Best Dirt Bike Air Filters & Maintenance Tips | Motocross | Enduro
The most popular type of air filter for dirt bikes is a foam air filter. More specifically, foam made from Polyester, not polyether. In this buyers guide I’ve picked out some of the best air filters for dirt bikes ranging from 50cc pocket bikes, 125cc pit bikes, and the more common enduro and motocross bike
If you’re looking for the best dirt bike air filter it means that you understand the importance of the role that the air filter plays in your bike. For the rest of us, not already aware of the significance of the role the air filter plays, the main purpose is to purify the air flowing into your engine, improving the performance of your bike and protecting the engine against dust and dirt in the air. Without an air filter, these dust and dirt particles would collect in the engine as grime causing your horsepower and efficiency to become much worse and would eventually end up destroying your bike’s engine.
That being said, ensuring that your bike is running with the high-quality air filter is one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve your engine’s performance and keep your bike’s maintenance in check. You should make it a regular habit to clean your air filter, to avoid damaging your bike’s piston and blocking up the carburetor.
Benefits Of A Dirt Bike Air Filter
- Removes dirt from the air. The main purpose of an air filter is to protect your bike’s engine from dust and dirt particles in the air.
- Improves airflow to the engine. Without an air filter, the debris in the air would be sucked up through the air intake and land up in your engine causing all sorts of unwanted damage. Engine damage from dirt collected in the air would be much more costly than protecting your engine with a high-quality air filter. Higher quality air increases performances and helps with engine overheating.
- Increases speed & horsepower. Your engine requires oxygen in order to combust when burning fuel. Better air quality means more oxygen, better combustion, and improved engine performance.
- Improved fuel economy. With the correct mixture of air, oxygen, and combustion, your engine is able to perform at higher levels which results in more efficient use of fuel and improved fuel economy. A dirty air filter can starve your bike of the much-needed oxygen which would result in sluggish engine performance and poor fuel economy.
Consequences Of Poor Air Filter Maintenance
- Diminishing power output, low throttle response & poor overall engine performance.
- Complications may arise within your Carburetion and/or Fuel Injection issues.
- Complete engine damage
Best Dirt Bike Air Filter Reviews & Recommendations
Twin Air Dual Foam Air Filter
Twin Air filters are incredibly popular among enduro trail raiders and motocross racers alike. They’ve sponsored pro riders around in pretty much every racing discipline you can think of from Motocross to speedway and sidecar racing. Twin Air filters are OEM-specified for 20+ motorcycle companies and are trusted by riders all around the world. One of the most popular dirt bike air filters is the Twin Air Pre-Oiled Dual Foam Air Filter.
Twin Air Filters for other popular dirt bike brands:
K&N Performance Air Filter
K&N is a highly reputable company, well known for its performance air filters. Their air filters are oil-based which offers fantastic filtration of unwanted dirt and dust while allowing for a high rate of oil flow. Typically used in heavy-duty applications since their ability to block small dirt particles is said to be near 99% accurate.
Rest assured that K&N have performance and safety at the forefront of their manufacturing process. This means their filters are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of off-road racing, from motocross to desert rallies and everything in between, while at the same time providing as much protection to your bike’s engine as possible. This air filter is designed for peak performance in racing events like motocross and enduro. As far as K&N products go, this is one of the best aftermarket K&N dirt bike air filters with fitment suitable for most Honda, Husqvarna, KTM, Husaberg, Suzuki, and Yamaha dirt bikes.
Poweka Air Filter
A 50cc dirt bike probably won’t be doing any kind of crazy racing, on the road, or off-road. You won’t need to fork out a ridiculous amount of money for the best air filter. All you really need is something to protect the engine and keep dust from destroying the mechanical parts. The most popular 50cc dirt bike air filter is made by a company called Poweka. Check the specs to ensure it fits your model. From the description, it seems to be perfect for bikes and mopeds from 50cc up to 200cc. Make sure the inside diameter matches up with your kid’s bike at 39mm. As far as I’ve checked, this is an affordable and reliable option for Yamaha 50cc and honda 50cc dirt bikes. Check out our review of the best 50cc dirt bikes for kids.
QAZAKY Air Filter
Apollo manufactures dirt bikes or better known as pit bikes at an affordable price compared to some of the more premium branded bikes. Their style is unique and is actually pretty good value for money for anyone looking to get into off-road bikes or for a set of wheels to quickly get you around the track or home. You want to make sure you check the carb size on your Apollo but this Air filter will fit most pit bikes from 50cc up to 150cc. This is also one of the air filters best for baja bikes which can often be quite tricky to find.
K&N Universal Clamp-On Air Filter
This is a top-quality air filter that offers excellent filtration and also allows higher levels of airflow into your engine. Essentially blocking the bad and allowing more of the good. This pushes the performance of your engine and improves acceleration by up 10%. It’s a simple cost effective way to improve your quad bikes performance. K&N is well known for high-quality air filters and this is no exception. This filter is not originally designed for quads or the Yahama Raptor, but after drilling a small mounting hole into the filter frame, you’ll get a perfect snug fit.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy replacement air filter that will fit your Hawkeye, Forest, Trail Boss, Scrambler, Magnum, or TrailBlazer, this is a really popular pick. When in doubt it’s always best to trust what other riders have done. This is by far one of the more popular ATV air filters purchased by off-road enthusiasts around the world. A good fit is ensured for engine capacities including; 400, 500, 550, 570, 600, 700, 800, and 850cc.
