More importantly, it's a lot more exciting than an early-80s bike would be. I figured I'd want to trade up to something more current in a year or two, but I suspect this guy would serve me quite a bit longer than that. It also shows up on pretty much everyone's good-first-bikes list, which is a good sign, and there's a big Internet community of GS twin enthusiasts out there with advice and HOWTOs.
But this means buying a bike before I take the course. I'm more and more doubtful that I would take the course and then decide not to ride, and even if I did I could probably turn around and sell it for what I paid for it. I've got the cash on hand, and I wouldn't have to get it plated and insured until the course (as long as I can get the current owner to deliver it), although I'd definitely call for insurance quotes first.
I think I'll be kicking myself later if I don't check it out. Might just call tomorrow to see if I can see it Thursday or Friday night. Hopefully I can find an experienced rider to drag with me when I go.