K&N Motorcycle Air Filter Cleaning – Step by Step – Video Guide: Tip of the Week
Welcome to this week’s Cruiser Customizing K&N filter recharge tip of the week. In some of the past Tips of the Week we’ve told you about K&N filters and about the lifetime they have. Now these can basically last the lifetime of your motorcycle if you clean them appropriately. So this week I want to show you exactly how you maintain your K&N filter to ensure its longevity and to save you money in the long run. In the past I’ve shown you how the K&N filter works. With a paper filter, the paper filter is so restrictive that it doesn’t even allow this ping-pong ball to come to the top of this unit. With the addition of the K&N filter, we notice that the flow is so increased that this ping-pong ball flows to the top. Now over the course of time, your K&N filter is going to get dirty. This is the K&N filter off the front of my big sucker air kit. Take a look at this. As you can see, the backside that doesn’t get direct airflow is still pretty clean, although it is lacking oil. I definitely need to take care of that. But the front-facing side is absolutely filthy. And this being the case, is not getting as much air flow as it possibly could. Just like the front of my K&N filter on my big sucker, riding down the road you run into dirt and grime, all kinds of nasty stuff. This is a segment of dirt and nastiness that I’ve pulled out of the vacuum cleaner so that we can get a lot of fine dust particles. As you can see, it takes a lot of dirt and dust and grime to be able to negatively affect your K&N filter. But, over time, it will affect that filter enough that your filtration is going to be limited. As you can see, this filter is extremely filthy. No matter how much dirt and grime you’ve got on your K&N filter you’re always going to flow more efficiently than the stock paper filter. What I’m going to do today is I’m going to show you exactly how to clean this K&N filter, so you can get your bike back up to 100 percent operating status. First thing you’re going to want to do when you clean your K&N filter is go ahead and knock any excess particles off. You’re then going to take your filter cleaner and you’re going to spray it to the clean side, and then the dirty side. We’re now going to set this one aside. We’re going to let this soak for about ten minutes, and then we’re going to rinse the filter. You want to rinse it before it has a chance to dry. Alright, now that about ten minutes has passed we’re going to take these into the kitchen and rinse them off in the sink. Now what we’re going to do is rinse the clean side out the filthy side, that way the dirt doesn’t have to go all the way through the filter to clean it. We’re going to use cold water, and we’re just going to rinse each of these pleats like so. Here’s that big sucker filter, as you can see this is the dark side and this is the light side. So let me rotate this under the water, once again from the clean side to the dirty side, and see what we get. As you can see, this filter here is now the same color all the way around. Now that I’ve got these two filters clean I’m going to take them outside and let them dry in the sunlight. Now before I leave them to dry, I’m just going to tap them a little bit, get some of that excess water out. As you can see there was quite a bit of water stuck in these filters. Just out of the California sunshine we have both K&N filters. Now one thing I want to point out: it is not a good idea to high-pressure or air-nozzle these things to get them dry as it can and most likely will damage your air filters. There’s two different kinds of filter recharge kits that you can order. The 99-5050 has standard liquid oil that you pour onto the plates, and the 99-5000 is in an aerosol can. Now let me show you how they act slightly different on these filter materials. We’re going to tip the bottle and we’re going to run a bead of oil down each of these pleats. The other oil that’s found inside the 99-5000 is an aerosol can. This is installed by doing a spray of oil right along the pleat. Now as you can see, the oil in the aerosol can is a bit thinner than the oil in the squeeze bottle, and two applications may be necessary. Let me go ahead and finish these filters up, and then we’ll come back in about fifteen minutes and take a look and see what we need to touch up. As you can see here on the pleated filter, everything is filled in and everything is colored red. Back, front, everything looks great. Here on the round filter, on the outside we look pretty good, but on the inside we have quite a few white spots. What I’m going to do now is I’m going to go ahead and reapply oil so that all these white spots turn red. So now we’ve let this filter sit for a while we’re going to go ahead and take a napkin or a rag and wipe down all the excess that may be on this filter. Now we can go ahead and install this back into our motorcycle. So at the beginning of this exercise we dirtied this K&N filter, we showed the lack of air flow and didn’t allow it to suck enough air to pull the ping-pong ball all the way to the top. Now that we’ve recharged this filter, we can definitely see that all of our filtration properties have been restored.