2020s Best Motorcycle Foam Air Filter Oils & Maintenance Tips

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Maintaining your air filter is a great way to make sure your bike is running at optimal performance. Regular maintenance and cleaning just got a whole lot easier with some of the best foam air filter cleaners.
Best motorcycle foam air filter

Reviewed Gear

Rated For

Rating

Uni Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner Kit

Best Dirt Bike Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner
★★★★★

Maxima Air Filter Maintenance Kit

Best Foam Air Filter Oil Cleaning Kit
★★★★

Lucas Oil High Performance Foam Filter Oil

Best Air Filter Oil For Motocross
★★★★

Maxima Foam Filter Treatment Oil

Best multi-purpose Motorcycle Air Filter Oil
★★★★

PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil

Best ATV Foam Air Filter Oil
★★★★

Dirt bikes and other off road rides make use of a foam air filter. This differs from cars and other filters in home appliances like vacuum machines which use paper filters. The reason for this is because the foam is much thicker and is able to trap dirt much better than a paper filter, while still allowing enough air flow.

As petrol heads we strive to get the maximum performance out of our machines and one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a boost is by regularly cleaning and maintaining your bikes air filter  with the best air filter cleaner and oil.

Types of Dirt Bike Air Filter Oils

Generally you will find 2 different types of foam air filter oil:

  • Petroleum based motor filter oils
  • Plant based / synthetic foam filter oils

Beginners should not get confused between air filter oil and engine oil. They’re very different. If you ride a two-stroke dirt bike, you’ll want to make sure you’re running one of these best 2 stroke oils.

Synthetic air filter oil

Synthetic air filter oils are well known for being able to handle high temperatures and harsh conditions. They often tend to be absorbed by the filter more densely and evenly than a petroleum based oil. Other benefits of using synthetic oils include its non-harmful attributes to the environment.

They’re biodegradable and offer a smooth ride. When a synthetic oil is mixed with petrol, it becomes toxic and is no longer an environmentally healthy option. The biggest pro to using plant based air filter oil is that it’s often easier to clean your filter and the soft foam won’t need to be replaced as often as synthetic oils are the better option for improved durability.

Petroleum air filter oil

Petrol based air filter oil or regular vehicle oil is definitely not the most optimal choice of air filter oil for your dirt bike. That being said, if you have no other option and you’re desperate for a ride, you could use this as a once off or twice off option.

In the past, before synthetic oils became a thing, riders would use typical motor oil. Regular motor oil doesn’t offer the same optimal riding performance as a synthetic oil would. For example, motor oil does not get absorbed by your air filter in an even way so there will be patches of your filter that are more susceptible to dirt and grime.

Motor oil can even get taken in through the air intake as it begins to drip out from the filter and form a pool of oil in the airbox.

Oiled Air Filter Vs Dry Air Filter

There are a few contrasting thoughts by air filter oil manufacturers as to the best state of lubrication for optimal ride performance. Some of these reputable companies like Twin Air have said that properly oiled filters offer huge advantages over riding with a dry filter. A well oiled filter could even allow more airflow while trapping more dirt.

In contrast, tests by other filter manufacturers claim that optimal performance is achieved by using their air filter without any oil while others indicate that air filters that have just been cleaned and oiled are actually worse than a filter that has been used for a ride or two.


The truth is that unless you’re a pro racer, a 1% improvement in performance is not going to make a difference. But you should regularly clean your filter and apply air filter oil to maintain the life and health of your bike.

Cleaning An Air Filter

When it comes to cleaning your air filter, the cleaning agent you want to use will differ based on the type of air filter oil you’re using. Many air filter cleaners on the market use chemicals that will dilute petrol based air filter oils.

Cleaning an air filter with petroleum based oil needs to be thoroughly washed with soap and water or a detergent that will not act as a solvent for petroleum based oils.

Cleaning an air filter with synthetic or plant based oils does not require a strong detergent but still needs to be thoroughly washed with soap and water.

Avoid using regular gasoline to clean your air filter. While gasoline is fantastic at cutting through dirt and grime it will end up damaging all types of rubber seals and glues that hold your filter and air filter box together. It will also degrade the air filter itself much faster than using other types of cleaning detergents.

Foam Air Filter Oil Application

Applying filter oil to a foam air filter is simple. Once you’ve cleaned and dried your air filter, grab the bottle or can of air filter oil and apply it generously to the air filter.

The air filter should be completely saturated but not over saturated. To avoid oversaturation, simply squeeze the air filter until the excess oil drips out – not so much that it becomes dry.

Pre – Prepping Your Foam Air Filter

There is a lot of debate around whether you should prep your air filter days or weeks  in advance before you ride. Air filter oil manufacturers claim that it’s perfectly OK to pre oil your filters and store them for your next ride.

Doing this in advance makes life simple for your next ride as you always have a clean filter. However, if you decide to pre-oil your filters, you should always store them correctly.

Ideally there should be some air holes to allow the alcohol to evaporate. We always used sealed plastic bags for pre-oiled air filters. It keeps things clean and simple.

Best Foam Air Filter Oil Reviews For 2020

Keep chugging along with the best oils for your air filter

1. Uni Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner Kit

Best Dirt Bike Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner

Best Dirt Bike Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner

Packaged together in this little bundle of joy is just about everything you will need to make sure your air filter is clean, oiled, and operates at optimal performance. The kit includes a 16 oz. aerosol filter cleaner and a 5.5 oz. aerosol foam filter oil

The detergents are strong enough to remove grease and dirt from any air filter (not just a uni foam air filter). It works quickly and aerosol cans make for a much cleaner application and cleaning process.

The Uni Foam oil does not have detergents that will damage your air filters so there should be no issues in maintaining the durability of your air filter. It works really well to protect against dust and dirt while also allowing for strong airflow.

