So you want to use a K&N air filter..... - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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So you want to use a K&N air filter.....

I posted this in another thread, but I feel it should have a thread all it's own. I've added a few things here over the original post. This is for those who use K&N air filters or are thinking of using them. I rebuild many motors for racers and trail riders alike and have seen quite a few come through with air filter related issues. From experience, I can say even the best maintained K&N passes enough dirt to cause substantial engine damage. Somebody on here said if they're good enough for the top racers, why shouldn't they be good for the everyday rider? Well, the top quad racers using K&N's (the slight few) are probably getting paid to race and are getting paid to use products or are getting them for free, so they really don't care how much a rebuild will cost if they have an engine failure. You really need to consider whether the VERY slight, if any, power gain is worth the cost of replacing a top end. Why put yourself through some unnecessary grief and expense when you can run a foam filter and be safe. I doubt you would be able to notice any performance advantage anyway. And while some will suggest an outerwear, if you're going to restrict the "oh so great" K&N with one of these, isn't that defeating the purpose of the freeflowing filter?

The pics below are of a throttle body from a 700 Raptor that a friend of mine owns. Against my recommendations, he chose to use a K&N. He cleaned and oiled it as to their specs, and he is very meticulous when it comes to maintenence, so improper care was not an issue. This is what I found when he started complaining of hard starting when cold and poor performance. So here is my point, if you follow K&N's recommendations to the "T" like my friend did, and you still have this kind of dirt passing through, what steps do you have to do to insure it won't happen? A lot of times, it can take only one ride to destroy a top end due to excessive dirt entering your engine. Are you sure that K&N you're using is properly cleaned and oiled? Sounds like a risky proposition to me.

By the way, the Raptor top end job consisted of a complete valve job, a re-Nikasiled cylinder (because the passing dirt wore off the coating), piston, rings, and gaskets, all a direct result of dirt entering the engine. If I remember correctly, it cost close to $1000.......he runs a foam filter now!

The choice is yours, I have nothing to gain or lose here, just trying to save you in the long run by giving you my advice from years of experience. Good luck.

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2014 CRA Senior II and Buckeye Series champ
2012 CRA Senior II champ
2011 CRA Senior II and Buckeye series Harescramble Champion
2009 CRA Senior II and Buckeye series champ.
2007 CRA Senior II, and Buckeye series Harescramble Champ.

2007 TRX450R
2005 TRX450R
2004 TRX450R
2003 Lonestar 250R
2001 Lonestar 250R.....now a 310
1986 TRX250R (restored to new)
1986 TRX250R (still in pieces)
1999 CR500
1999 CR250
1996 CR250
1986 ATC250R
1975 MR50
1999 Banshee

Last edited by kentco; 03-12-2016 at 07:39 PM.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 02:46 PM
56S
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excellent post. I had one in my MC when I bought it and in the trash it went. A new Honda filter is what I buy. Boring? maybe. An engine that will live a long life? You bet. I bought the bike with 22k and now have 76,000 miles. Runs great and don't see any oil usage.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 07:17 PM
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I have never had that problem with the ones that I have used in the past but They came in a power up kit with outerwears and I always ran the outerwears on them.I also always greased the mounting rubber which I do with my foam filters too.Just for everyone to know you cannot feel any power increase over a foam filter.I have been in extremely dusty ride where I had to clean the filter and outwears daily and never had dirt like that inside my carb.I do however now run all foam filters because they are much easier to maintain.This is a good write up and I hope most people heed the advice of rich because k&n filters are very high maintenance and it will cost you a rebuild if you don't maintain it.

07 Foreman 500
04 250ex
06 yamaha Wolverine 450
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 07:42 PM
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I run a K&N but also have an outerwears cover in it in my 500. I run a UNI filter in my 400. I will have to keep an eye on it since seeing this though.

2005 Foreman 500 S
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:05 PM
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Any particular foam brands that are highly recommended? If they are easier to clean then I may consider getting myself one. As for the dirt in the carb part that hasn't really been a problem with me...yet...

2005 Honda TRX450R
FMF Q4 Slip-on
FMF Powerbomb Header
Uni Air Filter

Previously Owned
2001 Yamaha Warrior (Great trail bike)-FMF Powercore 4 Slip-on, K&N Air Filter
1998 Suzuki RM250 (Hated it)-Pro Circuit Slip-on, Demarini Double Wall Bars, Uni Air Filter
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fox1558 View Post
Any particular foam brands that are highly recommended? If they are easier to clean then I may consider getting myself one. As for the dirt in the carb part that hasn't really been a problem with me...yet...
If you're going to use an aftermarket foam either Uni or Twin Air are fine. I use Uni's on my 250R's, but on my '04 450R I prefer the OEM filter since Uni eliminates the rear support bracket. I just like the idea of having the support bracket back there so the filter doesn't bounce off. The Uni for the 06-newer 450R's are fine, they keep the rear bracket.

2014 CRA Senior II and Buckeye Series champ
2012 CRA Senior II champ
2011 CRA Senior II and Buckeye series Harescramble Champion
2009 CRA Senior II and Buckeye series champ.
2007 CRA Senior II, and Buckeye series Harescramble Champ.

2007 TRX450R
2005 TRX450R
2004 TRX450R
2003 Lonestar 250R
2001 Lonestar 250R.....now a 310
1986 TRX250R (restored to new)
1986 TRX250R (still in pieces)
1999 CR500
1999 CR250
1996 CR250
1986 ATC250R
1975 MR50
1999 Banshee
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:39 PM
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Hmmm, interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

2005 Honda TRX450R
FMF Q4 Slip-on
FMF Powerbomb Header
Uni Air Filter

Previously Owned
2001 Yamaha Warrior (Great trail bike)-FMF Powercore 4 Slip-on, K&N Air Filter
1998 Suzuki RM250 (Hated it)-Pro Circuit Slip-on, Demarini Double Wall Bars, Uni Air Filter
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:11 AM
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Good information!!!! I'll be sticking to stock Honda parts exclusively...

"The only difference between mediocrity and excellence is effort!" M.T. Walton
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:06 AM
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I agree, after running a K&N with pre filter in dusty conditions I would have to clean the pre filter twice daily and without the pre filter I'm sure it would be taking in a lot of dust. You can almost see through the K&N and like others said the K&N is too much maintenance
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 05:20 AM
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I worked at a Chevy dealer and I would say nine out of ten pickups that ran k&n or similar filters had dirt in the inlet pipe. The machine shops around here say that k&n filters bring them a lot of business. With the dusty conditions a 4 wheeler is subjected to all the time I can see this problem being even worse.
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