1999-2004 Yamaha SUV 1200 Specs and Review [Video]

Home/News/1999-2004 Yamaha SUV 1200 Specs and Review [Video]

The Yamaha SUV 1200 was one of the few 4-seater PWCs ever made. It was built on an extremely long hull which measured more than 12 feet in length. Powered by a 2-stroke, 1131cc, triple-cylinder engine the SUV 1200 delivered 135hp out of the box. Its main competitors were the Sea-Doo LRV and the Polaris Genesis 1200.

If you are considering buying a Yamaha SUV 1200, this post is for you. We at JetDrift have compiled the most important specs and information you need to know into this guide.

Yamaha SUV 1200 Review

Yamaha SUV 1200 was introduced in 1999 and got a lot of media attention, as it was the largest personal watercraft at that time!

This model was the culmination of a trend in which personal watercraft became larger and larger.

If you compare some current WaveRunners to the SUV 1200, the differences are significant.

The large and deep-V shaped hull makes this WaveRunner super stable, which is a great advantage especially on offshore PWC tours.

That’s why many anglers are looking for these vintage WaveRunners and ultimately choose them over boats!

You may be wondering: Is the Yamaha SUV 1200 the largest personal watercraft ever made?

The answer is surprisingly no! This is because Sea-Doo released the LRV to compete the SUV 1200. The LRV was not just longer, but also wider and heavier than the Yamaha.

You can discover and compare all of these watercrafts by the numbers in the chart below. Sadly, these 4-seater personal watercrafts have not been in production since the mid-2000s.

When it comes to the Yamaha SUV 1200 specs, you may be surprised to learn how big this WaveRunner is, as it’s not less than 151,6 inches long and nearly 60 inches wide.

Regarding capacities, thanks to the large hull the Yamaha SUV 1200 storage capacity is an amazing 117 gallons.

Beyond the reasonable-sized glove box and front storage, you can find two large storage compartments at the rear side of the hull.

You can find this type of storage exclusively on 4-seater PWCs, and as you can see, they are so spacious that they can accommodate fishing rods or even a waterski:

As you can assume, the large dimensions lead to a significantly higher dry weight, as the SUV 1200’s dry weight is no less than 816 pounds (net weight).

As this WaveRunner’s fuel capacity is 18.5 gallons and its weight limit is 660 pounds, you can expect the SUV 1200’s total weight to be in the range of a whopping 1400-1500 pounds with passengers!

Power source? Surprisingly, you can find a 2-stroke, 3-cylinder, 1131cc engine under the seat, which produces only 135 HP.

Nowadays 2-stroke jet skis are banned from many areas, which is why many SUV 1200 buyers and owners consider replacing the engine with a 4-stroke.

Although the engine replacement could be a hassle, it makes sense if you want to ride a 4-seater WaveRunner in these areas. Additionally, 4-stroke engines offer less noise, higher reliability and better gas mileage.

With the stock 2-stroke engine, you can expect the Yamaha SUV 1200 top speed to range from 45-50 mph.

Considering that many of today’s PWCs can easily hit the 67 mph range the SUV 1200’s performance doesn’t look outstanding. But let’s not forget that it’s a vintage 2-stroke WaveRunner with a huge hull, that was released in the early 2000s!

As far as convenience accessories, you can expect an adjustable handlebar and a large swim platform.

To reduce the noise, the SUV 1200 was released with a new sound suppression and exhaust resonator system, which made it 50% quieter than the competitor models. Sadly, it’s still much louder compared to any modern 4-stroke PWC.

Yamaha SUV 1200 For Sale

Where can you still find one?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 is an amazing personal watercraft, but this model line was canceled in 2004 after a couple of years of production. Ironically, after Yamaha stopped making these 4-seater WaveRunners, the demand for them began to rise.

This means that if you are looking for a Yamaha SUV 1200 for sale, your only chance is to buy an aged one. Beware that these vintage WaveRunners rarely appear on the second-hand market, so it’s not easy to find one, especially one in good condition.

If you are lucky, you can find some Yamaha SUV 1200 for sale on PWC Trader, Craigslist, or even eBay. Beyond its availability, you probably want to know what price to expect!

Yamaha SUV 1200 Prices

Speaking of Yamaha SUV 1200 price tags, they cost around $3,000-$6,000 depending on the age and condition. The oldest models from the early years will typically cost $3,000-$4,000, while the newer models are advertised in the $5,000-$6,000 price range.

As the SUV 1200’s original price with trailer was $8,999, we can say this WaveRunner holds its value very well! (But you can’t forget about inflation, of course.)

When shopping around, don’t forget to inquire about the details like engine rebuilds, modifications, and accessories, as these can all affect the price.

Is it still worth it to buy a Yamaha SUV 1200?

This is a typical question of many buyers, and the answer is that it depends.

On one hand, they are still much cheaper and easier to handle compared to a boat, and if you want to own a legal 4-seater WaveRunner, the SUV 1200 is one of your few options.

But on the other hand, the reliability and maintenance needs of an aged 2-stroke engine can be a hassle. Moreover, keep in mind that many service shops refuse to work on PWCs that are more than 10 years old!

If you’re considering other brands, you should take a look at the competitor models, the Sea-Doo LRV, and the Polaris Genesis.

Unfortunately, production on all of these models was stopped in the mid-2000. As you can only find aged models on the market be prepared that the condition they may be in varies wildly.

Here are some tips on what to look for in a used SUV 1200:

It’s highly recommended to check the engine compression to make sure it’s still in good condition. It’s never fun to start with an engine rebuild, so you may want to invest in a compression test gauge for $30 and check the engine. (The compression in each cylinder has to be the same, around 120 psi.)

