Types of Air Filters used in Motorcycles

This article talks about the different types of Air Filters used in motorcycles

The engine air filter is there to clean the air that enters the engine for combustion. There are different types of air filters for cars: they can be made from paper, foam and even cotton. The good working condition of each filter depends on the material. A filter in good working condition ensures air going into the engine does not contain abrasive particles. This means combustion takes place in the best conditions and fuel consumption remains at the levels set out in the vehicle specifications, as is the case with the emissions. The end of the filter’s life depends very much on the places you drive.

Hence, if you normally travel along dusty roads, you’ll need to clean your car air filters regularly and replace them much more than if you drive in cleaner environments. The air filters provide a feeling of cleanliness and well-being for the passenger inside the vehicle.

Paper Air Filters

The most widely used type of air filter is the paper filament one. The paper used is not the real paper which we use to write and read, however this is a fold paper which is relatively denser, thick and heavier but has enough pores to inhale also. This way the paper can filter the air and additionally endure the pressure of the air and not tear. There are generally multiple layers of this filter or a single layer folded together to form a maze so that the air can be filtered numerous times to ensure it is as pure as possible before being delivered for combustion. From the very basic to the best of superbikes today utilize this kind of filter for its high effectiveness and low cost.

Foam Air Filters

Foam filters are used in a number of the motorcycles, but mainly in the premium segment. This foam is nothing but oil-washed polyurethane foam. This uses the layer of oil to ensure the particulate matter sticks to the heavy oil and whatever is left of the lighter matter gets caught in the foam crevices. Since foam also has a bit of elasticity, it is additionally used in some of the performance machines in – air pumps to give that additional energy to the bike.

Cotton Air Filters

Cotton air filters are not widely used in recent machines. They were used in older bikes when the paper filament was not yet discovered. It worked quite well for that time, however this was not effective to a large extent thus resulting in low engine life.

Liquid Air Bath Filters 

Oil Bath air filters are another type, but not used in motorcycles because as they are really heavy and messy. Same is the situation with water bath air filters. They are most well-suited for heavy vehicles but not for 2-wheelers.


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