I have an 1984 XR500R, The other day when I was riding my local trails I noticed when I down shifted down from second to first the shift lever nearly pointed to the ground. I stopped the bike to see if anything was visibly wrong or if the shift lever spun on the shift shaft. This wasn’t the case. The bike still shifts, but the throw in the lever went from 3 inches (normal) to nearly 8 inches! I was able to ride the bike back home and it still shifted fine in each gear but just took me physically lifting up my leg with my boot under the shifter to find the next gear. Down shifting I had to push down with my toe way further than normal. Also the “return to normal” spring does not bring the shifter back to the normal position and the shifter just flops around. My question is, what causes this? And does this require me to split the cases on the engine, or can it be fixed without splitting the cases? My mechanic first told me that he could fix this by removing one of the side case covers but has called back to tell me that he has to tear down the whole motor to fix. Has anyone out there experienced this? I cant afford putting $500 into getting this fixed. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Scott from SLO.