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1997-2000 Yamaha GP1200 Specs and Review [Video]

1997-2000 Yamaha GP1200 Specs and Review [Video]

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 specs and compare these WaveRunners to the other GP models!

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 GP1200 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the most important specs of the 1997 Yamaha GP1200.

Yamaha GP1200 Engine Specs

1997 Yamaha GP1200Engine Specs
Number of cylinders3
Displacement1131 cm³ (69 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke84 × 68 mm (3.31 × 2.68 in)
Compression Ratio6:1
Intake SystemReed valve
Carburetor TypeMikuni BN44
Number of Carburetors3
Lubrication SystemOil injection
Cooling SystemWater-Cooled
Starting SystemElectric
Ignition SystemDigital CDI
Ignition Timing18 BTDC ~ 24 BTDC
Spark Plugs TypeNGK BR8HS
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Lighting coil6~8 A @ 6500 r/min

Yamaha GP1200 Drive System

1997 Yamaha GP1200Drive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise (Rear view)
TransmissionDirect drive from engine
Jet thrust nozzle angle23° +/- 1°
Trim nozzle angle0 +/- 12°
Trim systemManual 5 positions
Reverse systemN/A

Yamaha GP1200 Performance

1997 Yamaha GP1200Performance
Maximum Output135 HP (99.3 kW) @ 6750 r/min
Maximum Fuel Consumption14.0 US gal/h (53 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle)1.0 hr.

Yamaha GP1200 Dimensions

1997 Yamaha GP1200Dimensions
Overall Length112.6 in (2,860 mm)
Overall Width44.1 in (1,120 mm)
Overall Height38.2 in (970 mm)
Dry Weight525 lb (238 kg)
Maximum people onboard2

Yamaha GP1200 Fuel and Oil

1997 Yamaha GP1200Fuel and Oil
Recommended fuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum fuel rating86 PON / 90 RON
Recommended engine oil2-stroke outboard motor oil
Fuel/Oil mixing ratio (WOT)50:1
Fuel tank capacity13.2 US gal (50 L)
Reverse capacity2.32 US gal (8.8 L)
Oil tank capacity1.06 US gal (4 L)
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Yamaha GP WaveRunner Evolution

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
GP1800R HO20171800.33
GP1800R SVHO20172500.24
The evolution of Yamaha GP seriesIt’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 vs. GP1200R Comparison Chart

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
Engine stroke22
Fuel capacity (gal)13.215.9
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
Length (in)112.6112.6112.6115.4115.4115.4131.9131.9
Width (in)
Height (in)
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
Engine stroke22222244
Fuel capacity (gal)
Load Capacity (lb)352352352353353353nana

Yamaha GP1200 For Sale

The GP1200 was 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

Yamaha GP1200 Prices

When it comes to Yamaha GP1200 prices, they typically cost around $1,500-$3,500 depending on the condition. 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.

Are Yamaha GP1200 Still Worth Buying?

Yamaha GP1200s 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.


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.

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.

The 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.


As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the Yamaha GP1200:

What is a Yamaha GP1200?

The GP1200 was a 2-stroke race WaveRunner.

When did the Yamaha GP1200 Come Out?

The Yamaha GP1200 was revealed in 1997.

What Years Did Yamaha Make the GP1200?

Yamaha manufactured the GP1200 from 1997 through 2000 and replaced for the GP1200R in 2001.

What Size was a Yamaha GP1200?

The Yamaha GP1200 was 112.6 inches long, 44.1 inches wide, and 38.2 inches high.

How Much Did a Yamaha GP1200 Weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha GP1200 was 525 pounds (1997 model).

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha GP1200?

The Yamaha GP1200 was rated for two riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha GP1200?

The Yamaha GP1200 had a 2-stroke, 1131cc, twin-cylinder, power-valved 1200 Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha GP1200 Supercharged?

The Yamaha GP1200 utilized a naturally aspirated engine.

Was the Yamaha GP1200 a 2-stroke?

Yes, the Yamaha GP1200 had a 2-stroke, triple-cylinder engine.

Was the Yamaha GP1200 Fuel Injected?

No, the Yamaha GP1200 featured three Mikuni BN44 carburetors.

How Much Horsepower Did a Yamaha GP1200 Have?

The Yamaha GP1200 delivered 135hp at 6750 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha GP1200 Hold?

The Yamaha GP1200 featured an oil injection system featuring a 1.06-gallon oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha GP1200 Hold?

The Yamaha GP1200 was equipped with a 13.2-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Gas Did a Yamaha GP1200 Use?

The maximum fuel economy of the Yamaha GP1200 was 14 gph at WOT.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha GP1200?

The claimed cruising range of the Yamaha GP1200 was 1.0 hours at full speed.

How Fast Did a Yamaha GP1200 Go?

The top speed of a GP1200 was about 63-65 mph was out of the box.

Could the Yamaha GP1200 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Due to its 2-seater saddle, the GP1200 could not be used for towing in most states.

Did the Yamaha GP1200 Have a Trim?

The GP1200 was designed with a 5-position manual trim system.

Did the Yamaha GP1200 Have a Reverse or Brake?       

The GP1200 came without a brake and reverse system.