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  1. #1

    1998 ZXI 1100 a bit slow...or not?

    I have a new to me 1998 Kawasaki 1100 ZXI. It has a brand new SBT engine in it with 20 hours on it. The CV carbs have been rebuilt. I acquired the ski this way about a month ago and saw all the receipts for it plus I kind of know the guy so I'm nearly positive all he says is true.

    The ski runs excellent. It's a little hard to get started when its cold but after that it starts great. I've heard that is a common theme with CV carbs... Throttle response is good and no bogging whatsoever.

    Anyway, the best I can get it to do on glass is about 50-51 MPH at 7000 RPM as indicated by the ski speedometer. It gets up to 45 MPH fairly quick then its a slow gain to 50 from there. Does this sound right for this ski? I was thinking it should do 55+ at maybe over 7000 RPM? Maybe I'm way off here? The impeller looks to be in fairly good shape. It has a few little dings and scratches but really not much.

    Anyone with any knowledge about these particular ski's have any input? It would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico
    sbt reduces the compression of their engines ( or so it is said) to extend the life. This might shave a little off the top..add a less then perfect impeller and that's another 1-2

    do a plug chop to check the mixture and of coruse report on the engine compression

    also need to know where you are as heat and altitude can come into play..

    oh yeah..welcome to GH!

  3. #3
    Thanks, really glad to be here!! I live in ohio. Pretty much at sea level. It has been about 80 degrees out here when I was on the water. I don't have any compression numbers.

    Chop the plugs? I'm not sure what that is? The plugs look really good. Nice light brown color on the electrode. No dark black rich looking or white lean looking conditions. I don't think there are any mixture screws on these carbs to adjust anything, right? Is the idle speed adjustable on this ski? If so, where exactly it that screw located? It only idles at 900 RPM and does die sometimes when just idling without giving it gas.
    Last edited by Lt1haha; 06-18-2015 at 04:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Have you checked it with GPS? Your speedo probably isn't accurate.

  5. #5
    Quick question. I've never had a jet ski so I'm not sure how one would feel or act. When I nail the throttle from low speed the tach with quickly jump to 6500 RPM or so then speed rises fairly quickly. Is it supposed to do that or is the tach supposed to progressively rise with the speed like a car. I'm wondering if my stock impeller is maybe "slipping" or something?

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Yes, the impeller slips. The engine speed increases considerably, but not to top speed. Engine speed builds up as boat speed builds up.

  7. #7
    If I'm going 20 mph and I floor it, RPM's jump to 6500 almost immediately then when ski comes up to 45 mph the engine speed begins to increase parallel with ski speed. That's what it's supposed to do, right?

  8. #8
    It uses thrust much like a jet plane. It spins the jet pump up to speed, pulling water through to create thrust, then the thrust pushes the machine forward. While you're accelerating, the jet pump is spinning "faster" than the machine is moving.

  9. #9
    Ok I get it, thanks! I'm going to get it on the water and GPS the speed today

  10. #10
    You're likely to get disappointed with a GPS as stock speedometers almost always read high
    I'm pretty sure the ZXI and STX engines are identical, not sure about the prop, but I have a new engine I built in my STX, stock other than slightly higher compression (1.5mm over)

    My ski is heavier, and I'm 250 lbs, and on a almost empty tank I get 52 mph at 7300 rpm

    If the impeller was in bad nick I'd think you'd see higher rpms at a low speed

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