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Thread: Yamaha xlt 1200

  1. #1
    PWCToday Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Yamaha xlt 1200

    I just purchased two 2002 Yamaha 1200 xlt runners and I am having problems getting them to start. I paid the local yamaha dealer $100 per ski to go over them and overthing was ok so I think I must be missing something. The previous owner did not have an owners manual and they are backorderd at yamaha so I though I'd try to gain some insight through this forum.

    I've never owned a PWC before, but I have ridden them on occasion. I know that I am supposed to turn the fuel on, pull the choke, insert the safety lanayard under the pin and push the start button...... both bikes turn over fine, but neither start. Are there any other buttons and or switches that the dealer may have turned off after they inspected them? It seems pretty straigh forwward, am I missing something? Also- is it ok to start them (briefly) while they are out of the water?- Will they only start in the water? sorry for such basic questions, but without an owner's manual, I didn't know where else to go.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Frequent Poster
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Ravena, NY

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    My XLT is a bear to start if its been sitting any longer than a week,I guess the fuel system in these skis loses prime quickly. Get yourself a primer kit & save the hassles! They are cheap on ebay. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Resident Guru sirzappa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Northern Virginia, D.C. area

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    Quote Originally Posted by jacrae
    My XLT is a bear to start if its been sitting any longer than a week,I guess the fuel system in these skis loses prime quickly. Get yourself a primer kit & save the hassles! They are cheap on ebay. Hope this helps. Good luck!
    Same here. I have also found this on my STX750. It is a two stroke issue. If you have any or used any two stroke yard tools (weed wacker, leaf blower, chain saw), you will find they have a primer bulb. I solved this on my STX by spraying starting fluid in the flame arrestor box. Easy on the STX but difficult on the XLT.

    I have an '01 XLT1200. I don't think there is anything different between them.
    One thing to look for is on the choke. When you pull it all the way up, there is one more trick. You will see a black, knurled ring that is around the bottom of the silver shaft of the choke pull.
    Pull the choke up and turn the ring clockwise and it will lock the choke in place. If you don't, if falls to half choke position.

    Other than that, crank it for a while. If you do this, don't crank for more than a few seconds at a time. You can also purchase a primer kit for it also. You will find it at http://islandracing.net/watercraft.html

    It is ok to run it out of the water BUT no longer than for about 10 or 15 seconds without water. Do NOT rev the engine over 4,000 RPM when out of the water. If you don't have the hose for running the water through it, get one. You must flush after every ride, even fresh water. CAUTION, when using the hose, you have to run the motor THEN turn on the water slowly, not too much pressure. When done, turn off the water FIRST then turn off the motor. If you do it the wrong way, your motor may ingest water.

    '95 Blaster 1 with stuff
    '01 Yamaha XLT1200
    '96 Super Jet...FINALLY

  4. #4
    I dream skis clar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    San Diego

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    turn gas on pull choke push start button turn over for a couple seconds only stop, turn over again for a couple of seconds stop, 2nd or 3rd time it should start push in choke, after it warms up you do not need choke to start , if this doesent work remove spark plugs and check to see if the engine is flooded dry plugs alow the cylinders to air out a little while and repeat above steeps
    Last edited by clar; 04-15-2007 at 09:44 PM.

  5. #5
    PWCToday Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Chicago suburbs

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    I have an 04 XLT 1200. It is a cold hearted dog! When the motor is cold it does take a few tries to get her started. Its not necessarily because of the motor itself-All Yamahas are bad cold starters. My 02 Superjet is the same way. Get yourself a good battery and keep trying to start it.

    I think it may be a fuel delivery issue. On Yamaha's what can happen is; if the motor sits for any length of time-say days or weeks, then air can/will get in the fuel lines thru the carbs. No big deal, though. You just have to crank the motor a few times to get the air out of the lines. Once the fuel hits the carbs and gets squirted into the cylinder, then she turns over.

    You may also want to check the fuel lines to see of there are any cracks. If so, you can replace the fuel lines fairly cheap. While you are there get yourself a primer kit. This can aid in the first splash of fuel when you start your boat for the first time of the day.
    Also, check the fuel itself. It is always best to start any day with fresh fuel.