Types Of Dirt Bike Air Filters
Paper Air Filters
Dirt bikes are usually equipped with foam air filters whilst road-going commuter motorcycles and cars are often equipped with paper air filters. The performance of both is somewhat debated as to which type of filter is best at collecting and gathering the dirt particles out of the air. Paper air filters are usually installed because they are cheap and disposable. This means that they cannot be re-used and should be replaced each time the air filter is cleaned. Unlike a foam air filter which is usually cleaned after every few rides and can be used over and over again with the right care. Paper air filters are not recommended for dirt bikes.
Cotton Air Filters
Many urban commuter motorcycles are fitted with either a sponge or cotton based air filter. Cotton air filters are usually installed as an aftermarket air filter due to the high price and low maintenance costs. A sponge air filter can be cleaned and reused a couple of times whereas a cotton gauze filter will often have a much longer life cycle and can even outlast the life of your motorcycle if looked after and cared for correctly with the right maintenance.
The other benefit of using a reusable cotton filter is the eco aspect of not having to dispose of multiple paper filters after every few rides. Cotton air filters are not that common on dirt bikes and foam air filters are still preferred by the vast majority of riders. Cotton air filters are often thought to provide the best performance, although this comes at the disadvantage of a higher price tag and much more frequent cleaning and maintenance efforts.
Foam Air Filters
The most popular type of air filter for dirt bikes is a foam air filter. More specifically, foam made from Polyester, not polyether. Polyester foam offers better solvency, abrasion, and cut resistance. During the manufacturing process, the polyester foam has the ability to be created with better consistency which is important for the longevity of the filter.
Foam filters offer the advantages of filtering out more dust and dirt particles due to the thicker material density. However, for this reason, it’s even more important to ensure proper air filter maintenance as a dirty foam air filter will significantly inhibit the performance of your dirt bike. With the correct care and maintenance, foam air filters can be used many times over, making them a cost-effective solution. When using a foam air filter in your dirt bike, it’s important to have the right cleaning materials as well as the best foam air filter oil to help block the unwanted dirt particles from entering your engine.
Top Air Filter Brands
Uni Filter is one of the key air filter innovators in the market with a history dating back to 1969. Their goal-orientated engineers have focussed on creating the best air filter for performance. This comes in the form of their Two-Stage Foam Air Filter which is essentially two air filters in one. An outer layer that stops the larger dirt particles and an inner foam layer for the fine dust particles.
No Toil entered the market in 1998 with the plan of simplifying the whole air filter maintenance process. Their air filters remove the need for gasoline and solvents in the cleaning process, improving the safety of both the air filter and the environment. Their filters are one of the few which are biodegradable and created from a non-toxic formula.
With its headquarters in Southern California and founded back in 1979, Maxima is well known for being one of the most prestigious brands in the world of motorcycle racing. They provide a wide variety of market-leading products, from air filters, oils, and lubes. Their ready to go dual stage foam air filter is one of the best air filters for both racers and weekend warriors.
Some of the best value for money dirt bike air filters are manufactured by HiFloFiltro out of Netherlands. They’re a supplier of aftermarket filters for motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs across the globe and aim to offer excellent universal dirt bike air filters. They also offer OEM filters as well as private label brands suitable for all dirtbikes including KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Sherco, and everything in between. One of their best selling products is the dual stage racing air filter.
K and N
K&N is another industry leader in the automotive and power sports sector. Their air filters are ideal for riders of all sorts. Ripping the dunes in the desert on an ATV, shredding the pavements on your supermoto, or even cruising down the highway on your big V-Twin. K&N filters offer high performance for all makes and models. Their high-flow air filters are some of the most popularly purchased air filters on Amazon and are designed to improve performance air intakes which increase engine performance and protection at the same time.
Dirt Bike Air Filter FAQs
K&N filters are a gauze based filter. They require the same regular maintenance as a foam filter in order to provide the best level of protection for your engine. Without proper care and maintenance, any air filter will allow finer dirt particles to pass through the filter resulting in a build-up of fine dusty film on the air intake side.
A K&N air filter will offer substantial benefits over a stock motorcycle filter. Most notable improvements are seen in throttle response, acceleration, and fuel efficiency.
Oiled air filters can be bad for your motorcycle’s engine if not properly maintained. An oiled air filter that has not been regularly cleaned and re-oiled will be less efficient at stopping dust and debris from passing through the filter into your engine. This will result in significantly poorer engine performance, throttle response, and ultimately could seize your engine completely.
Typically you will find two types of air filter oils, one is petroleum-based and the other is plant or synthetic based. Synthetic-based oils offer the advantage of being easier to clean and less harmful on the air filter which means that air filters are cleaned with synthetic oil and don’t need to be replaced as often. For a more in-depth guide, we’ve covered the best foam air filter oils and identified some of the top products on the market.