When It Comes to Motorcycle Air Filters, Go Large and Recharge

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One of the many benefits of having one of Performance Machine’s FastAir intake filter on your motorcycle is that it really does spruce up your ride. What PM does is take a part not known for winning any beauty contests and turn it into a high-performance and aggressive-looking filter surrounded by beautiful billet pieces — just to spice it up.

However, our filter isn’t just another pretty face; this intake filter is K&N’s best, allowing for a 10.21 horsepower increase on any stock Harley-Davidson. In turn, we feel that a part embodying beauty and the boost deserves to be coddled and cherished, raising these questions:

  1. Do you know when you need to recharge your PM air cleaner?
  2. Is your PM air filter element turning white?

If the original red color of your K&N air filter is beginning to fade or become something other than red, it might be time for a recharge.

According to the K&N website, air filters needs to be cleaned every 50,000 miles or so, but that’s taking into consideration a number of dusty miles that might accumulate on a dirt bike.

As we all know, things are a little different on a motorcycle. We’ve found that, even if you’re just a weekend rider, the filter will need to be recharged after some time. It’s the little things, like riding in the rain, washing your bike or leaving your bike out in the hot sun; all of these contribute to a filter requiring maintenance more often than, say, an automobile, where the filter is somewhat protected under the car hood. The bottom line is that the protective oil on the motorcycle filter seems to fade quicker than expected.

But the good news is this: You don’t need a mechanic to tell you it’s time for a change, all you have to do is eyeball your filter. If the red oil has faded from the pleats of the filter or it appears white in color, it’s probably time for a change. Without that red oil on the filter, dirt and particles are able to easily pass right through the filter, offering such unwelcome flotsam and jetsam immediate freeway access to your motor. In fact, it’s that oil on the filter that does the yeoman’s task of collecting dirt and preventing it from moving on.

More good news: According to K&N, airflow is one of the most important elements your engine needs. With more air entering the engine can increase combustion efficiency, resulting in more horsepower, acceleration and even better gas mileage. And as a bonus, recharging your filter is not an expensive undertaking by any means. At Autozone, for example, the K&N/Air filter Recharger kit with 6.5 ounces of spray oil and a 12-ounce filter cleaner (Part No. 99-5000) will set you back a mere $11.99.

Below is a video of us performing a re-charge on our Super Gas Air Cleaner.

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