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post #1 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 2:16 pm Thread Starter
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k1200lt air filter/no longer a mystery

Book says to change every 12,000 miles,checked with the dealer and respose was "it's as expensive as a full service" wow 850.to 1100. $.So 60.00 for a K&N filter,approx.time 4 hours to accomplish the deed and I was done.Down side,at 210000 miles it didn't even look dirty.By my calculations the dealer wanted 250.00 to 300.00 per hour.I know we hve to support the dealer network,but come on guys,we are riders not Dot Com millionaires.
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post #2 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 2:57 pm
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Wow, 210,000 miles! A typo, right?

Good for you and your money savings. Plus you've learned a lot about your bike.

A word of caution. I also used a K&N filter and serviced it a few times over 100,000 miles or so on my 2000 K1200LT. My dealer said that the K&N was letting a lot of dust in and sandblasting my engine. He suggested I go back to the factory paper which I did. He had seen the same thing in nearly all K&N filters. I had a K&N filter in my used motorhome when I bought it. I ordered a replacement and when I removed the K&N I could see fine dust downstream of the filter. The new filter is using nanofiber technology and is 99% efficient at 1 micron, and I did not see any dust downstream of the filter 10,000 miles later. I want that filter for my 2006 K1200LT, but it won't be available until later this year.

If you look at the K&N testing and specs, I believe the test they run is the one using large particles. It lets nearly all particles 15 micron (I think) and smaller go through right into the engine. The particles 15 to 5 micron cause most of engine wear. Also, hold a K&N filter up to light and look at all the holes you can see. Most other filter companies use the smaller dust particle test.

The advantage of K&N is they flow more air through if needed, but also allow more dust through. The stock filters allow more than enough air flow for an unmodified engine, yet provide better filtration.

Do some research and see what you come up with.
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post #3 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 3:25 pm
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I would not touch a K&N with someone else's 10 foot pole! Snake oil of the highest viscosity! A lot of money for an engine destroying product.

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post #4 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 6:48 pm
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k1200lt air filter

I know I need to, but I haven't purchased a shop manual for my LT yet. Hoping to find pics and descriptions for the work, I have done searches for "air filter". The searches always come back with hits for "filter" with the word "air" being very common, too long, or too short and were not included in my search. Searching through 17 pages hoping to find something pertaining to changing the air filter causes overload. Can anyone tell me where to find this maintenance section? Thanks

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post #5 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 9:22 pm
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I've used K&N filters in every motorcycle I have owned. What makes the K&N filter work properly though is oil. If there is not enough oil on the filter, it will not trap particles as it should. Just because it looks pink doesn't mean it has enough oil on it. You need to clean them regularly and then oil them again if you expect them to work properly.
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post #6 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:14 pm
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I've heard others say the same thing. But lab tests show that K&N filters allow large enough dust particles through the filter to cause engine wear. Are you certain you are trapping 99% of 5 to 15 micron particles in your K&N? Do you think an oil film is going to stop particles at high cubic feet per minute flow rates through a filter that you can see through holes with the naked eye? What about the mechanics that cringe when you mention K&N and they say that none they have ever serviced seem to be working?

Do some research and see what you come up with. Please let us know what you learn.

The good news is that I've used K&N filters for about 100,000 miles each on a ST1100 and a K1200LT. The bad news is all the wear which would have been reduced if I had just stayed with the stock filter. But if the trade off is ok, and you stay clear of dust, and you put less than a 100,000 miles on the filter, then it might work out for you, but likely not for the next owner. I will never own another K&N unless they get rid of the current design.
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post #7 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:18 pm
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I will do some more research on the K&N oil filter, but if the problem only occurs at 100000 miles then I have no problem anyway. I've yet to put that many miles on a motorcycle. The most I ever put on a motorcycle was 25000 miles. I gave it away when I wore the splines on the gearshift lever down to nubs. Too much in-city traffic. Too much shifting.

I do plan to buy an LT later this year. And I do expect to put some long distance miles on it. So I will check and see what I can find on K&N filters before I put one in it.
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post #8 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 4:57 am
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I agree with Tim. That's fine for you, but what about the next guy that owns your bike??

