Gents, Eric I agree.
I installed the head, etc and connected my compression gauge. Like you, I held my breath, gave everything a triple once over and connected the big car battery I have for reluctant engines, powered it right to the solenoid and held my breath. No compression ! UGH. I started to panic, and called myself all kinds of names. As an accomplished DIY mechanic on two, four, and six wheels, this cannot be happening! What did I do? By this time there was oil splashing everywhere (cam cover not installed) and I decided to install the cam cover and let it crank for a while. I installed the cam cover, reconnected the battery and after another 20 agonizing seconds I saw the needle on the gauge start to tickle, then it bounced around and then, gloriously, started to slowly rise 120, 140, 165 ! 165 LBS of wonderful compression. YEE HAH ! The end result was 165 lbs on number 2 and 160 LBS on number 4. I will re-install the spark plugs, the intake manifolds and loose fit the exhaust and then go ride on my Wing. I feel good and personally vindicated.
Tomorrow I will start on the RH side.
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
North Lancaster, Ontario