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Welcome to the forum, John. Tell me that your are on the Missouri side of Kansas City, and not the "other" side. Put your location on your profile page so that Rickbert in Sweet Springs, MO can find you. He is running out of things to polish on his bike, and when that happens, he becomes more active on here. Just kidding, Rick.

Back to your bike. I would investigate that psh, psh noise a little before I did any serious riding. One of my CX's had a similar noise at idle that went away as the revs went up. Turns out that the fan hub was loose and would vibrate until the force of the air on the fan stabilized it. If the fan blows up, (and they sure can), it probably will take the radiator out with it.

The dropping out of first could be caused by several things. I doubt that you will find the solution behind the front cover tho. Even tho the transmission is accessed there, removal usually requires removing the engine and rear cover. At least putting the tranny back for the first time requires the rear cover off. I had a CX that also dropped out of first, and sometimes second. When I pulled the rear cover, I discovered that the finger roller on the shift drum had slipped off the track. Five minutes and a replacement finger and I was back in business. No problem since.

Worn shift dogs, and bent or worn shifter fingers can also cause these problems. It is somewhat dangerous to ride in traffic if you don't know if or when it will jump out. Another thing that could cause it would be that the shifter lever is hitting the exhaust system and it never gets completely into first. That is a simple check, maybe you will get lucky.

I wouldn't even mess with Seafoam until I removed and deep cleaned the carbs. Seafoam is a great product, but it doesn't attack the crud and calcium that are inside these carbs. Cleaning them isn't a big deal, Larry on the forum here sells a great book on how to do it. Or, if you are up for a couple hour trip sometime, bring them down to Columbia and we will spend the day taking them apart and cleaning them.

Redcoating may help, I have not used that product. I have used the POR15 coating and was impressed. If you just have light surface rust, you may not even need more than a good cleanout and inline filter. That just depends on tank condition.
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