I would rather spend the money on the filter. The expense and effort is getting in there to replace it. Regardless, you will still need to get in there to maintain the filter. Penny wise and pound foolish..
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post #9 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 5:37 am
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The only way you can really tell if a air filter is working is to do an oil analysis.
Everything else is just too subjective.
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post #10 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 5:47 am
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Interesting read on the efficiency test.

Click K&N

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post #11 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 8:39 am
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nplenzick is correct. For $20-30 you can have your motor oil analyzed. It will look for silicon from dust coming through the air filter, wear metals, viscosity, oil additives, viscosity, acid neutralizing ability, coolant, moisture, gasoline and more. They will even recommend that you should change your oil or run even longer. Or suggest you may be having mechanical issues. I plan to have my engine oil, transmission and final drive fluids analyzed before my warranty runs out to catch any mechanical issues that might have gone unnoticed before the warranty runs out.

Wacolt - good find on the filter testing information.

I also have paper, wet gauze, and nanofiber comparative filtration available at the Amsoil Vendor Forum if anyone would like more information, just post a question over there. I can also provide more information on Used Oil Analysis.
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post #12 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 3:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rglassma
I agree with Tim. That's fine for you, but what about the next guy that owns your bike??
No disrepect intended, but the "next guy" argument is totally invalid. First I would not intentionally do anyting to damage my motorcycle. Secondly what I choose to do to my motorcycle is for me to decide. The "next guy" can make his choices when he owns my motorcycle.

As far as this issue regarding air filters, I was unable to find any instance on the internet where a K&N air filter damaged an engine. If you have a specific URL from an independant testing facility then post it and I will consider it.

In the mean time, the way I see it is:

1) High flow air filters (like K&N or Amsoil) all allow more particulate matter to be ingested, but provide better performance.

2) Low flow air filters limit the particulate matter (but do not eliminate it) ingested by the engine, but also lessen performance.

Such being the case, I'll stick with the K&N air filters. I have them in my Concours (soon to be sold), my gasoline powered radio control helicoptor, and on order for my R1100RT.
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post #13 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 3:50 pm
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You should use whatever works for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles
No disrepect intended, but the "next guy" argument is totally invalid. First I would not intentionally do anyting to damage my motorcycle. Secondly what I choose to do to my motorcycle is for me to decide. The "next guy" can make his choices when he owns my motorcycle.

As far as this issue regarding air filters, I was unable to find any instance on the internet where a K&N air filter damaged an engine. If you have a specific URL from an independant testing facility then post it and I will consider it.

In the mean time, the way I see it is:

1) High flow air filters (like K&N or Amsoil) all allow more particulate matter to be ingested, but provide better performance.

2) Low flow air filters limit the particulate matter (but do not eliminate it) ingested by the engine, but also lessen performance.

Such being the case, I'll stick with the K&N air filters. I have them in my Concours (soon to be sold), my gasoline powered radio control helicoptor, and on order for my R1100RT.

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post #14 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 4:01 pm
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Exclamation Fore!

I thoroughly tested a K&N air filter once, and the results were nothing short of amazing! I highly recommend anyone and everyone test their brand of filter against my stringent testing procedure.

My testing procedure:
  1. Hold K&N air filter with your left hand, parallel to the ground.
  2. With your right hand, hold a golf ball 2 feet above the filter.
  3. Now release the aforementioned golf ball, allowing it to "try" to pass through said filter. Good luck.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 at least 9 more times.
I could not get that golf ball to pass through that filter ONE - SINGLE - TIME. The proof is in the pudding folks. Now that's performance! I've been using K&N filters ever since.
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post #15 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2008, 5:09 pm
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Air filter question

I am thinking of trying to improve the air flow in my bike for more power. Has anyone installed velocity stacks on the LT? I could jettison all that air intake and airbox stuff to save weight in the process.
I'd have to cut some holes in the panels, but I think it'd look kinda neat to have a cutaway in the plastic with velocity stacks in there.
Has anyone done this? Anyone have a source for velocity stacks that will fit the LT? Maybe if a bunch of us are interested we could work up a group buy.
Awaiting your considered responses.....
















Edited to confess that this is a tongue in cheek post resulting from severe Parked Motorcycle Syndrome akin to my post years ago inquiring as to what are the best snow tires for the LT.
Sorry, I can't help myself sometimes.

