Diagnosing a Clogged Dirt Bike Air Filter

Clogged dirt bike air filter problems can range from poor performance to not allowing your motorcycle to run at all. When enough air isn't getting to the engine, your dirt bike's performance suffers. Knowing the symptoms of a clogged air filter on your dirt bike can help you keep its motor clean. 

Kawasaki motorcycle air filter

How Dirt Bike Air Filters Work

Most dirt bike air filters are made of foam that is covered in a light oil to help prevent dust and other particles from making it into the engine. The good news is that it makes it easy to clean the air filter. The bad news is the effectiveness of this air filter design means that you'll see a big drop-off in performance when the filter gets dirty on your bike. A good air filter cleaner and a fresh coat of air filter oil can solve a lot of problems. 

Dirty Air Filter Symptoms

In your engine, the fuel and air mix in the carburetor. When the air filter gets clogged, it restricts air flow, meaning the engine starts burning too much fuel. In a two-stroke motor, it might look like a fouled spark plug or too much oil in your fuel mix. Your first warning sign is black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe. Other warning signs include:

  • Hard starting
  • Stalling engine
  • Sluggish throttle

This is just the beginning, and not getting on top of the problem can mean that clumps of oily dirt can get loose from the filter and fall deeper into the engine. When that happens, you'll be dealing with another set of problems. The manufacturer for your machine can give you exact recommendations on how often you should clean or replace your air filter.

Need a little help changing the air filter on your dirt bike? Watch the video below to learn how to change the air filter on a Kawasaki KLX 110.



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