just an update, tore down the vespa when i got back to MD.
top end was fine, 160 psi compression, no sieze, rich if anything
head was loose, gonna start retorquing more often i guess.
the real problem, and why i didn't push the ped was a cracked subframe
coil mounting bolt pulled thru, crack spread to near separation.
the riding after we left cave point was a highlight, maize's vid captured the feeling there.
well worth the trip, thanks