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post #16 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2008, 1:04 pm
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I wouldn't use a K/N on any motor I like. However, the 2-stage oiled foam approach never failed me on 4 different dirt bikes through the years. Not a trace of downstream crud even after numerous dust-caked weekends. I put a Uni on my FJR and my Toyota 4X4. They make a real nice re-usable filter and the oil used is mighty sticky. I can't imagine anything making it through. They don't make one for the LT yet, but word has it they will be expanding the BMW offerings this year.

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post #17 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2008, 2:20 pm
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My friend (Beemer mechanic with 40 years) showed me several K&N Filters that he had removed from customer bikes. The problem, in his opinion, is distortion and shrinkage over time resulting in poor to no seal at the perimeter sealing area. At that stage, you have plenty of air flow-most of it unfiltered.

I seriously doubt that the stock filter restricts the airflow enough to cause a noticeable drop in performance. On several Bimmers that I've owned, the original airbox was swapped out for better flow (european design) but the stock filter was retained in every case.

Go with what works for you. Enjoy the ride.

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post #18 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2008, 7:08 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beartooth
I seriously doubt that the stock filter restricts the airflow enough to cause a noticeable drop in performance. On several Bimmers that I've owned, the original airbox was swapped out for better flow (european design) but the stock filter was retained in every case.

Go with what works for you. Enjoy the ride.

Bruce
I can tell a difference between a K&N and stock filter. I changed it on my atv and it gave tremendously more air flow. You have to rejet it when you put the filter in. I will use K&N untill it sandblasts the motor then I will bore it out, problem solved!

I'm sure this data can be backed up on a dyno.

I would never put a K&N on anything I really wanted to last a long time.

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post #19 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 5:38 am
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My understanding is that clean stock air filters work great and provide all the air needed for stock vehicles. It is when you do engine and exhaust modifications, that is when higher air flow filters may be needed.

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post #20 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 6:02 am
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My LT came with an air filter (I think) and it seems to still be working five years later. The trick is don't ride in smutzy air.
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post #21 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 8:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkimmel2
My LT came with an air filter (I think) and it seems to still be working five years later. The trick is don't ride in smutzy air.
You haven't been in South Texas. We live in a constant state or dust.

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post #22 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:05 am
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Oh Crap

The PO told me he put a K&N air filer in because it "could be cleaned" and would "last forever".

Dang, I'll need to take it apart and check it out. Sounds like I need to replace it

I do hate this "Sky is Falling" stuff...

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post #23 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 11:47 am
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I've never liked the K&N filters. I've had small partical size dust on past the filter itself. If that gets into the snorkle on my truck, it's got to be getting into the area past the filter on the Lt. There are reusable for cars/trucks that do a lot better of filtering than K7N. So far I haven't seen any of them for motorcycles. JM2CW.

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post #24 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 12:13 pm Thread Starter
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K&N FILTERS

Mein Gott.SOMEONE please notify the baja 1000 guys,they are all using a filter that will sandblast their motors.
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post #25 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 7:49 pm
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K&N on the F150 and have not found sand in the throttle body since installing 20k ago; Waco is the only place in the world (other than Ft. Hood) where you can be up to your bobo in mud and still get hit in the face with dry sand. If sand was an issue with the K&N, I think it would have showed-up by now.

Received the LT K&N this week; enclosed in the box was a tube of Sealing Grease. I'll give it 12k and then pull the filter to see if the grease is still grease or a drip stain.

I ride it like I borrowed it; I don't anticipate a lot of 7800 rpm bursts that would tease the lean tigers.

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post #26 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 8:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papaed
Mein Gott.SOMEONE please notify the baja 1000 guys,they are all using a filter that will sandblast their motors.
See my previous post re. distortion of the seals on the K&N filters "over time ". Not a possibility during the Baja. I trust an independent BMW factory trained mechanic who sees way more of these than the rest of us. He has a shop full of airheads in various stages of restoration. He has no financial interest in selling me OEM vs. K&N; just showed me some examples of what he sees in his customers bikes over the years. If I pay a premium for a "semi-permanent" type of filter I expect it to last a fair length of time.

Someone mentioned another brand of combination paper/foam air filter. That type is exactly what came on my Troybuilt rototiller. I think maybe I'm guilty of using it in some dusty soils; makes sense to me.

