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2001-2005 Yamaha XLT 1200 Review and Specs [Video]

2001-2005 Yamaha XLT 1200 Review and Specs [Video]

The 2001-2005 Yamaha XLT 1200 was the successor of the deservedly popular 1999-2000 XL 1200 Limited. It was built on the revamped XL platform, which housed the high-end 1176cc, triple-cylinder, power-valve engine option rated at 155hp.

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

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha XLT 1200 review!

Yamaha XLT 1200 Review

The Yamaha XL/XLT Series

It’s safe to say that the XLT 1200 was the most advanced WaveRunner in the XL/XLT line, which was a 3-seater variation of the performance GP series.

The first models in this breed were the XL 760 and the XL 1200, which made their debut in 1998.

The latter was phased out by the more advanced ’99 XL 1200 Limited, which enjoyed the redesigned XL hull and the powervalved 155hp engine.

In 2001, this model was rebranded to the XLT 1200 and remained in production through 2005. Its smaller brother was the XLT 800, which housed a 120hp twin engine.

Are you wondering what the differences were between the original XL 1200, the Limited, and the XLT 1200? In a nutshell, the key differences between these models were as follows:

  • XL 1200: “Old” XL hull and top deck, 1131cc, 135hp, non-powervalved engine
  • XL 1200 Limited: “New” (narrower) XL hull and redesigned top deck, 1171cc, 155hp, powervalved engine, manual trim
  • XLT 1200: A rebranded XL 1200 Limited with some new features (the body and the engine were carried over from the Limited without any noticeable changes)
Other members of the XL/XLT series were as follows:

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the XLT 1200 in detail!

Yamaha XLT 1200 Hull and Top Deck

The XLT 1200 shared its stable and predictable hull and spacious top deck with the XLT 800.

This revamped XL hull debuted on the 1999 XL 1200 Limited and was carried over to XLT models after the Millennium.

In terms of dimensions, this body measured 124.4 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 44.5 inches in height. Compared to the original XL platform, it was .4 inches longer but 1.2 inches narrower.

It also featured a larger and more modern top deck, which came with greater capacities.

The fuel capacity of the XLT 1200 was 18.5 gallons including 3.2 gallons of reserve, while its oil tank held 1.5 gallons of oil.

Thanks to its 3-seater saddle and a remarkable weight limit of 529 pounds, this ski could carry up to three adult riders with ease.

Under the hood, you could find a powervalved 2-stroke triple, which ensured an industry-leading performance. pullov

Let’s talk about this power source in detail!

Yamaha XLT 1200 Engine

Many say that the XLT 1200 was the model that sparked the interest of many performance-minded buyers in 3-seater PWCs and with good reason.

This classic WaveRunner was powered by a 2-stroke, 1176cc, triple-carbed, reed-valve, triple-cylinder, powervalved Yamaha marine engine that produced a whopping 155hp at 7000 RPM.

In contrast, the predecessor non-power valved 1200 engine displaced at 1131cc and delivered 135hp. This engine was used in the original XL 1200, while the XL 1200 Limited and the XLT 1200 shared the aforementioned powervalved 155hp unit, of which the features were as follows:

  • Bore x stroke: 80 x 78 mm
  • Compression ratio: 5.9:1
  • Digital CDI ignition
  • Reed valve intake system
  • Electric start
  • Triple Mikuni BN44 carburetors
  • Oil injection system
  • Open-loop cooling system
  • NGK BR8HS spark plugs
This engine was paired with an advanced propulsion system, featuring an axial flow, single-stage jet pump, a manual 5-position trim, and a manual reverse system.Thanks to its powerful engine and propulsion, the top speed of the XLT 1200 was around 58 mph under ideal conditions.

As one may expect, this performance didn’t come cheap since the claimed fuel consumption of the ski was 16.9 gph at WOT. Fortunately, it was designed with an 18.5-gallon fuel tank that ensured a cruising range of 1.1 hours.

The XLT 1200 shared its hull with its smaller brother, the XLT 800. The engine on this midrange variant was a power valved 2-stroke, 784cc, 2-cylinder power plant, which offered 120hp.

However, due to its lower reliability and less horsepower, the 800 never became as popular as the flagship 1200.

Yamaha XLT 1200 Features

Beyond its amazing performance, the XLT 1200 owed its popularity to its accessories. It featured Yamaha’s programmable security system, tilt steering, manual reverse, and stainless-steel 3-blade impeller.

Other key features of the ski included:

  • Under-seat storage bucket
  • Front storage compartment
  • Glovebox
  • Fire extinguisher container
  • Quick shift manual trim
  • Manual reverse
  • Adjustable rearview mirrors
  • Deck mats
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Engine cut-off switch
  • Engine shut-off cord (safety lanyard)
  • Programmable security system
  • Tilt steering
  • 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 the above, the XLT 1200 came standard with an innovative digital multifunction gauge, of which the features were as follows:
  • Digital speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Fuel meter
  • Engine oil meter
  • Clock
  • Hour meter
  • Trip meter
  • Trip timer
  • Warning light
  • Display for PADLOC and direction of warning indicator
  • Battery warning indicator
  • Engine overheat warning indicator
  • Fuel warning indicator
  • Oil warning indicator

Yamaha XLT 1200 Problems

Even though the XLT 1200 was one of the most popular 2-stroke WaveRunner ever built, it still had some common problems, including:

