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Bike: 2001 Kawasaki Ninja 500R
My clutch started slipping a month back, I took apart the clutch and put it back together after replacing the gasket and checking the plates. After putting the clutch plates back in (in the same order), and adding a new clutch cable, the motorcycle will not get in gear. At first the motorcycle would not get in gear at all. I did a rolling shift into first and it seemed to work. It then stopped moving when in first gear. I could rev the engine and not move in first. On the center stand, I let it run, trying to see what was happening as I put it in first gear, engaging and disengaging the clutch and revving it a few times. It seemed to run fine. My theory so far is that the clutch plates are dry/sticky and need to run with the oil on them so they can un-stick as it runs.
-The clutch is clean and looks brand new inside. No wear, cracks, or marks of wear or abuse.
-The plates have some tiny burn marks (not nearly enough to be burned out).
-I put a little oil in the clutch (its a wet clutch).
-The clutch lever is firm to pull in, not ungodly firm, but has some pull to it naturally. There is no play/wiggle room in the clutch lever upon letting go.
-The chain has a bit of rust but is not the problem. It has proper amount of play.

Can someone please help me figure out what might be wrong and tell what to do???
I also have a coolant leak that I need to look at.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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There should be around 1/8-1/16th" of play in the clutch lever when fully released. I would start with a clutch adjustment following the owner or service manual.
 
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Also, check to see that the idle rpm is up where it belongs, when in neutral. A lot of guys will turn the idle down for the sound, but it can only cause problems. If it is per spec in neutral, but any slower in gear, see Critter's suggestion, as the clutch may be dragging.
 

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Sounds like you either have a cable out of adjustment or you have a worn part/reinstalled something incorrectly. Diagram shows clutch parts. Adjust cable and with slack per manual. If that doesnt fix it, you have to go back in there. Are you using a manual and checking that everything is in spec? Some say plates have to be soaked in oil overnight, some say just a few minutes, some say they just coat them before install. Just dont install them dry.

https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/kawasaki/motorcycle/2001/ninja-500r-ex500-d8/clutch
 
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