Ride fast, the dust can't catch you.

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post #27 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2008, 8:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbuttwannabe
---------------I will use K&N untill it sandblasts the motor then I will bore it out, problem solved! --------------------
.
Hope you never have to bore out the LT engine! Basically, you cannot. It is a NikaSil coating on the aluminum block. Only a couple thousandths of an inch thick. They can be re-coated, but it is very expensive, as they have to use diamond honing equipment.

The original bore is first honed to get the cross hatch oil retention pattern in the bore, then the coating is applied on top of that. Most re-coaters will hone out the coating, re-coat, then lightly re-hone. Not terribly cheaper than just getting a new block though

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post #28 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2008, 7:11 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
Hope you never have to bore out the LT engine! Basically, you cannot.
Sorry for the confustion, I was refering to the ATV I run the K&N in.

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post #29 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2008, 9:17 pm
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Go blue!

Available on-line. Not K&N but cotton, nevertheless, and the same price as the OEM!

clicky here

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post #30 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2008, 10:40 pm
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While I haven't replaced the stock air filter on my LT with a K&N, only because it's a sizeable job and the gain is so little, I have used them in every other bike and vehicle I have owned in the past 20 years. I have a towing business and have several 1-ton "light duty" trucks and all have K&N filters in them. My oldest truck is a '96 Ford F450 super duty and it has 400,000 miles and the original 460 gas engine. Another truck is a 2000 Dodge 3500 with the V-10 and it has 305,000 miles on the original engine. Still I have a 2001 Dodge 3500 with a V-10 and 257,000 miles. No rebuilds on these trucks. No major service on the engines. The v-10 have had water pumps replaced and that's all. These trucks get severe service. The filters can't be dumping in dust and particles and still run smooth after this mileage. I servive the filters regularly and do not find any dust at all in the housing beneath the filter. I am a firm believer in the filters. But like has already been said here, they need to be serviced and oiled regularly. If they srat to shrink around the edge and one of mine did do this, I replaced it. Just speaking in defense of the filters. I also have a 1984 Yamaha Venture Royale that has over 100,000 miles and a K&N filter for most of its life. Have also used K&N's in a sand rail, ATV's and dirt bikes and have never had a engine "sandblasted". Just my experiences...
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post #31 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 9:45 am
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I haven't found a step by step tutorial on 'getting to' the air filter cartridge on an K12LT. Can you point me to one? Thanks much.
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post #32 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 1:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy
While I haven't replaced the stock air filter on my LT with a K&N, only because it's a sizeable job and the gain is so little, I have used them in every other bike and vehicle I have owned in the past 20 years. I have a towing business and have several 1-ton "light duty" trucks and all have K&N filters in them. My oldest truck is a '96 Ford F450 super duty and it has 400,000 miles and the original 460 gas engine. Another truck is a 2000 Dodge 3500 with the V-10 and it has 305,000 miles on the original engine. Still I have a 2001 Dodge 3500 with a V-10 and 257,000 miles. No rebuilds on these trucks. No major service on the engines. The v-10 have had water pumps replaced and that's all. These trucks get severe service. The filters can't be dumping in dust and particles and still run smooth after this mileage. I servive the filters regularly and do not find any dust at all in the housing beneath the filter. I am a firm believer in the filters. But like has already been said here, they need to be serviced and oiled regularly. If they srat to shrink around the edge and one of mine did do this, I replaced it. Just speaking in defense of the filters. I also have a 1984 Yamaha Venture Royale that has over 100,000 miles and a K&N filter for most of its life. Have also used K&N's in a sand rail, ATV's and dirt bikes and have never had a engine "sandblasted". Just my experiences...
Have to agree. I had a twin 50mm throttle body on my Road Glide and a K&N, never an issue. And I guarantee you wont see much more of an air draw on a bike then twin 50's. My Toyota truck 80,000 no issues, my TURBO GT, 30,000 again no problems. In the truck and car you have a box so if you were sucking dirt it would be there in the bottom.

These filters actually perform better as they get a bit dirty and the clean to white, and then re oil to red, is key in them. I know of at least 50 bikes and cars that have been running them for years with no issues.

All the ForceWinder intakes out there on performance bikes if they were an issue you would have heard by now.

Again I equate this to oil, and spark plugs. Use what you want.

