The canister has charcoal in it. Its purpose is to absorb gasoline vapors which originate in the tank. These are vented via a line to the charcoal canister. A second vent line from the canister leads to the atmosphere in case the charcoal becomes saturated. During engine operation, the vacuum in the throttle bodies draws some air through the small lines attached to the charcoal canister. As the air flows, it causes some of the gasoline that's trapped in the charcoal to vaporize and thus it gets pulled into the throttle bodies and burned in the engine. The whole system is meant as a means of controlling unwanted gasoline vapors that occur when the bike is not operating.
It's not a lot of flow into the throttle bodies, and it's not necessarily at the correct mixture level. If the charcoal is "dry", all you are doing is pulling extra air into the throttle bodies. By blocking off those lines or entry ports you are eliminating the vacuum leaks, and only air that's been through the air filter, along with the correct mixture of gasoline from the injectors, is getting into the engine.