K&N Air Filter

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:01 pm
Location: Belleview, Florida
Motorcycle: 2007 Honda Goldwing

K&N Air Filter

Post by mterrac »

I was speaking with a motorcycle mechanic the other day, we were talking about changing the air filter on the GL 1800. He told me to replace with a K&N air filter and it would be good for 50,000 miles.

Any truth to this??? I'm really not sure what to think.

I appreciate the feedback very much.

User avatar
Steve F
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:25 pm
Location: Grand Canyon State!
Motorcycle: 1976 Honda CB750F Cafe' (sold :>( )
'03 GL1800

Re: K&N Air Filter

Post by Steve F »

I suppose that depends on what you consider "good". Many folks have said the K&N can't stop the really fine particulates as well as an OEM filter, and most people find the "old" filter to be in good shape after 25 or 30K miles. Not saying your situation would be any better or worse, but I would stick with the OEM.
"To ride is the reason, the destination's the excuse."
User avatar
Posts: 1151
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:59 am
Location: Indianapolis, In.
Motorcycle: 06 Wing III/2010 Hannigan

Re: K&N Air Filter

Post by tfdeputydawg »

K&N is a total waste of money, IMHO.
Hondas OEM filter will last 50K miles unless you ride in dusty conditions!
Posts: 873
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:14 pm
Location: Henrico, Virginia
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: K&N Air Filter

Post by harvey01 »

K&N makes really good air filters. I believe they come with a lifetime warranty and there is the problem. Every year they must be removed, cleaned with K&N cleaner and then properly oiled with their filter oil. Yes there are other chemicals you can use to accomplish the cleaning and oiling but there products are made to handle the tasks.

I found that is a little more expensive over time to just drop in a new Honda OEM filter and eliminate the time spent cleaning, drying and oiling. this is especially true with the GL1800 as the work to remove the top shelter takes enough time.

I have used K&N filters in other bikes with very easy to reach air filters but have found for me it is simpler to just install the oem filter. And the air filter for the GL1800 s not that expensive and if you can catch a sale and buy a couple you are ready for several changes.

Presently I do have a K&N filter in my 1981 CBX but the mileage is so minimal that the filter gets dirtier from dust in the garage more than particles in the air. I just hope that next spring I can find the cleaner and oil.
Ride Safe and Ride Often
User avatar
Posts: 3815
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
195K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
32K Miles

Re: K&N Air Filter

Post by MikeB »

I found that the removal, cleaning and oiling of the filter was not in my best interest. It is time consuming and if done right, it can take many hours. To clean the filter it is supposed to be washed with soap and water. Then, to oil the filter, it is supposed to be dry prior to oiling. It can take several hours for the filter to dry, pretty much an overnight process.

Since the OEM filter is more than sufficient to pass all the air the carbs will ever need, I gave away the two K&N filters I had. I use only OEM filters on both my wings now. I will typically change the filters every 40,000 miles.
1998 - GL1500 w/195,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/32,000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
User avatar
Posts: 350
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:36 am
Location: Haverhill, MA
Motorcycle: 2021 GL1800 DCT
2016 GL1800 (traded in)
1994 GL1500SE (sold)
1995 VT1100 C2 Shadow ACE (Gifted)
1975 Kawasaki 500

Re: K&N Air Filter

Post by raven41951 »

Ditto. I installed a K&N on my 1500 when I replaced the sub and cruise air filters. Pores are much larger than OEM which is where they get the higher air flow, along with particulates in the air and I did not notice or measure any improvement in performance of fuel mileage. When my 1800 is due it gets an OEM filter, regardless of mileage.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 23313
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: K&N Air Filter

Post by WingAdmin »

The main problem with K&N filters is that in order to get all that "higher flow" - it means the tiny openings in the filter have to be larger, which means larger pieces of particulate are allowed to flow through it. This gets into your engine, and over time wears out the rings and cylinder wall, not to mention valve seats. Eventually your engine will start to burn more and more oil, and it's because you wanted to "flow more air" or "save money" with your reusable K&N filter.

I'd rather replace a filter than replace an engine, so I use OEM air filters.

Post Reply