I just love to hear everyone repeat like parrots what they have been told, rather then what they have experienced.

Again, your bike, your choice. I have mine to put in as soon as summer gets here.

Lee
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post #33 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 2:46 pm
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Have to agree. I had a twin 50mm throttle body on my Road Glide and a K&N, never an issue. And I guarantee you wont see much more of an air draw on a bike then twin 50's. My Toyota truck 80,000 no issues, my TURBO GT, 30,000 again no problems. In the truck and car you have a box so if you were sucking dirt it would be there in the bottom.

These filters actually perform better as they get a bit dirty and the clean to white, and then re oil to red, is key in them. I know of at least 50 bikes and cars that have been running them for years with no issues.

All the ForceWinder intakes out there on performance bikes if they were an issue you would have heard by now.

Again I equate this to oil, and spark plugs. Use what you want.

I just love to hear everyone repeat like parrots what they have been told, rather then what they have experienced.

Again, your bike, your choice. I have mine to put in as soon as summer gets here.
Lee,

I have been called many things but I don't look like a parrot. I don't want to beat a dead horse but IMHO, my friend Bob, in 40 years of servicing Beemers, has seen way more bikes and filters than the rest of us put together. We are not talking cars and trucks here; I would guess the underhood heat issues(or whatever the cause) are not a factor in those vehicles. My assumption is that the sealing ring distortion he sees is related to time, and engine heat on the BIKES. I saw the samples he had recently replaced in his shop (sorry I don't have photos).

It was obvious enough to me that I didn't purchase one. By the way, I'm not stuck on OEM parts. I was stupid enough to convert from a Brackett foam airfilter to OEM paper on an old Cessna 182. It lasted for one rain shower when I noticed the pleats in the paper wide open. Back to the foam which was well proven in the helicopters and dust of Viet Nam.

Ride safe and have fun.

Bruce
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post #34 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 3:23 pm
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Appreciate the reply and explanation of what you saw/see as the flaw.

I have to confess I have never seen shrinkage of the rubber on ones in cars. I would think you are correct in the application on the bike may be heating more then in cars/trucks. Intakes on cars are usually in front a distance from most heat and a lot have a snorkel to fender, grill to draw cool moving air. On a bike we are limited.

My bike experiences have been round bout 6" high onto a backing plate with the butterflies right there. I also had a sporty with a ForceWinder but that was a cone open 360. Now a LOT of HD riders ride in rain with just the k&N no Ham Can nothing. And SWEAR they don't get water. I never believed that and I rode in plenty of rain. I had a rain sock for the ForceWinder, and ran a Ham Can on the Glide.

After thinking on what you said I will still put it in. I will watch it and if I do see signs of heat stress on the rubber even the first check I will pull it.

The dirt through I do not buy and a well maintained K&N filter is good from my experiences. I have used Honda oil on the K&N and dawn dish soap to clean it with no issues, so I don't need a recharge kit from K&N if I don't want it. The thing is they must be cleaned to white, completely dry, and oil applied evenly and I have spayed mine with two coats to make sure it is coated in the pleats per the instructions. They are made to run with plenty of oil and a bit of dust and dirt on them.

Again I thank you for clarifying your mechanic's advice, and I will head it for sure the first sign of trouble on that rubber.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beartooth
Lee,

I have been called many things but I don't look like a parrot. I don't want to beat a dead horse but IMHO, my friend Bob, in 40 years of servicing Beemers, has seen way more bikes and filters than the rest of us put together. We are not talking cars and trucks here; I would guess the underhood heat issues(or whatever the cause) are not a factor in those vehicles. My assumption is that the sealing ring distortion he sees is related to time, and engine heat on the BIKES. I saw the samples he had recently replaced in his shop (sorry I don't have photos).

It was obvious enough to me that I didn't purchase one. By the way, I'm not stuck on OEM parts. I was stupid enough to convert from a Brackett foam airfilter to OEM paper on an old Cessna 182. It lasted for one rain shower when I noticed the pleats in the paper wide open. Back to the foam which was well proven in the helicopters and dust of Viet Nam.

Ride safe and have fun.

Bruce

Lee
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post #35 of 35 Old Feb 11th, 2008, 7:02 pm
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When is a filter really considered a "filter"?

When it says, "Motorrad"

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