airfilter cleaning question - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 13 Old 02-18-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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airfilter cleaning question

Hello all...

I recently got a 2001 that I know nothing about... I was doing routine maint on the bike to get it up to speed and came across a K&n air filter that at COVERED in nasty grime and crap. I know there are some peeps out there who feel the K&N's are inferior when it comes to dirt riding but my current concern is getting the bike running smooth on a street level so I can trouble shoot other potential problems as I can always change the air filter down the road.

Anyway, I pulled the filter, used the K&N cleaning kit and got the grime off. I washed it dry for a while until it was ready for oil. I applied the oil liberally as suggested in the directions. I grabbed some all purpose marine grease and put it around the seals of the filter (not on the actual cone, just where plastic meets plastic to ensure a proper seal). I put it back on the bike and started it up. With the choke fully on it works great, it rolls into a decent idol at aprox half choke but cuts out when the choke is off. Is this common when cleaning/re oiling a k&n filter? Before I touched the filter it would start a full choke and idol with zero choke. Is it common for a K&N filter when initially oiled to starve the engine of air? is it something that just needs to be ridden for a bit to clear up? Should I just clean the filter again a spray less oil on it to allow additional air flow? (when it said liberally apply the oil I did just that, it wasn't totally overkill but it was definitely liberal). If anyone can clear up the issue I would be grateful. Thank you!

--Bob

Last edited by bobjohnson; 02-18-2009 at 11:31 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 12:12 AM
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Did you squeeze out the access and let it dry after applying the oiling? Other than that the K&N air filter should work just like any other filter. Only way I know to test it is to see what it does with the air filter off while idleing. If it still dies with the filter off I'd check for obstructions in the air intake or debris in the carb.

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate the reply... Unfortunately the K&N filter does not allow for a good squeeze as it is comprised of a rigid fibrous material. I made sure the thing was dried and applied the oil and let it sit for quite a while before I mounted it back over the intake as suggested. It runs fine unfiltered which makes me wonder if it is possible to "over oil" a K&N filter which would result in a lack of air flow? Either way, my initial question still applies, it seems the filter is causing it to cut when the choke is applied. To me this implies that sufficient air is not being received. Please share your thoughts as I have a rather rudimentary knowledge of engines. I can fix anything that comes my way as long as I know what is causing it. Thank you!
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 10:06 AM
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It is likely you got too much oil on the filter. Clean it and try again. The K&N's can be kind of tricky when applying oil. When spraying the oil on you want an even light coat so that the gauze is a light pink. If it looks closer to red then ya got too much oil on it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 10:49 AM
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Interesting, the only time I saw a K&N filter on a KLR it was flexible like the stock filter. I'd guess that since it is running okay with the filter off that you indeed over oiled the filter or didn't get it clean enough. The K&N filter on my V-strom and Dodge Ram and inflexible and require a good stream of water to force out debris. Over oiling has never been a problem however since excess oil tends to drip off or run to the edges while drying. I then use a paper towel to soak it up.

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post #6 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 11:58 AM
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A number of guys have reported the same problem with the K&N knockoffs. They have way too much oil on them from the factory and chokes the heck out of the motor.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO-KLR View Post
A number of guys have reported the same problem with the K&N knockoffs. They have way too much oil on them from the factory and chokes the heck out of the motor.
Maybe he should bust out the $16 and buy a new air filter??

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 02:39 PM
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I've got K&Ns on everything except the KLR. Main reason is replacement cost -- I tend to keep vehicles a long time, so a KN is cheaper in the long run. I don't think the advertised performance gain is there, but so what..... it sure sounds good in the Hemi at WOT.

I agree w/SLO. Clean it out and oil it very very lightly and it'll probably run fine.

edit - I generally use a shop vac to reverse-vacuum the filter before I wash them. They clean up much easier. Just don't get too agressive and tear one. Ask me how I know.......

Last edited by BIGIRON; 02-19-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-07-2009, 05:18 PM
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I have a similar question, a bit related.

I called the dealer to see about purchasing a new air filter element and the guy on the phone just said I should buy the cleaner and not to replace, just clean. Makes sense since it's not a paper element. Now that I'm home, I'm reading the manual and the book says to clean out and oil and replace (more detail, too much to type). I too have an aftermarket air cleaner on my car (NOT K&N) but uses K&N's recharger (cleaners).

Has anyone used K&N cleaner on their stock Kawasaki filter ('08 KLR650) or should I buy the Kawasaki cleaner at the dealer (or whatever brand they're pushing) or follow what the book says and wash in a "high-flash point solvent" (whatever that is) then dry and soak in 10W-40 motor oil?

Thanks in advance for your input!
~Zo
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-07-2009, 08:42 PM
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Wanna know what does a fantastic job cleaning a foam filter?? Hot soapy water..

You don't need to spend money to buy cleaning kits.

I always have 2 filters (I am currently using the factory and a Uni) that I rotate. I pull the dirty filter out, clean up and grease the mounting area, and slap in a filter that I have prepped..

Then I take the dirty filter to the kitchen sink.. Good hot water, and regular Dawn or whatever dish soap.. Soak it with water and give it a liberal amount of soap. Work it in with your hands and then rinse with hot water.. Repeat one more time and you have a clean filter.. Roll it up in a towel to get the majority of water out, and let it sit out and dry for a day.

Apply filter oil (I use Belray because it's stickier than engine oil) and wring out any excess (carefully).. Stick it in a gallon ziploc bag and it's ready for the next swap out of a dirty filter.
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