Basically what I want is best vintage experience, breakdown's, riding qualities, something to wrench on?
Is there going to be any major difference these areas between a 2002 and a 2010. l have not been able to ride them as they are dealer bikes but wanted a opinion.
Another option is - buy both - one to ride and the other to tinker with .
Thank you everybody for the words of wisdom. I am definitely going to get the 2002, its what I want, the full vintage experience. The price is going to be higher here in California because it has a legal title. Not a lot of RE's made it here legally. As for the modifications. Pull the thing apart for a full in house repaint/powdercoat, increase the CC', better brake pad material (make on cnc), make leather rear bags, springer front end, make exhaust and jet coat. I took another look at the local bike, it needs some work though, new lights, new generator stuff like that so I offered them ~1800$ its got 8800 miles. No go on there part. So I am bck to buying on eBay I guess.
There is an RE listed for 2200 in the LA area. It is an older bike but redone, bobbed, painted with a newer motor. check out www.royalenfields.com for the listing.