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  #1  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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Cleaning K&N Airfilter

Hi,
Im heading off into Africa later this week on an XT600. Could anyone tell me how to clean the K&N filter and how often this should be done.

We will be riding on dusty sand roads in parts.

I have limited space and was not keen to take along solvents and oils.

I read a link about washing-up liquid and WD40, and a weekly tap to knock off off the dust.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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Dusty

My bike had a k&n when on it when I bought it, swapped it for a twin-air foam air filter because I knew that I was going to be riding in dusty environments.

K&n, great for road bikes and cars, not good for offroad as they let in more dust particles than the likes of TWIN-AIR or UNI filters.

I would recommend you change to a foam filter and bring a sprayer pre soaked in filter oil, it will pack really small and makes filter changing speedy
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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I would also recommend cleaning the K&N by removing it - placing it in a suitable container and putting it on a shelf.

I 'uprated' my elefant with a K&N filter and after a week of desert sand you could see holes in it and each carb had about a teaspoon of sand in - they're just not designed for getting that much grit fired at them.
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  #4  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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Also spray oil or a thin layer of grease over the inside of the airbox post-filter - this will help catch anything that does make it past the filter.
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  #5  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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My K&N was fine in Africa, no dust in the airbox. I did have to clean it every 2000 km. When it gets too dirty you will see the idle speed of the motor go down, that's a sign you need to clean it urgent.
For cleaning, look for the K&N instructions, basicly, spray it with the K&N soap, rinse it under tapwater and spray it with the K&N filter oil.
What get's the filter dirty very fast, is driving behind someone on the piste, always keep your distance or drive in front!
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  #6  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynch180 View Post
My bike had a k&n when on it when I bought it, swapped it for a twin-air foam air filter because I knew that I was going to be riding in dusty environments. K&n, great for road bikes and cars, not good for offroad as they let in more dust particles than the likes of TWIN-AIR or UNI filters.
+ 1 for this advice. The K&N are high flow filters than the Uni Filters and by nature have less filtering. I doubt you would notice the difference in performance on a fun run anyway.

On the cleaning I always used a bit of petrol (on a foam filter) and resprayed with filter oil after drying it out.
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  #7  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynch180 View Post
My bike had a k&n when on it when I bought it, swapped it for a twin-air foam air filter because I knew that I was going to be riding in dusty environments.

K&n, great for road bikes and cars, not good for offroad as they let in more dust particles than the likes of TWIN-AIR or UNI filters.

I would recommend you change to a foam filter and bring a sprayer pre soaked in filter oil, it will pack really small and makes filter changing speedy
Totally agree with the above comment - had the same troubles and junked the K&N for foam

Paul
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  #8  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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I have used many types of air filters in many different bikes.
What I can add is that no matter which type you use you have to look after them.

I have found K and N air filter's very good and always help return very good MPG. Always coat the inside of the air box by wiping a oily rag in there. Make sure you have a good seal between the filter and the air box. Also clean the filter more often than you would if your riding in very dry dusty area's .

In over 100,000 miles In all conditions I have never had a problem with K and N filters.

ps They don't sponsor me
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  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
The cleaning kit weighs extra and it's an extra chore.
Aside from the cleaning time, the filter must be totally dry before re-oiling .
The idea of my having to clean a K&N filter every two fill ups would drive me to drinking fermented coconut juice.
I did not use a K&N in Africa.
huh... seems K&N filters do better if you leave em alone after they get dirty. it's when K&N filters are freshly cleaned one has problems with dirt getting thru.

one of the best combo for reusable filters is to use a foam filter on top of a K&N.

not a big deal to clean... wash with most any solvent ... swing dry, then apply any type of light oil. if you don't have the special K&N oil. running a K&N filter on my Cummins diesel for 35,000+ miles without cleaning.

have not purchased one for my G/S yet... air filter is almost new still
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  #10  
Old 19 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzerrtw View Post
I have used many types of air filters in many different bikes.
What I can add is that no matter which type you use you have to look after them.

I have found K and N air filter's very good and always help return very good MPG. Always coat the inside of the air box by wiping a oily rag in there. Make sure you have a good seal between the filter and the air box. Also clean the filter more often than you would if your riding in very dry dusty area's .

In over 100,000 miles In all conditions I have never had a problem with K and N filters.

ps They don't sponsor me
The plan is to keep dust out of the air box - if you feel the need to oil the inside to catch dust you DO have a problem with the filter. While riding the TAT through Utah, Nevada and then dirt roads in Baja both bikes sporting K&N filters let dust in the clean side. We made a foam pre-filter for the K&N's to see us through but obviously that if a pre filter is needed then the K&N is inadequate for the job. We now have foam filters and no dust on the clean side.

Paul
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  #11  
Old 19 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
Also spray oil or a thin layer of grease over the inside of the airbox post-filter - this will help catch anything that does make it past the filter.

This is bad advice - so when your air filter lets dust through and it sticks to the grease on the clean side - how are you going to clean that out?

If you get dust through the filter - the filter isn't doing it's job.
K&N's are good for road bikes or race bikes that need max performance and a re-built engine after a season.
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  #12  
Old 19 Mar 2012
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light oil inside the air box, before the filter....And make sure your filter is seated correctly and oiled.

Most of my old British bike's dont even have a air filter

If you do a search on the net you will still be left wondering which are best, it's all do to personal experience .

I have had a few MX bikes with foam filters that have had problems with dirt getting past. I would like to add, don't expect to fit a air filter and ride 1000's of miles without checking it. Like the rest of your bike . check it, clean it , look after it and it will last longer

Fun Riding

Dazzer
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  #13  
Old 27 Dec 2012
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I use foam filters......

When I was guiding in Morocco we cleaned the filters every evening after a full days ride. (Honda CRF 450's)

Cleaned in petrol,dried then oiled with spray on Castrol filter oil. I also smeared grease around where the filter seats against the air intake thus providing a perfect seal.

As an aside when at home here,I use the above method of cleaning my Gas Gas air filters but with...2 rinses in petrol,and another 2 washes/rinses in hot water using washing machine detergent. There'll always be more grit after the 2 petrol rinses. Then rinse out in cold water and hung to dry. I have 3 filters that I always do at the same time.

If you've no air filter oil I'd use chain saw chain oil,EP90 or after that normal engine oil...anything as long as it's wet!!!... and if you've no grease spray more on the bit of the filter that seals on the air intake.

(TIP;If you oil the filter and put it in a plastic bag to squeeze the oil through it it will save you having oil all over your hands)

Good advice also ref. hanging back out of the wash of other motos....

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