The one thing I noticed with the clutch basket while packing it was that it spun freely (the bike was in neutral at this time) and I could not torque the spring bolts without putting it into 1st gear. I'm confident there are the right number of plates, etc.
I just took a peek under the rubber seal near the transmission, and the front splines appear the same while the bike is in neutral and 1st. It does seem that the problem lies in the engine.
When I replaced my head gaskets, I never pulled off the front bevel gear housing. I do know that the clutch pushrod is free and in good shape though.
I had the bike just in 1st gear on the centerstand, and with the clutch handle fully out, if I spun the rear wheel BACKWARDS with my foot, the wheel would sort of tick and slow itself dowm. That led me to believe that there is a little power being transferred in the engine?
Thanks for your continued help. The weather is finally nice here and I want to get riding!
You might pull the clutch cover and observe the clutch pack while moving the lever, but with the spring action I'm not sure it would show anything. It seems that it all should be moving, if it was broken or stuck, the hand lever should feel dead.
Yes, the driveshaft will flop around with the rear drive removed, it lays down against the swingarm tube when the gear is not installed. There's just nothing else holding it up.
Only part not checked is the bevel gear. There are dogs in there that lock up, with a spring to hold tension. With the bevel case removed, you should be able to rotate the driveshaft and see if the rear coupler and rear gear are engaged, or just spin the rear wheel by hand. Could be the front splines, but I've never heard of it.
Haven't heard of the trans breaking, but it's not impossible. I do recall some having troubles at the bevel gear, but don't recall exactly what. Broken dogs or shredded gears maybe. One poster did have the cover and seal pop off, he bought a can of soup and hammered the can in there to get home.