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2001-2005 Yamaha GP 800R Review and Specs [Video]

2001-2005 Yamaha GP 800R Review and Specs [Video]

The 2001-2005 GP 800R was an upgraded version of the proven 1998-2000 GP 800. The 800R inherited its 2-stroke, power-valved, 784cc, 120hp, “800” engine from its predecessor, but was built on the larger, second-generation GP hull. This model was also available with the more powerful 1200 engine option under the name of GP 1200R.

 If you want to find out more about this classic 2-stroke Yamaha PWC, you’ve come to the right place.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha GP 800R review!

Yamaha GP 800R Review

The Yamaha GP Series

Yamaha launched its performance GP line with the introduction of the GP 760 and the more powerful GP 1200.

In the following year, the family expanded with the midrange GP 800.

In 2001, the 760 was discontinued but the other two models were upgraded to the GP 800R and GP 1200R, respectively.

In summary, the list of production GP WaveRunners was as follows:

Let’s talk about the midrange GP 800R in detail!

Yamaha GP 800R Hull and Top Deck

The early 1997-2000 Yamaha GPs were built on the race-inspired, first-generation GP hull.

This platform was a close relative of the 3-seater XL platform, but it was noticeably lighter and smaller. The GP and XL series had a very similar top deck design, which made these models easy to confuse with one another.

While XLs were built on a larger, deep-V hull, GPs enjoyed a semi-V platform, which was upgraded for the 2001 model year.

This means that the GP 800R and GP 1200R shared the same, second-generation platform, which was also known as the “GPR hull.”

In terms of dimensions, the shell measured 115.4 inches in length, 45.3 inches in width, and 40.2 inches in height.

Compared to the first-generation GP hull, it was 2.8 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, and 2 inches higher.

The weight of the GP 800R also increased from 491 to 591 pounds.

Due to this significant size and weight increase, the 800R was far less nimble and agile than the outdated 800.

Unfortunately, it also became slightly slower, but in return it was much more stable and less prone to porpoising.

The larger body offered greater deck space and capacities as well. Fuel capacity increased from 13.2 to 15.9 gallons, and oil capacity grew from 1.06 to 1.45 gallons.

The storage units included a standard 4.2-gallon front storage, an under-seat storage bin, and a 0.56-gallon glovebox.

Yamaha GP 800R Engine

Unlike the hull, the engine of the GP 800R was carried over from the GP 800 without any noticeable changes.

The power source was a 2-stroke, 754cc, twin-carb, twin-cylinder, power-valved Yamaha marine engine rated at 120hp.

This engine was designed with many advanced technologies, including:

  • Digital CDI ignition
  • Power valve exhaust system
  • Electric start
  • Twin Mikuni BN44 carbs
  • Oil injection system
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • NGK BR8ES spark plugs

Unlike older Yamaha PWC engines, the 800 was designed with the innovative powervalve system, which was intended to vary the opening of the exhaust ports.

Non-powervalved 2-stroke engines wasted a great amount of fuel through their exhaust ports when the pistons were in the bottom position. This is where the power valves came into play; they not only prevented this loss but also improved engine power.

As a comparison, predecessor non-powervalved 760 engines delivered 90hp, while the powervalved 800 was already rated at 120hp (even though its cylinder volume was only 5 percent larger)!

Unfortunately, power valves added complexity to the engine and were prone to loosening and falling into the cylinders. Due to these issues, the 800 was one of the least reliable Yamaha PWC engines during the 2-stroke era.

Regarding the propulsion system, the 800R was propelled by an axial-flow single-stage jet pump.

It enjoyed a stainless-steel impeller and manual trim but lacked the manual reverse system that came standard on 3-seater models.

Yamaha GP 800R Top Speed and Performance

Even though the GP 800R was somewhat slower than the original 800, it still offered a remarkable performance. The top speed of the ski was 53-54 mph out of the box, while its 1200cc variant topped out at 56-60 mph.

The claimed fuel economy of the GP 800R was 12.9 gph at full speed, so its 15.9-gallon fuel tank ensured 1.2 hours of riding time.

Of course, this could be significantly increased if you avoided being hard on the throttle.

As we’ve discussed, the 800R was more stable and less agile than its predecessor. Yet, riding it was still a lot of fun, which is why you can still see many of them on the water nowadays.

Thanks to its great performance and sporty design, it became a common choice of performance-minded riders but never gained as much popularity as the 1200cc variant.

Yamaha GP 800R Features

The Yamaha GP 800R came standard with many innovative features, which were as follows:

  • Front storage compartment (4.2 US gal)
  • Glovebox (0.56 US gal)
  • 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 800R was also designed with a multifunction information center, which had the following functions:

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

Yamaha GP 800R Problems

Let’s face it, the 800 and the 800R were the least reliable WaveRunners in the 2-stroke GP series. Its twin-cylinder engine had significantly more problems than their 760, 1200, and 1300 brothers.

