How to Clean a Dirt Bike Air Filter

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Your dirt bike’s air filter is an important part of the engine, fuel system, and combustion cycle. 

The things that any combustion engine needs to run are fuel, AIR, and spark. The air filter plays a key component in the air part of that equation. 

As part of your routine dirt bike maintenance, you’ll need to clean or replace the air filter to ensure your bike is in peak condition. 

Maintaining a good air filter will also help keep your engine in good condition for longer. 

Luckily, servicing the air filter is a pretty simple procedure. Find the tips and steps you’ll need to follow here. 

Can I wash my dirt bike air filter?

Yes, you can wash your dirt bike’s air filter. 

On most dirt bikes, you’ll be able to wash out your air filter to reuse it. 

However, you should first check whether you have a foam or paper air filter element. 

What Can I Use to Clean my Dirt Bike Air Filter?

What you’ll need to use to clean your air filter will depend on what it’s made of. 

If it’s a paper air filter, you can only use water and cleaning solution. Paper filters should not be scrubbed, brushed, or dried with compressed air. Allow the filter to air dry completely before reinstalling it and riding again. 

If it’s a foam filter, you’ll need to soak it a bit more. There are a variety of air filter cleaners and degreasers you can use. 

Or, you can simply use some dish soap. 

How to Clean the Air Filter on a Dirt Bike

First, be sure to put on some gloves and some eye protection before you start cleaning. 

Next, remember to be gentle with the air filter. Being too rough can cause damage that could allow particles into the engine. 

And, be sure to allow enough time between cleaning, re-oiling, and reinstallation for the filter element to dry completely.

To clean your dirt bike’s air filter, you’ll need to:

  • Unscrew the air box cap. 
  • Unscrew the bolt securing the filter element. 
  • Wash the filter by hand using water and an air filter cleaner or filter-safe dish soap. 
  • Work the cleaning solution into the filter element gently. 
  • Allow the cleanser to take care of the oil and debris. 
  • Rinse the filter until the water runs clean.  
  • Gently shake or squeeze out any excess water. 
  • Allow it to air dry completely. 

Once it is completely dry, you’ll need to oil the air filter. 

After you’ve applied the oil and allowed it to set it, you can reinstall the filter back in the air box and get back to riding. Place a bit or air filter oil or grease around the top and bottom of the cleaned filter element to ensure a proper seal inside the airbox. 

While the air filter element is removed, it’s also a good idea to clean the air filter box itself of dust, grime, and debris. 

Alternatively, you can purchase pre-oiled air filter elements that you’ll be able to install and ride instantly. 

When should you clean or replace your air filter?

Refer to your dirt bike’s owner’s manual for the recommended cleaning schedule for your air filter. 

How frequently you need to service your bike’s air filter will depend on how often you ride as well as where you ride

If you’ve been riding in particularly dusty, sandy, muddy, or wet conditions, you should probably clean the filter more often. 

Sometimes, it may be a good idea to clean your dirt bike’s air filter after every ride.