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Honda XR650L (1994)


Owner: dangerousleigh
Added on Yesterday, 05:33 PM
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XR650r Stock Air Cleaner ??? Junk the K&N?


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40 replies to this topic
  • gnarly sprockets

    TT Bronze Member

152 posts
Location: Arizona

Posted February 26, 2006 - 01:13 PM


Well, all I can tell you is my experience with a K&N on my 99' 400EX quad. Ran a K&N for several years w/ an outerwear. Always kept the filter clean and oiled.

I recently rebuilt that engine because of a failed re-ground camshaft. The cylinder showed the telltale scratches caused by dust and other particulates getting sucked into the cylinder. My (very experienced) machinest pointed that out to me. It was pretty clear. He didn't know that I had been running a K&N. Sometime later, I overheard a conversation this machinest had with another customer about K&Ns and he said he can usually tell if a K&N was being used just by looking at the cylinder walls. Keep in mind, we're in the Phoenix metro area. Sometimes we'll have dust storms instead of rain storms.

Now, had the camshaft not failed catastrophically I would have had no idea about the internal wear in my engine. The cylinder wear was not keeping the engine from operating at a (seemingly) normal output. Nonetheless, the cylinder WAS wearing due to particluates being sucked in.

I used K&Ns on my streetbikes for years and would again. I don't frequently ride through clouds of dust on a streetbike. I do frequently ride through clouds of dust on my OHV machines (mostly deserts and The Dunes) so I choose not to use K&Ns in those conditions.

That's been by experience. Take it for what it's worth...


The dirt that caused your camshaft scoring was in your oil (or lack of oil). If you have enough dirt in your oil to score the cam, there's bound to be enough to ruin the cylinder also. I live in AZ. Dusty all the time. MY experience with K&N's are as follows (besides the XL250), Volvo 240-wrecked with 250K miles, Chevy S10-wrecked with 204k miles, current Volvo 850 has 175K miles, my C&J XL440 ran for 19 years with one rebuild. I roadraced it, MXed it, commuted on it and even rode it to Alaska. To me, the proof is in the pudding.
The "you can see through it" doesn't hold weight. When I compare the inside of these filters with the dirty outside, it's obvious they are working.

  • gnarly sprockets

    TT Bronze Member

152 posts
Location: Arizona

Posted February 26, 2006 - 01:15 PM


Well, all I can tell you is my experience with a K&N on my 99' 400EX quad. Ran a K&N for several years w/ an outerwear. Always kept the filter clean and oiled.

I recently rebuilt that engine because of a failed re-ground camshaft. The cylinder showed the telltale scratches caused by dust and other particulates getting sucked into the cylinder. My (very experienced) machinest pointed that out to me. It was pretty clear. He didn't know that I had been running a K&N. Sometime later, I overheard a conversation this machinest had with another customer about K&Ns and he said he can usually tell if a K&N was being used just by looking at the cylinder walls. Keep in mind, we're in the Phoenix metro area. Sometimes we'll have dust storms instead of rain storms.

Now, had the camshaft not failed catastrophically I would have had no idea about the internal wear in my engine. The cylinder wear was not keeping the engine from operating at a (seemingly) normal output. Nonetheless, the cylinder WAS wearing due to particluates being sucked in.

I used K&Ns on my streetbikes for years and would again. I don't frequently ride through clouds of dust on a streetbike. I do frequently ride through clouds of dust on my OHV machines (mostly deserts and The Dunes) so I choose not to use K&Ns in those conditions.

That's been by experience. Take it for what it's worth...


The dirt that caused your camshaft scoring was in your oil (or lack of oil). If you have enough dirt in your oil to score the cam, there's bound to be enough to ruin the cylinder also. I live in AZ. Dusty all the time. MY experience with K&N's are as follows (besides the XL250), Volvo 240-wrecked with 250K miles, Chevy S10-wrecked with 204k miles, current Volvo 850 has 175K miles, my C&J XL440 ran for 19 years with one rebuild. I roadraced it, MXed it, commuted on it and even rode it to Alaska. To me, the proof is in the pudding.
The "you can see through it" doesn't hold weight. When I compare the inside of these filters with the dirty outside, it's obvious they are working. K&N has been in business for longer than many members of this forum have been alive. They didn't get there by selling "crap".

  • HawkGT

    TT Titanium Member

2,166 posts
Location: Arizona

Posted February 26, 2006 - 01:19 PM


To each his own...

  • hurtigrodfare

    TT Newbie

11 posts
Location: California

Posted February 26, 2006 - 03:02 PM


Have only ran K&N on my bikes and quads. Quads 100% in sand and dirt bike 70% sand 30% dirt no problems. All in take tubes clean when i go to clean filters

  • wickedsprint

    TT Gold Member

1,212 posts
Location: Florida

Posted February 26, 2006 - 04:23 PM


The "you can see through it" doesn't hold weight. When I compare the inside of these filters with the dirty outside, it's obvious they are working.



