LOL! Heck, if you take both side covers off you are even likely to find evidence of trans failure. I found a part of something (lord only knows) when I pulled my clutch cover off that had been left when one of the previous owners had replaced the decompression mech or the trans. I was lucky to find someone had already put a 02+ trans in my 01 (the guy I bought it from didn't know much on its history, other than his son bought it and blew the engine). Regardless, once you get the cylinder off you should be able to look inside and see if things have gone awry
Hmmmm, When my counterbalancer exited the engine it was hard enough to see the trans gears with half the top of the trans missing, I will half to look at my half assembled engine tomorrow and see what I can see.........
My '01 had no second gear when I bought it last year as a project quad. (Just clattered around in idle until second gear was skipped entirely. ) Tore it down and took all internal tranny parts to an expert for diagnosis. Had to replace: 2nd Gear, 4th Gear, one Shift fork and the Shift Drum. Explaination => The gear fingers had rounded edges instead of 90 degree angles, and some of the v shaped notches in the shift drum were round and not sharp. Fork was okay but had some ugly scrap marks on it so replaced it as reccommended. Mechanic said he could tell the wear was due to abuse. (Banging gears without proper clutch use, jumping / landing without the clutch in etc.) Was able to get it all back together correctly on a garage work bench just using the service manual, basic tools and an impact wrench. Since then, it's running great. Second gear is everything and I would have to say I am somewhat hard on it.
Naa keep it going for a while, I for one would be curious of the results over the long term. I voted ‘Has’ because I didn’t want to skew the stats, but in my case, I probably could have voted both 'Has' and 'Has Not' had tranny issues since mine were inherited when acquiring the Rappy and it is has run great ever since fixing it. One curious thing I found when I cracked it open was that the 'old style' gears I have seen pictures of in manuals on this forum, were not present so mine had either been rebuilt and messed up again before me or Yo-mama-haw stopped putting in the gears with the 'round' fingers at some point in '01.