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The 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310 lineup has received a major overhaul with the addition of some long-awaited technology and a new top deck.
Kawasaki reps gave a blunt assessment of the Ultra 310 platform in a recent Zoom call. Though the company still feels confident the Ultra 310 is the most powerful and best handling in ALL conditions three-passenger model on the market, they readily admit the line is lacking in one obvious area — the modern technology that competitors have so readily embraced. It’s a situation that’s about to change in a big way.
No, what many love about the beastly Ultra 310 hasn’t and won’t change. It’s still powered by the same 1,498cc supercharged, inline four-cylinder engine Kawi enthusiasts have come to know and love. As Kawi representatives made clear, “in thrust we trust”…and their engine still produces 1,890 pounds of it. The familiar deep-V, 22.5-degree deadrise hull also returns, still capable of delivering the same thrilling, all-conditions ride that has made the boat a favorite of long-distance and offshore racers.
From the bondline up, however, the Ultra has been reinvented…and in some ways, even leaps to the front of the pack.
One of the most eagerly awaited features of the 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310 line is undoubtedly KSRD, or Kawasaki Smart Reverse and Deceleration.
A feature many buyers likely consider long overdue, KSRD will make life around those tight docks, restaurants or launch ramps much easier than in the past with quick, intuitive changes between forward, neutral and reverse while offering rapid deceleration at speed. Kawasaki’s unique twist on the concept foregoes an additional lever on the left handgrip in favor of a button directly below the traditional throttle and grip on the right. Tap that button once and the craft goes into neutral, push and hold and the craft drops the reverse bucket, applying power in progressive fashion, with little change in movement other than a subtle shift of the rider’s natural thumb position.
The display also jumps to a modern, 7” TFT color screen. Using a “jog dial” located where the glovebox formerly resided, riders can view the traditional speed (now based on GPS rather than the old-school paddlewheel), RPM, fuel level, boost pressure, trim position and clock in a cruise, sport or analog layout, note compass heading, even see when a phone call or email arrives if using an iOS-based smartphone.
Amongst numerous additional info and warning indicators, the display also includes a backup camera on the flagship 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310LX.
The pioneering JetSound music system also takes an overdue leap forward. Now ready to deliver music via Bluetooth rather than cable, the system features four total speakers, ia pair of 60W speakers in their familiar spot forward above the footwells, a pair of 35-watt speakers flanking the information display, and powers all with a two-channel, 200-watt amplifier. At least on paper, it would seem to promise the best sound found yet on a PWC.
Other tech highlights include front LED accent lights (for both style and daytime visibility NOT night operation); a choice of four power-delivery modes including full, middle (80% power), low (60% power) and the governed power delivery of the SLO key; and a Launch Control auto-trim feature that can be set for one-time use or stay set for multiple accelerations.
The 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310 models also get a lot of both form and function from the aforementioned top-deck makeover.
Start with a new, lower center of gravity. Footwells, seat and handlebars have all been lowered to position CG closer to the water for enhanced stability and an even more sporty feel. The saddle has also been narrowed 80mm forward, great for both standup riding and those who like to clench the seat with their thighs. A new UV-resistant material stays cooler in the summer heat while a deeper shape and stitching contributes to both an upscale look and feel. The flagship LX even features three fore-and-aft positions for the saddle, the traditional location right up against the console, one 35mm back and the third 70mm back to accommodate both different size riders as well as the way individual riders like to ride their craft.
Storage also gets a clever new take. Gullwing-style doors open out on each side of the console, revealing a surprisingly large 10.6 gallons of usable space within easy reach of a seated driver. The starboard side includes a padded, waterproof phone compartment complete with USB port. Both an accessory dry bag and cooler have been designed to take further advantage of the space.
In addition to this “ultra” glovebox and the 32.8-gallon front bin, additional storage options include an aft pocket for wet lines and towropes and a new multi-mount system. Bars at the front of the handlebars, as well as below the aft grab handle, are able to be fitted with industry-standard RAM mounts for GoPro-style action cameras and the like.
The 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310LX and midrange LX-S also include a new Extended Rear Ultra Deck. An added platform integrated neatly into the design, it includes a deck rail system to allow users to easily anchor coolers, fuel caddies or a new cargo box option that combines all of the above with rod holders and more.
As to specifically what each model in the now three-craft 2022 Kawasaki Ultra 310 lineup features, all models show off the new deck styling, KSRD reverse/deceleration system, 7” display and easy-access storage, along with standbys like electric trim, cruise control and no-wake mode.
To the base 310X ($17,199), the Ultra 310 LX-S ($18,199) adds the color-matched slim seat, extended aft deck, wide reboarding step, multi-mount rail system, the front LED accent lights and rearview camera. The mack daddy Ultra 310LX ($19,199) adds the LXury UV-resistant ERGO-FIT adjustable saddle, the four-speaker JetSound system with Bluetooth, and a wind deflector just forward of the handlebar base.
Look for a full, in-depth review of all these features when the flagship Kawasaki Ultra 310LX starts rolling off the assembly line in the coming months.
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