How Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work?

How Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work?

The demands of air filters for motorcycles are continuously increasing rapidly. Now the question you might have is how Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work?

How Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work?

The air filter works by passing the air through filters and blocks any impurities from entering the motorcycle engine. 

So what is a motorcycle air filter? What are some types of motorcycle air filters? And what are some signs you need to clear your motorcycle filters? Worry not! In this post, you’ll get to know all the answers to the above questions. 

What are Air Filters? 

Air filters are devices that manufacturers fit on your motorcycle to prevent the entering of dust and debris that could damage the motorcycle engine.

Without air filters, the stone, debris, and dust particles could enter a motorcycle engine that could destroy the motorcycle engine severely. 

Experts always recommend changing the motorcycle engine every 10,000-15,000 miles distance. You can choose any air filters from OEM filters, oiled foam, and cotton gauze. 

How Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work?

The air filter works by passing the air through filters and blocks any impurities such as stone, dust, and debris from entering the motorcycle engine. 

How Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work?

Generally, manufacturers make air filters with foam-like material, which allows air to pass through them. But doesn’t allow big particles such as stone and debris to pass through them. 

In many cases, manufacturers also use resin-infused pleated paper, which works in the same manner as foam-like material.

Additionally, using an air filter for a long time causes them to block the passage, and at that time, your motorcycle air filter won’t ever work effectively. And that’s why we recommend changing air filters every 10,000-15,000 miles.

What is the Use of Air Filters in Your Motorcycle? 

As mentioned above, the primary function of air filters in your motorcycle is to prevent the engine from entering dust and stones. 

But there’s a secondary function of a motorcycle air filter that you need to know. The air filters also provide you with the smoothness and great sound of motorcycle engines providing the secondary function.

Let’s see what will happen if there are no air filters on your motorcycle.  

  • Dust or any impurities will enter your motorcycle engine
  • Entering dust would cause a mixture of fuel and impurities.
  • Your motorbike will produce harmful gases when burning the mixture of dust and fuel. 
  • The dust rotating in the motorcycle engine will cause scratch on the piston rings and head. And these scratches will lead to reduced fuel efficiency along with increasing wear and tear to your motorcycle engine.
  • This whole procedure will finally lead your motorbike to reduced smoothness and increasing unnecessary sounds. 

What are the Some Types of Motorcycle Air Filters? 

Here’re some types of motorcycle air filters that you need to learn. 

Some Types of Motorcycle Air Filters.
Oiled cotton gauze.
OEM paper.
Oiled foam.

Oiled Cotton Gauze:

This filter composed of an oiled layer but doesn’t consist of papers. You can even see the pores of this filter in the light, which is not suitable for an air filter. But fortunately enough, this air filter comes with oil layers. 

This oil layer captures the dust but passes air to pass through them. You can see the oiled based dust when you wash it. And the best thing about oil cotton gauze is that it’s reusable and saves you thousands of dollars. 

However, one of the disadvantages of oiled cotton gauze is the cost. The average price of oiled cotton gauze filters is 50-100% more than the other filters, and along with that, you’ve to buy the re-oiling and cleaning kit.

We know the cost is one of the downsides of oiled cotton gauze, but believe us, this filter is one of the cost-efficient options in the long run.

OEM Paper:

OEM paper filter is the most classical option that you can go with. Manufacturers make OEM paper filters from cellulose or paper-like material, which prevents the entry of dust or debris. 

Nowadays, many manufacturers are producing OEM paper with Greece or any other dense layer, which traps the dust and debris and thus increases the efficiency of the OEM paper filter.

The biggest downside of OEM paper is that it comes with tiny pores, which can easily be blocked by dust and debris and increasing the replacement cost. 

The OEM paper filters are best when you’re looking for filters to block the dust, but it’s a big NO if you’re looking for airflow performance. 

The best thing about this filter is that it is completely replaceable and merely costs about $20-$40.

Oiled Foam:

Oiled foam is the best air filter if you want a performance air filter on your motorbike. 

The best thing about oiled foam is that it’s made for performance which means pores of this filter won’t be blocked when riding in the dusty environment. 

The primary filtration principle is the same as the above two filters, but the oiled foam air filters are an inch thicker than others.

If the oil in the oiled foam gets dried, it will be dustier, and this makes the filter pass the dust and debris through them, which’s terrible news.

