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The threads I found on this subject were pretty old so I’m wondering if there are newer alternatives or non conventional products.

I had a recent experience with an air filter disintegrating and it got me thinking how badly I neglect my air filters. I had a K&N that I sold with one of my TWs. I liked how easy it was to clean and lube but I’ll never spend that much for another.

So what are people using for cleaning and lubing their foam style filters? Based on old threads, I just ordered No Toil cleaner and lube but wonder what works for others?

Thanks and cheers
 

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Filter:
If this was for a big, hi-revving, deep-breathing bike I was going to do many, many miles on, I would use nothing but a life-time, pleated K&N air filter. Also car & truck.
But...for my little T-Dubby puddle-jumper, I use a life-time UNI brand foam replacement. Better quality than OE. Total confidence in UNI products. Got it from ProCycle.


Cleaning:
Simple Green multi-cleaner, full strength.
Rinse well with hot water & thoroughly dry.


Oil:
Maxima brand, FFT (Foam Filter Treatment), per directions.

I'm not saying these are the "only" brands, but they are all tried & true.
Cost was not a consideration on any of these...it's too important.
 

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If it's real dirty I first use mineral spirits then liquid dish washing soap to get all the grit out. As far as filter oil I've used Maxima, Bel-Ray what ever is on sale. As my filters can't read I don't think they care.
 

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Doesn't the manual say to use motor oil? That's what I used on mine. Why is that a bad idea?
It's not a bad idea but it can run out and make a mess in the airbox.

Actual foam filter oil will get tacky and stay in the filter.

I will never recommend K&N as I have seen plenty properly maintained and get dust in the intake, first hand, not just read on the internet.

I have been cleaning all my foam air filters with gasoline for 30 years without a single issue and oiling with Maxima FFT or Klotz air filter oil.
 

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I still prefer using gas to clean my air filters and then an air filter oil. I have tried other cleaners, but I find them messy.
 

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I bought a spare stock filter years ago so I have a clean one ready to alternate. I wash in sink with dish soap, dry and oil with K&N spray filter oil and put in a zippy till I need it
 

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It’s all about how sticky/tacky it is, and as suggested, this property not only catches the fine particles of dust, it also keeps it in place on the filter

As I stand more chance of a foam filter disintegration due to age rather than constant cleaning, I use new foam, and Castrol filter oil (in an aerosol)

You can use engine oil in a pinch, about SAE30 should do it – but proper filter oil is more effective …..
 

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I bought a spare stock filter years ago so I have a clean one ready to alternate. I wash in sink with dish soap, dry and oil with K&N spray filter oil and put in a zippy till I need it
The K&N oil is for cotton gauze filters not foam. I would look into it’s specs.


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The K&N oil is for cotton gauze filters not foam. I would look into it’s specs.


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Can I use it for chain lube then? The can is just under half empty and I've only had it for 20 years :D
 

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I will also confirm the k and n filters are not what they are cracked up to be. but as long as they are out there I will keep getting to rebuild top ends that are dusted. For my air filters and customers as well I wash the filter first in varsol to remove the bulk of the oil and dirt. Then dish soap and water. After the filter has dried my choice of filter oil is the yamalube one. It goes on easy and has a solvent in it that evaporates so there is less risk of over oiling or dry spots. I have used bel ray and lucas product was well but my preference is yamalube.
 

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K&N's are generally fine for on-road vehicles but I would not use them in dusty environments or for off road applications. They are less effective than traditional paper filters at filtering. Trade off between air-flow and filtering efficiency. I have run into them causing issues on cars with hot-wire MAF sensors, the wire gets dust and bits of oil on it and throws an error.

For foam filters you can use any degreaser spray(simple green, purple power, ect) or even just dish soap. Let it soak for a few minutes then rinse. If it's really dirty repeat. Kero works fine also.

Oil you can use motor oil, soak it up and then wring out excess (messy). If you wring it out well it shouldn't make too much of a mess in the airbox. Over-oiling can also make the bike run poorly/rich from blocking airflow. The filter sprays are more convenient and less messy, I've never found any appreciable difference between the various brands I've used. The ones with a dye so you can see where you've covered are nice but They're all sticky as hell. I've used K&N oil on foam filters and it seemed to work just fine but I do think it's a little thinner/less tacky than sprays intended for foam filters. Several sprays have said they're suitable for either foam or gauze, so I'm guessing it doesn't make too much of a difference in the end.

I've never noticed really any dirt inside the intake tract of either my TW or my Beta (which is used often in very dusty off road conditions) despite the various ways I've cleaned/oiled the filters.
 

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Here comes the hate mail...paint thinner if I have a thick greasy mess on my hands. Hot water and an air compressor after that. Foam filters get the job done. In my hot rods...14 inch round paper and a trip to Napa every summer. OK. Lets hear it. K&N is like J.C. Whitney. Everything in the catalog, even the car covers get you 10% more horsepower with MPG gains.
 

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To save room on the shelf, I started buying the foam filters and the spray in one convenient can. And I never have to use the choke! :p
 

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Wash in dish soap , dry it out and I use motul aerosol air filter oil , it goes on blue in colour so you can see where it’s been applied and as it dries it goes translucent, never had any issues using it on any engine fitted with a foam filter , lasts for ages , good stuff
 
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