I removed mine I am sure it flow a little bit better but anything helps.I did not remove it until I got a clamp on style filter just because I thought the stock filter had a poor seal around the air box and feared something could possibly get sucked into the engine :shocking
i removed mine when i did the k & n and snorkel. bio is right. i don't think it restrict's that much but probably a little but if you have the lid removed the snorkel off and a adaptor with a k & n or uni or something....what the point of it being there.....if it gets through the filter it will get through the screen REALLY easy......IMO
Just like ACDC said, they put it there to keep the stock filter from being sucked in.
When I installed the CFM airbox it requires that you remove the screen as there is a lip on the flange that fits into the groove that the screen occupies. This also allows for a larger seal surface.
I didn't have any problem removing mine as I could see that if you were to move all those pieces of screen together that it blocks off quite a bit of air as well as what Bio mentioned as vortice flow which may more be best described as secondary pulse waves that come out of the head and thru the carb which is part of the flow design.
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