Riding the Best Ultra LX-S
Team Pastorello Competition has developed over the years many fast Kawasaki Ultra race boats, however, the last version Ultra LX-S has been the top of the line race boat that they ever made. We rode and tested the best Kawasaki Ultra LX-S.
Words: Vasilis Moraitis
Test rider: Vasilis Moraitis
Team Pastorello has been participating the international Offshore/Endurance race of Akropolis Jet Raid for 12 years and the team owner Jean-Bruno Pastorello has won the F1 Class 10 times. His performance and accomplishments are outstanding and no other rider has ever come closer to what he has achieved. No need to mention that the team has won many International titles in the UIM Championship, in Mark Hahn 300 in USA as well as in King’s Cup in Thailand. Jetskiworld.gr has been testing his race boats since 2011 and also has tested some of his race boats in Arizona right after the cruel race of 300 miles. This year (2023) the French team worked on a whole new project having in mind one scope to develop the absolute race platform of the Kawasaki Ultra LX-S.
Having tested the pre-production model of the new Kawasaki Ultra back in June of 2022 in a close cooperation with Kawasaki Europe and Kawasaki Japan Team Pastorello knew already the new features of the new boat. One of those was the electrical system and new clocks and the other one the difficulties to work inside the engine compartment due to the different (narrow) dimensions of the new deck. Therefore, the team decided to work along with Pascal Barriac in order to develop a new lightweight deck with specifically designed front hood and bodywork in order to be faster and easier to remove and make periodic and race service much faster and with less work needed. The result was absolutely magnificent since the lightweight deck including the seat and all the peripherals results in the overall reduction of weight approximately to 100kg. That on its own is a unique advantage for the Kawasaki Ultra race boat.
Team uses three different engine tune packages depending on the race that the boat will race. They offer 1500cc, 1600cc and stroker 1700cc engine set ups. The boat the team used in Akropolis Jet Raid 2023 was equipped with a 1600cc engine since it offers a remarkable performance without sacrificing the fuel consumption which is very critical in this 5 days of racing. The engine features Team Pastorello pistons (made specifically for the team in Italy), reprogrammed ECU, different exhaust outlet routine, a fuel pressure regulator, bigger oil cooler made by Idiartec along with the water filter. Horsepower is translated in to thrust by the oem pump that accommodates a Solas 14/21 repitched impeller and oem reduction nozzle bored to team spec. Jean-Bruno prefers to use the oem ride plate along with the oem intake grate or a modified R&D one depending on the water conditions. The sponsons are made by Idiarter for Team Pastorello. In the past J-B’s race boat featured two steering cables in order to increase reliability however this new boat had only the oem one since it has been proven to be more reliable than the previous models.
The team uses the wire harness, clocks and ECU from the older Ultra and not the brand new LX-S ince the new ECU takes some time to switch ON. That is a disadvantage when you have to race in a Le Mans type of start. Until that time the French Team had no Factory reprogrammed ECU to overcome this issue therefore, the used the old and race proven electrics.
I had the chance to test Jean-Bruno’s race boat as soon as his finished the last moto of day five in Akropolis Jet Raid in June in Greece. The performance of this boat really shocked me although I had tested so many of his race boats. The first thing that surprised me was the unique stability of the race boat. The fact that so much weight was removed from the upper section of the oem Kawasaki hull/deck made increased the stability of the boat and I could easily notice it no matter in what direction I was riding on the rough water. The ride was very predictable and it needed minor corrections and rider input. This gives an amazing advantage to the rider especially when he rides in a very rough conditions and makes a huge difference compared to already good handling package of the Kawasaki Ultra.
The steering system was so precise and easy to use. The single steering cable made it much softer in use and along with the wide bars and the stability of the billet aluminum steering of Idiartec made life easier for the rider. This plays key role to the overall riding especially when you participate in a five days race where the athlete’s stamina and strength fades day after day. The position of the sponsons resulted in the overall superb grip of the boat round the fast turns without making it very aggressive on high speed on straight line. Going round the buoy on a tight turn or a fast sweeper J-B’s Ultra LX-S feels precise and very accurate on your steering commands. The hull provides very good grip and keeps the pump loaded.
The engine response to the blink of the throttle finger is unique. It is crispy and you feel the horsepower translated in to acceleration at any section of the rev counter. There are hiccups or hesitations either in bottom end or midrange. The impressive fact is that the harder you are on the harder the better this boat hooks up and accelerates. It reminded me a well known turbocharged stand up I tested a few years ago in Lake Havasu in Arizona. However, I was not expecting to get the similar feeling from a stock Runabout hull. That proves the attention to detail that was given to the built of the lightweight deck. In fact the team had tried a few option before they ended up to the particular set without sacrificing the strength needed it to the overall structure. The impressive power of the 1600cc engine is noticeable at low, mid and upper rpm and the engine response when you let off the throttle and come back to it immediately is unique with absolutely no hesitation.
According to chief mechanic Laurent Lagarde the top speed of the particular set up for the Akropolis Jet Raid was 128km/h with full fuel tank. However, the acceleration of the boat was out standing and the pump was kept hooked up at all time regardless the way I was accelerating or in what direction I was hitting the waves. Pump hook up is one of the sections that Team has made lots of mods and tunes in order to raise its performance and the result is unique since I have never tested any other Kawasaki that offers such remarkable acceleration and pump hook up.
The is no doubt that Team Pastorello Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX-S is the best Kawasaki race boat out there in the European and International scene of Jet Ski Racing. Recently, Jean-Bruno Pastorello clinched the UIM World title in Pro Endurance class and also, he won both motos of King;s Cup in Thailand and he became the overall winner in the Class in the World Jet Ski series. Team Pastorello is one of a kind and has been the ambassador for Kawasaki in Pro Endurance class for many years and the results speak on their own. It was well deserved to see the Kawasaki USA (KMC) to include Jean-Bruno Pastorello officially in its Factory Kawasaki Jet Ski Racing Team a few days before the King’s Cup. This is an honor for KMC and for Team Pastorello too. No need to say that when team Pastorello came to USA to race in the USA in Mark Hahn 300 left behind the Factory Kawasaki Team race boat. His win in King’s Cup resulted on clinching the title in Four Crown races (Polland, France, USA and Thailand) as he won all of them. An outstanding performance for Team Pastorello Competition.
Team Pastorello offers to build a complete race boat for the racers who want to participate in Pro Endurance class with a top of the line Kawasaki Ultra whether it is powered by a Supercharged or Natural Aspirated engine. For further information please contact Team Pastorello Competition (on FB) or chief mechanic Laurent Lagarde.
I would like to thank team owner Jean-Bruno Pastorello and Laurent Lagarde to trusting me and giving me the chance to test ride once again their Kawasaki Ultra 310 LXS and Ultra LX-S.