There was a string on removing the back plates just a few days ago. Read Scrappydoo's post toward the bottom here
If you really wanna work with a ram air intake, I'd suggest checking out this post
They really get into using the hood scoops that you see below.
<IMG SRC="http://www.skcl.demon.co.uk/Scoops2/scoops1.jpg" border=0>
I'm still toying around with my K&N and stock piping. With the snow I get, and rain, and so on... I just wanna keep it drawing from in the fender for now.