The dirt bike air filter is what keeps dust and dirt from entering the engine. This is extremely important, as foreign objects inside the dirt bike engine might cause devastating damage. This is why it’s of utmost importance to keep clean. Not only could it cause damage, but a dirty filter will drive down the performance of the bike, due to the lowered airflow to the engine. Preferably you should be cleaning it after each drive, but obviously, this might not always be possible, but it should be done on a regular basis. Of course, this is not a glamourous job, but if you want to keep your dirt bike riding experience at an optimum and the safety high, you really need to just do it.

We have compiled this six-step guide on how you clean the air filter of your dirt bike in seven simple steps. It’s not difficult and not very time consuming. You might want to wear some gloves that are ready to be thrown out or single-use rubber gloves to avoid exposing your skin to the chemicals in some of the products.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

This is what my air filter looked like right after taking it out of the dirt bike.

Step 1

First off, you want to make sure the surface around the airbox is free of dirt and dust. While preventing mucks from falling into the air intake, you can start by taking out the air filter. Now it’s important that you cover the air intake with something, a clean rag or piece of cloth should do the trick for as long as the air filter is gone.

Step 2

Now it’s time to clean the filter. In most cases, you can simply use warm water in sink or bucket, together with washing powder. If it doesn’t get clean, you might have to use a bit of mineral turpentine first. This depends a bit on the type of oil you’ve used on the filter before. There are actually cleaners and oil specifically used for air filters, which is what I normally recommend. Try to use biodegradable if possible and importantly, do not use petrol, as this might dissolve it.

Step 3

Drying the air filter. Simply start by squeezing the filter to get rid of excess water, then let it sit and dry properly. Now it’s a good time to clean the air box. This is just as important as cleaning the filter itself, there is going to be a lot of dirt and dust inside so be sure to be thorough. This is also a good time to check the filter for tears or holes. For obvious reasons, an air filter with holes won’t do your bike any good, so then it’s definitely time to replace it. They are not hard to find, Amazon for example, has most makes and types of filters.

This is what it looked like after cleaning it! There is clearly a huge difference.

Step 4

We will now reapply the filter oil. There are several ways of doing this, but one great way to make sure the oil is evenly distributed is by adding some oil in a plastic bag, then put the filter inside of it. Now squeeze the bag and let the filter move around inside of it while massaging it. When the filter is properly covered with oil, squeeze out the excess oil and let it dry for 30-40 minutes.

Step 5

When the filter is dry – to ensure that the filter seals the hole properly – you should add some grease at the rim of the filter.

Step 6

We are now ready to reattach the filter in its position. Simply screw the filter in place, in the same way you removed it. Do this together with the plastic filter cage. Now it’s highly important to make sure there is no space between the filter and air box flange. If air can get by the filter, so can dust and dirt. A good way of doing this is to run a finger at the edge of the filter, all the way around it. Now, different dirt bike models can have slightly different designs, for example, some makes have air filter on the side or other than we demonstrated