wow thanks for the thorough response. Truth be told, when the back part of the pipe is screwed to the frame properly, and the port is tighted to the engine, the pipe seems pretty sturdy. It's just that there is a little gap between the inner and outer pipes...
the exhaust has been that way since i've had it, and the bike used to run much better years ago (i'm just getting it back up and running after it sat in a basement for a couple years).
I think my problem is more related to low compression, like i said before i am getting only a 90 (using a friends compression tester). He said 120+ is more normal. hopefully replacing the bad base gasket will help as the rest of the engine looked ok and not to scuffed, and the piston and rings seemed fine.