Air Filtration

Some guy on one of the Internet sites wrote recently that I had been riding off road bikes since before there was dirt and that I had forgotten more than most people ever knew about KLR650’s.

The first claim is partly true in that Baja dirt is much different from when I first started riding with Alan Dietor below the border in 1974. There are creeks and canyons where the land used to be flat and impassible roads that used to be not so bad. Mostly there’s a lot more loose stuff like sand and decomposed granite now-a-days.

As to the second claim, I can only say, “one better learn something in almost 24 years of riding and working on DR’s and KLR’s”. Before we get through the first two months of my 80th year on this planet (starting 12/28/13) I should pass 500,000 “logged” miles on just those two models. I’ve already passed a million miles on lots of other motorcycles since purchasing my first motorcycle (a Triumph) after completing my Korean War service in 1955.

I guess my long-winded point is that I’ve sucked lots of air through scores of filters which provided clean air to the carburetor and engines of more motorcycles then I care to remember.

At the beginning of my riding career (1955) I got lucky: Not only did Guy Urquhart Motorcycles have a knowledgeable salesman in the late Jim Keating, but Jim had raced and maintained motorcycles for years. He’s the first guy to tell me about the importance of timely maintenance especially where it concerned lubrication and air filtration.

Fast forward to 2013 and everything in chemicals, oils and air filtration has greatly improved. The factories tend to use cheap foam in DR and KLR air filters which is why in 1990 I sent my KLR air box to UNI Filter for R&D. Hey, I got a couple of free quality air filters for my trouble.

What about pleated reusable air filters you ask? I used nothing but K&N filters during the 1970’s in Baja, but I cleaned them regularly and used K&N spray filter oil. I never sanded a bore! I still use K&N pleated filters in some applications but foam filters in others. The key is to keep them clean and oiled. If you get dry spots on a filter you are sucking dirt and sanding your cylinder bore. We use Maxima FFT for foam filters and FAB1on our K&N filters. Not only does Maxima have the best air filtering oil, but in the case of the pleated filter oil they have the most controllable spray nozzle applicator the world has ever known. In fact it’s the only spray can I’ve ever used that allows me to apply just the proper amount of oil evenly from top to bottom in each pleat.

If you care about your motorcycle engine and especially if you are a multisurface rider who does lots of dirt riding, you better take care of your air filter. Here at Top Gun/MMP we have no oil burners.! It’s simple, we “Veyize” our top ends and then pay close attention to lubrication and air filtration. Using Maxima’s best synthetic motorcycle engine oil, and keeping the air filter clean and properly oiled is a lot less expensive than an engine rebuild.

Take your choice!