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Dirt bike air filters are installed and designed to improve the airflow and protects the engine from dirt. You will find the air filter in each and every bike no matter what the model or make. Air filters for bikes designed to increase the acceleration and horsepower of your dirt bike.
An air filter can create higher level airflow with excellent filtration. Air filters for bikes are designed specially to achieve a virtually unrestricted high level of air flows while maintaining critical filtration level to ensure the long life of your engine.
To ensure the best performance of your vehicle’s engine, you need to clean it up properly by following the right method of cleaning. There are different types of air filters like foam or pleated cotton air filters and both types required timely cleaning.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why you need to clean Dirt bike Air Filter?
- 1.1 How to clean foam air filter
- 1.2 Step by Step Process for cleaning air filter
- 1.3 How to clean dirt bike K&N air filter with dish soap
- 1.4 How to clean paper filters
- 1.5 How to clean cotton filters
- 1.6 How to clean a reusable air filter
- 1.7 How do you remove oil from air filter?
- 1.8 How Often Should You Change Your Filters?
- 1.9 Final verdict
Why you need to clean Dirt bike Air Filter?
The air filter of a dirt bike can protect the engine from grime and enhance airflow. It also enables better acceleration and raises the horsepower of the bike.
Most of the bikes are fitted with an irrespective of the model or make. Whenever you ride the bike the engine has air passing through all the time. This air is not clean and it causes your engine to gather dirt. This dirt can harm the performance of your bike’s engines and it will reduce the power and speed of your bike.
Over a period of time, your engine might just collapse. Hence, this is important to know the right way of using dirt bike air filter cleaner and cleaning up the air filter of your dirt bike.
How to clean foam air filter
To clean up the foam air filter of your bike, you need to have few tools:
- Rubber gloves (Disposable Black Nitrile Gloves)
- Large clean cloth (Premium Grade Microfiber Towels)
- Contact cleaner (Spray Contact Cleaner)
- Tools to Access Air Filter (T Handle Wrench)
- Service manual for your dirt bike
- Air Filter Cleaner (Maxima)
- Oil for air filter (K&N Air Filter Oil)
- Bucket (Heavy Duty Detailing Bucket)
- Grease (Bel-Ray, Maxima, Mobil)
Step by Step Process for cleaning air filter
Remove the air filter
If you are looking for the way of how to clean the foam air filter, then you should go step by step. To start the method, you need to remove the air filter from your dirt bike first.
The first thing to do is to remove the air filter from your quad. If you are using a stock one, be sure to remove the steel insert inside the foam before cleaning. Air filter removing process is different for different bikes and brands. You need to consider the manual guide to do the air filter removing method.
You will also find many videos with the help of your search engine. You can watch them to remove the air filter. Open up the hood first and you will find the air filter at the left or right part of your car.
You need to remove it very carefully. Take out all the bolts and pull away from the air filter from its cage. The foam air filters should be quite messy as you pull them out and as you put back them.
As you are pulling out the air filters, do the process very carefully. Do not drop a little bit of dirt into your bike’s air boot.
Make sure that the air boot is completely clean
Even if you are very much careful, there is always a chance that the dirt can fall on the air boot. So, don’t forget to inspect the air boot properly. Clean up the air boot. Use some contact cleaner and spray it on the air boot. Wipe out the cleaner properly.
Soak the air filter in cleaner
There are many brands available in the market and also many types of dirt bike air filter oil, foam air filter cleaner available. You need to read the instructions and other details first printed on the manual guide or label.
You can use petroleum-based cleaners or some biodegradable products for different methods. No matter what type of cleaner you are using, you need to follow the right guidelines advised by the manufacturer.
There are also many types of dirt bike air filter cleaning solvent that you can use to clean the air filters. Many people use the kerosene or automotive solvents that easily available in the market. You need to use the cleaners that are designed by the manufacturer of the filter oil.
