thanks for all of this guys. sorry I have not been quick with new information as its "mother in town extended weekend".
as noted, I am in the bay area and there are a couple of people around these parts who know their way around an airhead. I also have a lead on a 79 5 speed for $300, and if that seems legit and not in terrible shape I might pick it up just because.
but still going to bring this one in first to get a professional opinion. as soon as my mother leaves and i can make some phone calls.
thanks for the links above and I'll post more info when it comes in. Odometer is broken on the bike- clocks in at 43k but estimated from the PO to be about 50k. of course no way to verify.
morini 3.5 strada & sport, r75/6