The Kawasaki STX-15F is the only entry level jet ski they make. Kawasaki has been producing industry leading horsepower for years and this is no exception. The STX-15F is perhaps the most responsive jet ski model Kawasaki makes. Although it has the best horsepower in its class, the starting price is only $9,699. This Kawasaki STX-15F review will highlight the pros and cons, and hopefully help others decide if it’s the right jet ski for them.
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Overall Kawasaki’s model selection is somewhat small, but they still manage to create a jet ski for each type of rider. The Kawasaki STX-15F is a great starter jet ski for someone who wants to get a thrill on the water. Over the years its general layout has changed very little. Kawasaki found a design that worked well and they kept it. This entry level model offers enough horsepower for riders to grow into rather than needing to upgrade.
Several safety options are available to assist new riders as they become comfortable with the watercraft. The STX-15F comes standard with convenient learning features such as Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS) and Smart Learning Operation (SLO) mode.
There aren’t very many extra features that come standard. If you decide you want some cool add ons, check out our list of essential jet ski accessories.
This is definitely a great PWC for families, but it’s diverse enough to suit almost anyone. Seating for 3 and a large back deck makes it a good choice for water sports enthusiasts. The responsive hull and aggressive ride are perfect for racing and jumping. It also boasts one of the fastest top speeds and 0-30 times in its class.
Hull & Deck
A sporty deep-V hull is fitted on the STX-15F, which is great for stable cornering. The hull is designed for racing, but it can easily handle moderate water conditions. Riding through choppy water will prove to be more difficult. Smaller chop will definitely be more noticeable on the Kawasaki STX-15F than with their other models.
Deck space on the back of the jet ski is more than enough for most people. Getting on and off is very easy with its built in spring loaded boarding step. A tow hook is located on the back of the seat for water sports, and the large back deck allows strapping onto a wake board or skis simple and quick.
Many jet ski models are advertised as “3 seaters” when in reality there is barely enough room for 2 people. The Kawasaki STX-15F has no problem fitting 3 people, and provides enough space so no one is cramped.
The seat sits lower than many other jet ski’s models. A low seat design makes rides much more responsive and aggressive. Corning feels very natural and intuitive even for beginners. Some taller riders may feel a bit cramped because of this seating style. Depending on the number of passengers, this can usually be fixed by sitting farther back on the seat.
23.5 gallons of storage come standard on the Kawasaki STX-15F. This is pretty large compared to other entry level models that often times require upgraded storage. All the extra space provided really comes in handy for anyone who uses their watercraft for water sports or fishing. An abundance of storage like this is more typical of higher end jet skis.
Most people don’t realize how much storage they actually need until they’ve spent a significant amount of time riding.
After reviewing the 4-stroke 1,498cc engine, most people are impressed with the capabilities of this entry level jet ski. Kawasaki basically took the engine on their Ninja ZX-14R street bike and threw it into a jet ski. The Kawasaki STX-15F can do 0-30 in 2 seconds and has a top speed of 70 mph.
Its 160hp engine gives new riders plenty of room to grow into their jet ski instead of feeling the need to upgrade after a few months. It isn’t uncommon to see someone perfectly content with riding the Kawasaki STX-15F years after they purchased it.
There are limited features on the Kawasaki STX-15F compared to other models, but all the essentials are covered. A few good safety features are standard but there aren’t very many bells and whistles.
Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS)
Many companies have implemented different technology to provide safer and easier to ride vehicles. Kawasakis Smart Steering, or KSS, is a system that assists in handling when the throttle is released from a high speed. Essentially it helps keep the jet ski stable to reduce the chances of the rider getting thrown off. This is a much needed feature given the high speeds obtainable by the Kawasaki STX-15F.
Smart Learning Operation (SLO)
SLO mode is activated by a magnetic key to limit the top speed of the Kawasaki STX-15F until the rider is comfortable on the watercraft. After the rider is familiar with the watercraft, the key can be removed to allow full capabilities.
There is also a separate ignition key similar to the one used to activate SLO mode can be used for theft protection.
The measurements and weight of a jet ski should always be reviewed to get a better understanding of the size of trailer required to haul it. These measurements include all the Kawasaki STX-15F dimensions as well as a few additional specs.
-Fuel Capacity: 16.4gal
-Storage Capacity: 23.4gal
-Top Speed: 70 mph ( 112.65 kph)
-Available in Ebony/Lime Green
An Honest Opinion on the Kawasaki STX-15F
There are a lot of good things about the Kawasaki STX-15F, but there are also some not so good things.
Kawasaki has stuck to the same design for years with the 15F. This is good because their fans know what they’re getting, but at the same time it lacks modern features. Other than the technology, the general layout can be a drawback as well. The low seating can be problematic for taller riders so it’s definitely recommended that buyers try one out before deciding.
In the end the Kawasaki STX-15F is still a great entry level jet ski. It’s a perfect jet ski for someone who wants to learn but doesn’t want to upgrade after just one season. There’s amazing storage, good fuel capacity, and a high top speed. This jet ski is definitely worth a trip to the dealership for a test ride.
For more information on the Kawasaki STX-15F, go to their website here.