I like the side panels too. I actually removed my air box this weekend (rainy weekend) just to sit back and see how it looks. To me, the bike looks better with air boxes in place. The shock and linkage are hidden items that keep the bike having the look of a hard tail. With airboxes removed, all of this is seen. To me it’s just does away with the clean classic look. It changes the look a lot.
I think if someone wants to get really creative, they can chop those rear frame rails and totally expose the rear shock and link when doing an air box delete. Like I said..that’s not the classic look at all, but if you are going chop....get to chopping.