im working on a 99 450 parts are outrageous and hard to find .. so if it is cheap and you want to part it out do it. the crank alone can go for 650 if good. but agree that the Electric shift are very problematic
99 450 would be a totally different machine. The Hondamatic unit in the 500 is non repairable, $1000-1500 part. I think basically if you find one and the Hondamatic unit has been replaced on it you should be good to go. They had an updated one at some point. I’d be less concerned buying an 03-04 than an 01-02.