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Old 5 Dec 2005
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Air Filter Lubrication

Hey guys,

I´m in Mazatlan - Mexico on a Sunday and can´t find anyone who seems to have, or even heard of air filter oil. I´m hoping that I can find some tomorrow, but just in case I´m writing for some backup options now so I don´t waste time later on when I should be on the road.

I believe my owners manual, which I don´t have with me, says that you can use regular motor oil to lube a foam filter. Is that true? Anyone ever done it? I have a uni filter thanks to some folks at Multisurface Motorcycle Products and want to keep it working well. Any advice you have about lubing a filter when you don´t have the desired oil would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 5 Dec 2005
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Yes you can use any oil but it is best if a light weight oil is used. I have had good luck with ATF also.

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Old 5 Dec 2005
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I've been told you can use diesel, anyone done that ?

Last seen in S.America, missing presumed fed.
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Old 5 Dec 2005
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Hello from sub zero temperature montana. If you have a foam air filter it depends on a sticky coat of oil on the foam to stop the dirt. From years and years of experience I say use the heavy sticky oil. Both yamaha and honda sell foam filter oil that is super sticky. At the shop where I work we also make air filters out of the bulk sheets of uni filter material. I always oil the heck out of any foam filter. When you first start the motor it will run a bit rich but the excess oil will get sucked thru or drip off. My choice when confronted with no proper air filter oil would be to use 90 weight gear oil. First clean your filter then air dry it then soak it in your best oil. Then gently squeeze out the excess. Then if the weather isn't to cold go ride the devils backbone road that leads to the interior from the coast near where you are.
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Old 6 Dec 2005
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Jay, I checked my KLR 650 owners manual, and it states "After cleaning, saturate the element with SE, SF, of SG class SAE 10W40 motor oil." "Press the element against a work-bench to squeeze out the excess oil, then wrap it in a clean rag and squeeze it as dry as possible."

So there's your answer as to using motor oil. I have to confess that I've always used spray on filter oil on my KLR filter. An easy way to deal with air filters on a long trip is to start out with a Filter Skin over the filter, carry extra Filter Skins along, remove a Skin when dirty, and replace with a clean one (optional). Saves having to carry oil or spray along on a trip where packing space is scarce. That's what I did on my rtw journey this past summer.

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Old 19 Feb 2006
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Hi Guys where does one get filter skins?

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Old 22 Feb 2006
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Originally posted by vinnyt:
Hi Guys where does one get filter skins?

Search (Google, etc.) for:
msr filterskins
... and you will find many places that sell them mail order.

And while many online shops don't say so, it seems you get a dust-free storage bag and 3 filterskins per package. That took a bit of searching to find out...

(9 times out of 10, if you search the Internet you will find an answer without waiting for someone to reply!)

[This message has been edited by Chris in Tokyo (edited 22 February 2006).]
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Old 24 Feb 2006
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I used a special air filter oil (Motul) on all my DR's and KLR's but it is very messy to apply and very difficult to wash out. Most manufacturers recommend to use the same oil you use in your engine and that's what I got back to and it works fine.
The filters are easy to clean with a very mild degreaser or even easier with ammonia household cleaner (here in SA sold as "Handy Andy"). After 2 - 3 washes the filter looks like new, dry and oil.
Never clean a KLR's filter with fuel as it kind of makes the filter soggy and lose its shape a bit and it will not fit properly after a few washes.

There is only one real reason to use air filter oil and that's water. Air filter oil does not emulsify as easily as engine oil, the water runs off like off a ducks back. Means this is the option for people playing a lot in rivers. - Living in Scotland and commuting I would not bother -
Talking about this good reason why (sometimes) to use special air filter oil also shows you the suppliers: Boat shops. It's commonly used for air filters of outboard engines and available from virtually every boat shop.
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