You need to put rubber caps 5/8" over the reed valve covers. You can buy them at Advance Auto for a couple bucks. If you don't do that then the marbling won't do much good and with the caps on it doesn't matter what direction the reeds go.
The hesitation is most likely the vent tube in the left air fiter housing. If it gets close to the housing it won't vent and you will absolutely hesitate around 4-5K. I moved mine back and taped it in place with duct tape. There are other options in the Verses.
If the popping didn't stop with the marbling, then you may have an air leak in the exhaust where it connects to the manifold. Don't over tighten the acorn nuts. You can test it by lighting a cigarette or incense stick and hold it near the exhaust with the bike running, if the smoke is disturbed then you have a leak and you'll need to replace the gasket. Popping is caused by air getting into the exhaust and on decel it's trying to be burned and explodes causing the popping.
Hope this helps. Check the Verses, lots of help on this problem.
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