Our next set of keys doesn’t fit a four wheeler. But, rather, fires up a summer-fun ride with room for three and no wheels at all-the 2010 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260LX.

At the heart of this mean aquatic superstar is a supercharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder churning out 260 horsepower. That’s more than a V6 Dodge Challenger. It’s a big ski, with the aggressive front faring being the only bodywork to speak of. The 260LX can carry 20 gallons of fuel, and over 50 gallons of whatever your fun in the sun demands.

The deep V-shaped hull sliced through the choppy waters of Maryland’s Severn River with ease, and allowed super-stable 180-degree turns. The five-position handlebar makes it easy for any pilot to sit or stand. The 260 will indeed seat three adults comfortably, and pull a set of skis without any trouble. On the open water, you can expect to see 60 mph, but don’t get overzealous with the gas.

“Handling this ski takes some throttle control: too hard on it, and you may be swimming with the sharks. The rear ladder is useful when boarding in open waters.” – Brian Roberts

For beginners, there’s a SLO-Mode, which limits power. Kawasaki Smart Steering, which increases revs through turns based on throttle and steering input, is a plus for riders regardless of experience. Available now, the 2010 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260LX runs just north of $13,000.




"The Vue Two-Mode Hybrid proves that power and efficiency can coexist, and in a modern crossover you can have them both without skimping on any ability." – Ben Davis


  • 1.5-liter 4-cylinder:
  • 260-horsepower:
  • Just over $13,000: