I also notice the lurch on startup with clutch pulled in. Even if I give it a little gas (yeah, yeah, not supposed to blip, but I don't have stalling issues) at a light, it will want to move. Fact is, even in NEUTRAL, the vics (at least 04-05) will move the rear tire at 10mph if it is up off the ground on a lift. I think it is just the nature of the beast, and I have noticed it on other bikes as well.
The rear wheel of my 98 Goldwing, while on the center stand, rotated in neutral when the engine was cold or hot. I was told they just do that. The oil acting as a medium, especially when cold, transferring the rotation of the engine's flywheel to the clutch. I rode that bike for 186,000 km (115,500 miles) and the clutch worked as it did like new when I sold the bike for the CC Tour. Don't sweat it.
Click for weather forecast
"Ave Victoria" ( Hail Victory)
Take my word on this: if all of a sudden you need a sizeable adjustment in your free play, it's the cable starting to seperate from the barrel and it WILL snap. Do yourself a favor and just get a Barnett cable now before you're stranded.
Here's how to lube it since no one has really answered your question. Purchase a cable luber and some liquid graphite. Both are easy to find at bike shops. Remove your clutch lever at the bars, and the cable from the lever. (Notice the safety switch and don't break it when you reassemble). Put the luber on the cable and shoot the graphite spray down the cable till it's runs out the other end. Apply grease to the 2 barrel ends on the cable as well where they rotate. Inspect both ends for fraying. They are prone to snap off right where it attaches to the clutch arm. Yes I know from experience haha.
Here's how to adjust it. Loosen the small nut on the part you pictured. Turn the adjuster till you have just a little free play at the lever. Don't take all the slack completely out, since your clutch plates expand when they warm up. I'd go with about 1/8"-3/16" gap between the lever and the perch.
Hope this helped.
Monkey, thanks for your help. I had kind of answered my own question after not receiving any real help. I'm seriously considering saving up for a hydraulic conversion kit and skipping this whole issue being that I just bought the bike and this cable is ready to go. I want to be able to do extended trips without having to worry about a time bomb cable leaving me in a bad spot, even with a Sav-ur-ride. Hydraulic seems like a reasonable option being that it is close in price to a couple of replacement cables and alleviates the issue altogether.
The Cross Bikes don't seem to have much of a problem but I still carry a Sav-Ur-Ride clutch cable just in case. The first time my clutch cable breaks I am converting to a hydraulic clutch.
As for the lurch on startup, I'd make sure your cable is adjusted properly but its perfectly normal. Here is a excerpt from How To: The Ins and Outs of Clutches From the October, 2010 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser
Clutch drag happens when the plates fail to completely release. A dragging clutch will make it difficult to change gears, and if it's bad enough, may allow the bike to creep forward when in gear. Drag occurs when there's too much free play in the clutch release mechanism or when a mechanical problem prevents the clutch plates from fully separating. Outside of the obvious things, like an improperly adjusted clutch or broken release mechanism, drag is often caused by wear to the clutch hub and basket. If the fingers or splines develop grooves or notches, the plates may hang up or twist in them and fail to fully release when the clutch is disengaged. Overheating the clutch can also swell the plates and cause drag, though everything should work normally once things cool off.
I should mention that, by nature, wet clutches suffer from something called viscous drag, particularly when they're cold. Viscous drag occurs when the viscosity of the cold oil creates enough drag between the plates to transfer some torque, even though you're holding the clutch in. If the drag is severe, punching the bike into gear can result in a loud clunk and maybe a small leap forward, or even a stall. Normally, this is only a problem when the bike is started for the first time on a cold day, or too heavy an oil is used, but the solution here is simple. Just let the bike warm up for a minute, preferably with the clutch disengaged, during the first start of the day, before putting it in gear.
I lubricated and checked my cable several times during the last two years. No problems or wear for my 2011 XC in 28+k miles.... just switched to a hydraulic clutch actuator and couldn't be happier. Much smoother engagement, especially on an uphill grade startup..... also moves the left mirror out to match the right mirror (no longer looking at my left upper arm/shoulder).
I've also installed a solid bushing in the shift lever (takes out the slop) along with a heel shifter with secondary tab..... very easy shifting now with little foot movement.
Sure would be nice if Polaris would step up and do this stuff right from the beginning. If an old farmboy like me can figure this out, you would think their design engineers could get it right the first time.
I would have loved to answer your question about how to lube the cable but I would have been guessing. I am so impatient with maintenance work that I had the dealer install a hydraulic clutch kit on my hammer last year. VERY relieved not worry about breaking, where to store the SAV Ride extra, and maintenance. There is a video on youtube if you search carefully, of someone installing the hydro clutch on a Vic- a jackpot I think. It even helped the dealer map out how to do it since there are issues with getting the right parts. Witchdoctor posted some helpful stuff on this long ago, and I think that he sells kits.
Depending upon year, you may have trouble matching the covers for brake and clutch master cylinders, but by using chrome trim covers mine looks ok. Insert a gripe now into this thread that a premium bike like Vic should have Hydro clutches on all of their bikes right from the factory.
BTW, again my only experience is on Cross Bikes, if your bike has the Teflon lined cables DO NOT lube the cables with graphite spray inside the cables. It will mess up the cables and make it harder to pull as well as probably break easier. Rather just lube the 2 barrel ends on the cable. From what I've seen and heard, any lube will work. I use white lithium paste. Others use a spray.