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Since last summer, my '01 KLR has been having intermittent trouble shifting. Here's what happens when the problem occurs: I'll be idling in first gear with the clutch pulled in and I'll feel the bike start to creep forward, as if I'd started to let out the clutch. The bike becomes more insistent about moving forward the longer I sit there, until I have to squeeze the brake to stop it. I then find it impossible to shift out of first. I pull up on the shift lever until my foot can't take the pain, but it won't budge. However, as soon as I turn off the ignition by turning the key, I can shift up. I make sure I'm in neutral (bike won't start otherwise--it's always been that way and I don't know if it's normal) and start the bike. Instead of shifting into first, I shift into second and am able to ride. I've gotten into the habit of avoiding first gear whether the problem is currently occurring or not, just to be safe.

I never have any trouble shifting *into* first, or shifting from 2-5 (or neutral) to any other gear. The problem is only with shifting out of first, and it always coincides with the problem of creeping forward while idling.
 

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Beorn,
You mostly just need to adjust the Excess Slack out of the clutch cable.
There are 2 places capable of adjustment and they do exactly the same thing.
The primary cable adjuster is next to the oil fill cap. Needs 2, 12mm open end wrenches and the oil fill cap removed, use this adjuster this time.

With the handle bars turned to the left, adjust most of the slack out of the cable. Leave just enough slack to allow the clutch lever ball end to move about 1/2 inch.
Just re-snug the nuts, they don't need to be very tight.
With a 1/2 inch of wiggle at the hand lever end there will be only about 1/2 - 1mm of wiggle at the lower lever by the oil fill cap.

The upper adjuster on the hand lever you can use next year and beyond.
 
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