I agree. Snip through all the tabs with a pair of side-cutters just to get the "knock-out" out of the way, trim remaining stubs using a utility knife with a sharp blade. Start on the top tabs so that you'll have your procedure perfected before moving on to the more visable tabs. Dress the back of the "lip" with a fine file and some sandpaper afterwards (to where when you look through the holes from an angle, you don't see any remnants where the tabs were on the back-side of the cowling). Just makes things look half-fast if you don't clean it up and after you get it back together, you'll wish you did. Takes less than 5 minutes to do both sides but time is on your side. You're in this deep, may as well do it right. It's like most Goldwing projects...simple to do, just a pain to get to.I used my smallest pair of end cutting pliers.
I used a Dremel with a cutting wheel on it. I stayed well away from the circular inside of the finished edge and then came back with a sanding drum bit on the Dremel to clean it all up. Keep the speed down so if it kicks on you then you won't have the bit take off like a runaway train. It works just dandy.