HOW TO CLEAN A DIRT BIKE AIR FILTER
The air filter is critical to maintaining a healthy engine, allowing clean air into your engine to combine with fuel, combust and produce the vehicle's power. Over time, accumulation of dirt, dust, pebbles and more can impede this airflow. If your filter is dirty, your engine will need to work harder to draw in air or cool down. Eventually, those unwanted materials can be sucked into your engine from the air intake while on the road, potentially damaging the pistons and blocking your carburetor.
There are two different classes of air filters: oiled and dry. Typical dry dirt bike air filters are made of foam, which blocks more particulates than paper filters, but due to their material density they've been known to inhibit air flow as they get dirty. Oil air filters are also popular, and are an oiled cotton gauze construction.
A thorough cleaning of these filters is only required when portions of the screen are no longer visible in the filter, or roughly every 50,000 miles for casual riders. If you're hitting sand dunes or riding in lots of dirt or gravel, you'd be wise to give it a good cleaning after each heavy ride. Dirt bike racers should make a regular habit of cleaning the air filter, to avoid damaging the piston and blocking up the carburetor.
When cleaning your air filter, it's important to use a cleaner that will thoroughly remove dirt and debris without petroleum-based chemicals, which can damage or dissolve the filter materials. You should avoid using solvents or kerosene for this reason.
Extreme Simple Green Motorsports Cleaner and Degreaser is aggressive on grease and heavy soils, but is gentle enough to clean air filters without harming the filter material or causing damage to the high-performance surfaces found on motorsports equipment. Used per label instructions, it's ideal for cleaning virtually your entire bike, safe on aluminum, chrome, titanium and other high-tech alloys, as well as painted and gel-coated surfaces, anodized and electroplated parts, carbon fiber, metals, plastics, rubber and much more.
Check your Owner's Manual before cleaning the air filter. Always follow manufacturer's complete instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure the engine is cool to the touch before cleaning.
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