Yea, don't let the "know it all" by the magazine types talk you out of it if you decide you like it! All the things I have heard and experienced with Cagive/Husqvarna's has been good relative to reliability. My 98 was as reliable and durable as anything I ever owned.
If it's a WR and the pipe is stock, check for a huge washer type restrictor at the barrel end. They come like this from the factory and need to be removed to get full power. They are great lively bikes with quality components and easy to work on.
Great choice of bike!I love beating the Jap bikes at the track.I still haven't figured out my suspension settings though.(What is 15 scatti?)I did have my forks off to get new seals,and my dealer flipped one of the shim stacks inside.It made a huge difference and he said that was the difference between the '99 and '00 forks.I just took 2nd on Sunday in 40+ Junior class against all sizes and brands.I was beaten by a Honda CR500.My bike is faster than I know how to ride.Good luck and feel free to e-mail me.
Good bike, but don't overpay. Husky had quite a few left over and they were selling in 2/2000 for $3300-$3500 brand new. I had a chance in November 2000 to buy an unridden 1999 from a dealer for $2500. If you are serious about this particular brand and model, I'd check with Robert at www.houseofcycles.com He placed quite a few of these in the local market in MS and may know of a few for sale cheap. He had the one for $2500.
The main reason I didn't was Eric said they don't make good overbore candidates. If you want to leave it a 125, then they are fine. No 139, 144, or 150 potential though based on the cylinder and power valve design.
The washer thing is true. A bud with a 1999 250 could not believe how fast it was compared to his friend's 2001, then they took the pipe off the 2001 and found the restrictor. Normally they are spot welded in and a little dremel work will take care of it. There also may be one in the intake between the carb and motor plus one in the airbox snorkel. I just de-restricted a 2001 Montesa the other day and it had FOUR restrictors in it!
My parting comment, and one that might take some fire from the euro brand owners, is if resale is important then get a blue or red bike. I have friends sitting on really nice GGs and KTMs right now for sale cheap. Run an ad on a fairly current Honda or Yamaha MXer and the thing flies out of the garage. Suzys and Kawies are better than the euro bikes too, but the Yammies and Hondas move really well around here.
I'm seeing ads for new '01 YZ125s for $4199 lately. There also seems to be a few new '00 YZ125s floating around too, which should put you 2 or 300 under that. Good used 2000s should be bought for in the $34-3500 range, and when I say good I mean like a local bike I know of with tuned suspension, PC pipe, and about 5 hours on it. The bike has never been on its side and has been ridden by a 45 year old trials rider/very novice MXer. He took it to the track by his house 3 times, now the track is closed, so he's selling the bike.
I focus on the YZ 'cus from what I have heard these bikes have the most woods-friendly power delivery for a 125, plus make good overbore candidates. Since from your emails you plan on doing woods riding, the YZ would be a good candidate IMO. The guy that overalled the 200 class in the 1999 SERA enduro series did it on a '98 YZ, basically stock motor with some porting work. From what I have gathered all but the Honda make good woods candidates, and Eric sems to be fond of the Kawie for overbore/porting work to improve the low end and mid-range power.