I hate to see you and Jkingman referring to 10 to 15 year old Vstars as 'project bikes' !
I was recently thinking of buying a '70s or '80s honda or yamaha (750/4, GoldWing, CX500, yamaha 750 triple) for a project bike. They are 35 to 40 year old machines are a relatively easy to work on and get parts for.
I decided instead of getting a 2nd 'project bike' to spend the money on my much newer Vstar 650, a 2005 Classic. Im putting a windshield and fork deflectors, might add a trunk, so I can do some 200 to 300 mile extended weekend touring.
You guys will have to let us know what you find as you tear into these 2000 to 2006 bikes. Mine is completely stock with 32,000 miles, and it runs perfectly.
Also wondering where you guys live. Here in upstate NY bikes sometimes only get ridden 3 or 4 months a year, and are pampered for the winter months, so a ten year old bike here might only have 10,000 miles on it, still wearing its original factory tires, and looking like its new.