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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 14 Jun 2003
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Cleaning K&N without K&N cleaner and oil?

Hi there,

Riding through africa I have to clean my K&N filter often, but I don't carry all to K&N cleaner and oil with me (takes up too much space). What do I use to clean the filter?

Thanx
corne
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  #2  
Old 14 Jun 2003
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I advise against using K&N in the first place in such a dusty environment. Read this thread for more info.

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A.B.

OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
ShortWheelbase.com – Jeep preparations.

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Thread edited to update link after Forum changes by Grant
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Last edited by Grant Johnson; 3 Jan 2007 at 22:30.
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  #3  
Old 26 Aug 2003
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I've cleaned mine with just normal washing-up liquid and water. I can't see how this can do harm--it's only cotton inside the filter.

Do make sure to rinse it properly, and dry before oiling.

You can buy the oil in a non-aerosol form--just decant some of the liquid into a small container and tuck it away somewhere tied to the frame.

You don't need much; you'll only have to clean once or twice. It'll be more tricky when you come to apply it than simply spraying, but nothing too taxing. I'm told that they are designed to be left "dirty"--the dust that sticks to the tacky outside of the filter helps the filtration process. So don't go rushing to clean it every time it appears caked. I guess the criterion for washing is loss of airflow, not the look of it.

Now you don't have two big ugly bottles in your panniers any more.

[This message has been edited by Simon Kennedy (edited 25 August 2003).]
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  #4  
Old 26 Aug 2003
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hi
I use my bike for courier work 60000 miles between cleaning comes out caked in muk but still works
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  #5  
Old 1 Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Simon Kennedy:
You don't need much; you'll only have to clean once or twice. It'll be more tricky when you come to apply it than simply spraying, but nothing too taxing. I'm told that they are designed to be left "dirty"--the dust that sticks to the tacky outside of the filter helps the filtration process.
Up to a point - the K&N filter on my KLR had to be cleaned every day while going on the dusty dirt roads through Bolivia. Not because it looked a bit grubby, but because the bike would eventually die by the side of the road (should have got some of those pre-filters.) Make sure you always have enough water so you can rinse the filter after applying the cleaner, some grease to seal between the box and filter, and a good book for the three (dull) hours in the desert waiting for the thing to dry.

James

[This message has been edited by JamesCo (edited 31 August 2003).]
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  #6  
Old 2 Sep 2003
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i dont know the difference between K+N and performance foam filters (i wont pay K+N prices)but my instructions just recommend wash out with kerosene, dry, then soak in engine oil and squeeze out the excess. i know K+N oil is "sticky", a bit like car underseal, but if you oil it more regularly with engine oil (which you should already be carrying anyway)will that not work?
also if you squeeze out the excess oil back into the can/bottle you actually use very little.


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Old 16 Nov 2003
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Hi guys, just thought i would add my 2cents on this topic.First of all, remember your motor is really a glorified air pump that adds fuel to the mixture to create combustion. The cleaner and less obstructed the flow, the more efficient your engine will run. It will last much longer and you will get better fuel economy, leaving more money for after your long day I'm not very familiar with paper, but if you use petrol to clean your foam filter, make sure you wash it with soap and water after. Gas will deteriorate the foam slowly. You can even through it in the dryer for 5 min (not full cycle!!) Here's a great tip for really dusty or muddy conditions, use pantyhose as a pre-filter! This can save a lot of time and energy (back to that thing, eh!) If you can, usr filter oil instead of motor oil. Motor oil is too thin and will slowly drain out of the filter. I like to use Silkolene brand. It's thin like water, but thickens when exposed to air. Pour a little in a zip-lock and use that to completely cover the filter.
Good luck!!
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Old 16 Nov 2003
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Lots of good tips above!

On foam filters, definitely wash first in gas then in soapy water. If you do it on a nice sunny day, and squeeze the water out thoroughly, it's ready to go in 15 minutes or so. You COULD use it almost immediately, even slightly wet, there isn't near enough to hurt the engine any or cause trouble running. Use a small amount of oil, preferably "foam filter oil" and squeeze hard when wringing out the excess. You only need a tiny amount - my (admittedly small) BMW filter used only 1/2 - 3/4 of a 35mm film can per wash. You do need the full 35mm can for the initial wetting.

Motor oil will do as noted in a pinch, but not the best. Good enough though - I used to use it all the time many many years ago, when the right oil was very hard to come by. Raced with it and everything, worked good enough.

Grease around the edges of the filter may be necessary, may not - depends on the design of the filter. Also the conditions you ride in - for dirt bike racing, absolutely - for street use, probably not if it's a good design. You can also use grease smeared around on the inside of the airbox - amazing what that catches if there is any problem at all with the air filter seal.

I also use a two stage filter - first very coarse, to catch the small birds and gravel, and a fine one. Works a treat. Readily available from dirt bike shops as a set.

Simon's experience with washing the K&N is very interesting - always wondered how that would work. Good to know it does.

Note that Jamesco's problem was exacerbated by the altitude - the engine is already starving for air at 3-4,00 meters, so any reduction in filtration is going to kill it. A smaller main jet and dropping the needle a notch may have helped.

I'm not sure about Ron's comment re ziploc - but just to be clear, I would NOT trust a ziplock to carry oil.

Might be a way to oil a filter without getting your hands dirty though. Aaah, that's part of the fun - oil oozing between your fingers, carefully catching every drop in a film can...

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Old 16 Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grant Johnson:

I'm not sure about Ron's comment re ziploc - but just to be clear, I would NOT trust a ziplock to carry oil.
I believe he meant to use the zip lock just to oil the filter and not carry oil in it. Put both the oil and filter in the zip lock and work the filter from the outside. No mess and no wasted oil.

------------------
A.B.

OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
ShortWheelbase.com – Jeep preparations.

[This message has been edited by A.B. (edited 16 November 2003).]
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