Using these solvents is safe and can give you a satisfying result of air filter cleaning. There are many people who use gasoline also to clean the foam air filter. But this is not the right product, it can be very much dangerous and it can even damage your foam air filter.
You need to soak the filter completely in the dirt bike air filter cleaner. It will help you better wipe out all the dirt. Put nearly a gallon of foam air filter cleaner in the bucket. Now put your dirty air filter into it. Let the filter soak for a few minutes. Squeeze the filter a little bit and keep out some cleaner from the foam air filter. Never twist or wring the air filter.
Twisting and wringing can damage a lot your air filter. Rinse it properly in your dirt bike cleaning solvent. Clean it properly. You can also use mineral spirits. Just dip the foam air filter into either a parts washer filled with mineral spirits or a can of mineral spirits either one will work.
Try to keep out oil from the foam, when most of the oil is out lightly squeeze the foam get most of the mineral spirits out and so the dirt.
Check it properly
Now as the air filter is completely clean, you need to need to check it properly. Carefully check all the glued seams and ensure that the filter of your dirt bike is holding together. If it is in the right condition, it will be much easier and safer to put the filter back into your dirt bike. Check properly if there any tears or cuts.
Apply oil on dry oil filter
Let your air filter dry. Once your filter is dried up, you can apply the foam air filter oil into the foam air filter. There are the aerosols sprays that you can use get the oil throughout the air filter. One can drizzle up the oil on this air filter as you put your favorite syrup over the cakes or pancakes. You can submerge the air filter into the oil also.
This is a safe and foolproof method that you can use to make the air filter completely covered with the oil. You can use a tub with a lid to hold up the oil. As the air filter is soaked completely, properly squeeze out all the excesses. Again don’t twist or wring the filter. Message the air filter properly as you squeeze it to ensure that there is no remaining oil and the oil is spread evenly.
Now clean up the cage of the air filter
As you have oiled up the filter, clean its cage. Check if it is properly clean. You can spray a little bit of contact cleaner on the cage. Wipe out all the dirty spots that you find.
Reinstall the cage into the filter
Now you need to put back the cleaned cage into the air filter. You need to line up it properly with its alignment tab. Now push the upper part through its hole.
Grease the air filter
Now go for the final process and put back the air filter into the dirt bike’s airbox. Hold the air filter carefully on its cage. Also, put back the lids on the oiling or cleaning tubs.
How to clean dirt bike K&N air filter with dish soap
K&N air filter cleaning method is as easy as the previous one. But it is important that you should have the right knowledge on the way of how to clean it.
You can use the market bought cleaner but you have another miracle product in your home that you can use to clean up the K&N air filter at your home. This is the dish soap. You can use the dish cleaning soaps also to clean up the air filter of your K&N bike.
Clogged and dirty air filter can cause the sluggish performance of your as it allows very less air into the bike’s motor. Cleaning up with dish soap is quite easy and even a beginner can do the task easily. You can complete the task within fifteen to five minutes.
There are some tools that require mostly starting up the cleaning method-
Now remove the air filter
To clean up your K&N air filter, you need to remove it first from its cage. The removing procedure is different for a different bike. You should check the service manual to ensure the air filter removing method. You need to locate the airbox first. Airbox can be found under the bike’s seat in most of the bikes.
Loosen up two bolts and remove them gradually. These bolts hold the bike’s seat in right place. You can use the combination wrench or the socket to remove it.
When you are removing out the air filter, ensure that no dirt drop into its air boot. It is sometimes quite difficult due to the upright positioning. Don’t forget to inspect its air boot and wipe out the air boot if there any dirt.
You need to spray out the dish soap to the filter first. You have to saturate the air filter completely with the dish soap. Apply the dish soap properly throughout the filter. Never let it dry and put enough amount of dish soap on the air filter. Let the dish soap sit only for 5 to 10 minutes. It will help you to drag out the dirt from the air filter.
