Kawasaki is about to join the booming Jet Ski fishing segment – with a new model unveiled during a US dealer event in Phoenix, Arizona overnight.
The Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S Angler is a dedicated fishing Jet Ski ready to go as a complete package, straight off the showroom floor – rather than requiring customers to add accessories after they’ve taken delivery of a standard craft.
It is based on the recently revamped Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S powered by the company’s familiar non-supercharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, but comes with a unique white and green colour scheme.
Photos show unique equipment to this model includes a rear deck extension with a cooler box and frame, five fishing rod holders (four on the cooler box frame and one in the left-front footwell), and a Garmin navigation unit and fish finder.
The Garmin unit is not a touchscreen. It is the same device also fitted to the Sea-Doo Fish Pro Scout, Sea-Doo Fish Pro Sport, and Yamaha FX HO WaveRunner JetFish.
The flagship Sea-Doo Fish Pro Trophy and Sea-Doo Explorer Pro models are equipped with premium Garmin touchscreen navigation units and fish finders.
It is worth noting the Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S Angler misses out of the four-speaker audio system fitted to the Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX flagship, whereas Sea-Doo and Yamaha offer twin audio speakers on their equivalent fishing models.
Standard equipment includes:
- 7-inch colour TFT instrumentation with Bluetooth connectivity (however it is not a touchscreen);
- Ultra series 22.5-degree ‘deep-v’ hull for rough water handling;
- Kawasaki Smart Reverse trigger with Deceleration (KSRD);
- LED daytime running lights;
- 80-litre fuel tank (21.1 US gallons);
- Easy access storage in front console side pods;
- NEW 7-inch Garmin Echomap Navigation (with fish finder and chart-plotter, however it is not a touchscreen)
- NEW Auxillary side floatation pods for increased stability when drifting, and to prevent scuffing off the top deck;
- NEW Fishing rod holders (one in front, four in rear)
- NEW ORCA 45-litre (14.5 US gallon) cooler;
- NEW Multi-purpose rear rack and rear deck extension;
- NEW Flat bench seat to easily switch from side to side;
- NEW 7-inch full-color TFT instrumentation with Bluetooth connectivity
The Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S Angler is designed to compete with the pioneering Sea-Doo Fish Pro series – and recently released Yamaha WaveRunner JetFish (sold in kit form in the US and as a complete package via selected Yamaha dealers in Australia).
Pricing for the Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S Angler is, for now, anyone’s guess.
However as a guide, here’s how other Jet Ski fishing models are priced:
- Sea-Doo Fish Pro Scout: $15,099 in the US and $21,654 in Australia;
- Sea-Doo Fish Pro Sport: $17,399 in the US and $26,664 in Australia;
- Sea-Doo Fish Pro Trophy: $20,499 in the US and $30,364 in Australia;
- Yamaha FX HO WaveRunner JetFish: $18,500 in the US (estimated) and $27,899 in Australia.
The Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S Angler was unveiled alongside a raft of new Kawasaki models including upcoming motorcycles and off-road buggies due in showrooms in 2025.
Australian pricing and timing are yet to be announced by Kawasaki, but dealers canvassed by Watercraft Zone say the first shipments are due to arrive late this year or early next year.
The Kawasaki Ultra 160 LX-S Angler is part of a massive revitalisation of the Kawasaki Jet Ski range and aims to bring the line-up closer to its main rivals Sea-Doo and Yamaha.
While Sea-Doo has about 70 per cent of the personal watercraft market and Yamaha WaveRunner has about 25 per cent, Kawasaki has been floundering with about 5 per cent of the total Jet Ski market in the US and Australia – despite being responsible for trademarking the iconic Jet Ski name.
Kawasaki hopes models such as the Ultra 160 LX-S Angler – based on the recently revamped Kawasaki Ultra 160 and Ultra 310 models, the biggest updates to those platforms in 14 years – will reverse its fortunes.
Industry analysts say a Kawasaki Jet Ski revival is good news for Jet Ski buyers across all brands: more competition means more consumer choice and, hopefully, sharper pricing.
Jet Ski prices hit record highs over the past three years amid production delays, shipping bottlenecks and stock stock shortages combined with a surge in customer demand for personal watercraft globally.
While there appears to be little prospect of significant price reductions in the long term, in Australia Sea-Doo, Yamaha WaveRunner and Kawasaki Jet Ski recently ran promotional campaigns with big discounts to clear 2023 showroom stock.
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