How to Clean a Dirt Bike Air Filter?

Slit, dust, ash, and splinters are the most common things for a dirt bike while on road, and the alarming issues are how to clean a dirt bike air filter. Air filters are sensitive, risky, need experience hands to fix problems, and sometimes awful. The cleaning isn’t easy like washing with water or lubricants. Air filters need acute and expert manuals to clean properly. In the article, we’ll show how to clean a dirt bike air filter. Keep in touch carefully.

Cleaning Process of a Dirt Bike Air Filter

Now we’ve reached the main topic of our discussion. Already we’ve known earlier that there are two types of air filters- dry and oily. Different types need different strategies to clean. However, we’ll discuss an overall technique here.How to Clean a Dirt Bike Air Filter?

Step – 1: Removal of Air Filters

Removal of Air Filters

So far you’ve informed of air filter placements. Either below seat covers or side panels, it stays. So, first of all, you have to remove the air filter carefully after de-ignite the bike. Use hand gloves and soft towels to get the filter out from seat cover or panel. If it is a foam filter, you see specks of dirt there. If it is an oily one, liquid greasy materials on it.



Step – 2: Minerals or LubricantsMinerals or Lubricants

Using mineral water or lubricants to clean the foam, sponge, cotton air filters is a wise choice. Don’t use warm water rather use normal water to clean the air filter. Put some detergent/lubricants to water and gently shake it to mix properly. Then sink the foam/sponge/cotton air filter into that. If the air filter is made of charcoal or hybrid, use an abrasive brush to clean the outer parts.

Step – 3: Wash by HandsWash by Hands

Every cleaning needs hand supports. For a foam or sponge air filter, it is strongly recommended to use hands. After totally wet, use hands to rub the body of air filters. Rinse properly afterward and let it dry using the sun or dryers. Critical dirt rarely clean, so use an unused toothbrush to wash the filth.


Step – 4: Dry the FilterStep - 4: Dry the Filter

Simple! Just keep it under the sun for an hour or until it dries properly. Squeeze the filter with safety until no water on it. You can washing machines to dry the filter; it would be faster. Under proper sunlight, you can dry the filter. Moreover, if not possible getting sunlight due to cloudy weather; you can dry it under a fan. Before reoiling, it is mandatory to dry the filter.


Step – 5: Apply Filter OilStep - 5: Apply Filter Oil

Filter oil is specially made for air filters from diverse manufacturers. Many companies provide different volumes of filter oil in the market. You can collect from local shops or hardware stores. We recommend not to purchase from online because of cost and fake. Use little drops on the properly dried air filter and let it absorb well. Continue until it gets sloppy. Basically, filter oils look like slate color and greasy liquid. Enough dense like glycerin. Furthermore, use some grease on the edges (seams) of the filter around.


Cleaning of Hybrid Air Filters

Hybrid air filters consist of paper, foam, and charcoal. Three different stuff and the cleaning process is critical indeed. Papers are sensitive to water, foam is sensitive to heat, and charcoal is fragile. Cleaning hybrid air filters however not easy. But no worries at all. Just follow the procedures below-

  • Luckily all layers are removable part by part. So, dismantle those carefully one by one.
  • For papers, use a normal dry towel or soft abrasive piece of cloth. If you feel risky, use a soft brush instead.
  • Take time to clean the foamy part. Follow the previous section to clean this part.
  • Use blowers for the charcoal part. Charcoal filters are hard, fragile, lightweight & drum-shaped. Charcoal is a good absorbing material so if you use much water here, it would be wet and malfunctioned. Simply use brushes to clean, use a blower afterward.
  • Dry every stuff under sunlight or fan (sunlight is better) after rinse the foamy part.
  • Carefully place all parts together sequentially and settle into the air filter slot.


How to Enhance Longevity of Air Filters

I’m not a scientist or mechanic, truly. Just I can ride dirt bikes and occasionally do some maintenance stuff. Due to such type of work, I gained some knowledge about dirt bike air filters. Precisely, some common dos and don’ts can enhance your dirt bike air filter’s lifespan. For your convenience, I picked the major parts and wrote down here-


Try to follow the steps below-

  • Use filter oils on a regular basis. Filter oils trap external harmful substances and enhance the bike’s health. Moreover, proper oiling passes the air smoothly. If possible, clean the filter weekly at the weekend or leisure time.
  • Oil sufficiently because the more you oil, the more it works well. But keep concerned about excess oil. If you use excess oil accidentally, gently squeeze to get those out. A dry foamy air filter color changes when it is properly oiled.
  • Wash gently, no need to rush. Foamy filters are sensitive and easy to damage so carefully handle that. If necessary, rinse under warm water. Remove excess water on it.


Never do the followings-

  • No usage of gasoline while cleaning the filter. Gasoline is flammable and harmful for skin. So better not use it.
  • Don’t use oil dust filter cover. It evaporates oil or water and hinders engine functions.
  • Don’t start any maintenance on a running bike. Always switch off the bike before maintenance or troubleshooting.


