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2001-2002 Yamaha GP 1200R Review and Specs [Video]

2001-2002 Yamaha GP 1200R Review and Specs [Video]

The 2001-2002 GP 1200R was the triple-cylinder version of the more affordable GP 800R. While the latter featured a 784cc, 120hp twin engine, the 1200R housed an 1176cc+ big-bore” triple rated at 155hp. This model was phased out by the more advanced GP 1300R in 2003.

If you want to find out more about this 2-stroke classic WaveRunner, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha GP 1200R review!

Yamaha GP 1200R Review

The Yamaha GP Series

The history of the iconic Yamaha GP line started in 1997 with the innovative GP 760 and the GP 1200, which were followed by the GP 800 in 1998.

Right after the Millennium, the 760 was dropped while the 800 and the 1200 were upgraded with a new hull.

These second-generation GP WaveRunners were labeled GP 800R and GP 1200R, respectively. The latter was replaced by the legendary GP 1300R, which remained in production through 2008.

In summary, the list of 2-stroke Yamaha GP WaveRunners included:

Let’s talk about the top-of-the-line GP 1200R in detail!

Yamaha GP 1200R Hull and Top Deck

As a rule of thumb, each 1997-2000 Yamaha GP utilized the same, first-generation GP hull. (These models included the GP 760, 800, and 1200.)

This race-intended platform was made of SMC and featured a semi-V design. Compared to the 3-seater deep-V XL hull this one was smaller, lighter, and faster.

For the 2001 model year, Yamaha redesigned the GP series, which returned with the second-generation “GPR hull.”

As its name suggests (R stands for Racing), it was designed with PWC competition in mind.

This platform was reserved for the new GP 800R and GP 1200R, which were replacements for the GP 800 and GP 1200, respectively. Except for their motor mounts, the shells of these skis were completely identical.

In terms of specifications, this second-generation GP hull measured 115.4 inches in length, 45.3 inches in width, and 40.2 inches in height. In comparison, it was 2.8 inches longer and 1.2 inches wider than its first-generation sibling.

Thanks to the new platform, the revamped “GPRs” were not only larger but significantly heavier as well.

For example, the dry weight of the 1200 model increased from 525 to 675 pounds, which meant a weight gain of 150 pounds.

The increased dimensions and weight translated to higher stability, better predictability, and smoother running. (First-generation GPs were more prone to porpoising.)

In return, the 1200 was slightly less agile and nimble.

Regarding capacities, the new shell housed a 15.9-gallon fuel cell and a 1.45-gallon oil reservoir.

There were three separate storage units in the ski: an enlarged glovebox, a bow storage, and seat storage.

The latter was mounted beneath the rear portion of the seat.

Under the hood, you could find the big-bore configuration of the proven 2-stroke 1200 engine.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about this power mill in detail!

Yamaha GP 1200R Engine

Unlike the GP 800R, which inherited its 784cc engine from the GP 800, the GP 1200R was released with an upgraded power source.

This engine wasn’t a completely new design but rather a big-bore configuration of the 1131cc, 135hp twin engine of the GP 1200. (This is why the 1200R was often referred to as the “big-bore GP 1200.”)

Displacing at 1176cc, this 2-stroke, triple-carbed, powervalved triple-cylinder Yamaha marine engine generated 155hp at 7000 RPM.

This engine came with many innovative technologies, including:

  • Digital CDI ignition
  • Reed valve intake system
  • Power valve exhaust system
  • Electric start
  • Triple Mikuni BN44 carburetors
  • Variable oil injection system
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • NGK BR8ES-11 spark plugs

Just like its 800 sibling, the 1200 engine also came standard with the infamous power valves.

These exhaust valves were intended to save fuel and increase power, but they added complexity to the engine and produced various malfunctions.

The propulsion system of the GP 1200R was an industry-standard axial-flow single-stage PWC pump.

It was designed with manual trim and a three-blade, stainless-steel impeller featuring a 13.5 pitch angle.

Just like any other 2-stroke Yamaha GP WaveRunner, the 1200R also lacked a reverse system, which was a big disadvantage compared to competitor models.

Yamaha GP 1200R Performance

The top speed of the GP 1200R was 63-65 mph out of the crate, which was significantly more than the performance of the small-bore GP 1200. This speed could be increased with aftermarket mods like a triple-piped exhaust system or high-performance pump internals.

There are rumors that Riva Racing built a heavily-modified GP 1200R that hit 80+ mph on radar. Not bad from a 2-stroke 1200cc PWC!

The fuel economy of a stock 1200R was 16.9 gph at full throttle. Considering its 15.9-gallon fuel capacity, the cruising range of the ski was 1.1 hours.

In terms of riding experience, this model offered more stability and predictability than its predecessor but had a less agile attitude.

Despite this, its great power and torque made the 1200R the choice for racers and weekend warriors.

After two short years of production, this model was replaced by the more advanced GP 1300R in 2003.

Yamaha GP 1200R Features

The Yamaha GP 1200R came standard with many innovative features, which were as follows:

  • Front storage compartment
  • Glovebox
  • Seat storage compartment
  • Fire extinguisher container
  • Manual trim
  • Deck mats
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Adjustable rearview mirrors
  • Engine cut-off switch
  • Engine shut-off cord (safety lanyard)
  • Programmable security system
  • Adjustable steering
  • Drain plugs
  • Rope holes
  • Rear grab handle
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Yamaha Adjustable Sponsons (Y.A.S.)
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Cooling water pilot outlet
  • Visibility spout

The GP 1200R enjoyed an innovative multifunction information center that gave the rider a quick read on a lot of useful riding data, including:

  • Speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Fuel meter
  • Hout meter
  • Warning light
  • Oil warning indicator
  • Engine overheat warning indicator
  • Fuel warning indicator

Yamaha GP 1200R Problems

Unfortunately, the GP 1200R was not as reliable as its non-powervalved relatives. Yet, it was still more durable and dependable than its notorious 800/800R variants.

