You can probably get it off without taking the tank off but you will probably damage the tab connector that holds the two of them together at the top. Probably not an issue for you since you are putting new ones on. However, it may be a challenge to get the new chrome ones on properly since you won't be able to access the area where the tab connectors are at the top.
Need a hand? I've got free time today since it's colder than snot.
Neck covers on my 07 don't have a clip under the tank. They were constantly loose and out of alignment. Had tank off yesterday to relocate throttle cables, put a piece of good old duct tape across the top of both covers. Problem solved, and invisible with tank back in place.
I took my tank off and I STILL broke the little tabs on the top of the chrome covers where they meet...I ended up using epoxy to hold them together...
its hidden under the tank now, where the glue is, but its on there well!