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Yamaha GP1200 For Sale: Are They Still Worth Buying?

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The Yamaha GP1200 is among the most famous WaveRunners ever built.

The success story of the GP series began with this model, and continues to this day.

Surprisingly, although they haven’t been in production for a long time, many of them are still running on the water! Just like the WaveBlaster and the legendary Sea-Doo XP, the GP1200 also has a massive fan base.

If you’re looking to buy a Yamaha GP1200 for sale, you are in the right place.

We, at JetDrift, have compiled the most important facts and specs into this Yamaha GP1200 review!
Additionally, you will also learn where you can still find these amazing vintage WaveRunners.

If you are interested in other GP models, this GP1300R review may also interest you.

Before you jump into a purchase, it would be wise to become familiar with the disadvantages of owning these vintage 2-stroke WaveRunners.

Yamaha GP1200 Review

The GP1200 was introduced in 1997, and immediately gained many fans. It replaced the high-performance but very unpredictable WaveRaider 1100.

It was a runabout “sit-down” type model with outstanding performance and a very responsive throttle. At that time, this WaveRunner was equipped the industry’s most powerful engine!

Besides the GP1200, Yamaha released its smaller brother, the GP760. Both of these models were manufactured with the same hull, but with different engines.

All GP models offer legal rides for 2 riders with a total weight capacity of 352 pounds. But considering the hull’s stability and dimensions, the GP is really considered a 1-person PWC.

One drawback of the seat design is that it’s quite wide especially for smaller riders.

The GP1200 is powerful enough to pull a skier, however, in most states tow sports are not legal with a 2-seater PWC.

The GP1200 was not just powerful, but very easy to control thanks to the semi-V hull with a sharp keel. This model was also equipped with new race-inspired adjustable sponsons. This feature allows you to change the riding attributes based on your skills and needs.

Sponsons are plastic extenders mounted on the side of the hull that can be lowered or raised easily and quickly. If you set them down fully, you can expect to get the most precise handling.

The GP1200 was also equipped with the Quick Shift Trim System (QSTS). Simply put, this was an adjustable trim system that can be controlled with the left-hand grip.

With this system you can raise or lower the bow of the WaveRunner, depending on its load and the environmental conditions. It’s a great feature to reduce porpoising, which the GP was prone to doing.

Yamaha’s QSTS trim system worked better and faster than their competitors’ electric trim systems.

But unfortunately, even this trim system could not completely eliminate the porpoising, which remained one of the biggest drawbacks of the GP series.

Overall, compared to the WaveRider 1000, the GP had much better handling and was more predictable in all water conditions.

The GP series was also equipped with Yamaha’s exclusive security system to prevent unauthorized starts.

Another great feature was the new informative dashboard. It displayed a lot of important info during your rides, which include the RPMs, speed, fuel level, time and distance, warnings, and many others.

The GPs were also equipped with adjustable mirrors, a 13.2-gallon gas tank, and a 11.4-gallon storage compartment.

But let’s face it, it’s not these accessories that made the GP series so popular!

Instead, it was the amazing “racing style” characteristic! The GP was fun to ride, but still stable enough for the average user.

And most importantly, they were very reliable and durable.

In 2000, the new GP1200R was introduced, which had a bigger hull and a more powerful engine. This model was available for 3 years before the GP1300R hit the market.

Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. Let’s drill into the Yamaha GP1200 & GP1200R specs and compare these WaveRunners to the other GP models!

Yamaha GP1200 Specs

When it comes to the Yamaha GP series, the variety of models can be confusing.

This is no accident, since there have been so many different models released over the years.  It’s safe to say that there have been 9 main GP WaveRunner so far, all different!

For better clarity, we’ve compiled all of these models into one chart:

ModelYearHPPower to weight ratio
GP7601997900.19
GP120019971350.26
GP80019981200.24
GP800R20021200.20
GP1200R20001550.23
GP1300R20031650.25
GP1300R20051700.26
GP1800R HO20171800.33
GP1800R SVHO20172500.24
The evolution of Yamaha GP series

The evolution of Yamaha GP series

It’s good to know that the GP1800R HO was marketed as VXR in the earlier years. As you can see, the performance of the GP series has increased significantly over the years.

