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Woah, back it up, boys. Let's check the basics first.

Is your fuel switch set to on, or reserve, and not to off? Do you have gas? If the switch is off or if you're out of fuel, more and more choke can let you start it and keep it running for a while. Eventually you won't even be able to start it, even with full choke and full throttle.

ZX-2R has a good point on the side stand switch. Those fail sometimes, and the symptom will be perfect operation until you let out the clutch.

Cale asked a good question, too. Just because you press down on the shifter doesn't mean that you're in first. You might need to let out the clutch a little to spin the transmission so that you can shift.

There's certainly more possibilities, but those are the first things that come into my mind.
Curt
 
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