gear selection problem
Fear not, it is only a motorcycle.
Your 1st gear selection problem; what happens to cause you to have to try again, and again.....? Does the shifter feel solid? does it feel like it goes into gear as you toe it ? Only first gear, shifts well thru all the others?
Does it go into then pop out of gear as you ease out on the clutch? Or does it not go into gear? Any weird noise or feel? What do you have to do to get it going?
There could be any of several different problems. You may in fact end up having to split the cases, to fix worn or bent shift fork problems.
The shift drum may be worn in the area that selects first gear, or it could be worn dogs and slots in the gears themselves. Usually associated with bent shift forks or worn selector drum.
Or if you are lucky, it may be in the selector or detent mechanisms, which happen to be under the clutch basket. Which does not require removing the engine from the frame to diagnose and repair.
I like to check the simple stuff first. I would check some easy stuff before I pulled the engine out of the frame and ripped it apart.
I can field some questions for you if you want, like starting with the ones above.
'72 BMW R75/5 (Col. Klink),
'02 KTM 400 E/XC,
'05 ktm 125 sx (for sale)
"Hey, are you okay? Can you get up?
I thought you said you could ride"
All the best