Diagnosing a Clogged Dirt Bike Air Filter

Clogged dirt bike air filter problems 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. 

Clogged motorcycle air filter diagnosis

How Dirt Bike Air Filters Work

Most dirt bike air filters are made of foam covered in a light oil to prevent dust and other particles from making it into the engine. That makes it easy to clean the air filter. However, the effectiveness of this air filter design means a big drop-off in performance when the filter gets clogged. A good air filter cleaner and a fresh coat of air filter oil can solve a lot of dirty air filter problems. 

Clogged dirt bike air filter cleaning

Dirty Air Filter Symptoms

Fuel and air mix in the carburetor of your bike's engine. 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 the 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 clumps of oily dirt will get loose from the filter and fall deeper into the engine. When that happens, you'll be dealing with another set of problems. Check machine's service manual for recommendations on how often to clean or replace your dirt bike's air filter.

Buy PJ1 foam filter cleaner spray

Buy PJ1 foam filter oil

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



Why Partzilla?

Commercial Discounts

Special discounts for companies in the powersports industry


Government Sales

Discounts for federal and most state and municipal agencies