Guys I really appreciate the input...good to hear different perspectives and experiences. Still looking and have been hanging around one of my riding buddies more. Found this...thought for price and condition it would be manageable.
Basically that motor is a vintage-correct XR500 motor complete with the compression release and is actually fun to ride.
I'm sure it's electric start but big singles take a bit of a knack to kick start. It's not like you can't get the hang of it. I'm sure these are less finicky than the old big singles.
The compression release allows you to place the piston at TDC so you can begin your kick there. As I said though, you'll likely never kick start it though. I've kinda grown fond of the early 80's bikes.
Now if you could find a GB500 for say, less than $2500 then you would have a prize.
I remember working in a Honda dealership in the late 80's/early 90's in kollege and we couldn't give those away... nor could we give away Pacific Coasts, VFR750's and RC30s.
I'm not much for eclectic, odd, and 'cult' bikes really. I prefer more mainstream stuff. CB's, etc. To each their own I suppose. But a 500cc single street bike? Pass.
But the VFR?! That's shocking.
Maybe the price tag?
My dad had a Magna V45 for a while. I really liked that bike.
As an owner of a modern bike and part owner of a 80 CB650 I advise you to start on a modern bike.
Older bike will break more often than you think and you'll spend more time fixing than riding.
As I'm getting older (late 30's) I've been itching for a motard and a sport tourer like the tiger 800.
Don't think about it too much and just do it!
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In 1986 I was riding a 1976 CB200 that I bought for $300 so I have no idea what the new bike market was like at the time.
Were cruisers out of favor? Japanese bikes in general? Bikes in general?
I think the whole motorcycle market was down at that time. My personal recollection is that my father bought a leftover '89 HD bagger (FLHS) for a song in Jan of '90. The story was the dealer was making extra coin on the side buying up leftovers still in crates from his competitors over the winter. He'd load them up on truck and go sell them off every spring in Daytona. My father was in the market for a Dana and they sold him the FL straight from the crate for the list on a new Dana because they had a glut of them taking up space.
Not 4-5 years later the closest you could get to buying a new HD was to get yourself on a waiting list.
Everything is cyclical.