 260X. This combination of unearthly power mated with the latest hull technology permits Kawasaki’s flagship to literally cleave through waves that would send lesser machines running for a safe harbor.
The Ultra 260X features a five-step adjustable handlebar position that allows either stand-up or sit-down riding for a wide range of riders to enjoy the superior comfort and versatility. The new Ultra 260X also includes thoughtful standard features like an enormous 53-gallon of storage space including a detachable front storage compartment and a 20.6-gallon fuel tank for substantial cruising range.
From horsepower to handling and everything in between, once the spray settles after the first ride, one thing will be certain. The powerful Ultra 260X Jet Ski model delivers a level of performance and excitement that is unmatched by any other watercraft.
260 Horsepower Supercharged Engine
Supercharged and intercooled, 1,498cc, liquid-cooled in-line four-cylinder engine
Compression ratio raised from 7.8:1 to 8.4:1 via new cast pistons that also feature revised crowns with machine finishing and greater durability
New higher lift profile cams – the intake increases from 7.8mm to 8.5mm; exhaust, from 7.5mm to 8.2mm – contribute to the increased engine output
Inconel exhaust valves are fitted for superior heat resistance and enhanced reliability
33.4mm intake and 28.3mm exhaust valves
Ignition timing advanced 4-degrees also contributes to the most powerful production PWC engine in the world
Water cooling line modified to optimize the cylinder wall temperature. A check valve added to the coolant passage between the cylinder jacket and the water muffler shuts the water flow off at over 2000 rpm, keeping the cooling water inside the cylinder jacket
Lower crankcase strengthened around the oil-return passage to handle the increased engine output and further increase durability
Head cover revised for improved appearance
Precise power adjustments are easy with a throttle lever that is designed to prevent finger fatigue on longer rides
Roots Type Supercharger
Force-feeds the engine two liters of air with every revolution, providing a stable supply of high-pressure intake air at all rpm
Produces large amounts of boost even at low rpm, for instant and powerful acceleration right off of idle
Provides a very flat and meaty torque curve with step-free power across the entire rev range without any of the lag associated with turbochargers
Produces more low RPM boost than competitive or aftermarket systems with a maximum of 11.4psi of boost pressure
Two different air bypass valves are used to prevent over boosting at low and medium rpm
Inter-cooler pressure valve setting changed to improve the pressure control
Efficiently cools the high-pressure intake air
Cooler air results in higher combustion efficiency and high engine output
Liquid-cooling allows the intercooler to maintain consistent thermal performance
High-flow fuel injectors with four orifices are fitted to complement the increased power output and improve combustion efficiency
Single throttle body features a large 60mm bore diameter
4-into-2-into-1 powerboat-style exhaust system routes the exhaust pipe upwards
Allows the smoothest path for exhaust gases, maximizing exhaust efficiency
155mm Jet Propulsion
Efficiently converts the Ultra 260X’s massive horsepower into thrust using a large-diameter
155mm jet pump
Developed based on feedback from Kawasaki’s race machines, this pump was specially designed to deliver stable output and good “bite,” even when riding on rough water
Revised impeller design features blades with less twist, more efficiently translates the 260X’s increased engine output into increased acceleration performance
The large, sophisticated three-blade impeller also offers quiet operation
An eight-vane intake guide is used to smooth and regulate the flow of water from the impeller for efficient and powerful propulsion
Left side reverse lever for easy operation
Features a groove from the center to the rear of the ride plate, to enhance straight-line stability
Increased hull rigidity at bow to balance hull performance with increased engine power
Feedback from Kawasaki’s IJSBA championship winning racing machines integrated into design enables it to cope with the engine’s horsepower
Hull offers a combination of high stability and responsive handling in both calm and rough-water conditions
The lower hull is specially designed to distribute the engine and power delivery loads over a wide area
The 260X’s deep-V hull enables a high bank angle, motorcycle-like turning performance. This reduces the lateral G-loads imposed on riders during turns, allowing them to better concentrate on riding
The idealized 22.5° V-angle at the bottom of the hull helps reduce unwanted spinouts during sharp turns
Delivers the neutral handling and turning characteristics for which Kawasaki JET SKI watercraft are famous
Bottom of the hull slants upwards steeply from the center section to the bow, so the Ultra 260X can penetrate swells and waves with less shock; delivering extreme stability at low speeds and pushing through waves rather than bouncing over them at high speeds
Battery located inside the front storage area near the center of the machine, avoiding concentrating heavy components at the rear and freeing up space inside the engine bay
Integrated sponsons extend from the hull, providing stable wallow-free straight-line performance and contributing significantly to the 260X’s excellent high speed maneuverability while helping to retain the narrow hull design
The Ultra 260X’s Kawasaki Splash Deflector uses three bottom mounted ridges and an additional deflector mounted at the top to deflect water splashing forward from under the hull
Whether turning or blasting straight ahead, at high speeds or low, the Quattro KSD minimize spray, allowing greater rider concentration
Kawasaki Smart Steering®/SLO-Mode
Kawasaki Smart Steering® (KSS®) monitors steering input and engine speed and, when certain conditions are met, raises rpm to help initiate a turn
Smart Learning Operation (SLO) allows newer riders to become familiar with the handling and response of this JET SKI watercraft at a more relaxed pace
Two separate keys, one for SLO-mode and one for full-power operation help prevent confusion over which setting is in use
Comfort and Convenience
Five-way adjustable handlebars allow operation while standing or sitting and suit a wide range of riders
Relatively narrow seat is comfortable whether riding stand-up, seated or with passengers
The 2-piece seat, which offers roomy accommodation for three people
Ergonomic deck design gives plenty of legroom
A long rear boarding step and dual grab handles makes it easy to climb onboard, and the step retracts inside the bumper to prevent damage
A quick and easy under hood hose connection allows an easy method to flush sea water out of the engine
Mirrors are mounted to the upper deck to facilitate opening of the hatch cover
The ULTRA 260X offers over 60 gallons in total storage capacity – the most in the industry
The large-capacity, fully sealed 53-gallon storage area with a detachable storage tray has plenty of room for recreational equipment
Mounted on the center console is a detachable drink holder with space for two drink bottles
Ideal for small items like a ski rope, a compact storage area is integrated with the under-seat rear grip
Extra-large Fuel Capacity
20.6 gallon fuel tank has more fuel capacity than any machine in its class
Engine: Supercharged and intercooled, four-stroke, DOHC, four valve per cylinder, inline four-cylinder Displacement: 1,498cc Bore x stroke: 83.0 x 69.2mm Compression ratio: 8.4:1 Induction system: Roots-type supercharger with air-to-water intercooler Maximum boost: 11.4 psi Maximum horsepower: 260hp @ 7,750 rpm Cooling system: Inducted water Fuel system: Digital fuel injection Ignition: TCBI with digital advance Starting: Electric Lubrication: Semi-dry sump system Coupling: Direct drive from engine Propulsion system: 155mm jet pump, axial-flow, single stage Impeller: Three-blade, oval-edge stainless steel Thrust: 1,585 lbs Seating capacity: Three-person Load capacity: 496 lbs Fuel capacity: 20.6 gal Oil Capacity: 5.3 qt. Storage capacity: 53 gal Curb weight: 1062.8 lbs Overall length: 132.7 in Overall width: 47 in Overall height: 45.3 in Colors: Sunbeam Red; Ebony/Galaxy Silver; Ebony/Lime Green Price: $11,999