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  1. #1

    '99 XL1200 LTD Purchase

    Hello all,

    I'm going to look at a XL 1200 LTD and was wondering if there were certain things I should be looking for. The guy says the Yamaha just needs some carb work (but we all know what that means). I know I should ask if he did anything like wave eater clips or a D-Plate and check the compression. But are there any other must-haves or dont-wants that I should be looking for?

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by ahowe2013; 02-11-2015 at 05:20 PM.


  2. #2
    dockwalker's Avatar
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    Lots of info here from other XL owners.Remember this....the exhaust on these ski's are a GIANT PIA to remove.Check all those things you mentioned and check some part prices here and online.Maybe you can bget a little better price.And did I mention the exhaust is a GIANT PIA to remove.

  3. #3
    cmgww's Avatar
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    Amen to that. And you have to remove it to do carb work. It. Sucks. Ass. Yes, ask about WaveEater clips and D plates...both are must haves IMO. See if it has a stock or aftermarket grate, they improve hook up big time in the rough stuff. See if the strut that holds up the front storage cover still works. Mine is fading fast and a few times it has bonked me in the head. Do a compression test as well if you can. If any of the cylinders (especially #3) is off...that could spell trouble later. The #3 cylinders had the potential to be testy due to the cooling/oil systems on those 1200 engines. Check the reverse handle to see if it works properly. Same for steering. Those cables can go out over time....hope this helps

  4. #4
    Hey guys, sorry I didnt post after the initial one. I ended up buying it for $500. It had 90 psi in all cylinders originally. I took it home and it started up. Threw it in a pond and tried to ride it around and it kept bogging and had to play with the choke and throttle to keep it even running so I figured it was like the guy said "needs carb work" so I tore the thing completely apart down the the crank. The exhaust actually came out and went back in with no problems, just have to turn it the right way. Turns out he had an oil block off kit on it and I was unaware so thank God I didn't run it any further and destroy anything. And the #3 cylinder had a chip out of the piston so it needed to be replaced. that cylinder had also been re-sleeved before so you know he blew it up once already. Replaced all pistons and rings on it along with a D-plate and clips. turns out also that the catcon was COMPLETELY GONE, no plate, nothing, just non-existent. probably explains the bogging since it was getting literally zero back-pressure. ended up rebuilding the carbs anyways since they had not been messed with at all and I had everything out of the engine compartment anyways. after putting it all back together I have 115 in all 3 cylinders so thats much better than 90. started right up and I'm going to throw her in the lake this weekend to break it in and mate the rings/pistons to the cylinders correctly. cosmetically it was in really good shape. missing the rear seat ($80) and the rubber mats were tore up (another $80) but not bad at all. in the end, with parts, the ski cost about $1200, cant really complain about that! thanks for the suggestions guys! I may be back on here looking for suggested mods pretty soon.

  5. #5
    dockwalker's Avatar
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    You might want to patent that exhaust removal technique.LOL

  6. #6
    Haha I really should have videoed it and put in on Youtube or something. The only thing I had to remove to make it a little easier were the two exhaust mounts on top of the head that the rear tube mounts to. then a slight "rotate as you pull" motion and voila LOL. then reverse it as you put it back in.

  7. #7
    So, turns out that the cylinder that had been re-sleeved was not in as good of condition as I thought. It ended up burning up the brand new piston I put in there. So now I have to order a new cylinder and piston for that one. Also had a small crack in the front exhaust pipe which I welded up. We'll see how she does once I get those parts in and back together.

  8. #8

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    I just had the same thing happen to me on my 800 build. Wasted 300 in piston kit. Took the cylinders to a shop to have bored. The guy said the sleeve holes weren't lined up perfect. He had to do some cutting on the sleeve to open them up. He also stated that these sbt sleeves are soft metal and I'll probably only get a few seasons of riding out of them. So far this SBT motor hasn't been good for me.

  9. #9
    Yea I went ahead and found a used cylinder with the Nikasil coating that was in good condition for $275. I've heard those things can go forever without having to be replaced unless you blow them up. And I'm seeing that on my front two cylinders. After 47 hours you can still see the crosshatching perfectly. I'm going to stick with Nikasil as long as I can. Those sleeves just don't last as long.

  10. #10
    Hey guys, update. I put it in the water today after replacing the cylinder and piston to break it in. I did the 20 minute idle process and with and then gave it just a little gas to see if it was still bogging down like it was previously. Sure enough, still bogging. took it back to the dock so I didn't blow up the new cylinder like I did previously. Pulled the plugs and tested the compression to see if I had already blew a ring and I still had 120 in all three cylinders. The rear cylinder was noticeably warmer than the other two. Front one was cold, and middle one was cool. I was running it in cold water and only idling so I expected the outside of the cylinders to be cold. I'm guessing the middle one was warmer than the front due to heat transfer from the #3 cylinder. So my guess is for some reason the rear one is not getting enough gas and oil so it is creating more friction and warming up the cylinder. So I stopped the test and pulled it out of the water. Any ideas on this? I didn't ever do a leak-down test on it originally, but there was oil in the power valve in the #3 cylinder when I pulled it the second time which made me think it was at least getting oil. Should I pull tear it back down and do a leak-down or do you guys have any other suggestions? And if I do a leak-down and it passes do you have any other ideas? Also, when I was testing the compression the starter took off on me and just kept going even after I left off the start button, and pulled the safety cord. Had to pull the battery cable off to make it stop, and every time you connect the battery cable the starter kicks on. My first guess would be the solenoid, but could the handlebar switches be corroded instead?

    Thanks for any input.

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