What you describe sounds like insufficient lever travel. Your lever can't move the entire range required to both fully release the clutch and fully depress it. This is usually just a problem with the adjustment as the lever and clutch arm geometry are designed to allow the full range of motion.
Set the adjuster on the bars to a middle or mostly screwed in position. Then using the adjuster down on the case adjust the play until there is only a tiny bit of free play in the lever when fully released. You don't want the lever tight, you want to be able to pull it back a short distance before it begins to engage the pressure plate. To confirm it's adjusted right put it on center stand and fire it up. Please be careful with this, it's very easy to bump the bike and have it careen off into something solid and expensive. Put the bike in gear and keep the clutch fully depressed. The rear wheel will probably start turning, if you can stop it easily with your foot or the rear brake and there is still a small about of free play in the lever when released then your clutch is now properly adjusted.
1982 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk
2009 Green Versys