Let’s take a closer look at these numbers and the engines as well!

Yamaha GP1200 Top Speed and Performance

Regarding the GP1200 engine, it’s a 1.131cc, 3-cylinder, 2-stroke Yamaha marine engine. Thanks to this power source, the Yamaha GP1200 offers an amazing 135HP.

Taking into account today’s PWCs horsepower ratings, this performance doesn’t seem outstanding at all. But don’t forget that the GP1200 was manufactured around the early 2000s!

And there is another factor that you shouldn’t overlook, the power to weight ratio (PWR). This number indicates how much horsepower the WaveRunner has per pound.

If we calculate the GP1200 power to weight ratio, it’s no less than 0.26 (135 HP/ 525 pounds), which means this WaveRunner has 0.26HP per each pound.

If we compare it to the newest non-supercharged GP1800R HO, we are surprised to find that it has a worse power to weight ratio! How is this possible?

This is because even if the new GP offers an amazing 180HP, it is quite heavy at 739 pounds. Finally, this results in a 0.24 (HP/pounds) ratio.

That’s why the GP1200 and many other aged 2-stroke WaveRunners are so popular! They are quick, lively, and more lightweight compared to the flagship models.

When it comes to top speed, the GP1200 can easily hit 56-58 mph under ideal weather conditions.

But unfortunately, due to its thirsty 2-stroke engine, the Yamaha GP1200’s fuel consumption is around 17 gallons per hour at full speed.

If you ride it hard, you can dry its 15.9-gallon fuel tank in under an hour.

Yamaha GP1200R Review

The original GP1200 was in production for three years, from 2000 to 2002.

In 2003, Yamaha introduced the GP1200R, which had a completely new shape.

Are you wondering what the main differences are between the GP1200 and the GP1200R?

First, the hull and the top deck was completely redesigned from scratch. The new design was fresh, modern and more stylish compared to its predecessor.

The GP1200R got a bigger hull, which was around 3 inches longer and one inch wider. The overall height also increased from 38.2 to 40.2 inches.

Engine?

The brand new body also deserved a new power source of course. So Yamaha replaced the engine with a more powerful, 1.176cc, 3-cylinder, 2-stroke version.

Thanks to the additional displacement, the GP1200R horsepower jumped up to a whopping 155HP!

But because of the bigger hull and new engine the weight also increased significantly. This means the GP1200R’s weight was no less than 675 pounds, which was 150 pounds more compared to the GP1200.

Finally, this weight gain led to a slightly worse power to weight ratio! (GP1200:0.26 vs. GP1200R: 0.25)

When it comes to the GP1200R’s fuel consumption, we can see that this WaveRunner became thirstier. According to the owner’s manual, a stock GP1200R can burn up to 16.9 gallons every hour!

But since the fuel tank capacity was also increased to 15.9 gallons, you can expect at least 1 hour of riding on one tank of gas.

All these numbers can be confusing, especially if you are not a performance-minded buyer.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled all of these specs into one chart.  Let’s compare them head-to- head!

Yamaha GP1200 vs. GP1200R Comparison Chart

SpecsGP1200GP1200R
Year19972000
Length (in)112.6115.4
Width (in)44.145.3
Height (in)38.240.2
Dry Weight (lb)525675
Performance (HP)135155
Power-to-weight ratio0,260,23
Displacement (cc)1.1311.176
Top speed (mph)5865
Max fuel consumption (gal/h)1416.9
Cylinders33
Engine stroke22
Fuel capacity (gal)13.215.9
Riders22
Load Capacity (lb)352353
Cruising Range (hr)1.11.1

Beyond the GP1200, the other GP models also won’t fail when it comes to performance.

For a better comparison, we’ve done the research and collected all GP WaveRunners along with their specs into one chart.