Air Filter Analysis

Usually, air filters are established beneath the seat cover or side panel. But mostly under seat cover is suitable for this important stuff. Major features of an air filter are to prevent outer debris, dust, splinters, tiny filths; as well as airflow improvement. For designing and better horsepower of a dirt bike, air filters are essential. Moreover, for the ignition of fuels, it needs air and obviously pure air. Air filters collect excessive dust and dirt, filter pure air from it. However, most people are familiar with its engine protection features.Air Filter Analysis

Comparing with human bodies, dirt bike air filters are just like our noses. A human nose helps in breathing fresh air (say) all day long. If you take dust all day from the air through noses, definitely the inner system would break down. Likewise, dirt bike filters take dust and filters all along. Excessive dirt and dust make dirt bike’s performance pretty low. An air filter assist to clear all dust from the outside environment. For simplicity and less complexity, air filters are placed under seat cover or side panels. It is a safe device and needs to take proper care for better functioning. In a dirt bike, air filters usually placed on side panels or back of the bike.


Classification of Dirt Bike Air Filter

Apart from conventional or regular bikes, dirt bike air filters are classified diversely. Lots of manufacturers produce active and elegant air filters every year as well as upgrading. The major facility of air filters is its availability. You can find many from local stores, manufacturers, marketplaces, and mechanics. Even bike mechanics can provide air filters by making their own. If you become an expert in riding and biking, you can make one also.

Basically, air filters are classified into paper, foam, cotton, charcoal, and sponge. Recently, manufacturers make hybrid air filters that provide enough durability and good suction features.

Paper Air Filter

Totally made of abrasive osmotic papers. Especially it is built with lighter papers. Dust and debris from the outside environment are absorbed on the paper (designed) inside filters and make a layer on the papers. Every paper air filter has a durability and expiration date. Different manufacturers have different durability. Mostly, it depends on usage and maintenance. Expert bikers use paper air filters for 4-5 years even.

Foam Air Filter

Soft squeezed foam structured air filters are common for vehicles actually. However, we also use these for dirt bike air filters. Generally, foam air filters have rounded foam structures with a good radius. Foam filters have abrasive construction and tiny pores to fetch the dust from roads and highways. One by one dust coatings store on it and suppress inwards. So the outline gets clear dust-free air for dirt bike elements.

Moreover, foam air filter helps in moist weather by collecting airy vapor.

Cotton Air Filter

Simple to make and lighter. Like foam air filters, cotton made structures are smooth abrasive stuff for dirt bikes. It works fantastic in a long drive or hiking. Usually, expert dirt bikers use cotton filters on their bike. However, it is not good for newbie riders because cotton is flammable. Excess friction causes fire on it sometimes. Recently, inflammable cotton filters are introduced into marketplaces. Cheap and durable enough for longevity. But keep it in mind about expertise. Newbies shouldn’t use cotton air filters anyhow.

One-time Charcoal Air Filter

Charcoal has better retention than other materials. You mostly use charcoal in water filters at home. Similarly, in a dirt bike, charcoal filters are good for filtering outside air and debris. It has rough structures with abrasive layers. Oily coatings on it absorb dust well enough with flexibility. Tiny pores are just like osmotic layers. They filter the air from layer to layer. Finally, a pure dust-free air passes through the outline.

Sponge Air Filter

A little updated version of foam air filters and rigid for dirt bikes. Heavier and stiffer for light dirt bikes but works perfectly. Smooth shapes of these filters are outstanding for absorbing external dust from outside roadways. Usually, a few manufacturers make this air filter because it needs highly compressed foam layers. External dust gathers on it and passes fresh air to outlines. However, due to good materials, this stuff is costly and unavailable on and off. Lots of privileges using this sponge air filter in rainy weather, moisture, vapor, and water.

Hybrid Air Filter

Recent technology develops hybrid stuff much. Similarly, for a dirt bike air filter, it is trending nowadays. Mostly, these air filters are made of cotton, lubricating oil, paper, foam, and little charcoal coatings. Five-layered air filters are lighter than imagination. The top layer is made of paper, foamy cotton mid-layer, and finally charcoal coated oily layer. Each layer works superb and keeps the dust away from the air. Besides, cost and construction are costly. Rare manufacturers make this hybrid air filter for dirt bikes though this is the best dirt bike air filter.


Why Need to Clean a Dirt Bike Air Filter

Air filters of a dirt bike are likewise gatekeepers or gateways of your machine. It exhausts clear air to dirt bike’s parts. Keeping long time dust and debris hinders dirt bike functionality as well as bike health. Air filters are easy to clean and by hand obviously. The major factors to clean a dirt bike air filter are-

  • For better air exhausting, cleaning is a must.
  • To ride better and long drives, it is essential using a clean filter.
  • Not only for bikes but also it is necessary to avoid bio-hazards from bad filters.
  • Cleaning dirt bike air filter provides longevity of bikes.
  • Proper caring and maintenance enhance bike engine durability.
  • Dry air filters like foam filters are famous for easy maintenance. It absorbs dust faster.
  • Oily air filters absorb critical unwanted materials of air and keep the bike engine safe.
  • For better longevity of air filters, it is necessary to clean air filters regularly.
  • Cleaning weekly at least helps the best performance from a dirt bike.

Several steps to follow cleaning air filters however the next section will describe a lot about it.


Bottom Line

Cleaning a dirt bike air filter is easier than you think unless you have proper expertise on it. So far we’ve been taught about classification, usage, functionality, features, pros & cons. However, it is better to use hybrid air filters because of their durability and advanced technology. Besides, cost affordable foamy structures aren’t that bad for elementary usage. The dos and don’ts should be maintained properly for better longevity. In any case, for further queries, feel free to ask us anytime. We’ll try getting you faster enough.