Yes they can be removed, but its a pain in the rear to do. There are metal retaining clips holding them on, the way I did it was to remove the top screws holding the bumper on slightly pull up on the bumper slide your hand in and push on the insert. I have small hands so it was fairly easy but, I did scratched up though. I left my inserts out im planning on putting glazing putty or bondo in the depressed sections and paint it same color of my car. I put a metal screen in front of the radiator to deflect rocks and bugs. While your at it pull the lower one out too.