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Define ashen. As long as the plugs aren't stark white and/or crusty, you probably aren't too lean.

If your machine was burning good, and it really did suddenly go lean without anyone tinkering with something....it can only be a fuel delivery issue. Carbs/filter/pump/tank/hoses.
 

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If it was running fine and then suddenly started burning lean chances are your engine starts popping every time you let off the throttle as you're going down the road too, in this case I would look at the carb insulators, those are the rubber boots that attach the carbs to your intake, if the rubber is not soft and flexible anymore than you may have a vacuum leak.
 
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