doing damage riding with hanging idle?

My 06 fofiddy idles poorly. It starts first or second kick but rpm races and hangs. 48/170, needle stock position, 1.5 turns out on fuel screw, Long Island, NY. From what I understand, I probably have an air leak, running lean. Pops on decell a lot, but generally runs fine. Last time I installed header and muffler (both stock), I couldnt get as much overlap between the two. Roughly 1/4" less insertion, thinking this is my leak. Dont know how to make up the discrepancy tho, as the 6mm and nut are tight, and I rotated header to try to find the sweet spot. Should I just try and bend the thing back farther? Anyways, got both exhaust gaskets, alum. hot start nut and some jets on order, but its gettn cold as a witch's tit and I need to ride tomorrow. Am I doing damage riding it with the leak?

An air leak in the exhaust will not cause a hanging idle. The cause of the idle problem is usually a partly blocked pilot jet.

Thanks for reply Gray, Ill check my pilot. Any thoughts on my header? Am I missing something here? Dont think its a big deal but am at a loss as to why I cant get the damn thing back farther. Is the elaborate torque sequence in manual really necessary? Guess Ill just bend it...

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