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How To | Cleaning a Dirt Bike Air Filter | How To

Cleaning your air filter after each ride is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your engine. Here’s our guide on what you will need and what to do…

– Turps
– Detergent
– Filter oil
– Grease
– Plastic bag
– 2 x pairs of latex gloves

Step 1 – Removal
All bikes have the potential to drop dirt into the intake when removing a dirty air filter. Start by giving the airbox a wipe with a damp rag before attempting to remove the filter. Air filter oil is nasty sticky stuff so pull on a pair of latex gloves before you start.

Air Filter

Step 2 – Apply mineral turpentine
The first task is to break down the existing filter oil by tipping some mineral turpentine on your dirty filter and squeezing it through. If you have treated it with filter oil you can skip this step and go straight to washing with a air filter cleaner product.

Air Filter

Step 3 – Wash the filter
Once the turps has done its job give the filter a good wash in warm, soapy water. Dishwashing detergent works well thanks to the powerful oil-eating agents but shampoo or dishwashing liquid works. Finish up by rinsing with clean water at the end.

Air Filter

Step 4 – Drying before re-oiling
Before re-oiling your filter it needs to be dry. Speed up the drying process by squeezing it in a clean rag, running it through a spin cycle in your mum’s washing machine or strapping it to a fan. Avoid the dryer as the heat can break down the glues holding the filter together.

Step 5 – Apply fresh filter oil
Place your clean, dry filter within a plastic shopping bag and tip some new filter oil onto it. Squeeze the oil through the filter until it has completely changed colour, adding more to any dry, unoiled areas. Air takes the path of least resistance so perfect coverage is critical.

Step 6- Refit and grease
Refit your airfilter cage, making sure it hasn’t collected any dirt in the meantime and run a bead of grease around the mating surface of the filter before reinstalling. It’s also a good idea to cover the intake and clean the airbox if you have time.