When it acts up do you end up in neutral? or it won't come out of first gear till you stop again? there's a check ball that is proprietary to Kaw which is part of the positive neutral finder and it causes the bike to only go from neutral into 1st gear when not moving (or very slow I'd guess). You might have some crap in there causing the ball to stick sometimes. Maybe pour some seafoam in the crank case and run it for a bit then change the oil. MC trannies definitley have noticeable behavior changes with different oils, new oil, old etc. It's the only thing I can think of but I'm sure others will help too. You might want to search for positive neutral finder in the forums. Hope you get it resolved
Neither - I don't end up in neutral and I don't have to stop for it to come out of first gear. But let me ask you this: Should it be any harder to shift from first into second than it is to shift from second into third, or should it be just as smooth?
As for the rest of what you wrote, I appreciate all the information, but I just don't know enough about what you've written to make much sense of it. I am new to bikes. However, I researched "positive neutral finder" and what you're saying makes sense, but it seems that it's due to a different reason than what you mentioned:
"The transmission is equipped with a positive neutral finder. When the motorcycle is standing still, the transmission cannot be shifted past neutral from 1st gear. To use the positive neutral finder, shift down to 1st gear, then lift up on the shift pedal while standing still. The transmission will shift only into neutral."
Is it possible that I'm going too slow when trying to shift into second? I usually shift around 10 mph. But may be you're right when you say "You might have some crap in there causing the ball to stick sometimes." Your solution is beyond my abilities. I don't know what you mean by "MC trannies." Master Cylinder transmission? If so, is that the same oil as the normal oil change I do? Or am I supposed to be changing some other oil(s) too?
You've been very informative. Thank you, DavesVulster.