Engine Air filter


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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efragertours
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:49 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500 Honda Goldwing

Engine Air filter

Post by efragertours »



Does anyone know if a K&N air filter is bad for engine performance?
My local mechanic told me that; I have to use a Honda air filter because the K&N will give me issues with the carburetor.

Thank you for your feedback.

Frank L.


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blupupher
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Re: Engine Air filter

Post by blupupher »

It is not bad for engine performance, but could be bad for engine life.
K&N filters flow "better" than a standard filter, but do not filter as well as standard filter.
You could end up with more fine dust finding its way into the engine, which could shorten engine life (probably not, but possible).

I have a K&N on my bike, because that is what the PO had put on it.
I am not real worried about it, but would not go out and specifically buy one new.
Current ride: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Former rides: 2002 GL1800A, 2001 CB750, 1994 GL1500 SE, 1994 VT1100C , 1984 VF500F, 1982 CB750C, 1982 GS250T, 1981 CB900C, 1978 CB125s, 1976 TS185
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WingAdmin
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Re: Engine Air filter

Post by WingAdmin »

The K&N is more of a "screen" than a filter. It allows more free flow of air, so you will get a slight boost in power output from the engine. However it does so at the expense of doing what air filters are supposed to do: filter particles from getting into your engine.

Have a look this video and you'll see that the K&N essentially does no filtration at all, so you are sucking dust and grit into your engine. This will cause piston ring and cylinder bore wear over time, which will reduce compression and shorten your engine's life. All that contamination has to go somewhere, and the majority of it ends up in your oil, where it contributes to sludge. As a result, your engine oil will not last as long and will need to be changed more often.

I will not use K&N filters on my vehicles. I value the longevity of my engine over saving a few dollars on replacing a filter.



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One of the comments on that video is very telling:
A few years ago, a friend with a 3/4ton diesel changed over to K&N from OEM. He had had oil analysis done several times prior to changing over, so he had a baseline for comparison. After installing the K&N the next oil analysis flagged "silica contamination" (dirt), and they suggested a leak in the air intake system (check hoses, clamps, etc.). No leaks or loose clamps were found. So he removed the K&N and reinstalled the OEM. The next analysis showed a reduced, but still high, silica contamination, he kept the OEM system in place. With each oil change and each analysis, the silica content went down. It took 4 or 5 oil changes to get back to the baseline he had before he installed the K&N.
efragertours
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:49 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500 Honda Goldwing

Re: Engine Air filter

Post by efragertours »

Thank you so much, this is a great article.
I wish if I asked this question long time ago.


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