There’s no question that the most common problem of the GP 800R was its powervalve malfunctions.

These exhaust valves easily loosened over time and fell into the cylinders, causing catastrophic engine damage.

Fortunately, these issues could be prevented by installing aftermarket clips on the valves, which effectively held them in place.

It’s also good to know that the GP 800R came without a reverse bucket or tow eye.

The latter was an easy fix; many owners installed an aftermarket ski tow eye on the rear side of the deck, while others simply hooked the tow rope onto the rear grab handle. Believe it or not, this worked surprisingly well!

Installing a reverse on a GP 800R was also possible since this ski shared its pump with the XL 800. Therefore, the reverse bucket of the XL could be retrofitted onto the GP with some DIY work.

Another problem that the ski had had to do with its SMC hull and top deck, which were harder to repair than standard fiberglass platforms.

Last but not least, we have to mention the oil injection system malfunctions of the 800 engine, which often caused an engine seizure.

As the oil lines of this system aged, they were prone to cracking or falling off, leaving the engine without lubrication.

Because of this, the oil system of this ski had to be inspected and maintained regularly, but the best practice was to convert the engine to premix.

Yamaha GP 800R Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the most important specs of the 2001 Yamaha GP 800R.

Yamaha GP 800R Engine Specs

2001 Yamaha GP 800REngine Specs
Number of cylinders2
Displacement784 cm³ (47.84 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke80 × 78 mm (3.15 × 3.07 in)
Compression Ratio6.6:1
Lubrication SystemVariable oil injection
Cooling SystemWater-Cooled
Starting SystemElectric starter
Ignition SystemDigital CDI
Spark Plug Gap0.7 - 0.8 mm (0.028 - 0.031 in)
Spark Plugs TypeNGK BR8ES
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Charging systemFlywheel magneto

Yamaha GP 800R Drive System

2001 Yamaha GP 800RDrive 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

Yamaha GP 800R Performance

2001 Yamaha GP 800RPerformance
Maximum Output120 HP (88.2 kW) @ 7,000 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption12.9 US gal/h (49 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle)1.2 hours
Trolling speed1,250-1,350 RPM

Yamaha GP 800R Dimensions

2001 Yamaha GP 800RDimensions
Overall Length115.4 in (2,930 mm)
Overall Width45.3 in (1,150 mm)
Overall Height40.2 in (1,020 mm)
Dry Weight591 lb (268 kg)
Maximum people onboard2
Maximum load capacity353 lb (160 kg)

Yamaha GP 800R Fuel and Oil

2001 Yamaha GP 800RFuel 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 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 800R:

What is a Yamaha GP 800R?

The GP 800R was a high-performance 2-stroke WaveRunner built on the second-generation GP hull.

When did the Yamaha GP 800R Come Out?

The Yamaha GP 800R debuted in 2001.

What Years Did Yamaha Make the GP 800R?

Yamaha marketed the GP 800R from 2001 through 2005.

What Size was a Yamaha GP 800R?

The Yamaha GP 800R measured 115.4 inches in length, 45.3 inches in width, and 40.2 inches in height.

How Much Did a Yamaha GP 800R Weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha GP 800R was 591 pounds (2001 model).

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha GP 800R?

The Yamaha GP 800R was rated for two riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha GP 800R?

The Yamaha GP 800R had a 2-stroke, 784cc, twin-cylinder, power-valved Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha GP 800R Supercharged?

The Yamaha GP 800R utilized a naturally aspirated engine.

Was the Yamaha GP 800R a 2-stroke?

Yes, the Yamaha GP 800R was powered by a 2-stroke engine.

Was the Yamaha GP 800R Fuel Injected?

No, the Yamaha GP 800R featured two Mikuni BN44 carburetors.

How Much Horsepower Did a Yamaha GP 800R Have?

The Yamaha GP 800R delivered 120hp at 7,000 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha GP 800R Hold?

The Yamaha GP 800R featured an oil injection system featuring a 1.45-gallon oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha GP 800R Hold?

The Yamaha GP 800R was equipped with a 15.9-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Gas Did a Yamaha GP 800R Use?

The fuel economy of the Yamaha GP 800R was 12.9 gph at full throttle.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha GP 800R?

The cruising range of the Yamaha GP 800R was 1.2 hours at WOT.

How Fast Did a Yamaha GP 800R Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha GP 800R was about 55 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the Yamaha GP 800R Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Due to its 2-seater saddle, the GP 800R could not be used for tow sports.

Did the Yamaha GP 800R Have a Trim?              

The Yamaha GP 800R was designed with a 5-position manual trim system.

Did the Yamaha GP 800R Have a Reverse?      

The Yamaha GP 800R came without a reverse system.

Did the Yamaha GP 800R Have a Brake?           

The Yamaha GP 800R was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Yamaha GP 800R Cost?

The asking price of a used Yamaha GP 800R varies between $1,500 and $4,000 depending on the year and its condition.