Ok.... Thought I'd re visit this thread based on my findings..
I did my PAIR mod last weekend, which of course necessitated removing air box blah blah blah.
I pulled the stock air filter out. Holy %rap! Thats not a screen.. Thats obviously a restriction plate! Upon examination, you can see that it's made to be removed. The screen is snapped and held in about 4-6 places. Just pick one side up with flat screw driver. Pull it up enough to grab a hold of, then start popping it off the pins.
Throw in dust bin.. You now have a performance filter..