It sounds like something is definitely wrong; it shouldn't be backfiring when starting nor dying at lights.
I always have issues backfiring when starting when my battery is weak; make sure that isn't the case just for giggles. Check your charging system and make sure it's working properly. Dying at lights could also mean you aren't charging enough, and voltage drops too low. You should see near 14v @ 5000rpm with a DC multimeter.
Pull your spark plugs; are they wet with gas, white and dry, etc?
Let's also get some more details on how you did your earshave. What pod filters, what jet sizes, what elevation are you at, etc.
If you feel it's poogs, pop the gas cap when you're having issues. Do you hear a hiss or noise like it may have been under pressure/etc? If so, perform the steps to clean the vent lines in the tank/cap.
1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
VN750.com Grill Cover
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R
1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
1998 Honda VFR800 FI
2014 Honda VFR800F
1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350