Easy-Wash Air Filter Treatments - Dirt Rider Magazine

Air filters are supposed to be oiled. But with the advances in chemical technology, some companies have gone away from "oils" to oil-like treatments that keep out the dirt, are claimed to be better for the environment and wash and clean out better than oils could ever dream of. We've been testing these three treatments, or new-age air filter oils, for over a year now and we're basically sold on the new way to make the worst job in dirt bike maintenance a whole lot easier. When applied properly they keep the dirt from getting through the filter as well as any standard oil and have very few faults for the rewards they deliver. Thank our less-gooky, non-oil-stained hands, clean filters and dust-free intake tracts for it.

No Toil Evolution

$8.95 16 oz/$34.95 1/2 gal./ $19.95 Evolution 3-pack (oil, cleaner, rim grease)

What's Hot

  • Evolution, now green, replaces the older red No Toil we were very fond of. It has an aqueous carrier agent to replace the isopropyl alcohol, which addresses concerns about shipping regulations, wrecking filter foam and especially glue degradation.

  • It does not make the filter expand when applied, and if left in for long periods (over three months), does not stick the filter to the cage or air intake boot.

  • Cleaning is much better than standard oils. With the No Toil cleaner and warm water the filter comes out pretty spotless.

  • The only nontoxic, biodegradable filter oil.

What's Not

* Sometimes a little goo remains after a second cleansing, and if regular oil gets on the filter (say from an engine vent routed into the airbox), it does not clean out with the No Toil cleaner.

* Spreads the best on a totally dry filter, does not like any remaining water during application.

* Takes a specific cleaner, other types won't work.

The Deal

Start with a new filter, use it and forget about it.

Rock Oil SWWAFF (Synthetic Water Washable Air Filter Fluid)

$8.95 500ml/$17.95 1L

What's Hot

* The one-step process of oiling the filter and not having to use a cleaner when it comes time for a wash is simply amazing.

* The easiest-cleaning, simplest-process and totally-residue-free-when-finally-rinsed filter is shocking to see and makes filter cleaning almost fun. You will show it off to your friends.

* Water from rain, washing, creek crossings or the like will not separate the treatment from your filter when riding; it takes agitation.

* Spreads easily, and we got more uses than expected out of a bottle. Plus, no cost for cleaner.

What's Not

* The carrier agent (alcohol) makes the filter foam swell, and if the filter is left in some bikes for longer than a month, the filter can stick to the cage and air boot seal lip. It will eat lesser-quality filter glues.

* This product is hard to find at retail motorcycle outlets.

* Best to oil the filter and wait (at least a few hours, overnight is best) to throw it in the bike, so the carrier agent evaporates; the bike can be hard to start otherwise.

The Deal

The simple one-step process for the regular filter cleaner. Frequent riders love it.

Twin Air Bio

$20.95 oil, 1 qt

$20.95 cleaner, 28 oz

What's Hot

* The most oil-like treatment here, and for those concerned about stopping dirt, this offers the most comfort.

* Spreads like oil, and the greenish-blue color makes it easy to confirm it has spread through the filter.

* With Bio you can leave the filter in the bike for more than three months with little worry; it has the longest-lasting adhesion to the foam.

* Available in liquid, powder or spray forms for whatever style you prefer.

What's Not

* Of the three this, like standard oil, can be the most stubborn at cleaning time, but with its specific cleaner it is better than most true oil/cleaner systems.

* Can leave a little goo after a second cleaning even though all the dirt is removed. Hot water and a little dish soap can go a long way to help.

* So much like real oil you can forget and use regular cleaner with substandard results.

The Deal

If you are a traditionalist but want better filter performance come cleaning time, Bio is your choice.