Wet the air filter
Now you need to wet up to your air filter. Turn on the tap to the light stream. Now you need to hold directly the air filter under the water stream. Let the water runs properly inside out of the filter. The water can wipe out all the dirt and dust.
Dish soap also loosened up the dirt and grime from the air filter. If the air filter of your dirt bike is quite filthy, you need to repeat the method two or three times. Rinse it properly so that all the dirt comes out with the water.
Shake it to wipe out the excess water
You need to rest the air filter against an object in an angle to make it drip dry. Get off all the standing moistures from the filter. But don’t do it roughly. You can set the air filter on the dry and clean rag or towel. It will absorb all the excess water. To get faster drying, set it in mild temperature and well-ventilated area. Shake it to get off the excess water. Seven to eight hours the time is best to make it completely dry.
Before applying oil, check the air filter properly whether there is any hole or water.
For the K&N bike, you will get two methods of applying oil, squeezing bottle oil and oil spray. If you are using the oil from squeezing bottle, start using it from the top pleats. It will wick gradually into the filter’s fiber. You can use the aerosol oil, which is quite easier to apply. With the process, you will be able to make sure that your filter will get oil at every part of it. If you are using the spray method, hold the spray can at least three inches away from your air filter as you are spraying it on the air filter.
If you find any light spot, just spray oil on it. As the filter is covered with oil completely just allows it to sit for 20 minutes approx. it will help the oil to wick completely into the filter fibers.
After 20 minutes, check it properly to ensure the best of oil coverage. As you find the light spot, you can cover up it with oil again. If you find everything perfect, just reinstall it in a proper way.
As you are going to use them in a sandy or dusty place, you can go for the Pre-filter. These methods can extent surely the life of your air filter.
Reinstall the air-filter
Now you can put back the air filter into the machine. Double check properly seal of the air boot so that no debris or dirt will be there in the filter.
If you are not satisfied with the dish soap, you can use the market bought cleaners. For K&N bike, you will get the cleaner and oil as a package. This cleaner is a great idea to use. Maybe your bike comes with enough strong seal. But you can take extra precaution and can put a little amount of grease to ensure a seal. You can apply it on its rim.
Just use the grease that can be used for all the purposes. This is necessary to ensure that the filter is nicely sealed against the air boot surface. Using dish soap to clean up the K&N bike is an excellent idea. It can give you a completely clean air filter while saving a lot amount of money.
You can fill up a bucket with water mixed with dish soap and can soak the air filter into it for a few minutes. Then rinse it properly to clean out all the dirt.
How to clean paper filters
Paper dirt bike filters are made of paper and plastic so the cleaning products are limited for the paper filters of the bike. You need to know only the right method to clean it up. You can use dish soap or the good quality cleaner to clean it.
- Make a detergent solution first in a bucket with water and detergent. Now soak the paper air filter for few hours into it.
- You will find that the dirt has come out settled into the lower part of the bucket.
- Open up the water stream of the tap can clean it with water properly. Allow the clean water to pass into the filter.
- Cover it with dry towel or rug to ensure that is no remaining detergent
- When it is a paper filter, you are not allowed to the brush or any other harsh item to clean.
- Rest it for ten hours to let it dry completely.
- As it is dry and clean, apply oil and put it back to the cage.
How to clean cotton filters
- To clean the cotton filter you need to pull up the filter from its housing first.
- Take a good quality cleaner and spray it over the filter to remove any of the debris and dirt.
- Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes.
- With the time, you will find that the dirt and grimes are coming out from the filter.
- Now you need to fill up the bucket with mild soap and warm water. You can use the dish soap also to clean it.
- Rub it gently to wipe out the remaining dirt.
- Not just the dirt but you need to ensure that there is no cleaning agent present in the filter.
- Rinse it properly and repeat the process.
- Set it aside and allow it to dry.
- You need to give it as much time as it requires getting completely dry.
- Use a dry towel to wipe our excess moisture.
