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Yamaha 1200 XL Jet Ski Reviews

The Yamaha 1200 xl is a very powerful jet ski that truly changed the game when it was released in 1998. It was the first jet ski that could be used for tow sports such as wakeboarding, skiing, etc. Yamaha released a very similar upgraded model in 1999 called XL 1200 Ltd. It was very similar, but had a higher horsepower of 155. 

The last jet ski to be released in the waverunner XL series was the XLT 1200, which came out in 2001. The engine had similar specs, but the hull featured a new design that added even more stability and power. 

Yamaha 1200 xl jet ski specs 

Below is a review of the Yamaha 1200 xl specs.

Engine: 3 cylinder 2 stroke

Horsepower: 135

Horsepower RPM: 7000

Engine capacity: 1176 cc

Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons

Efficiency: 14 gallons per/hour at full throttle

Length: 10.3 feet

Person capacity: 3 seater

Hull type:  Multi-chine V

Weight: 610 lbs

Top Speed: ~55 mph

Yamaha 1200 xl jet ski reviews

The Yamaha 1200 XL  jet ski provides a great combination of speed and stability. It has very good maneuverability and the multi-chine V hull type makes it very stable in choppy waters. The Yamaha XL 1200 is a good jet ski for 3 riders and is powerful enough to be used for tow sports. 

Even though it is an old jet ski, there are plenty of Yamaha Jet Ski Accessories you can add to the 1200 XL.

That being said, it is an old jet ski. With any old motorized vehicle, you will likely run into problems as the engine deteriorates over time. Below are some of the biggest cons of the Yamaha 1200XL.

Cons of the Yamaha 1200 XL

The biggest con of the Yamaha 1200 XL is the fact that it has a 2 stroke engine. While 2 stroke engines are lighter and usually cheaper to manufacture, there is a reason Yamaha stopped making 2 stroke jet ski engines in 2007.

2 stroke engines usually deteriorate quicker because they lack the proper lubrication system. They are also much less fuel efficient, and release so much pollution that they are even banned in some lakes. 

One of the most common problems cited by owners of the XL 1200 is that the oil lines that go from the pump to the motor dry up and shrink over time. They eventually fall off and then dry up the motor. 

Some owners have also cited that the carburetor (which mixes air and gas before it goes into the engine) floods easily. 

Additionally, people have had trouble reaching fast top speeds in the XL 1200, as most people claim they can’t go faster than 50 mph. 

How much does the Yamaha 1200 XL cost

The Yamaha 1200XL usually costs anywhere between $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the condition.

Should I buy a Yamaha 1200 XL

I do not recommend buying a Yamaha 1200 XL, as it is now outdated and is known for having engine problems.

It has now been almost 25 years since the 1200 XL was released, and it is known for having bad wear and tear on its engine. If you want a jet ski that is good for tow sports and tubing, you should check out my article on the best jet skis for towing a tube.

I would only recommend buying a 1200 XL if you are an experienced jet ski mechanic and want to have a fun project. Even then it still might not be worth it, because the cost to replace the necessary parts might cost over $1,000. 

Things to know when buying a Yamaha 1200 XL

For starters, you should never buy a Yamaha 1200 XL without first taking it on a water test. I recommend riding it for at least 30 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stall out and is able to hold its gas. 

I also recommend that you do a compression test on the engine in order to check the cylinders. This will help tell you how efficient the engine is operating. 

One of the biggest issues with the 1200 XL is that the power valves frequently drop into the cylinder. In order to avoid this, I would suggest buying some wave eater clips. 

Lastly, if you have the money to do so, you might want to consider buying a new carburetor, especially if it hasn’t been replaced in years. If you are not able to replace the carburetor, you should at least give it a thorough clean. 

Let us know what you think in the comments section down below.

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