I’m not going to lie; I was about to give up on Kawasaki jet skis, but the 2022 Ultra 310 Series release has got me excited about Kawasaki again. I haven’t been this excited since they went over 300HP.
We expected the brakes, and glad Kawasaki is now doing it, but it’s the other features that have me more excited. This isn’t just slight changes; what Kawasaki released are industry-changing features, in my opinion.
The Full Details
The Watercraft Journal got the full scoop on everything about the new 2022 Ultra 310 Series so go check them out for more details.
See the new Ultra’s on Kawasaki’s website here.
This article will be my take and how Kawasaki has outdone themselves this year.
“Brakes” – KSRD ( Kawasaki Smart Reverse with Deceleration)
Sea-Doo started the brake trend back in 2009, then Yamaha got its version in 2015, and now in 2022, Kawasaki has its version.
What’s interesting about the brakes on a jet ski is not that you have brakes on a boat, but how each manufacturer does it.
Sea-Doo has the word “braking” for a PWC on lockdown, so that is the wording they use. Yamaha calls it a “dual throttle”, and it seems Kawasaki is calling it a “smart reverse.”
Both Sea-Doo and Yamaha use triggers; the right hand is forward, and the left hand is the reverse and braking. While very similar, they work slightly different, but you’ll get the hang of each quickly.
Kawasaki has done it differently from Sea-Doo or Yamaha; both forward and reverse are on the right side of the handlebars. You still have the right trigger for throttle but below that is a thumb lever for braking.
Doing it from one side means better one-hand control. I would still try to keep both hands on the handlebars for safety.
I also like how Kawasaki makes the “R” for reverse very visible, and with push-button reverse and park becoming the norm in cars these days, this BIG “R” I can see it being more intuitive to new riders.
Kawasaki getting the brakes is a big deal, and it’s about time, but to be honest, it’s not the most important thing they released today.
High on my list is the backup camera.
At first, the backup camera made little sense to me until I saw it can be used for tow-sports. I don’t see people using this much for backing up, the blind spots on a jet ski are not as bad as a car, but this will be huge for tow-sports.
What Kawasaki should call this camera instead is the “Spotter’s Camera.“
Let’s be honest, mirrors on jet ski nowadays suck! Most can’t even be adjusted, and at best, gets your elbows and not the people behind you.
With Kawasaki coming out with a spotter’s camera is kind of a big deal. The camera sits above the tow line and gives you a wide-angle view of the person you’re towing.
Kawasaki is the only jet ski manufacturer to have anything like this, and it begs the question of why was this not done sooner? I hope this spotter’s camera feature catches on with other manufacturers. This feature is so new that there are no laws about it yet, and it will be interesting to see if this will be a legal replacement for mirrors.
The next exciting feature Kawasaki released is the side glovebox.
Instead of having one glove box right in front of you, they put two on each side and gave you 10.5 gallons of storage. Let me repeat that, 10.5 gallons!!! That is more storage than some other jet skis have as total storage and Kawasaki gave it to you for a glovebox.
You still have the other bigger storage for wet items like life jackets, anchors, ropes, but the glovebox gives you a dry place for your towels, phones, and clothes.
Total storage is 44.5 gallons.
The glovebox is so huge on the new Kawasaki 310 series that I bet many people won’t even realize there is more storage as 10.5 gallons is enough for most casual riders.
It sure does feel like Kawasaki is getting a lot of features you have in a car and putting them in a jet ski.
One of those features is an adjustable seat.
This will be a big deal for the taller riders as you can move the seat back and forward. You notice these things, especially for taller customers, and how the seat’s back support never supported them as they would sit on top of it due to their long legs.
Kawasaki allowing you to adjust the whole seat is a big deal.
New Color Display
Kawasaki is also putting a new color display on their 310 models.
It’s not a touch screen, which is fine for a jet ski as controlling the display with physical buttons is far easier especially in choppy water.
The rear deck of the new Ultra’s is longer and has two multi-mount bars for adding more accessories.
You can add a cooler rack, fishing gear, cargo box, and much more.
You can even add eyelets for strapping whatever you want to the rear of the jet ski.
The headlights are standard on the Ultra 310LX-S and 310LX, but can be added to the 310X.
Kawasaki says these headlights are for design only.
The backup camera makes sense, but I’m still trying to grasp the headlights. It may come in handy when coming home at sunset to see your dock, especially if it’s a dark corner, but otherwise, I don’t see the point.
While LED lights on a jet ski are cool, you can’t really use them due to current laws of driving at night. The way Kawasaki makes it sound, the lights may not be useful beyond design.
If we play with the idea a bit more, lights on a jet ski could be useful in the future. It could be the same reason motorcycles have daytime running lights, or if it starts raining while on your jet ski and it gets foggy, the headlights could help. Shoot, as I write this, I’m slowly convincing myself that it actually might be a good idea to have lights on a jet ski. Who knows, this might be a start to something?
I bet DJ Khaled wished he had lights on his jet ski when he got stuck on the water after dark.
This can happen to anyone, and while it’s illegal in many places, things happen to the best of us, and having some kind of light would be better than no lights when it’s at night time.
Either way, you shouldn’t drive your jet ski after sunset.