Actually it does hold weight, as does the fact that I found dust in the stock airbox. You run your filter I run mine *shrugs* There is a difference between working and working better. It's a tradeoff, how can you expect it to flow better than a stock filter AND be able to trap just as much dirt, ain't gonna happen, something has to give.

  • TimBrp

    TT Platinum Member

1,950 posts
Location: Massachusetts

Posted February 27, 2006 - 03:52 AM


They didn't get there by selling "crap".


I don't know if K&N puts $$ in your back pocket but they DO make an inferior offroad air filter. Their filters flow more parts per million than any other filter out there. Therefore, they WILL allow more dust through than say UNI or TWIN AIR. Better flow=larger intake area which will lead to more dirt in your engine. Out in the desert the silt will kill an engine, as mentioned earlier. If you want the best airflow/HP then the K&N is where it's at. However, theres always a negative deterant when it comes to more power-unreliability. I also don't think there is that much of a difference where as you'd feel it in the bike w/ the more flow of a K&N.

On another note a few friends of mine have K&N's in their trucks with the cold air setups. Each one of them have taken the filter off and felt the inside of the air tunnell and there has consistently been a layer of fine dust in the air intake. The filters are all properly maintained also.....coincidence, I think not.

  • Pantah598

    TT Newbie

4 posts
Location: Sweden

Posted February 27, 2006 - 07:47 AM


This is interesting. It’s like discussing engine oil. Or speaker cables. Everyone has opinions. True or false, I don’t know. But sure there are people with commercial interest on forums…
Anyway, do they not run the K/N on the Baja 1000 races? If they were crap, no one would use them???
I am going for K/N to see for myself. Have no dessert where I live so it might work.
Happy to report how it goes.

//Jan

  • TimBrp

    TT Platinum Member

1,950 posts
Location: Massachusetts

Posted February 27, 2006 - 09:44 AM


No desert fine, but do you have dust? This really isn't a scientific thing at all or opinion. If you're flowing more PPM's than the other brands you'll make more power...however, your surface area inlets must be bigger to do so, hence, more dirt allowed in. Is it minimal, sure, but when it comes to motor internals minimal isn't so.....well...minimal. You'll get the guys that will defend them to no end to save face because that's what they run in their bikes. Just like all the guys w/ CRF's stating they don't have a valvetrain issue... :thumbsup: Hell, I ran a K&N and won't ever again on an offroad machine. Go drown your bike with a K&N and try to "wring" it out...you can't, the fitler is basically ruined. A foam element can be wrung out and dried no problem. The power increase w/ a K&N vs. a foam element is so small that the negatives that the filter presents negates any need for it.

  • Pantah598

    TT Newbie

4 posts
Location: Sweden

Posted February 27, 2006 - 11:40 AM


I don’t drive in extreme dust very often. Can always use the original airfilter if there is a hot dry summer day (and they aren’t to many here :thumbsup: )

The K/N is already ordered so trying it I will. However, if I do find dirt inside the air intake I will sure take it off and ask some serious questions to K/N.
There seems to be a 50/50 in turns of people thinking they are ok or not. Strange and perhaps that is way I like to give it a go.
You know I did have K/N on my XR600. After installing I find a significant change to the bike (after re-jetting). There were more horsepower indeed. But I also noticed dirt in the inlet. BUT I did not use a proper filter oil for the K/N so we can’t draw any conclusions from that.
As the K/N use another technology compared to foam filters I find them hard to compare.
Testing K/N will tell. If it don’t work I just put my Twinair filter in again, I’m not planning to wreck my engine…

  • TimBrp

    TT Platinum Member

1,950 posts
Location: Massachusetts

Posted February 27, 2006 - 12:14 PM


I'm not saying you'll "wreck" your engine. But the possibility is there. If you want more airflow drill some holes in your airbox lid and plug the holes w/ the small UNI inserts they make. Same result, better filtering, IMO.

  • wickedsprint

    TT Gold Member

1,212 posts
Location: Florida

Posted February 27, 2006 - 01:22 PM


Anyway, do they not run the K/N on the Baja 1000 races? If they were crap, no one would use them???
I am going for K/N to see for myself. Have no dessert where I live so it might work.
Happy to report how it goes.

//Jan



And they probably rebuild that engine after every race to likely include a brand new K&N filter.

  • Chas_M

    Get Help Now

5,445 posts
Location: California

Posted February 27, 2006 - 02:47 PM


I'll provide one more warning about not using K&N filters on dirtbikes. DON'T USE THEM. It has been conclusively proven that they fail to filter fine dust very efficiently, even when properly oiled. My old '87 ATK came stock with a cylindrical K&N filter covered with an oiled foam filter sock. This setup worked very well, but certainly no better than a standard, dual stage foam filter.

  • Thumpmeister

    TT Silver Member

995 posts
Location: Washington

Posted February 27, 2006 - 08:42 PM


I don't know about that UNI... I got mine for my bike, and the fit was horrible. The screen had to be bent to fit in there, and the foam filter wasn't cut right, and left gaps around the edges. Not only that, but the side cover didn't even fit very well around the filter either.