In a nutshell, the most common problems of the GP 1200R WaveRunner were as follows:

  • Powervalve malfunctions: The exhaust valves on the 1200R Yamaha marine engines easily loosened and fell into the engine. As one may expect, a valve in the cylinder caused severe engine damage. This issue could be prevented by installing special aftermarket clips on the valves.
  • Lubrication issues: The aging oil lines of the 1200R often cracked or fell off leaving the engine without lubrication. To prevent this malfunction, best practice was to convert the engine to premix.
  • Hard-to-repair SMC hull: SMC was much harder to fix than standard fiberglass.
  • Lack of reverse and a ski tow eye: Unlike the 3-seater XLs, 2-seater GPs were designed without a ski tow eye or a reverse system.

Yamaha GP 1200R Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the most important specs of the 2001 Yamaha GP 1200R.

Yamaha GP 1200R Engine Specs

2001 Yamaha GP 1200REngine Specs
Number of cylinders3
Displacement1176 cm³ (71.74 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke80 × 78 mm (3.15 × 3.07 in)
Compression Ratio5.9:1
Intake systemReed valve
CarburetorMikuni BN44 x 3
Lubrication SystemVariable oil injection
Cooling SystemWater-Cooled
Starting SystemElectric starter
Ignition SystemDigital CDI
Ignition Timing18 BTDC ~ 24 BTDC
Spark Plugs TypeNGK BR8ES-11
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Lighting coil9~11 A @ 6000 r/min

Yamaha GP 1200R Drive System

2001 Yamaha GP 1200RDrive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise (Rear view)
TransmissionDirect drive from engine
Jet thrust nozzle angle23° + 23°
Trim nozzle angle-5, 0, 5, 10, 15
Trim systemManual 5 positions

Yamaha GP 1200R Performance

2001 Yamaha GP 1200RPerformance
Maximum Output155 HP (114.0 kW) @ 7000 r/min
Maximum Fuel Consumption16.9 US gal/h (64 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle)1.1 hours

Yamaha GP 1200R Dimensions

2001 Yamaha GP 1200RDimensions
Overall Length115.4 in (2,930 mm)
Overall Width45.3 in (1,150 mm)
Overall Height40.2 in (1,020 mm)
Dry Weight675 lb (306 kg)
Maximum people onboard2

Yamaha GP 1200R Fuel and Oil

2001 Yamaha GP 1200RFuel and Oil
Recommended fuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum fuel rating86 PON / 90 RON
Recommended engine oilYamalube 2-W or equivalent NMMA-certified TC-W3 marine oil
Fuel/Oil mixing ratio (WOT)30:1
Fuel tank capacity15.9 US gal (60 L)
Reverse capacity2.6 US gal (10 L)
Oil tank capacity1.45 US gal (5.5 L)

These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.


As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the Yamaha GP 1200R:

What is a Yamaha GP 1200R?

The GP 1200R was a flagship high-performance 2-stroke WaveRunner.

When did the Yamaha GP 1200R Come Out?

The Yamaha GP 1200R debuted in 2001.

What Years Did Yamaha Make the GP 1200R?

Yamaha marketed the GP 1200R from 2001 through 2002.

What Size was a Yamaha GP 1200R?

The Yamaha GP 1200R was 115.4 inches long, 45.3 inches wide, and 40.2 inches high.

How Much Did a Yamaha GP 1200R Weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha GP 1200R was 675 pounds (2001 model).

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha GP 1200R?

The Yamaha GP 1200R was rated for two riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha GP 1200R?

The Yamaha GP 1200R had a 2-stroke, 1176cc, twin-cylinder, power-valved, “big-bore” 1200 Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha GP 1200R Supercharged?

The Yamaha GP 1200R utilized a naturally aspirated engine.

Was the Yamaha GP 1200R a 2-stroke?

Yes, the Yamaha GP 1200R had a 2-stroke, triple-cylinder engine.

Was the Yamaha GP 1200R Fuel Injected?

No, the Yamaha GP 1200R featured three Mikuni BN44 carburetors.

How Much Horsepower Did a Yamaha GP 1200R Have?

The Yamaha GP 1200R delivered 155hp at 7,000 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha GP 1200R Hold?

The Yamaha GP 1200R featured an oil injection system featuring a 1.45-gallon oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha GP 1200R Hold?

The Yamaha GP 1200R was equipped with a 15.9-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Gas Did a Yamaha GP 1200R Use?

The fuel economy of the Yamaha GP 1200R was 16.9 gph at WOT.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha GP 1200R?

The cruising range of the Yamaha GP 1200R was 1.1 hours at WOT.

How Fast Did a Yamaha GP 1200R Go?

The top speed of a GP 1200R was about 63-65 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the Yamaha GP 1200R Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Due to its 2-seater saddle, the GP 1200R could not be used for tow sports.

Did the Yamaha GP 1200R Have a Trim?            

The GP 1200R was designed with a 5-position manual trim system.

Did the Yamaha GP 1200R Have a Reverse?      

The GP 1200R came without a reverse system.

Did the Yamaha GP 1200R Have a Brake?          

The Yamaha GP 1200R was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Yamaha GP 1200R Cost?

The asking price of a used Yamaha GP 1200R varies between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the year and its condition.