SpecsGP760GP800GP1200GP1200RGP1300RGP1300RGP1800R HOGP1800R SVHO
Year19971998199720002003200520172017
Length (in)112.6112.6112.6115.4115.4115.4131.9131.9
Width (in)44.144.144.145.345.345.34848
Height (in)38.238.238.240.240.240.246.946.9
Dry Weight (lb)470498525675653655739769
Performance (HP)90120135155165170180250
Power-to-weight ratio0,190,240,260,230,250,260,240,33
Displacement (cc)7547841.1311.1761.2971.2971.8121.812
Top speed (mph)5455586567696767
Max fuel consumption (gal/h)1012.91416.916.615.1nana
Cylinders22333344
Engine stroke22222244
Fuel capacity (gal)13.213.213.215.915.915.918.518.5
Riders22222233
Load Capacity (lb)352352352353353353nana

Yamaha GP1200 For Sale

The GP1200 and 1200R were in production from 1997 to 2002, but to be more precise:

  • GP760: 1997-1999
  • GP1200: 1997-1999
  • GP800: 1998-2001
  • GP1200R: 2000-2002
  • GP800R: 2002-2005
  • GP1300R: 2003-2008

This means that all of them are pretty aged and available only on the used market.

If you are looking for a GP1200 for sale, you probably want to know where you can find one.

The good news is that this model is so popular that you can find many GP1200 fan groups on Facebook or online forums. Not only can you find good buys there, but a lot of valuable info on this model as well.

Your other option is the online ad sites, as you can find many GP1200 for sale or Craigslist, PWC Trader or Boats.com.

Yamaha GP1200 Prices

When it comes to Yamaha GP1200 prices, they typically cost around $1,500-$3,500 depending on the condition. The GP1200R prices are significantly higher, as they are advertised from $2,500 up to $6,000. Yes, it can be shocking that the asking price of a 20-year-old WaveRunner is almost the same as a brand new entry-level model!

It seems the old GPs are like a fine wine. As 2-stroke sit-down PWCs are not manufactured anymore, there will be fewer and fewer of them as time goes on.

Moreover, many of these GP1200s are heavily modified for better performance and handling.

Since aftermarket performance parts are not cheap, these modifications are usually reflected in the asking prices.

Conclusion – Are Yamaha GP1200 Still Worth Buying?

Yamaha GP1200s and GP1200Rs are amazing machines, that’s why you see many of them still running on the water.

Just like the iconic Sea-Doo XP or Yamaha WaveBlaster, the GP WaveRunner also has a large fan base.

You may be wondering, is the GP1200 still worth buying? The answer is, it depends!

On one hand, these amazing crafts offer an unbeatable riding experience. They are lightweight and very small, especially when compared to today’s huge boat-like PWCs.

Moreover, if you are lucky you can even find a Yamaha GP1200 for sale with a rebuilt engine.

If the owner wants to sell it quickly, there is always a good chance of getting it at a bargain price.

Drawbacks?

It’s called “carb work.”

This means these 2-stroke PWCs generally require much more attention and care.

So, if you purchase one you have to be prepared to work on it. Typically, this means just cleaning and adjusting the carburetors, but many other mechanical and/or electrical errors can occur as well.

Unfortunately, the carburetors are a little difficult to access on the GP1200 and 1200R series.

If you lack mechanical skills, fixing these may soon become a pain. Keep this factor in mind before you make your final decision!

Another problem is that most of their engines are worn out and will likely have to be rebuilt soon.

Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you do an extensive inspection to find out which failures and repairs are to be expected.

Best practice is to have the jet ski thoroughly inspected by a dealership before you make your purchase!

If you find a GP in good condition, it’s also recommended that you don’t skip testing it out on the water. You may want to check the compression in the cylinders as well.

But if you are a beginner rider, it’s probably not a good idea to purchase a 2-stroke WaveRunner as your first craft.

We recommend that you choose a newer 4-stroke PWC with a non-supercharged engine.

Once you have some experience in riding and maintenance, you can consider switching it to a GP1200!

And finally, don’t forget that riding a GP is rather a solo activity.

If you are looking for a family-WaveRunner it would be best if you chose an XL1200, or a newer 3-seater PWC with a 4-stroke engine.

This is our short Yamaha GP1200 review. We hope you find it useful!

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