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Clutch Problem

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My first post here after reading the forum for a long time. Hope someone can help! My 2000 YZ250 has original clutch. I've had it since 2002 and the bike was practically new when I bought it. I've taken long periods of time off riding, so even though it's 14 yrs old, it's still in good shape. 

 

I've noticed a problem with my clutch lately where it only seems to engage at the very end of the lever travel. This is only noticeable when I get going from dead stop. Basically the clutch engagement is very short and only at the very end of lever release. 

 

I figured it might be either springs or friction plates. Took it apart, measured and both are within spec. I think manual said the friction plate range is 2.9mm - 3.1mm and mine were all 3.0mm and above. Same with springs, all within range.

 

My outer basked is actually in pretty good shape with barely noticeable grooves. The inner basked is a little worse, especially on the long studs through which springs are screwed in, but again, doesn't appear horrible.  

 

The clutch cable is properly adjusted per the manual, at the clutch lever. I haven't adjusted it anywhere else.

 

Any idea what could be the problem?

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They are def steel. I had to pull a few out with a magnet, since I laid the bike on its side. I'll go measure them. Interestingly I didn't see the spec for the steels in the manual. Anyone know what it is for 2000 YZ 250?

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