  • Power valve issues: The power valves of the 1176cc engine often became loose and fell into the cylinders. In most cases, this resulted in serious engine damage. Fortunately, this issue could be easily prevented by installing some aftermarket powervalve clips.
  • Catalytic converter issues: Another common problem of the XLT 1200 was its catalytic converter malfunctions. This unit was prone to falling apart and damaging the exhaust sensor or clogging the exhaust system. This issue could also be avoided by replacing the catalytic converter with a stainless steel “D-plate.”
  • Oil starvation: The oil system of the XLT 1200 was prone to aging over time. As a result, the oil lines often cracked or fell off, leaving the engine without lubrication. These issues often translated to oil starvation, which caused an engine seizure. To prevent these issues, the oil lines on this ski had to be inspected periodically, but best practice was to eliminate the entire oil system and premix the fuel by hand.
  • Carb work: The carburetors of 2-stroke WaveRunners required frequent cleaning and maintenance, and the XLT 1200 was no exception. Note that this model had three separate carbs, which required more work than the twin carbed engines of 700, 760, and 800 models.

Yamaha XLT 1200 Specs Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 2002 Yamaha XLT 1200 into these charts:

Yamaha XLT 1200 Engine Specs

2002 Yamaha XLT 1200Engine Specs
Number of cylinders3
Displacement1,176 cm³ (71.8 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke80 × 78 mm (3.15 × 3.07 in)
Compression Ratio5.9:1
Carburetor modelMikuni BN44 x 3
Enrichment controlChoke valve
Scavenging systemLoop charge
Lubrication SystemOil injection
Cooling SystemWater-cooled
Starting SystemElectric starter
Ignition SystemDigital C.D.I.
Ignition timing18 BTDC - 24 BTDC
Spark Plugs TypeNGK BR8ES-11
Battery Capacity12 V 19 Ah
Generator output9-11 @ 6,000

Yamaha XLT 1200 Drive Unit

2002 Yamaha XLT 1200Drive 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 XLT 1200 Performance

2002 Yamaha XLT 1200Performance
Maximum Output155hp (114 kW) @ 7000 RPM
Maximum Fuel Consumption16.9 US gal/h (64 L/h)
Cruising Range (at full throttle)1.1 hr.

Yamaha XLT 1200 Dimensions

2002 Yamaha XLT 1200Dimensions
Overall Length124.4 in (3,160 mm)
Overall Width48.0 in (1,220 mm)
Overall Height44.5 in (1,130 mm)
Dry Weight803 lb (364 kg)
Maximum capacity3 person/529 lb

Yamaha XLT 1200 Fuel and Oil

2002 Yamaha XLT 1200Fuel and Oil
FuelRegular Unleaded Gasoline
Minimum Octane Rating86 PON /90 RON
Recommended engine oilYamalube 2-W
Fuel-oil mixing ratio200:1-30:1
Fuel tank capacity18.5 US gal (70 L)
Fuel tank reserve capacity3.2 US gal (12 L)
Oil tank capacity1.5 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 XLT 1200:

What is a Yamaha XLT 1200?

The XLT 1200 was a 2-stroke 3-seater Yamaha WaveRunner.

When did the Yamaha XLT 1200 Come Out?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 was revealed in 2001.

What Years Did Yamaha Manufacture the XLT 1200?

Yamaha manufactured the XLT 1200 from 2001 through 2005.

What Size was a Yamaha XLT 1200?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 measured 124.4 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 44.5 inches in height.

How Much Did a Yamaha XLT 1200 Weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha XLT 1200 was 803 pounds (2002 model).

How Many People Could Ride on a Yamaha XLT 1200?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 was rated for three riders.

What Kind of Engine was in the Yamaha XLT 1200?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 was powered by a 2-stroke, 1176cc, triple-carbed, triple-cylinder, powervalved Yamaha marine engine.

Was the Yamaha XLT 1200 Supercharged?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 utilized a naturally aspirated engine configuration.

Was the Yamaha XLT 1200 a 2-stroke?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 was powered by a powervalved 2-stroke engine.

Was the Yamaha XLT 1200 Fuel Injected?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 featured three Mikuni BN44 carburetors.

How Much HP Did a Yamaha XLT 1200 Have?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 delivered 155hp at 7000 RPM.

How Much Oil Did a Yamaha XLT 1200 Hold?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 had an oil injection system featuring a 1.5-gallon oil reservoir.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha XLT 1200 Hold?

The Yamaha XLT 1200 was equipped with an 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Yamaha XLT 1200 Use?

The fuel consumption of the Yamaha XLT 1200 was 16.9 gph at WOT.

What was the Fuel Range of the Yamaha XLT 1200?

The cruising range of the Yamaha XLT 1200 was 1.1 hours at full throttle.

How Fast Did a Yamaha XLT 1200 Go?

The top speed of a Yamaha XLT 1200 was about 58 mph.

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

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

Did the Yamaha XLT 1200 Have a Trim System?             

The XLT 1200 was designed with a 5-position manual trim system.

Did the Yamaha XLT 1200 Have a Reverse?       

The XLT 1200 came standard with a manual reverse system.

Did the Yamaha XLT 1200 Have a Brake?           

The Yamaha XLT 1200 was manufactured without a brake system.

How Much Does a Yamaha XLT 1200 Cost?

The asking price of a used Yamaha XLT 1200 varies between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the year and its condition.