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Merk67

Newb - Air Filter & other maintenance

10 posts in this topic

Just got my first dirtbike... the mighty 2006 YZ450F. I've roadraced streetbikes for the past 6 years - but with many recent deaths and very serious injuries on and off the racetrack, I've decided to try the dirtbike world for a change. My experience on dirtbikes is limited - but after riding a buddy's '04 YZ450F on the ice last winter, I was instantly hooked.

Anyway - I always take the absolute best care of my machines when they're parked. I never abuse them when riding, but I definitely ride hard. I plan on keeping the bike totally stock until I'm more comfortable with this new lifestyle - simply trail riding this summer, maybe some mx track time? Then riding the ice this winter.

That being said, what can ya'll tell me about caring for my new machine? From what I've been told thus far: The two most important things you can do is change the oil and clean the air filter after EVERY ride. Well, I did that for the first time yesterday and (although I'll get better/faster with time) it sucked. The oil....no big deal. But cleaning the foam-type air filter sucked. I used aerosol (SX brand?) filter cleaner and oil. If I have to do that after every ride....I may not ride nearly as much as I'd like to. Or just buy new pre-oiled filters....but I've been warned about that too. I read an article saying that the pre-oiled ones are cheap and don't offer enough protection. Also, I've read bad things about the aerosol oils....the pour-on types are better? Help....roadrace bikes don't have this issue.

Advice? Thanks in advance!!! :thumbsup:

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Sometimes I'll leave my filter for a few rides if it's not dusty, but if you've been riding in someone else's dust, you'll need to clean it for the next ride. Use kerosene(I usually just use petrol but some people say it's too harsh on the foam and joining glue) to get the oil out and then wash with soapy water to get the dirt out(some people also say that water will rot the foam, but I'd rather use a little bit of solvent and water rather than a lot of solvent to get the dirt out. I've been using petrol and water to clean filters for years and never had a problem. Remember to wash from the inside out. You can use compressed air to dry the filter and blow any stubborn dirt or sand out. You can use latex disposable gloves to manipulate the bottle oil into the foam. Get yourself a spare filter (or more) so that while one is drying or dirty, you can use the other(s); it also comes in handy if you're doing a two day ride and don't want to be messing about cleaning you're filter, just swap 'em over.

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I usually clean the air filter every day no matter how dusty it is. Buy the no-toil biodegradable air filter oil. It cleans out with oxyclean(I got a huge thing of it that'll clean about 50 filters for $14 at Costco). All you do is throw a cupfull of oxyclean in a bucket of warm water, and then put your filter in it for about 30 minutes to soak and the filter will come out looking like new. No need to massage the filter or do any of that crap to get the oil out.

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I wouldn't mind trying no-toil, but haven't seen it in my local shop yet. It sounds like easy to use stuff.

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I second the Oxy-clean, and instead of dumping the oil over the filter, I have a ice cream bucket with a lid that I dump the oil into, then dunk the filter in and wring off the excess. Makes 2 quarts of filter oil go the whole summer for 3 bikes!

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I use Maxima FFT. It's a tenaciously sticky oil that holds dirt really well. It's so tacky, in fact, that I use it in place of grease to seal the flange.

Cleaning the old stuff off isn't as simple as soapy water, but it's not bad. I skim some solvent out of my cleaning tank in a large plastic bowl and prewash the filter in that to remove the oil. Then I finish it up by washing in a bucket of Simple Green and water. After it dries, it gets re-oiled. I return the top 2/3 of the solvent to the tank after the dust settles and toss the rest in with my waste oil.

Remember that the foam filters won't stop any dirt without oil, and if you do a poor job of thoroughly oiling the filter, it will do a poor job of keeping dirt out of your engine.

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Thanks for the great feedback. Now I'll get greedy - are there any pics available to show what a properly oiled air filter looks like? I am very sure that I saturated the filter material, but there still seems to be an uneven color to it. Like it's more saturated in some spots...? Is that normal - or does it need more oil? A picture is worth a thousand words...

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i use the no toil filter oil, rim grease, and filter cleaner.

I have 10 or 11 air filters ... I mix 50/50 tide and the no toil cleaner in the laundry soap cup thing, put in washing machine, and wash the filters there - per the directions. They come out perfectly clean.

As far as oiling them, i just "paint" a good coating over the filter with my fingers. I think dunking it in the filter oil is too much, even when you wring it out.

I gave up road racing for dirt and have zero regrets :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the great feedback. Now I'll get greedy - are there any pics available to show what a properly oiled air filter looks like? I am very sure that I saturated the filter material, but there still seems to be an uneven color to it. Like it's more saturated in some spots...? Is that normal - or does it need more oil? A picture is worth a thousand words...

A uniform colour inside and out is a sign you've oiled it properly(that's why the oils are coloured), but you don't want it too wet or you'll find a puddle underneath your airbox(done that before). Massage the oil throughout the filter, you can squeeze it through but don't twist because you could tear the foam.

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A uniform colour inside and out is a sign you've oiled it properly(that's why the oils are coloured), but you don't want it too wet or you'll find a puddle underneath your airbox(done that before). Massage the oil throughout the filter, you can squeeze it through but don't twist because you could tear the foam.
Acuracy on the Internet! :thumbsup:

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