I really wanted to see if the SE skidplate would fit with the high pipes but i haven't been able to borrow anyones to try it on. It might be too short to clear the oilpan but i think it should. I don't have a lot of tools to work on material so the PEHD version was done with a 20€ heat gun and a hinged woodplate. Understandably not really a masterpiece. I did do a full "canoe" version as well but it was just too ugly and was a bit too much for my use. Was not planning on doing riding over logs etc. So now i'm lusting after an original SE skidplate.
I think the feel for the 990 SM as stock is not too much to hope for. Haven't tried the newer models but at least the older ones were not that good. But i really like the feel that mine has now. I have the 2-1 system, the G2 throttle cam and i had it all adjusted with the TuneECU on a dyno. The power comes on smooth and is easy to control on small throttle openings and when i turn the throttle then it GOES. No hesitation. Some people complain about the EFI systems compared to the carbs but it's a matter of setting them up properly. Unfortunately the factory does not set them up properly because of the emissions laws. Funny thing is that even without the emissions systems you can get the bike to pass the regulations. Small changes on the EFI bikes make big differences. I think the carburated version is more forgiving mechanically as well as when riding. In the end there is not much difference. It's a question of preference. There is a saying in Finnnish about some people liking mothers and other people liking daughters. Both are fantastic bikes but if you go to the details it's up to you personally to decide what you like. As far as reading about snowhawks riding style an EFI could be made pretty damn good for that. Instant response and all that but not as stock.
What i'd really love to see on the 990 is the ride-by-wire system. That way you could have one map for offroad and one for road riding. Would really reveal the potential of the bike!