Re: Had my little putter for a year now...
I see you do not have a shift kit so what gear the bike is in doesn't have any effect on the engine. It sounds to me as if your clutch cable isn't adjusted correctly. When coming to a stop all you should have to do is squeeze the clutch lever which will disengage the engine from the rear wheel. Just like any manual transmission on a motorcycle or a car.
You'll want little to no slack in the cable where it attaches to the engine and when the handlebar lever is fully compressed the rear wheel should spin free with just a little resistance and some chain noise. The bike gears have no influence on the engine drive side or how the engine idles or pulls the bike.
Age and Treachery Will Always Triumph
Over Youth and Skill & "Charlie Don't Ride"