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Bike was slightly lean from the factory, and the K&N filters likely made it more so. Holes in the exhaust just made it louder. But, it can be a real PITA to get these carbs tuned with anything but stock filters.

Old saying "a tappy valve is a happy valve"; when they go quiet you have a problem.
 

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It's the interaction of the change in air pressure in the carb intake with the needle jet/jet needle, along with the CV piston. All CV carbs can have this issue, but somehow, these carbs are just a little worse. I can't easily tune the carbs on my old CB450 with low-restriction filters, either, so just gave up and put repro stock filters on.
 
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