Compare Specs Discover '24 PWCs Browse Reviews
2000-2001 Yamaha XL 800 Review and Specs [Video]

2000-2001 Yamaha XL 800 Review and Specs [Video]

The Yamaha XL 800 was the upgraded midrange model in the 3-seater XL series, the one that replaced the XL 760 for the Millennium. It was built on the revamped XL hull and housed the 120hp “800” engine option. Its closest brothers were the base XL 700 and the flagship XL 1200, which were still being built on the original XL hull. Thanks to being more reliable and having more engine power, the latter was arguably the most popular model in this family.

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

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

Yamaha XL 800 Review

The Yamaha XL Family

Yamaha revealed its XL WaveRunner line with the introduction of the 1998 XL 760.

This series was the 3-seater configuration of the deservedly popular performance GP line.

In a nutshell, the list of the Yamaha XL and XLT WaveRunners was as follows:

The mid-range model in the XL series was the XL 760, which was upgraded to the XL 800 in 2000. Interestingly, it was built on the “XLT” platform and featured the more powerful 800 engine option.

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

Yamaha XL 800 Hull and Top Deck

For the Millennium, Yamaha redesigned its deservedly popular XL WaveRunner platform.

Compared to the “old” XL platform, this hull was slightly longer and narrower with a sleeker top deck design.

While the XL 800 enjoyed this new shell, the base XL 700 was marketed with the original XL hull through 2004.

In terms of measurements, the new hull was 124.4 inches long, 48 inches wide, and 44.5 inches in height. This means that it was now .4 inches longer and 1.2 inches narrower than its predecessor.

This body found its way into the XLT line while the original XL models were being slowly phased out.

The dry weight of the XL 800 was 692 pounds, which was significantly heavier than the weight of the XL 700 (540 lbs.).

The XL was completed with a large, spacious top deck that housed many storage units including a glovebox, a front storage, and a large storage unit beneath the rear portion of the seat.

Thanks to its impressive dimensions and large saddle, the XL 800 could accommodate up to three adult people.

Because of this, it instantly became popular among families who commonly used for activities like touring, tow sports, and PWC fishing.

Yamaha XL 800 Engine

Over the years Yamaha marketed the XL with four different power sources, including the 701 (700), 760, 800, and 1200 engines.

Unfortunately, the 800 was the least popular of them due to its lower reliability. This engine option was a 2-stroke, 784cc, twin-carb, reed-valve, twin-cylinder engine rated at 120hp.

The key features of this 784cc Yamaha marine engine were as follows:

  • Bore x stroke: 80 x 78 mm
  • Compression ratio: 6.6:1
  • Digital CDI ignition
  • Reed valve intake system
  • Electric start
  • 2 x Mikuni BN44 carburetors
  • Oil injection system
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • NGK BR8HS spark plugs
Engine power was delivered to an axial-flow, single-stage jet pump that had a 5-blade impeller and a manual reverse system.Regarding fuel economy, the maximum fuel consumption of the XL 800 was 12.9 gallons at WOT.

The maximum speed of the ski was roughly 50-55 mph depending on the load and environmental conditions.

With a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons, the cruising range of the ski was 1.4 hours.

Yamaha XL 800 Features

The features of the XL 760 were carried over to the 800, and were as follows:

  • Under-seat storage bucket
  • Front storage compartment
  • Glovebox
  • Fire extinguisher container
  • Manual trim
  • Manual reverse
  • Dual mirrors
  • Deck mats
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Engine cut-off switch
  • Engine shut-off cord (safety lanyard)
  • Drain plugs
  • Rope holes
  • Rear grab handle
  • Two-piece saddle
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Ski tow eye
  • Sponsons
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Cooling water pilot outlet
  • Visibility spout
Besides its new top deck and larger fuel and oil tanks, another noticeable upgrade on the XL 800 was its manual trim system.Also, unlike the base XL 700, the XL 800 came standard with an advanced multifunction gauge, of which the features were as follows:
  • Digital speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Oil warning indicator
  • Fuel level
  • Battery voltage
  • Engine temp.
  • Hour meter
  • Trim meter
  • Clock

Yamaha XL 800 Problems

Even though Yamaha WaveRunners were known for their reliability, the XL 800 had some serious design flaws. It’s safe to say that this model was considered the least reliable Yamaha XL WaveRunner, and with good reason.

In a nutshell, the most common problems with the Yamaha XL 800 were as follows:

  • Defective power valves: The power valves of the 800 engine were prone to loosening and falling into the cylinders. As one may assume, these issues resulted in serious engine damage. Fortunately, this could be easily fixed by installing aftermarket clips on the power valves.
  • Aging oil lines: The oil lines on 2-stroke WaveRunners were prone to cracking or coming loose over time, causing oil starvation issues. Due to this risk, best practice was to eliminate the entire oil injection system and convert the engine to premix.
  • Weak crankshaft bearing: The crankshaft bearing also blew on some XL 800s causing severe engine damage.
  • Heavy weight: The XL 800 was significantly heavier than the 700, but it lacked the power and torque of the triple-cylinder XL 1200.
Consequently, if you are considering buying a used Yamaha XL WaveRunner, you may want to avoid the XL 800.

