The Importance & Types of Motorcycle Air Filters

In the past, most bikers were well-educated about how their bikes ran because there weren’t as many mechanics and parts available like there are nowadays. However, even those who have some knowledge of the mechanics of their bikes, there are still some people who believe that air filters are only there to increase running expenses. In this article, I’ll debunk that myth, and showcase just how important having the right air filter for motorcycle is.

Motorcycles have more than just an intake valve, and the air filter for motorcycle is there to clean up the air that goes inside your bike’s engine so that it can burn fuel at optimum rates. This is important because the purer and cleaner the air that goes into your engine – the better the engine combustion, which then results in better fuel efficiency and more power. If the air quality isn’t decent, your engine will burn a lot more fuel, and your exhaust will emit more smoke.

You’ll come across 4 different types of air filters. The most commonly used ones are paper air filters, which utilise dense pleated paper that doesn’t wear with use, and features multiple layers to maximise the filtration. These filters are highly effective and affordable, which are the two main reasons why they are so popular.

Motorcycle Air Filter

Then, you have foam filters, which utilise foam in oil-bathed polyurethane, which collects particulate matter. Next, there are cotton air filters, which were commonly used before paper filament was invented. Cotton filters weren’t really effective and often resulted in premature engine failure. And last but not least, there are liquid bath air filters, which are intense, heavy and messy. Bikers usually avoid these filters and they are most commonly used in heavier vehicles instead.

If you still consider air filters unnecessary, here’s what happens if they’re not there. The worst thing that the absence of clean air inside the engine can result in is engine seizure, which is usually caused by the jamming of the cylinder’s piston. This is the result of impurities being trapped inside the oil which then become vapid. It can also result in destruction and scratches inside the engine, resulting in a decreased bike performance.

All of these problems can be very major and costly, whereas air filters are one of the most affordable bike parts available. Today, you can choose between disposable and washable air filters. Even though washable air filters are slightly more expensive (still very affordable), you can use them for years on end if you take proper care of them.