That’s why oiled foam filters need to be oiled after every ride for better performance, which can be a messy procedure for many riders.  

What are the Some Types of Motorcycle Air Filters?
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What are the Some Signs You Need to Clean Your Air Filters? 

Air filter clotting is the most common issue which many people are aware of. Now the question is, what are some signs that you need to clean your air filters?

Here’re some signs that you should look into:

Some signs you need to clean your air filters:
Dirty air filters.
Black smoke.
Power issues. 

Dirty Air Filters:

A dirty air filter is the most common sign that you need to look out for. If you ever see dirty air filters, then it’s time to change the filters.

Also, sometimes the air filters look clean and transparent, but you’ll see the blocked tiny holes when scrutinized. 

Black Smoke:

Black smoke is also the most common sign that you need to look out for. The black smoke indicates that your engine is struggling to get clean air. 

However, black smoke is not the only sign of blocked air filters. Sometimes the black smoke also indicates the problem in the fuel injection mechanism. 

Power Issues:

As mentioned above, the primary function of the air filter is to provide clean air to your engine. And if your air filter is blocked, your motorcycle will struggle to get clean air through the air filters.

This primary coagulation will cause a loss in power, an imbalance air to fuel ratio, and in the worst case, your motorcycle won’t start.  

What are the Some Signs You Need to Clean Your Air Filters?
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How to Clean Your Air Filters? 

So far, you have learned the importance of air filters and some signs that you need to clean your motorcycle air filters. 

Now it’s high time to know how to clean your air filters.

How to clean your air filters:
Paper filters.
Foam filters.
Cotton filters. 

Paper Filters:

Paper filters are the cheapest option that might be available in the motorcycle market. In many cases, people see that paper filters don’t get blocked easily.

But what happens when your paper filters are entirely blocked? Unfortunately, you need to replace the whole air filter if they’re blocked. 

Trying to clean them further will only damage the filters permanently. We recommend shifting to cotton or fame filters if your filter is blocked often. 

Foam Filters:

The foam filters are a bit costlier than the paper filters, but the foam filter shows an advantage when it comes to longevity. Cleaning the foam filters is the most straightforward task once you learn the proper technique.

We recommend reading the manufacturer’s manual before cleaning the filters because you’ll find a significant difference in design between two foam filters from different manufacturers. 

We also recommend cleaning the pores as much as possible before using any chemicals for cleaning purposes. You need to apply the cleaner thoroughly and massage the surface of the air filters.

If you want to clean the dust from the deepest part, you can dip the filters in the soap solution and wash them with warm water.

Cotton Filters:

Cotton filters are the most expensive type of filter. But the best thing is that you can clean the cotton filters like foam filters. We recommend washing the flyers twice and thrice for better cleaning.

Here’s an exciting thing, you can’t dry the cotton filters as you do in foam filters. But it would be best if you tossed out the filters so that the entire water can come out from the filter. 

Please note that you can’t use a vacuum or condenser to dry your filters, as doing this will ultimately damage your filters. 

How to Clean Your Air Filters?
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Frequently Asked Questions:

How does a motorcycle air filter work?

The air filter works by passing the air through filters and blocks any impurities from entering the motorcycle engine. 

Additionally, using an air filter for a long time causes them to block the passage, and at that time, your motorcycle air filter won’t ever work effectively. And that’s why we recommend changing air filters every 10,000-15,000 miles.

What will happen if there are no air filters on your motorcycle.  

1. Dust or any impurities will enter your motorcycle engine. 
2. Entering dust would cause a mixture of fuel and impurities.
3. Your motorbike will produce harmful gases when burning the mixture of dust and fuel. 
4. The dust rotating in the motorcycle engine will cause scratch on the piston rings and head. And these scratches will lead to reduced fuel efficiency along with increasing wear and tear to your motorcycle engine.
5. This whole procedure will finally lead your motorbike to reduced smoothness and increasing unnecessary sounds. 

What are the types of motorcycle air filters?

Oiled cotton gauze, paper, and foam are some types of air filters that are available in the motorcycle market.

Our Verdict:

How Does a Motorcycle Air Filter Work? The air filter works by passing the air through filters and blocks any impurities from entering the motorcycle engine. 

Oiled cotton gauze, paper, and foam are some types of air filters that are available in the motorcycle market. And signs include black smoke and power issues, which you need to pay attention to. 

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