Instead, you should take a close look at the much more popular XL 1200 or XLT 1200.

If you are happy with less performance, you can’t go wrong with the smaller XL 700 or XL 760, which also proved to be more reliable than the 800.

Yamaha XL 800 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 2000 Yamaha XL 800 into these charts:

Yamaha XL 800 Engine Specs

2000 Yamaha XL 800Engine Specs
Number of cylinders2
Displacement784 cm³ (47.8 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke80 × 78 mm (3.15 × 3.07 in)
Compression Ratio6.6:1
Carburetors2 x Mikuni BN44
Enrichment controlChoke valve
Scavenging systemLoop charge
Lubrication SystemOil injection
Cooling SystemWater-cooled
Starting SystemElectric starter
Ignition SystemDigital C.D.I.
Ignition timing15 BTDC ~ 20 BTDC
Spark Plugs TypeNGK BR8HS
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Lighting coil8 at 6,000

Yamaha XL 800 Drive System

2000 Yamaha XL 800Drive System
Propulsion SystemJet pump
Jet Pump TypeAxial flow, single stage
Impeller RotationCounterclockwise
TransmissionDirect drive from engine
Nozzle Angle (horizontal)24 + 24 degree
Nozzle Angle (vertical)-7, -2, 3, 8, 13 degree
Trim systemManual 5 positions
Reverse systemReverse gate

Yamaha XL 800 Performance

2000 Yamaha XL 800Performance
Maximum Output120 HP (88.3 kW) @ 7000 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption12.9 US gal/h (49 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle)1.4 hr.

Yamaha XL 800 Dimensions

2000 Yamaha XL 800Dimensions
Overall Length124.4 in (3,160 mm)
Overall Width48.0 in (1,220 mm)
Overall Height44.5 in (1,130 mm)
Dry Weight692 lb (314 kg)
Vehicle capacity3 persons

Yamaha XL 800 Fuel and Oil

2000 Yamaha XL 800Fuel and Oil
FuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum Octane Rating86 PON /90 RON
Recommended engine oilYamalube 2-W, or an equivalent TC-W3 certified outboard oil
Fuel tank capacity18.5 US gal (70 L)
Fuel tank reserve capacity3.17 US gal (12 L)
Oil tank capacity1.45 US gal (5.5L)
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 XL 800:

What is a Yamaha XL 800?

The XL 800 was a 2-stroke 3-seater Yamaha WaveRunner.

When did the Yamaha XL 800 Come Out?

The Yamaha XL 800 debuted in 2000.

What Years Did Yamaha Make the XL 800?

Yamaha manufactured the XL 800 from 2000 through 2001.

What Size was a Yamaha XL 800?

The Yamaha XL 800 measured 124.4 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 44.5 inches in height.

How Much Did a Yamaha XL 800 Weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha XL 800 was 692 pounds.

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha XL 800?

The Yamaha XL 800 was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha XL 800?

The Yamaha XL 800 was powered by a 2-stroke, 784cc, reed valve, twin-cylinder Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha XL 800 Supercharged?

The Yamaha XL 800 utilized a naturally aspirated engine configuration.

Was the Yamaha XL 800 a 2-stroke?

The Yamaha XL 800 was powered by a 2-stroke engine.

Was the Yamaha XL 800 Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha XL 800 featured twin Mikuni BN44 carburetors.

How Much Horsepower Did a Yamaha XL 800 Have?

The Yamaha XL 800 produced 120hp at 7,000 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha XL 800 Hold?

The Yamaha XL 800 had an oil injection system featuring a 1.45-gallon oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha XL 800 Hold?

The Yamaha XL 800 was equipped with an 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha XL 800 Use?

The maximum fuel consumption of the Yamaha XL 800 was 12.9 gph at full throttle.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha XL 800?

The cruising range of the Yamaha XL 800 was 1.4 hours at WOT.

How Fast Did a Yamaha XL 800 Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha XL 800 was about 50-55 mph under ideal conditions.

Could the Yamaha XL 800 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its three-seater saddle, the XL 800 could legally tow a wakeboarder or skier.

Did the Yamaha XL 800 Have a Reverse?           

No, the Yamaha XL 800 came standard with a manual reverse system.

Did the Yamaha XL 800 Have a Brake?

No, the Yamaha XL 800 was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Yamaha XL 800 Cost?

The asking price of a used Yamaha XL 800 varies between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on the year and its condition.