A dirt bike air filter is an essential component of your bike, as it helps to keep dirt and debris out of the engine. It is important to keep your air filter clean in order to ensure that your bike runs smoothly and efficiently. But how often should you clean your air filter?The answer depends on how often you ride and the type of terrain you ride on. A thorough cleaning of these filters is only required when parts of the screen are no longer visible on the filter, or approximately every 50,000 miles for occasional cyclists.
If you are going to hit sand dunes or cycle on a lot of dirt or gravel, it would be wise to clean it well after each heavy trip. For regular riders, it is recommended to check the air filter after each trip. Even if it hasn't been a particularly dusty day, if you've been riding sandy or grassy trails, there's likely to be grass seeds or sand in the filter. The first task is to break down the existing filter oil by dumping some mineral turpentine into the dirty filter and squeezing it out. If you have treated it with filter oil, you can skip this step and proceed directly to washing it with an air filter cleaner.
Once the turp has done its job, wash the filter thoroughly with warm soapy water. Dishwasher detergent works well thanks to powerful oil-consuming agents, but shampoo or dishwashing liquid works well. Finish by rinsing with clean water at the end. From here, it's up to you to decide if you should completely replace or simply clean the filter you are using now. While cleaning the filter will improve the filter a bit and prevent your bike from running out of air, it will never be as good as new.
For cleaning, I use mineral spirits in a bucket with a wire rack at the bottom to keep the filter out of things that are deposited there. Most aftermarket air filters can be cleaned and eliminate the need to replace a filter every time it gets dirty. I have used Motul air filter oil for years and have never had problems with the life or efficiency of the filter. Place the clean, dry filter inside a plastic shopping bag and pour some fresh filter oil over it. If you're not sure if you should replace your air filter or not, check your bike's owner's manual and see how often the manufacturer recommends that you change your air filter. For example, if you drive frequently in dusty areas, the filter will get dirty much faster than a bicycle that is only ridden in the center, in a big city. In conclusion, for occasional cyclists, a thorough cleaning of their dirt bike air filters is only required when parts of the screen are no longer visible on the filter, or approximately every 50,000 miles.
For regular riders, it is recommended to check the air filter after each trip and clean it with mineral turpentine and warm soapy water. Most aftermarket air filters can be cleaned and eliminate the need to replace a filter every time it gets dirty. If you're not sure if you should replace your air filter or not, check your bike's owner's manual for recommendations.