K&N Air Filters and Aftermarket Air Kits

By Glenn Zetterquist (Zee331)

Hello I’m Kyle Bradshaw and welcome to this cruiser customizing tip of the week. This week we will be talking about K&N air filters, the reusable air filter and why K&N has got itself on top of the podium as the number one air filter in the world. The number one air filter you say, who uses them? Just about anybody who makes an aftermarket air kit uses a K&N and why is that? The protection, the performance is unmatched. When installing a K&N filter in any of your vehicles you’re going to see an increase in fuel economy, why? Because the motor can better utilize its resources, having more air go in matched with more fuel, what’s that going to mean? More horse power, better fuel economy, more horse power, better air fuel and greater protection, all great reasons to install a K&N into any of your vehicles.

Now all K&N filters are reusable, that’s right, completely reusable. How often should you replace your air filter? Depending on the manufacturers specification anywhere from 3000-10000 miles is when you should replace your air filter, usually you should check it at every oil change; if it’s dirty replace it. In the case of this Harley Davidson filter here on the table you’re looking at anywhere between $50 and $70, for the Harley VTX that I have over there you’re looking right around $30-$50 depending on the dealership. Now a K&N filter that will replace these paper elements will cost between $60 and $70 on average. What does that mean? It means in basically two filter changes you completely pay for the price of the K&N. so not only are you saving money, you’re adding performance to your motorcycle or whichever vehicle you choose to put a K&N filter on to. But how difficult is it to clean? Super simple, we’ll get into that just a little bit later. Just about every aftermarket air kit manufacturer out there uses K&N filters in their systems; the Big sucker from Arlen Ness uses K&N, the hypercharger from Kuryakyn uses K&N, the Baron’s “Big Air Kit” uses K&N, Rolandsands, even Roland knows that the K&N filter is the best filter in the market, so why try to recreate that? You incorporate that into your air kit and now you have one of the best filtering air kits on the market. There might be some skepticism on how much better the K&N filter flows verse the stock air filter, take a look at the sample here, this a paper filter, very similar either to the Harley Davidson or this Honda filter that I have here on the table, we’re going to go ahead and show you how this paper filter flows dramatically less air compared to a K&N filter. We’re going to turn the fan on here on our K&N filter machine. As you can see the K&N is allowing enough air to go through this tube in other to float this ping pong ball on the top of this tube. Now we’re going to go ahead and open this filter up, we’re going to replace the K&N with an OEM paper filter, we’re going to close it back up and as you can see this paper filter does not have enough power to even pull this ping pong ball to the top. Well how much restriction would you have to put on the K&N filter in other to get this level of air flow? Take a look at this, with the K&N filter in place; we can cover the filter with duct tape, effectively limiting the airflow. One third of the air has been taken away from this v and it’s still flowing more than the paper filter. We take away over half of the airflow and this ball now sinks to the bottom. From the looks of it you can cover up nearly half of the K&N filter and still have excellent filtering capabilities.

Riding down the road you run into dirt and grime and all kinds of nasty stuff, this is a segment of dirt and nastiness that I pulled out of the vacuum cleaner so 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 relatively affect your K&N filter but eventually over time they’re going to affect that fuel turn up but your filtration is going to be limited.

Now we’ve shown you the dramatic difference between K&N and paper filer, let me show you how simple it is to clean a K&N filter when it’s dirty. As you can see, the backside that doesn’t get direct airflow is still pretty clean although it is still lacking oil and definitely I need to take care of that but the front facing side is absolutely filthy and this being the case this is not getting as much airflow as it possibly could. The first thing you’re going to want to do when you’re cleaning your K&N filter is go ahead and knock any of those 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 going to let this soak for about 10 minutes and then after that 10 minutes we’re going to go ahead and rinse the filter, you want to rinse it before it has a chance to dry. Now that 10 minutes has passed we’re going to take these into the kitchen, now what we’re going to do is we’re going to rinse the clean side out the filthy side, that way the dirt doesn’t have to go all the way through the filter for cleanness. We‘re going to use cold water and we’re just going to rinse each of these pleats like so. We’re going to oil that Big sucker filter, as you can see this is a really 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 round. Now that I have these two filters clean I’m going to take these outside and let them dry in the sunlight. Now before I leave these out here to dry I’m going to go ahead and tap them a little bit to get some of that excess water out. As you cans see there was quite a bit of water stuck in this filters. Just out the California sunshine we have both of our K&N filters. Now one thing I want to point out is not a good idea to high pressure air nozzle these things to get them dry as it can and most likely will damage your air filters.

To see the kinds of filter recharge kits that you can order, the 99-5050 has a standard liquid oil that you pour onto the pleats and the 99-5000 is an aresol can. Allow me show you these acts slightly different on each filter materials. What we’re going to do is we’re going to tip the bottle and we’re going to run a beat of oil down each of these pleats. The other oil that is found inside the 99-5000 is an aresol can. This is installed by doing a spray of oil right along the pleat, now as you can see the oil in the aresol can is a bit thinner that the oil in the squeeze bottle and two applications may be necessary. So I’m going to go ahead and finish both of these filters 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 here we’re going to let this filter sit for a while, we’re going to go ahead and take a napkin or a rag and we’re going to wipe down all the excess that may be on this filter. Now that we can go ahead and install this back into our motorcycle and here we have it. K&N is legitimately the best air filter out there you can put on your motorcycle, not only will it give you an increase in horse power and increase in fuel economy, it’s also going to save you cash every single time you need to replace that stock filter. Thank you for joining us for this week’s cruiser customizing tip of the week. Until next week take care and side safe.




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