Beyond the compression, inspect the whole engine compartment. A dirty and neglected engine is always a clue to the lack of proper maintenance and care.

You should also carefully check the hull and the pump. Make sure the impeller, intake grate, and driveshaft are not damaged.

For additional tips on what to check on a used PWC before you buy, don’t miss our step-by-step buying guide.

But if you are a beginner and don’t know what to look for, best practice is that you have a professional service shop check the craft over.

And finally, never miss the water test!

Fishing Rigged Yamaha SUV 1200

If you look at the market you can see that many Yamaha SUV 1200 are rigged for fishing, and with good reason.

The super stable hull and the huge storage compartments make the SUV 1200 a great fishing WaveRunner. Thanks to its large dimensions, you can expect much less water spray, which results in very dry rides even in choppy water.

If you are looking for a PWC for fishing, it’s a huge advantage if it’s already equipped with the necessary fishing accessories:

Yamaha SUV 1200 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve listed the most important specs of the 1999 Yamaha SUV 1200.

Yamaha SUV 1200 Engine Specs

1999 Yamaha SUV 1200Engine Specs
Number of cylinders3
Displacement 1131 cm³ (69 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke84 × 68 mm (3.31 × 2.68 in)
Compression Ratio6:0
Lubrication System Oil injection
Cooling SystemWater-Cooled
Starting System Electric
Ignition System Digital Ignition
Spark Plugs Type NGK BR8HS
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Spark Plug Gap6~7 mm (0.024~0.026 in)

Yamaha SUV 1200 Drive System

1999 Yamaha SUV 1200Drive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump Type Axial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise (Rear view)
TransmissionDirect drive from engine
Jet thrust nozzle angle23° +/- 1°

Yamaha SUV 1200 Performance

1999 Yamaha SUV 1200Performance
Maximum Output 135 HP (99.3 kW) @ 6750 r/min
Maximum Fuel Consumption 14.0 US gal/h (53 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle) 1.3 hr.

Yamaha SUV 1200 Dimensions

1999 Yamaha SUV 1200Dimensions
Overall Length 151.6 in (3,850 mm)
Overall Width 59.4 in (1,510 mm)
Overall Height 44.9 in (1,140 mm)
Dry Weight816 lb (238 kg)
Maximum people onboard2

Yamaha SUV 1200 Fuel and Oil

1999 Yamaha SUV 1200Fuel and Oil
Recommended fuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum octane ratingPON 86 / RON 90
Recommended engine oilYamalube 2-stroke outboard oil, or an eqvivalent TC-W3 certified outboard oil
Fuel tank capacity18.5 US gal (70 L)
Reverse capacity3.17 US gal (12 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 SUV 1200:

What is a Yamaha SUV 1200?

The SUV 1200 was a 2-stroke 4-seater WaveRunner.

When did the Yamaha SUV 1200 Come Out?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 was revealed in 1999.

What Years Did Yamaha Make the SUV 1200?

Yamaha marketed the SUV 1200 from 1999 through 2004.

What Size was a Yamaha SUV 1200?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 was 151.6 inches long, 59.4 inches wide, and 44.9 inches high.

How Much Did a Yamaha SUV 1200 Weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha SUV 1200 was 816 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha SUV 1200?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 was rated for four riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha SUV 1200?

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

Was the Yamaha SUV 1200 Supercharged?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 utilized a naturally aspirated engine.

Was the Yamaha SUV 1200 a 2-stroke?

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

Was the Yamaha SUV 1200 Fuel Injected?

No, the Yamaha SUV 1200 featured three Mikuni BN44 carburetors.

How Much Horsepower Did a Yamaha SUV 1200 Have?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 produced 135hp at 6750 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha SUV 1200 Hold?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 featured an oil injection system featuring a 1.45-gallon oil tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha SUV 1200 Hold?

The Yamaha SUV 1200 came standard with a 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Gas Did a Yamaha SUV 1200 Use?

The maximum fuel economy of the Yamaha SUV 1200 was 14 gph at WOT.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha SUV 1200?

The claimed cruising range of the Yamaha SUV 1200 was 1.3 hours at WOT.

How Fast Did a Yamaha SUV 1200 Go?

The top speed of a SUV 1200 was about 45-50 mph was out of the box.

Could the Yamaha SUV 1200 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its 4-seater saddle, the SUV 1200 could legally tow a wakeboarder or skier.

Did the Yamaha SUV 1200 Have a Trim?            

The SUV 1200 was designed without a trim system.

Did the Yamaha SUV 1200 Have a Brake?          

The SUV 1200 came without a brake system.

Did the Yamaha SUV 1200 Have a Reverse?      

The SUV 1200 featured a manual reverse system.


The Yamaha SUV 1200 is arguably the best family WaveRunner ever. It features a large storage capacity, and what is most important, a large seat for 4 riders. If you are looking for a legal 4-seater personal watercraft, you can only choose from a couple of vintage models like the SUV 1200, Sea-Doo LRV, or the Polaris Genesis.

Beware that all of these models are many years old and powered with 2-stroke engines. Because of this, you can expect them to have less reliability and poor gas mileage.

Also, keep in mind that these PWCs are banned from many areas due to their 2-stroke engines. That’s why many owners consider an engine swap, which simply means replacing the 2-stroke engine with a 4-stroke.

In spite of their drawbacks, there is still a noticeable market demand for these vintage PWCs, as they are not just great for families, but still among the best fishing PWCs on the market.

If you are looking for a Yamaha SUV 1200 for sale, be prepared to pay around $3,000-$6,000 depending on its condition, year and accessories.

This is our short Yamaha SUV 1200 review. We hope you find it useful!

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