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This is how I get maximum mileage between air filter changes

It is a toss-up between which I dread more, changing oil or cleaning air filters.  Both are vital to the longevity of a motor and therefore cannot be neglected. When it comes to air filters, I have some special needs so I have come up with some ways to get the most out of them.

Ready To Use Filters

I have a confession. I quit cleaning air filters a couple of years ago and have never looked back. For my tour business, when I sat down and calculated the cost and hassle of air filter maintenance, it was hard to justify it over just using a new filter each time. Therefore, I need to get the most miles out of each filter also.

Maxima Ready To Use Filter


There are a number of pre-oiled filters on the market. I am using the Maxima Ready To Use Filter with very good results. This is the least expensive option and works very well.

I dispose of the filters after each use. The Maxima Ready Filter can be re-used, but I don’t recommend it. The material seems to expand after cleaning in solvent. If you want to go that route, I suggest using the Maxima ProFilter, or perhaps one of the other brands of ready to use filters.

Maxima ProFilter


For the Baja tour bikes we have a unique challenge. The typical tour is four days. If the conditions are dusty, it is too long to try to go on a single filter. But having to carry spare filters and change them during a trip is a hassle. To solve this problem I use the MSR Filter Skin(PC Racing).

MSR Filterskins


The addition of the Filter Skin almost doubles the interval between filter changes. For heavy use, the tour bikes go two days with the skin and then I remove it to go two more days on just the filter. I have been using this technique for a number of years and it works fantastic.

When installing the skin, I only place it to the edge of the filter. I do not wrap it around the sealing surface. This way I can pull the skin away from the filter without taking the filter loose from the airbox. One more precaution to ensure no dirt gets by. Filter Skins are also available with a string and pull tab that would allow you to do the same during a race without stopping.

Filter Skins require oiling. I use the Maxima Fab 1 spray. Typically I lay the Skin over the filter while spraying, so any over spray goes onto the pre oiled filter. Then I give the filter another light spray and work it in. Perhaps I am over cautious, but always want to make sure there is plenty of oil in the filter.

Fab 1 Spray


On my older KTM’s the airbox starts to deform slightly with age. To combat this I use the PC Racing Pro Seal. It is a neoprene seal that adheres to the airbox to improve the contact with the air filter.

PC Racing Pro Seal


When cleaning the airbox area I use a WD-40 style multipurpose lubricant. This leaves a slightly sticky residue inside the airbox to help catch any stray dirt that may get in.

After Long Baja Trip, both filter and skin are used up, but all clean inside


These tips should help keep your motor nice and clean inside and yeild the most bang for the buck when it comes to air filter maintenance. 



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