Importance of Air Filters in Motorbikes

While most motorcyclists are very educated about the way their bike runs, there are a few who still believe that an air filter exists only to increase running expenses. This article will answer all your questions about the importance of air filters and remove any doubts you might have.

Let’s start off with saying that any motorcycle has more than just air intake valve. An air filter exists to clean up the air that goes inside our bike to help burn the fuel. It is important to remember that the cleaner and purer the air, the better the combustion and hence the better the efficiency and power delivery. A larger amount of fuel is burnt up if the air quality is not up to the mark, which is exactly the reason due to which a lot of smoke is emitted out of the exhaust. The only reason your bike is getting some fresh air is because of a good air filter without which it would have long given up in cities as polluted as ours.

So how do air filters work?

An air filter essentially has multiple layers to filter out pollutants and particulate matter at various levels. The carburettor sucks in the required air for combustion via a pipe attached at the entry point. It is at this point that the air filter is located and simply filters the air to provide cleaner air for optimum combustion of fuel and best performance and delivery.

There are four basic types of air filters.

Paper air filters use dense pleated paper that does not tear with use and has multiple layers to maximise the effect. This is the very basic filter for the best of superbikes today because of its high effectiveness and low cost.

Next come the slightly premium foam filters. These use foam in oil-bathed polyurethane form where particulate matter sticks to the heavy oil.

Another variant, cotton air filters were used before paper filament was discovered and used results in low engine life.
Lastly, there are the liquid bath air filters. These are heavy, intense and messy so they are used mostly by heavy vehicles and are not suitable for two- wheelers.

If you still think that air filters are unnecessary, we’ll tell you what happens when they’re not there. The worst thing that the absence of an air filter could result in is engine seizure caused by the jamming of the piston in the cylinder. This only happens when the oil is completely contaminated with impurities trapped inside it and becomes vapid. It could also result in scratches and destruction of the engine resulting in flawed performance of the bike.

For more information on the inner workings of your motorcycle, log on to or download the app from the Apple iStore or Google Play Store. It’s your go-to app when you want to go places on a bike!