So that you understand, /tokenize lets you take data and separate it into parts, where each part is separated by the character you specify. For example, you can split "a,list,of,words" into $1 through $4 by using /tokenize 44 and that data (44 refers to $chr(44), which is a comma). $1 would then be "a", $2 would be "list", etc. This can be useful when you need to work with specific parts of the data, or to use each part individually (or in groups).
The way you used it, you were separating the variable's data into parts (separated by spaces) and then working with $1-. $1- is every part. If you are going to use every part, there's no need to split it up. $remove() works on the %variable just fine without needing to make the variable into $1-.
I'd recommend reading some about the various token commands. They are very useful and aren't too difficult to learn.
/help token identifiers