Your motorcycle may not be human, but like you, it works better when it can breathe easily. And like you, when it can’t, performance suffers. Dirty air filters eventually result in poor fuel economy, loss of power, and rough idling. Inspecting your air filter on a regular basis helps avoid performance issues. Here are key signs it’s time for you to clean your motorcycle’s air filter.
The Air Filter Is a Necessity
Motorcycle air cleaners aren’t accessories, they’re an important component of the system that keeps your bike on the road. Like the name implies, the air filter keeps dirt and dust out of your engine. Air filters are usually made of either a specialized pleated paper, or a foam like material. The key to the air filter is layers. The layers catch the dirt and dust particles. Over time, the particles build up and clog the filter. A dirty filter prevents clean air from getting to the engine. If your filter is made from a reusable material, all you need to do is give it good cleaning.
Does the Filter Look Dirty?
Air filters are not too complicated. When they’re new, they look clean and white. A dirty filter is visibly filthy with one caveat. Your filter may look relatively clean on the outside but may have an accumulation of dirt and dust on the inside layers. If your filter doesn’t look dirty, check the maintenance schedule from your manufacturer. Generally, most bikers change or clean their motorcycle air cleaner 1-2 times per year.
You See Smoke
If you notice smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, it means your engine is struggling. While smoke can indicate a few different problems, if it’s black, you have a fuel or oil issue. Check your air filter first since a dirty filter can cause the engine to run too rich. What you don’t want to do is ignore smoke of any color from your exhaust. Ignorance is not bliss and could end up causing serious damage to your engine.
Fouled Out Spark Plugs
Motorcycle spark plugs are reliable enough these days that we tend to ignore them. When spark plugs foul out, it could be a symptom of a clogged or dirty filter. Maybe you’re not sure what happens when a spark plug quits working correctly. The main evidence of a spark plug problem is a motorcycle that flat out won’t start. You may also notice poor gas mileage, rough idling, and an engine that shuts off when idling. You also might have trouble accelerating. These symptoms don’t guarantee your problem is a dirty air filter, but you should still check it out before moving on to other more complicated reasons for a fouled spark plug.
Loss of Power
Remember, the job of an air cleaner is preventing dirt and dust from getting into your engine. When the air cleaner on a motorcycle clogs, there’s a reduction in the air that’s pulled into the engine’s intake system. Now, you have a problem with imbalance in the air-to-fuel ratio. When this happens, your engine suffers. You might notice poor fuel economy, power loss, or a sluggish throttle response. Ignore a dirty air filter long enough and the engine won’t start at all.Taking care of air cleaner on your motorcycle is the simplest thing you can do to ensure a long life of easy riding. For assistance selecting the best motorcycle air cleaner for your bike, contact Cycle Visions today!