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The Best Way to Clean Air Filter of Your Motorcycle

The Best Way to Clean Air Filter of Your MotorcycleDepending on your motorcycle make, motorcycle air filters are available in various forms and in three types of materials – paper, fabric and foam. Motorcycles usually come stocked with the paper type but they are the least durable of the three and are in fact, not cleanable. Imagine trying to clean paper with soapy water, it will just disintegrate.

The latter two – fabric and foam – are the more expensive versions for they are washable. In fact, some foam air filters can last as much as 50 washes if they are properly handled, maintained and regularly cleaned.

Different ways to clean motorcycle air filter

The overall approach to the best way to clean air filter for your motorcycle, be it fabric or foam is mostly identical, with the exception of their drying process. In both instances, after you remove the air filter from its housing or air box, you will want to knock off any loose dirt, where possible. This allows you to see and more easily access the tight areas that need to be cleaned.

Using an air filter cleaner recommended by the air filter manufacturer, you will gently knead it into your air filter. The purpose of the cleaner is to remove the grime that is lodged inside. Two things to bear in mind when getting the best out of cleaning air filters: avoid heavy corrosive type cleaning chemicals, which will clog and breakdown your filter, and in working in the cleaner, never wring or squeeze your air filter.

Thereafter, put your air filter through several rinses of warm water.

The next set of rinse should be with warm soapy water and you will want to do this several times to the point where the wash water no longer looks like dirt road color. On the final rinse, gently knead out as much excess water as you can.

It is important to ensure you dry out the air filter properly as any water that is locked in may cause your engine to under perform or worse yet, fail.

Here is an exception you need to be aware of. One of the ways you can help to quickly dry out your foam air filter is by using an air compressor. However, for fabric filters, avoid using the air compressor. Instead, just swirl and toss it into mid-air a few times to dry it.

While the air filter is left aside to further dry, you can give its housing or air box a good cleaning too. Lightly spray it with a mild soap detergent, let it sit a while before wiping it down a few times with a clean microfiber or wash cloth.

By then, it will be time to saturate your dried out air filter with new filter oil. Avoid using too little or too much oil – the former will let dust through and cause premature aging of the engine and the latter will restrict air flow and cause your motorcycle to run poorly. The last thing on the oiling process is to apply grease to the filter lip and mounting hole to ensure you get a tight seal when you fit back the air filter.

How to determine which is the best way to clean air filters

Whether our motorcycles are for transport or fun or both, it is a reflection of our choice of lifestyle. The best way to clean and detail is thus a personal preference. Nonetheless, you should take into consideration how often they are used, the terrains they are used on and how to best fit their cleaning into your lifestyle.

Share With Us What You Think Is The Best Way To Clean Air Filter

There are as many ways to clean your motorcycles as there are motorcycle cleaner brands. Everyone has their preferred way of keeping their vehicle in top shape.

What are some of the lessons you learned in fine-tuning your process to suit you and your vehicle’s needs? Are there any suggestions and tips we might have missed and you care to share with us?

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November 2013
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