Use the cleaning agent first by spraying the entire air filter, let it soak up the detergents so that dirt particles are loosened. Rinse off all the grime with water. Let your filter sit and dry. Once it’s dry apply a healthy amount of filter oil and you’re all set.

2. Maxima Air Filter Maintenance Kit

Best Dirt Bike Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner

Maxima have been at the top of the pack when it comes to developing the best air filter cleaners and oils.

Their products are incredibly strong and have competitive pricing. If you’re looking for a stand alone air filter oil or air filter cleaner, they offer these individually as well.

Although buying an air filter oil and cleaning kit saves a lot of hassle. This way you’ll always have both on hand and never run dry.

The Maxmia 2 Pack includes their 15.5 oz. cleaner and 13 oz. spray on air filter oil. What great about the Maxima cleaning products is that they’re designed to work on all types of air filters.

Which may not sound optimal for riding bikes, but have a look at the 100’s of reviews and your mind will change. The cleaner is suitable for paper filters and foam filters and will not damage any of the rubber parts and seals in the air filter housing.

It’s water soluble so after you’ve applied the cleaner and rubbed the grime loose, rinse your air filter under water and it should all wash away with ease.

The Maxima air filter oil is synthetic based and water resistant. This means improved longevity of your air filter as well as good protection when riding in wet conditions. The water resistant nature of the oil has been cleverly formulated to prevent build of dust and grime turning to mud clots – airflow will be good all season and all ride long.

3. Lucas Oil High Performance Foam Filter Oil

best air filter oil for motocross

Lucas Oil has been around for quite some time and has become one of the top players when it comes to additive products. Their motto has always been to simply produce the finest line of lubricants and oils which they have successfully adhered to.

The High Performance Foam Filter Oil is manufactured from a simple blend of low solvent and low viscosity compounds. Which basically means that it’s not harmful and it’s not very thick.

This helps to provide a high quality seal around the air filter while allowing for high air flow but still being more than capable of catching dust and dirt from entering your machine.

The compounds in the Lucas Oil air filter oil are waterproof which also helps to prevent rain and extremely wet conditions from ruining your ride without clogging the foam pores.

What’s cool about the High Performance Oil is the color of the oil and the air filter after application. Many riders, including myself have multiple air filters which I take with me on weekend enduro and adventure trips. One of them is pre-oil so I don’t need to sit around cleaning air filters all day.

The blue color of Lucas Oil makes it very easy to see exactly which air filter is good to go, and which one needs to be cleaned.

4. Maxima Foam Filter Treatment Oil

Best Foam air filter cleaning kit

This is a great stand alone air filter oil from Maxima. It’s highly tacky which means the oil is quite sticky. The “tackiness” of the oil is a result of an additive applied in non-aerosol air filter oils.

Tackiness varies from brand to brand, performance also varies according to tackiness.

The problem however is that all manufacturers claim that the degree of tackiness of their product leads to optimal engine performance.

So offering guidance on the best tacky filter oil is not possible. As previously mentioned, unless you’re a professional racer, you don’t need to worry about improving your ride by 1%.

What’s great about the Maxima air filter oil is that it was created as a part of a 3 year long development program. The end product is a synthetic oil that allows for up to 12% more airflow while catching up to 8% more dust and dirt before it enters the air intake.

This air filter oil is perfect to use across all types of air filters. The chemicals used in the oil will not degrade rubber seals which makes this oil a safe option. It’s both water and gasoline resistant so riding in the rain and pooling gasoline shouldn’t be any issue.

5. PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil

Best ATV Foam Air Filter Oil

Packaged together in this little bundle of joy is just about everything you will need to make sure your air filter is clean, oiled, and operates at optimal performance. The kit includes a 16 oz. aerosol filter cleaner and a 5.5 oz. aerosol foam filter oil

Products made by PJ1 are available in more than 50 countries around the world. Many of these products have been in product for over 40 years already which basically means that there has been more than enough time to perfect them.

PJ1 air filter oil is a great product and has delivered outstanding performance to motorsport enthusiasts globally. Their products have been made with performance in mind. This doesn’t just mean performance of your bike, it also refers to the way in which their products are durable, weather resistant, chemical resistant and deliver maximum results.

The PJ1 Spray Foam Filter Oil works well to protect high performance parts of your engine from dust, dirt, sand, mud and all sorts of stuff that otherwise make it past your air filter.

It’s ultra tacky and thick which is how it offers such great protection. Unlike other cheaper products on the market, PJ1 filter oil does not drain out over time which offers better protection for your carb intake against the elements.

The aerosol spray makes for quick and easy application. The spray is also a nice red color which helps identify any areas you may have missed. Avoid skin and clothes because it’s not easy to get off.

Cleaning an air filter after use of PJ1 oil will require a cleaning solvent, not just soap and water since it’s petroleum based.

Last Checkpoint

That concludes the best foam air filter oil reviews. The best option for most riders would be the Maxima Foam Air Filter Treatment Kit[1] . Buying a kit may seem unnecessary, especially if you use a different cleaning brand to the oil brand, but keeping things simple is always the best strategy. Don’t overthink the small things. Maxima has glowing reviews from riders around the world and is perfect for maintaining your bike’s air filter.

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Best Dirt Bike Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner
Uni Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner Kit
★★★★★
Best Foam Air Filter Oil Cleaning Kit
Maxima Air Filter Maintenance Kit
★★★★
Best Air Filter Oil For Motocross
Lucas Oil High Performance Foam Filter Oil
★★★★
Best multi-purpose Motorcycle Air Filter Oil
Maxima Foam Filter Treatment Oil
★★★★
Best ATV Foam Air Filter Oil
PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil
★★★★