    Hope this helps! Anthony
    Without water, there is no life.

  6. #6
    Frequent Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    NE Florida

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    My GP1200R is a ***** to start sometimes as well.

    If you squeeze the throttle a few times, the accelerator pump will prime, and a squirt a little fuel in the carbs.


    Pull the throttle 3-4 times, put the choke on, and crank for ~5 seconds.

    Give the gas a couple more squirts...then try again.

    Mine typically fires after the 2nd or 3rd time I do that.

    (NOTE: Over the winter I rebuilt the carbs, and now I use the accel pump as a primer ONLY...give it couple of squirts by hand, and it'll fire the 2nd try, EVERY time.)

    ...or, like the guys above have suggested...buy a REAL primer kit, and that will do the job as well.

    - Brian
    |||||| "Oh, the huge manatee!!!" ||||||

  7. #7
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home puckoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    MA / NH - Granite State "Air Crew"

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    I had an 02 1200 XLT.

    Used to pull the trigger a few times, then pull the choke. If it didn't start after a healthy crank, I would ride the choke a little with my left hand, while using my right to press the start button.

    The yama goop does foul the pluggs. So I cleaned / changed often.

    Also, was "Stabil" in the gas tank ? If you are not sure, might be wise to start over with fresh gas.

    I have a manual that I no longer need, as well as a stock impeller. PM me if interested.

    Also, unless it was the last ride of the season, I didn't turn the fuel off, and let it "starve" out.
    Last edited by puckoach; 04-16-2007 at 08:23 PM.

  8. #8
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home skysurfer2010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    like someone else said, you can use your accelerator pump as a primer. just be VERY careful doing so. be sure you have the seat off to air it out. if it doesn't start right away, DO NOT keep trying to use that as a primer. it's injecting raw fuel into the carbs. if you inject too much fuel will just collect and can be a hazard. the same goes for any primer really.

    installing a primer on an XLT or a GPR is a huge PITA. you need to remove the exhaust (not fun), the air box, and then the carbs. once that fun is done, you need to remove the choke plates and bar which isn't that easy. if you're not mechanically inclined, this "simple" mod can take an entire weekend to complete. not to mention it'll take a lot of cussing!

    since you're new to skis, i'm going to assume you don't know much about the XLT in particular. unfortunately there are some issues that you MUST address to make it reliable and safe. don't ignore them since doing so can be a costly mistake. all of which were discussed in this thread in detail:


    i also posted the service manual for the XLT1200 in that thread. it's probably on the second or third page. if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
    98 SJ

    NJ/PA Crew
    - an AWA Charter Club

  9. #9
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Charlotte, NC

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    No need for a primer kit if the accelarator pump is working on the carbs. This is how I start them cold. Pull choke all the way out and while holding it out turn the engine over for 3-5 sec to get fuel to the carbs. Now pull the throttle about five times to prime the engine. turn the choke off and hold the throttl open just a little and it should start right up.
    Providing service to all model Ski's in the Charlotte, Lake Wylie area.

  10. #10
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Atlanta, GA

    Re: Yamaha xlt 1200

    The below method has ALWAYS worked perfectly to start my GP1200R (same engine / carb combo):

    1) Choke on full
    2) Press and hold the start button
    3) Start repeatedly squeezing the throttle until it starts

    Both mine and my stepfather's XL1200 always started with this procedure no matter how long it sat, etc.. Heck mine even started first try using this method from a full engine / carb rebuild.

    It has never taken me more than 5 - 10 seconds to start my GP1200R. The above method works flawlessly and since the engine is turning over it's sucking the fuel into the engine instead of potentially running out into the flame arrestor like it could if you pump the throttle with the engine off.

    Give it a shot, I bet it works great for you.

    **Edit I should note that step 3 is squeezing the throttle slowly. Think about 1 squeeze per second while cranking.

    Last edited by Brian_GP1200R; 04-17-2007 at 11:07 AM.
    2003 Kawasaki SX-R 800 with FP wet pipe
    2006 Sea-Doo RXP (stock)
    2006 Sea-Doo RXP (minor mods)

    2000 Yamaha GP1200R
    2004 Honda R-12X with Macboost stage 2

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