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Old 05-30-2011, 03:57 AM
 
2,186 posts, read 3,654,414 times

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Look in the dictionary under the word fun and you will find a picture of the Kawasaki STX-12F Jet Ski. If water, fresh air, speed, excitement are in your definition of a fun filled life then come join the world of jet skiing. In addition, I highly recommend the KJS for the ultimate experience.

When my son said, "Dad you need to come try the Jet Ski I rented for our camping trip", I replied, "No way son, I am too old for that sort of thing". Being over the retirement age I sort of figured that I should leave such experiences to the younger set. All I had to do was take the Jet Ski for a spin around the lake, slowly and casually. Oh yeah, like that was going to hold on for long.

I immediately decided we need to have one of these. All the sources I could gather from Internet searches seemed to lean toward the Kawasaki brand, not because they cost less than the better-known Honda and Sea Doo models. The riders seemed to have better real time experiences and comments about the Cow. With the difference in savings, we were able to get an upgraded trailer and other goodies such as a cover for the Jet Ski.

From the first time I mounted the Jet Ski and took it for a spin around a local lake I was impressed. It was so much more powerful than the Yamaha Wave Runner we had rented. The Yamaha had 1,000 cc engine so I expected more power with the 1200 cc Kawasaki but the overall performance was so much better. It seemed to handle more easily and it felt more under control in tight turns and on acceleration. Speaking of acceleration, it was so quick it astounded me. The speed limit on the lake was 15 miles per hour so I could not open it up all the way.

I couldn't wait to take to a lake with open speed limits so off we went next weekend for a real trial run. To say it took my breath away was nothing as it took my hat, which I had carefully used my chinstrap so it would not come off, off my neck and I lost my $100 sunglasses as well.

Taking a rider with me does not seem to strain the KJS in any way. It is comfortable and provides


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My initial impression in the first 13 hours of time on my new (05) STX-15F is "Monster Power." I have ridden all kinds of other personal watercraft and the majority of them felt that way. One exception to that would be a small stand up I rode years ago that I believe the owner had neglected. It seemed to struggle with my size and weight (210 at the time). I also noticed with the 15F the massively reduced noise and vibration even at speed from the 1498cc motor. Once I had passed the break in period and was able to test full throttle, I was amazed at the even delivery of what seemed endless amounts of torque. Even at about 20mph, a full-throttle grab was an exhilarating rush, not to mention the fight to stay on as the 15F rockets forward. Maneuvering is solid and sure-footed. As a large 3 seat PWC, throwing your weight around is a bit more difficult than with smaller watercraft, but all that power seems to somehow make up for it. Outwardly, the 15F is a great looking watercraft. My dealer made some suggestions about custom paintwork, but with a modest set of license numbers, I have no complaints. The bow compartment is huge and will hold just about everything you want to bring short of a cooler (which can be easily strapped to the seat behind two riders or floor loaded on the swim deck). I am amazed that more water doesn't spill into the hull through the bow hatch with hard maneuvering when the bow submarines under a large wake. That may change with time, but for now, my towels and lunch bags stay pretty dry. I cannot give comment on reliability, as I was only able to get just over 13 hours on it before I had to store if for the winter (the great North West). As an initial review, I believe that my decision to go with the less costly Kawasaki vs. the hugely over priced Hondas and Sea-Doos was a wise one. My money bought me a brand new trailer, license for both and taxes for, even though
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