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I recently have encountered a serious problem with my 1999 KLR. I was riding on a fairly mellow trail when I suddenly had no access to 1st, 2nd or 3rd gear. I still can use both 4th and 5th however. When shifting from 4th to 3rd it disengages from 4th and then the shift lever will not drop down far enough to get to 3rd essentially resulting in neutral because nothing is engaged! There is no attempt at engagement, no crunching sound. Somehow I made it back home using only 4th and 5th.

Some more background information which may be related. Before this happened, I had been noticing that 1st and 2nd were not completely disengaging from the engine resulting in a clunk when shifting into those gears. Whether is was at a stop light going to 1st or accelerating into second. I hadn't noticed this going into 3rd however before. A friend suggested that I change my clutch fibers, which I did, and while I noticed a stronger clutch engagement it didn't have an effect on my spinning gears.

My bike has 25,000 miles on it and other than this is running great.

Do you think it could be a problem with something I can access from the clutch cover or is it looking like a serious case splitting process!

Thanks
 

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Believe it or not, most of the time when people have this symptom, it is the shift lever contacting the skid plate....check the lever to make sure it hasn't bent or the weld is coming apart. If not that, it could be a bent shift fork.

Dave
 
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