The clutch on the 1200 is hydrolic.
If the DOT4 fluid has not been changed yearly, your slave cylinder (lower rear center of the motor) is probably leaking pressure by the seals. If that is the case, the slave cylinder needs to be pulled off and at minimum cleaned properly, or get a rebuild kit from K&L for it and rebuild it. Then clean out the master cylinder as well. The banjo bolt will be first bleed point to bench bleed the master cylinder then a total flush with new DOT4 through the system until all old fluid is out and air bubbles are out. A mighty-vac is best way to bleed the system.
That's JUST what my '86 1200 did last summer. My mechanic pulled and cleaned the slave cylinder and drained the master and replaced the fluids. My trike has been a "dream" to ride this summer. No jumping (or as I called it last year,..."clutch creep") at stoplights or signs. with nice and smooth takeoffs. A joy to ride this summer.
It's possible your lever travel is 'spongy' and the system needs bleeding, etc. However, Bike...and Dennis makes a good point. Clutch plates tend to stick together a bit on a cold engine. If your choke is on full and fast idle is invoked your 'jumping' might be normal.
Other things can effect full travel of your clutch lever. I often find the round brass clutch lever bushing extremely wore and needing replacement. Also if you have those big foamy or chrome grips it can reduce your lever travel. And...ALWAYS grab your front brake lever when you start your bike in gear.
:waving: Welcome to the World's Greatest Goldwing Site erench!:waving:
One way you can tell if you have a dragging clutch or just oil drag in the clutch on start up is to start the bike, hold the clutch lever in for 10-15 seconds and then put it into gear. The 'lurch' should be a lot less. With the engine running and the transmission in first with the clutch lever held in try moving the bike forwards and backwards on a hard level surface. If the clutch is dragging it will be harder to push the bike backward than forward. Try the same thing in neutral with the engine shut off for comparison.
All 'Wings will give a major clunk and lurch on starting in cool or cold weather. To avoid that put the bike in first gear with the clutch held before starting. One other way to reduce that lurch on the first start of the day is to hold the clutch in for 10-15 seconds to let the clutch plates separate. Releasing the clutch spring pressure as the clutch does isn't always enough to free the plates when they're somewhat stuck with cold oil.
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