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Old 12 Apr 2013
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 67
K&N Recharge Intervals

On my first trip I made some of the newbie errors and bought a K&N filter for my Strom. It turns out this was not so wise, as explained here http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ir-filter-5552

but hey, if we knew everything it would all be boring.

Anyhow, I am now 6,500 miles into the K&N filter and in Santiago, which I imagine is the only place for 1000s of miles where I can buy a recharge kit.

My manual says the filter should be replaced every 7,500 miles, but this applies to the OEM filter, which the K&N is clearly not.

I have two choices:
(a) buy a very bulky recharge kit for basically the price of an OEM filter (another reason K&N was not so wise) and clean the filter at 7,500 miles when I'll need to do the spark plugs anyhow.

(b) push the filter to about 11,000 miles when I will be done with the trip.

And of course this question falls into the "how long is a piece of string" category, but basically I've been riding in pretty clean road conditions in Chile and Argentina, with a bit of dusty gravel road (300-400 miles). Is the air filter replacement interval something you adhere to come hell or high water (like oil changes) or is it something bendy, and if so is it bendy to the 20-30k range or more like 10k miles range?

And I'm really hoping to avoid opening it up and having a look - on a V Strom for a newbie like me it's a 2 hour job to take all the plastic off and get to the engine, or at least it was last time).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: RTW
Posts: 412

I have been riding with my K&N filter now over 100 000km without any problems.
There are always a lot of discussions if this filter is good or not, for me it has worked fine.

I am carrying cleaning kit and oil with me, this way I can easily clean it whenever it´s needed.

How often you should clean it? Depends how dusty conditions you have been riding. Best way is to check if filter is really dirty -> then clean and oil it. Sometimes it might be 100km, sometimes 15000km. Totally depends where you have been riding.

Especially with BMW, I do not want to carry those bulky original paper filters which can easily be damaged by water, so for me this is good option.

One last thing, if you feel that recharge kit is too big, just buy smaller bottles and fill them from the recharge kit (one kit lasts for ages).
Riding round the World

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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London, W3 (the nice part though!)
Posts: 222
If you carry aerosol chain-spray, don't think this would be a good/lazy way of re-oiling your filter after cleaning it. Don't ask me how I know this
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 67
Bah. I thought screw it, let's do it and bought the recharge kit. First line of instructions reads "most K&N filters require cleaning every 50k miles".

So somewhere between 7,500miles (Suzuki instructions) and 50k miles is the length of my particular piece of string. Does anyone not have any more accurate idea of how long that string might be?

It feels like cleaning the thing at 6,500 miles (where I am now) is being way over zealous, or am I wrong?
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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 57
I'd says you're way over zealous unless you've been pounding through sand storms. I pulled mine out for a look at 10000 km of highway riding and it was fine. I knocked a few flies out and put it back in. I've had way more issues with trying to get good oil coverage after I clean it without over oiling it than making sure I cleaned it often enough. Also, after you wash it out, you really need to let it dry in the sun for at least a good couple of hours before reapplying the oil. Oil floats on water so make sure it's good and dry before applying the oil. Stop worrying and enjoy the ride! The filter actually works better as it gets dirtier...
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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Roger, you were spot on. Opened it all up and filter was only slightly black apart from a few flies and bees. Still, I cleaned it all up cause I'd have felt silly not to, and in any case, it turns out it takes as long for the filter to dry as it does for me to check the valve clearances - the Suzuki V is a bitch to work on for newbies anyways. The whole dismantle, clean filter, replace sparkplugs and check clearances took me 5 hours! Luckily all in spec but some are close to the limit, I can't imagine the pain in readjusting the blasted shims when the time comes.

For what it's worth, the next time I look at the K&N filter will be at least 15k miles away, assuming I don't ride through Dust Armageddon, but even then it will be 10k miles at least.

Thanks for all your help guys.
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