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Need your opinion on a yamaha 1200xl limited?

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  • Need your opinion on a yamaha 1200xl limited?

    I'm thinking of purchasing a 1999 yamaha 1200 xl limited for $3000 with a 2002 trailer. This will be my first ski and would like some opinions on this ski. Is it a good buy? Is this a reliable ski? According to the owner it's in excellent shape with recently rebuilt motor and carbs. He also mentioned a d plate and a chip. Ski has 10 hours since rebuild. Any input would be appreciated.. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Need your opinion on a yamaha 1200xl limited?

    I would make sure the engine rebuild has a transferable warranty. I'm on my 4th PWC since 1985, and 2 strokes just don't have the long life of a 4 stroke.

    My cousin bought a 99 model 1100 2 stroke Yamaha that was the cleanest machine I ever saw. The engine lasted one year, to be replaced by two other rebuilt engines. He had an oil injection problem.

    Rebuilds are not just rebuilds--some are better than others. My 1990 SeaDoo still runs great, but it's been maintained and not run to death. (I did switch to a new Waverunner last year, however.) Some people get better service than others out of their machines.

    Are you willing to gamble on an old 2 stroke machine? These things are difficult to work on, and labor rates are now very high in dealerships. The price is not that low.


    • #3
      Re: Need your opinion on a yamaha 1200xl limited?

      That model had 3 primary failure points: 1. The power valves would drop into the cylinders and destroy the engine, 2. An oil line would come off a cylinder (usually #3 for some reason) and destroy the engine, 3. The Catalytic converter would break apart and destroy the exhaust sensor and do other potential damage. The "D" plate fixes the catalytic converter problem, and just about any rebuilt engine would have the power valve fix. I'd definitely find out the reason for the rebuild. Many times its a carb. problem and you should find out exactly when the carbs were rebuilt.

      Very difficult to price a ski with a rebuilt engine. I can tell you that it is hit and miss with rebuilds. The 2 biggest companies that do PWC rebuilds are SBT and PCWengines, and both have somewhat shaky reputations for the longevity of their engines. I'd find out who did the rebuild. The price is not bad (not great either) for that ski, and that model is a good ride and stable otherwise, but you will be throwing the dice.

      Most definitely do a compression test (you'd like to see close to 120 psi), and a test ride before you buy.
      2010 Hurricane 2100 Sundeck (217 SD)
      2008 Yamaha F150 TXR Outboard
      2008 Yamaha FXHO Cruiser Waverunner


      • #4
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        Re: Need your opinion on a yamaha 1200xl limited?

        Thanks a whole lot for the info. It sounds like the rebiuld was done to cyl. 3 because it had low or no compression. The work was done by the jet ski factory in orlando florida. I have no clue if they are good or not. They also blocked the oil pump and the seller mentioned id have to mix my own oil which I kinda thought was a good idea. The carbs were rebuilt when the motor was redone but the ski sat for a year and when he rode it again it didnt feel right so he had the carbs rebuilt again just a couple days ago.

        From what the seller tells me hes spent a few thousand on all these repairs and has the receipt to prove it. He's selling due to a change in his employment. Everything so far sounds to be pretty good. Im going to test drive it on thursday, he mentioned I can ride it for a while to make sure everything is good.

        Thanks again for the info. any other input would be great. Im trying my best to get a good ski for my $3000 dollar budget.