Check that P clamp!
That might actually be somewhat "normal" for these, I've read lots of complaints about it and the "answer" is usually just amsoil. I've been running that in mine forever and don't see a difference at all. The shift lever did make a huge difference for me though, so I thought I'd throw it out there.It's all free operating on mine. I've found under certain rpms and speeds it slips right in. The more aggressive the riding with shifts at higher rpms the more the dogs resist engaging without the mini grind thing going on. It is what it is since so many do it, I won't worry about the possibility of the dogs grinding off. They probably are but the effect might not be noticed until a bazzillion miles.
For what it's worth, mine was doing the same random clunky, grinding, stumble into gear thing for over 75,000 miles and still seems to be ok