Buying Guide

How to Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter

How to Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter?

The air filter of the dirt bike is the most important part of any bike. It keeps dirt bike engine running smoothly as it stops the dirt particles, sand, and sticks, etc to enter as the engine can suck almost anything while running.

Since the name suggest the dirt bikes are famous for the off-road drive and it is essential for you to maintain a clean air filter. If the air filter of a dirt bike is not cleaned properly it can damage the whole engine. 

Now if the air filter is dirty and not clean, it will not be able to filter air entering the engine. This can cause damage to the engine and overall functioning of the dirt bike.

You can clean the air filter by removing the air filter, wash it properly, dry it and place it properly at the airbox. You should never use gasoline to clean the air filter.

The clean air filter will not only keep the air clean when entering the engine but it will also stabilize the temperature of the dirt bike engine. This rule applies to both 2 stroke and 4 stroke dirt bike engines.

How to Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter?

Giving fresh air to your engine is the most important aspect when it comes to maximum efficiency from the dirt bike. sadly maintaining good air filter is the most neglected parts of dirt bike maintenance.

Read this guide in detail on best methods for cleaning dirt bike air filter. I have added 7 steps easy method for my readers.

If you really care about your dirt bike then make a routine to clean the air filter at regular intervals. Consider this air filter as the main guard of the dirt bike engine and if it is properly cleaned then this guard will keep all the dirt and other particles out from your engine.

If, however, it is filled with dust then not only you will have a bumpy ride but the life of your dirt bike will also come at stake.

When to Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter?

Now comes the most important part that many riders are confused at and that is when to clean or replace the dirt bike air filter. Keep in mind that air filter does not need cleaning or replacement after every ride.

However, it is a good idea to clean the air filter after every ride, however not a must. Every dirt bike comes with a different setting and usage, but the good thing is that company manufacturing the dirt bikes always add manual and it will guide you about when to clean or replace the air filter. 

Changing the air filter is always dependent on the number of hours you have used the bike and also it depends on driving conditions. It is, therefore, my suggestion to keep accessing air filter for a long functional life of your dirt bike.

Now if you fail to do so, dirt that will be accumulated in the filter cause damage to the engine and also it will not allow more air to enter. This will cause heating of the engine and that too is dangerous for the bike and rider.

Let’s start the procedure for air filter cleaning. Now for that, you may need few tools.

Tools required:

  • Clean cloth
  • Detergent to wash
  • Dirt Bike Filter oil
  • Good quality Grease
  • Plastic bag
  • Cleaning Tub
  • Plastic Gloves

7 Steps for Easy Cleaning of Dirt Bike Air Filter

To start the process, you have to find the position of the air filter. Once you know the exact location of the air filter, clean the surrounding area of the box. Use a dry cloth to remove the dirt and once the dirt is removed, use the wet cloth to wash out any grease or oil.

Remove the air filter from the box

Next step is to remove the air filter from the box. At the time of removing the air filter, make sure that no dust falls on your bike and put it straight into the cleaning tub. This will avoid a lot of mess that can be caused by the dirt bike. 

Wash it properly

Now access the quality and condition of the dirt bike air filter, you have to wash it properly in that cleaning tub with warm water, make sure not to use very hot water as it can cause damage.

Sometimes I have noticed that just by washing it with warm water doesn’t make it clean, in those conditions, you may have to use turpentine, a liquid that is good at cleaning air filters and it will wash away most of the dirt.

Remember not to use petrol or diesel for the purpose of cleaning the dirt bike air filter, as it will cause damage to it. 

Next step after washing and making the air filter clean is to let it dry. Remember not to push it hard while washing and drying. Let it take its time and it ‘ll be good.  

Clean the airbox

Now let us move to the air box. It is also normally filled with dirt and sand particles. You can choose a dry cloth at first step and clean it properly.

You may use a small brush to do a neat cleaning and cleaning brush will help to remove even small particles that are normally struck in small parts. You can always customize your dirt bike for better performance especially if you plan for trail riding.

Add air filter oil

Access the condition of the air filter, once you are done with the airbox, it should be dry by now. Now comes the next part that is to add air filter oil.

Many riders get confused at this part and then they to pay even for this. I have tried a number of different methods initially and now I know what is best for the air filter. 

I would recommend that you should add oil in a plastic bag then put the air filter into that plastic. After adding air filter there, give it a good mixing that can be done by pressing it evenly on all sides.

Now the air filter should be soaked with oil properly in the plastic bag. Let it dry for around 40 minutes and it will be good to use. 

Add grease

Next step is to add grease to the air filter.  Always remember to add grease evenly and it should be properly applied to all sides of filter rim and it will make a good and tight seal. 

Place air filter properly

Now once you are done with cleaning the air filter and now that you have oiled and added grease, its time to put the air filter back to its place. Check the box and also access the air filter to check it is properly greased that will help to make a good seal.

Tight all screws and follow all directions mentioned in this guide and the dirt bike manual. Few dirt bikes are different and require additional steps, but not to worry at all. All the details are normally mentioned in the manual.

Pro Tips for Maintaining a Clean Air Filter

If you find any tear in the air filter, replace it immediately. Dirt bike air filters are absolutely not expensive and it will cost you a few $$ but it can save 100s of $$. A good and clean Air filter is the main key for the proper functioning of the dirt bike engines.

Clean the air filter at regular intervals, it will save lots of money in the long run. Properly maintained dirt bike always brings awesome riding experience. 

Oxygen is a vital part of any engine, it is required for the process of combustion. It is the air filter that brings all the oxygen required for the engine to run smoothly. If the air filter is not cleaned and it has dirt trapped, the results will be bad for the engine.

It may cause dirt bike to have a missing ride, you may feel acceleration at times and then again the engine will go down.

Never use petrol to clean dirt bike air filter, it is recommended to use oil that is specially made for this process. I have seen a few people complaining that the air filter was totally destroyed once you used petrol. 

While washing air filters in the plastic tub, do not twist it hard, the use of excessive power may damage the quality of air filter. you have to go smoothly with the process of cleaning the air filter.

After cleaning and washing, the air filter must be dried properly before it is placed again back in the airbox. Remember to use grease for making a quality seal around the air filter.

Keep checking air filters often if you want a good riding experience with the quality engine. Regular maintenance is a must for any dirt bike.


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