Motorcycle Air Cleaners: Everything You Need to Know

Motorcycle Air Cleaners: Everything You Need to Know

The motorcycle air cleaner is an essential part of your bike. Every motorcycle enthusiast wants his or her bike to run as well as possible. For optimal performance, you need to take care of your motorcycle's engine. Obviously, this means keeping particulates and contaminants out of the engine, so they don't degrade or prematurely age it. When the filter is clogged or dirty, it negatively impacts your motorcycle's performance. One of the most obvious results is reduced fuel economy. Learn what every motorcycle lover should know about motorcycle air cleaners and filters.

Motorcycle Air Cleaner

Paper or Cotton

A motorcycle air cleaner can only be as good as its filter. The debate about cotton versus paper is ongoing, and there are passionate arguments made for and against both options. However, the vast majority of stock air filters are pleated, paper-based filters. Once a paper filter becomes clogged or dirty, it has to be removed and replaced. For most people, this doesn't prove to be too much of an imposition. The paper filter only needs to be replaced about once or twice a year. It varies depending upon local environmental factors and how often you ride. If you follow a regular maintenance schedule, you can simply stick to the recommended change intervals. Otherwise, you can just change out the paper filter when it looks dirty.

With a cotton-gauze air filter, things are a bit different. These filters are typically installed as an aftermarket part. The main benefit of a cotton-gauze filter is that it can be cleaned and reused many times. In fact, a cotton-gauze filter might outlive your motorcycle. For environmentally-conscious people, this is the primary appeal of a cotton-gauze air filter. Because it's reusable, it doesn't produce as much waste. Of course, it still needs to be cleaned on a regular schedule.


High-Flow Filters

High-flow air filters are specially designed to provide increased horsepower and aid with improved acceleration. For anyone worried about having a competitive edge, high-flow air filters are the ideal choice. Most high-flow air filters are cotton. When you first purchase a high-flow air filter, it should come pre-oiled and ready for installation. After you clean it, you'll have to re-oil it with new filter oil. Be sure that you always allow your filter enough time to dry after cleaning.

Proper Fit

If your bike seems to idle rough or has lost a bit of its performance, the fix could be as simple as cleaning the filter. Of course, motorcycle air filters aren't universally interchangeable. It's essential that you use the correct air filter for your motorcycle. Not only will the wrong air filter not fit your bike, but trying to force the filter into place could damage your motorcycle. Even if you manage to work the incorrect filter into place, it won't perform as expected. It may allow too much dirt and debris into your engine. Alternatively, it could choke your engine by not allowing adequate air flow.

Air and fuel are both essential for your motorcycle. Your bike simply can't run properly without both being in balance. If you have any questions about your motorcycle air cleaner, speak with the professionals at CycleVisions.