Originally Posted by lord_oblivion
X2! I'm really interested in finding out more about those shocks. Mine are shot on my FT500.
I traded a kayak for a non-running (sat for six years) FT500 last weekend and have been wrenching on it everyday since. I got it running in short order, fixed a the broken clutch cable and lever, did the recommended cleaning on the starter solenoid (needed it badly), replaced the fork fluid (made a huge improvement), adjusted the valves, and now I runs like a champ. Remaining " problems include a class 1 oil leak around a cylinder block bolt, and the afforemention shocks.
This bike thread is a tempting inspiration for how I want to proceed with my build. My motor doesn't smoke and starts easily even in sub-20 degree weather (Fahrenheit), so the engine appears to be in great shape with 14k miles on it. It has some cosmetic flaws (dings in tank and cracked side cover) but would otherwise be a candidate for restoration...
That said, I plan to put some dual sport or knobby tires on it and ride the piss out of it. The FT500 is well-built and dependable (if you maintain the starter) and extremely easy to work on and modify. I really like the spirit of what the OP doing with his bike, and given that I already have zero $$$ invested in the acquisition of my bike, I think it might be a great amount of fun to build along the same direction as the OP put it, a rambler/scrambler/tracker kinda thing...