Probably needs a good lube. My old Harely had an easy pull and this is harder than it, but only slightly harder than before I changed it.
Be careful on the AZ easy pull. I called them twice (because I was in disbelief the first answer I got) and both time was told, "...we'd love to sell it to you but fair warning, we are seeing issues of early cable breakage." He even told me he won't put one on his bike. In other words carry an emergency spare if you do, or replace the cable often as preventative.
Now I know some have and zero issues, but this came directly from the maker.
FORMERLY 2012 Black XC Tour
2016 Honda NM4
2014 Honda CTX 700 dct