- Don’t use the compressed air to dry it quickly. It can damage the cotton filter in great extent.
- Apply the fresh oil on the filter now.
- Wipe out the excess oil with proper process.
- As the filter is dry and clean, put back it to its housing.
How to clean a reusable air filter
When it comes to cleaning up the reusable air filters of your bike, a thorough cleaning is a must. It is recommended to clean the reusable and washable air filters once in a month. Neglecting the process can result in huge restriction of air filter’s airflow as the dirt and debris are present in the filter. To maintain the critical airflow within the filter, you need to clean it up once in a month.
To start the process you need to take out oil filter from the filter cage. Do it very carefully so that no oil drops into the air boot. First, knock off all the loose dirt from the filter, shake it well.
Use the cleaner
When it is the washable or reusable air filter of your bike, this is better to use the cleaner solvent recommended by your manufacturer. You need to rub or spread it gently into the air filter. It will drag out the grime and dirt from inside out.
One important point to keep in mind when you are looking for the best dry air filter cleaner, always avoid the corrosive or heavy chemicals for cleaning. It can break down or can clog your filter. Never wring the air filter as you are using the cleaner.
Set it for a few minutes
Rest the cleaner for a few minutes to clean up the stubborn dirt.
Rinsing and wash
As the grimes are coming out and the air filter looks quite clean, rinse it several times with warm water. It will drag out the stubborn dirt easily, to decrease the filter, mix soap and water.
Then soak the filter into it and rinse it again. Clean the last drop of dirt by holding the filter into the water stream.
Let it dry
Let the air filter of your dirt bike dry. If there is water in the filter it can cause the engine to perform poorly. For the reusable foam filter, you can use the air compressor. Toss and swirl the cotton filter to remove the excess of water from it.
Left it for dry
While you left the air filter to dry properly. Check the airbox or the housing of the filter. If there is any dirt or grime, clean it properly. You can spray mild soap or liquid detergent on it. Wipe it out after few minutes. Use microfiber cloths to clean it.
Once the cleaning process is complete and the filter dried out completely, saturate it with the new filter oil. As the final process of oiling, grease the lip of the filter. Don’t use too much or too little oil. Grease the mounting hole of the filter also to ensure right seal as you set it back to the bike.
For the reusable filter, you need to take extra caution. You need to do the process gradually and manually to avoid any type of damage to the air filter. You can consider the manual guide provided by the manufacturer or can check online to find out the best method to clean up the reusable air filter.
How do you remove oil from air filter?
- After cleaning up and oiling up the air filer regardless of what types of air filter your bike has, you need to remove the access oil from it. If it is a foam or paper filter, you can squeeze it a little bit to wipe out access oil from the filter.
- For the K&N filter, you can use the microfiber cloth or rug to wipe out the excess oil.
- You need to clean the air cage and the air boost to ensure that there is no excess oil into it
- Wash the air filter properly with air cleaner to remove excess oil
How Often Should You Change Your Filters?
You need to check the manual guide of the manufacturer to know how often you need to change the air filter. This will also depend on the type of oil, model and make of the bike. As per the general rule you need to change the oil in every 3700 miles. But depending on the type of your bike, your style of driving, this time can vary.
But you don’t need to change the oil filter every time you change the oil. You can change the filter by every two or three oil changes. If you find that the filter is clogged by dirt and it is performing poorly, you need to change the air filter surely.
Changing and cleaning air filter is a must for the people who ride dirt bike regularly. But as there are different types of bike oil filter, you need to know the right way to clean it up.
If you clean it properly, you will give your air filter an enhanced life. So, if you want to clean the air filter of your bike, check the user manual or follow the instruction given by the manufacturer.
You can also search online or can watch the videos properly to clean the air filter of your bike. If you are not satisfied, determined or sure about your capability, just ask a professional to do the task for you. Cleaning up the air filter on a regular basis by yourself may save a lot of money for you. So, clean the air filter of your car by knowing the right method of it.