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Hi,

I am brand new here and have never owned a pwc, just rented them a few times. I'm ready to purchase one soon and have it narrowed down to a leftover 07 Honda F12X. So this is a brand new ski with warranty for one year, with a trailer, accessories and tax I'd be out the door for around $8k. The other ski is an 08 Kawasaki Ultra LX with 22 hrs, includes a trailer, cover, vests, tube, etc. They are asking $7500, but haven't had any offers. Any opinions on which would be the better unit? I have read a few reviews, but would like some opinions from the board. Thanks for the help.
 

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Honda F12X: Fast (around 65 mph). Pretty reliable if you maintain the turbo, but this requires keeping it sprayed with CRC, etc., especially if you are going to put it in salt water (Why didn't Honda make the turbo out of something more rust resistant???). There are good prices on new Honda skis as dealers are trying to clear their inventories, that is why you can still find brand new 2006 and 2007 skis and at very good prices. Honda has stopped production of new skis for 2010..........and may or may not resume production in the future, so parts and service could be an issue down the road, but I wouldn't be too concerned, since there are so many Honda F 12s and F 12Xs out there.

The Kawasaki Ultra is a bigger ski with more storage space and more fuel capacity, but will also be slower than the Honda (somewhere around 55 mph I'd guess). It will also give you a drier, more stable ride especially in rough water and in the turns (Kawasaki is probably the best ridding rough water ski on the market). The Kaw would also be a better ride with passengers or if you are going to tow. You also get features like adjustable handlebars on the Kaw (not on the Honda). Makes a difference if you stand up on the ski or have passengers. I also like the seats on the Kaw better (have some back support to keep you from sliding). The Kaw is probably less reliable overall than the Honda.

If you are going to primarily be riding alone, I'd probably recommend the Honda. Consider the Kaw if you want a more family friendly machine.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Is there anything I should pay close attention to on used Kaw?
Check this guide out: What to check when buying a used ski - Forums

Probably a lot more than you need to do for a fairly new ski, but it give you some ideas of what to look for. Primary issues are how much salt water use the ski has seen (look for signs of rust/corrosion), was the ski flushed after salt water use, has it been serviced at appropriate times. A test ride will answer most of the other questions pretty quickly, and I would highly recommend one, but some sellers are reluctant to allow a test ride. You may offer to let the seller test ride the ski while you hang on as passenger if they are reluctant to let you drive). If no test ride, you have to at least start the ski (preferably on a hose, so you can see how it does warm, idling, etc.). You will also have to look more closely at the impeller and amount of clearance around it, does it smoke (burn oil could be a bad sign), etc..
 
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