Okay, I've done the 1986 carb removal a few times. I posted one of my first posts about it but it got deleted a few years ago in the HSN server move.
Yes, there is a trick to it! A fellow by the handle of Gumpy clued me in on it, and it saved the day. I haven't heard from Gumpy in a long time, but I'll pass his wisdom along to you.
First of all, get the upper tubes off of both carbs, and loosen the bands that connect them to the airbox at the top. You probably have this done already.
Now get out the air dryer, and do this in an open space. You'll be heating things with gasoline, so that will make some vapours which you don't want to collect where you're working.
I'll warn you in advance that you're doing this to 23 year old rubber. You may break a carb boot. You'll be able to repair with with some tire patch material and RTV silicone, but it will make for a longer process. I've done this a few times and haven't broken anything, but I'm throwing this warning out just so you know.
Do this one carb boot at a time. Heat the upper carb boot until the rubber gets flexible, and then flip it inside out, like you would do when pairing socks together. Then let it cool and do it to the other carb's top boot. Now push the boots up into the airbox. They will move about 1/2 inch up. Between pushing them up and flipping them inside out, you'll gain enough clearance to get the carbs out. I think they come out from the right side of the bike.
As for the bottom boots, loosen both bands on each boot and stick the straw from your WD-40 can at the base of them and give them a shot. Twist the boots with your hands until they break free and rotate and then they should pop right off. If you leave then on the carbs and free them from the engine you'll have an easier time of it.
Hope this helps!
Currently Running Stable:
2010 Honda NT700V
1986 Shadow 700
1986 Honda Trail 110 (Postie Bike)
1987 Honda Rebel 450
1973 Honda Mini Trail 50