2004 Kawasaki Jet Ski 900 STX Review

Comfort, control and consistency provide the 3 Cs of this PWC

A 900cc triple cylinder motor is the power plant pushing this well designed hull around today, and it should continue to do so for a long time. Comfort, control and consistency are the 3 Cs this craft is all about. If you are looking for a great ride at a great price, look no further than the 900 STX by Kawasaki.

We reviewed the Kawasaki JetSki 900 STX on open lake conditions, with a light wind and slightly more than 11 gallons of fuel filling the tank two-thirds. Riders included an experienced PWC enthusiast, as well as a beginner and a family rider.

Standard features on the 900 STX include everything from mirrors to a digital speedometer multi function display, giving this three-seater lake cruiser all the necessary comforts. The seat provides hours of comfort while the storage capacity in both the front trunk and the ‘glove box’ kept our supplies dry and within hands reach.

LCD Multifunction Meter System with speedometer, tachometer, hour meter, clock, trip distance, trip time, fuel level and oil level keeps the operator fully informed, in addition to warning lights for low oil, low fuel or high engine temperatures.

A reverse gear on this unit makes it easy to maneuver around the docks, while the power of the 900cc motor roared to life with graceful style. The 2stroke, three-cylinder engine provides strong low-end torque and acceleration for towing, though this machine is more about riding than towing.

Being the little brother to the STXR 1200, the 900 shares many of its most basic hull and steering attributes. A Deep-V hull design provides excellent cornering and stability and a smoother ride in rough water, while a deep keel facilitates better wave cushioning, excellent cornering and greater stability at high speed. Long inner strakes located closer to the center of the deep-V afford increased top speed. High-performance sponsons help the hull get up on plane and provide more aggressive ‘grip’ in turns.

Kawasaki Smart Steering detects the rider’s steering input as well as speed of operation and applies the required amount of engine rpm to affect a turn when necessary.

In terms of style, this Kawasaki runabout deserves a ‘good’ rating, but we felt for this type of recreational family machine, it could have sported a slightly stronger graphics presentation. That said, the body lines and trim parts are excellent—it’s another curvaceous body shape from the hull crafting people at Kawasaki.

Considered ‘bling bling’ toys for many, you still can’t get away from the fact these personal watercraft make just about anyone look good. Cruising around your local marina’s and beach stops will definitely turn some heads.

A nice exhaust sound complements this machine—not too loud, but still throaty and exhilarating. A water-jacketed exhaust system reduces noise level and underhood temperatures for better power.

In terms of usability, the 900 STX has everything where it should be, and is stable in the water at any speed. We had cruise GPS speeds of about 45mph, with bursts of up to 52mph. Using the STXR hull design with a couple modifications to accommodate reverse, this craft tracks very well even in a little chop.

Rating the performance of the 900 STX, GPS was 51.6mph, 51.4mph, 52.1mph and 51.8mph, which is very fast for this class of watercraft. The handling at these speeds was unmatched and smooth. There was no need to try to trim the craft, as it was mostly point and shoot riding that was very comfortable and enjoyable.

The 900 STX is also well suited for spinning power 360s and 180-degree slides—some of the good old watercraft fun that these machines are known for.

Engine Type: Two-stroke, three-cylinder
Displacement: 891cc
Horsepower: 100 @ 6,750 rpm
Bore x stroke 73.0 x 71.0mm
Compression ratio: 5.5:1
Cooling system: Inducted water
Carburetion: Triple Keihin CDCV 38 with single fuel pump
Lubrication: Superlube oil injection
Ignition: Digital DC-CDI
Starting: Electric
Coupling: Direct drive from engine
Propulsion system: Jet pump, axial-flow, single stage
Thrust: 732 lbs
Fuel capacity: 16.4 gal.
Oil tank: 1.3 gal.
Overall length: 122.8 in.
Overall width: 46.5 in.
Overall height: 40.2 in.
Storage capacity: 23 gal
Dry weight: 659 lbs.
Color: Jet White/Metallic Ruby Red