Basic Motorcycle Maintenance: Air Filter Change

After changing the motor oil, replacing the air filter is the next most basic, yet fundamental do-it-yourself motorcycle maintenance task. 

Motorcycle maintenance air filter change

Here at the Partzilla blog, we’ve posted and will continue to post motorcycle air filter change articles that are make-and-model specific (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc.). And we often mention in our articles that the steps to changing the air filter on a particular motorcycle or ATV are the same or similar for all makes and models. However, we wanted to post a general, non-model specific article about doing a basic air filter change on any motorcycle. Here are the basics for doing a quick motorcycle air filter replacement.

Buy motorcycle air filters

Buy motorcycle air filter covers

How to Change the Air Filter on a Motorcycle

Step 1. Find and open the air box. Depending on the motorcycle’s make and model, it could either be on the side of the engine or under the fuel tank cover. 

Motorcycle air filter change airbox

Step 2. Remove the air filter and throw it away, or clean and oil it if it’s reusable. If you’re cleaning the air filter, use a fabric air filter cleaner and treatment or a foam air filter cleaner and treatment, depending on what type of filter your machine has. 

Motorcycle air filter cleaning

Step 3. Clean inside the airbox by spraying in a little contact cleaner, and wiping it down with a shop rag to eliminate dust or debris inside the box.

Motorcycle air box cleaning

Step 4. Install the new air filter, or reinstall the clean reusable air filter.

Motorcycle air filter replacement

NOTE: Some air filters need to be cleaned and treated before being installed even if they’re brand new. Make sure you read the instructions provided by the manufacturer. 

Step 5. Close the airbox, replace the covers and you’re done.

Motorcycle air filter change

Changing the air filter on your motorcycle after every 8,000 miles is recommended, and even more often if you frequently ride in dirty environments

Now that you know the basics to changing out an air filter, watch the video above to see cleaning and replacing a motorcycle air filter in action.