Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Savannah, Tennessee
Stereopath...I have an 1985 VN700 too...and when i got mine it was a mess. I didn't even want to risk trying to start it. I love this bike too. Heck..I don't even have my license yet nor have I taken the MC course yet. This one kinda just fell in my lap. I bought the manuals for it and started a plan to go all the way through the bike, including the engine and restore it so I'd know for sure what I have.
Now that I've torn it all down, including the engine...I find that the only thing really wrong was that the balance dampers shattered and tore up my oil filter screen. I will also replace a known factory defective shift rod, stator, clutch plates. None of these items are out of line, for this bike at the age and mileage(24k). And except for cussing alot over a few badly stuck parts along the way, it has been WAY easier to do than I thought. Plus you can't trade what I'm learning for any amount of money!
I think you should do what Vulcanpower suggested above and just take it slow, and work through each issue as it comes. There are too many folks on this forum with the knowledge and experience to help ya out, if you run into problems. These bikes are special and regardless of money, there's nothing left on the market like them.
Good luck and don't give up yet!!