Kawasaki has reinvented its entry level model for 2020 with the STX 160 and we had the chance to ride the new model and shoot a full video review.
The STX 160 is essentially an updated version of Kawi’s long-running entry level model, the 15f. The new machine shares its hull design and powertrain with the 15f, but it gets new styling and unique features to set it apart, along with a lower price of entry.
The new 160 uses a nearly 1500cc inline four-cylinder engine, propelling it to a top speed of right around 60 mph, depending on the rider. A new drive by wire system allows the ski to have cruise control, a welcome feature when you’re crossing long stretches of open water.
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Simply set your speed and squeeze the throttle to the bar and the machine will do the rest, allowing your right hand to be in a much more comfortable position as you ride.
Although the STX has a curb weight of 864 pounds, it feels like a light nimble ski out on the water. A slightly taller seating position than the 15f has been used on the STX to allow for more rider comfort, though this does make it a little less stable at slow speeds.
Acceleration is hurried when you put the throttle to the pin, and although Kawasaki didn’t take full advantage of throttle by wire by adding drive modes to this model, there is more than enough power on tap that we were never left wanting for more.
As the base level, this new Jet Ski model starts at $9,599 in the US, while the top of the line LX model goes for $11,699. Opting for the more expensive version brings along unique styling, deck mats, a better seat with more bolstering and a new Bluetooth sound system.
Dry storage directly in front of the rider allows for confident phone storage out on the water, and more storage has been added to the 160 in the nose and in a new bin that is fit underneath the rear of the seat.
To see the new model in action and to hear all my thoughts on it, watch the video review embedded above.