When I got my R4, it came w/ a White bros powerfilter, which is just like the UNI, but it fit A LOT better. It was actually able to seel off the airbox.

That UNI filter was one of the reasons I had to rebuild my bike, because all the fine particles had a 'sanding' effect on the intake valves and piston rings.

  • TimBrp

    TT Platinum Member

1,950 posts
Location: Massachusetts

Posted February 28, 2006 - 03:54 AM


With any filter you should at least grease the mating surfaces. All in all, the XR650R's airbox design is horrible, IMO. I'm thinking you had an early on UNI air filter as mine have a great fit and I think many other will agree. It's actually on the tight side when I install it, sometimes needing a screw driver to get it in there.

  • HonMudDog

    TT Member

46 posts
Location: Florida

Posted February 28, 2006 - 04:42 AM


XL250 ?? You sure have pumped/stroked volumes of air at highway speeds thru that K&N filter. K&N flows more air because of less restriction(bigger holes,more porous medium,requiring more fuel/bigger jetting) that's where/how they claim a HP increase.
IMHO, if you have rode that scoot 60k in the dirt more than tarmac,even 50/50 it's time for a bore/hone and some new rings. Check your compression and perform pressure leakdown test.
I use only two stage foam units (UNI/TWINAIR) in my XR650 & DRZ400E,(both titled/tagged for dual sport action/combat)well oiled w/NO-TOIL and sealed w/grease from kit and cleaned often. Way less cost than a $50 K&N(paper) filter and their special chemical line to clean and re-oil. Just my two cents/experience.Happy Trails

  • 1Hondalover

    TT Silver Member

555 posts
Location: California

Posted February 28, 2006 - 05:58 PM


I run ready Racing filters and throw them away when they are dirty. I also have an XR's screen and haven't greased any filter in the bike since I installed a Pro Seal over four years ago. This is a 2000 model with somewhere in the neighborhood of 8500 miles and has never been apart.

  • gnarly sprockets

    TT Bronze Member

152 posts
Location: Arizona

Posted March 01, 2006 - 03:46 PM


XL250 ?? You sure have pumped/stroked volumes of air at highway speeds thru that K&N filter. K&N flows more air because of less restriction(bigger holes,more porous medium,requiring more fuel/bigger jetting) that's where/how they claim a HP increase.
IMHO, if you have rode that scoot 60k in the dirt more than tarmac,even 50/50 it's time for a bore/hone and some new rings. Check your compression and perform pressure leakdown test.
I use only two stage foam units (UNI/TWINAIR) in my XR650 & DRZ400E,(both titled/tagged for dual sport action/combat)well oiled w/NO-TOIL and sealed w/grease from kit and cleaned often. Way less cost than a $50 K&N(paper) filter and their special chemical line to clean and re-oil. Just my two cents/experience.Happy Trails


I sold it 20 years ago!

  • gnarly sprockets

    TT Bronze Member

152 posts
Location: Arizona

Posted March 01, 2006 - 03:51 PM


I'll provide one more warning about not using K&N filters on dirtbikes. DON'T USE THEM. It has been conclusively proven that they fail to filter fine dust very efficiently, even when properly oiled. My old '87 ATK came stock with a cylindrical K&N filter covered with an oiled foam filter sock. This setup worked very well, but certainly no better than a standard, dual stage foam filter.


Conclusively proven by who. Where is the article showing side by side comparisons of various brands of filters performed IN A LAB?

  • TimBrp

    TT Platinum Member

1,950 posts
Location: Massachusetts

Posted March 02, 2006 - 04:04 AM


Conclusively proven by who. Where is the article showing side by side comparisons of various brands of filters performed IN A LAB?



A lab...screw the lab! The only thing those "labs" have shown is better airflow from the K&N which if you think about it, c'mon it's not rocket science, more flow=increased risk of more particles passing through. I think K&N makes a great filter...just not a great offroad filter. I used a K&N properly installed and lubed and I had fine dust particles througout my airbox during a MUD SEASON here in the northeast....'nuff said. If you think you need the extra power which is minimal and probably not usable for 75% of the people on this board unless you are WOT in the desert or supermoto it's a waste of money and a threat to your motor. I believe even Qadsan whom is a member here, unfortunately doesn't log on very often anymore, has stated he's seen alot of trucks with the K&N cold air setup come in and he has checked the air intake chute for shits and giggles and there has been fine dust in them on 70% or more of the vehicles. That's on the street, nevermind the dirt!!

  • Doggie.Stiles

    TT Member

45 posts
Location: New York

Posted October 01, 2016 - 06:11 PM


Why are the K&N's junk? I have never ran one due to everyone saying they are not good at keeping dust out. Yet both my sandrails had dual K&N's with outerwears and I never had a problem. Lots of offroad trucks and buggies run K&Ns and these motors have a lot more suction than our little 650s. Just curious as to why these are junk?

. Bud get a bonded title look it up it cost 100$ here in ct. It might work for u





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