Air Filter Necessary? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Air Filter Necessary?

I'm a fan of vintage bikes, and many of them, especially pre-1960 don't have air filters, just a straight "horn" intake... I've watched a few of "Jay Leno's Garage" videos about his vintage bikes, e.g. and he often makes the comment "I guess the air was cleaner back then."

So what's the deal? Are we just smarter/better than 50 years ago? Were they just clueless? Were those no-filter bikes disposable? I've got K&N's on mine that require cleaning very rarely. Is that an illusion? It seems like if you have filters that can go tens-of-thousands of miles/years between cleaning, maybe they're not all THAT critical? Is it REALLY necessary to have air filters, or is it just a paranoid/prophylactic thing?

KC

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 04:20 PM
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Old bikes were a bit more crude and it wasnt uncommon to re-ring them, some was considered maintenance. Now days going that far into a motor means something failed.

Keeping the dirt and debris out of your engine along with better quality metals, better oils, better oil systems, oil filters, air filters; You can run a bike motor 100,000 miles and never open it up.

I would not consider it unless you are ok with and capable of doing periodic rebuilds...or have deep pockets.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 05:35 PM
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Those old motors would smoke a ton mostly after they were run for a while. Along with the smoke the compression, while not very high to begin with, would drop. A combination of things would cause the engines to wear at a higher rate than today's, lack of air filter and subsequent engine wear, less effective lubricants and less sophisticated metals.

There's enough that can go wrong with a motorcycle engine without adding to the list with unfiltered air.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 07:55 PM
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I just looked at my bike this evening after a ride for an hour and a half. There is dust all over her. I'm not sure what's in it, salt, crushed stone, or sand? Probably some of all of them. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's abrasive.

If the bike is covered with it, you can imagine the amount that would be ingested into the engine without a filter. There is a huge amount of air going into the air intake with those pistons sucking it in on every stroke. I wouldn't risk it. Augie

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 09:57 PM
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Not to mention all the crap that finds its way in your eyes and teeth.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 05:33 AM
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An open intake would be a great place for those little flying fellers to build a nest too.

I'm always working very diligently to discover the obvious.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportsmanphil View Post
Keeping the dirt and debris out of your engine along with better quality metals, better oils, better oil systems, oil filters, air filters; You can run a bike motor 100,000 miles and never open it up.
The Yamaha mechanic told me that I should be able to at least double that number with proper maintenance. I believe there are several 1100's around here that are past 150,000 miles.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 04:00 AM
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The Yamaha mechanic told me that I should be able to at least double that number with proper maintenance. I believe there are several 1100's around here that are past 150,000 miles.
I agree totally but find it funny that people get scared of used bikes after only 30,000 miles.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sportsmanphil View Post
I agree totally but find it funny that people get scared of used bikes after only 30,000 miles.
I find that odd too, particularly with our bikes which do have a reputation for going many miles.

But miles are not necessarily all the same. For instance, my 11-year-old bike has 23K on the clock - around 2,000 miles a year.

I know my PO enough to know the low mileage is because he primarily rode it summer weekends on local excursions of 50-100 miles at a shot... Do that 25-30 times a season, and there's your 2K a year.

If it were the same bike with the same 23K miles - but many of them racked up commuting 3 miles 2x a day 5x a week, I'd be a lot less happy with that.

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