K&N vs. OEM et al, the truth!
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: K&N vs. OEM et al, the truth!

  1. #1
    Registered User Array Chumly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Vancouver
    Bike
    Honda & Suzuki

    K&N Air Filters Fact & Fiction

    The flow improvement of the K&N (if any) over OEM is insignificant on modern mostly stock engines. The filtering efficacy of the K&N is a bit less. If you concur with AnthonyS's veiws and testing methods (I sure do 100%). The K&N’s I have used on modern mostly stock bikes made no noticeable, seat of the pants, change at all. Certainly at lower RPM’s and lower air flows there will be no change in flow or engine characteristics.
    http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/airfilter/airtest1.htm
    http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/

    “I choose to conduct this test because of the conflicting information I see in advertisements and have read on the internet. Everyone claims that their filter flows the best, and removes the most dirt. If you think about it, flow and filtration ability are actually linked. A solid piece of metal would prevent any particles from entering the engine, but it wouldn't flow any air at all. On the other hand, the screen used on a window screen will flow well, but won't filter well at all. So if you think about it, the best flowing and best filtering is really contradictory in claim. I wanted to find out which filter really does filter the best, and which one really does flow the best. I have used almost every brand and type of air filter over the years including K&N. I had not used a foam filter until conducting this test. I have used every manner of off the shelf fibrous or paper filter.”

    “This means that there is very little if any power to be found from removing the air filter, much less changing the filter type.”

    “Well there is a clear pattern on filtration ability compared to both flow and the type of filtration media used. The "high performance" cotton gauze and foam filters do not filter as well as some have claimed. I actually received an e-mail from K&N stating their filters filter within 99% of the OEM filters. This may be true, and 1% may not sound like much. I contend that 1% over many miles, may be important. “

    “You have to decide for yourself whether you value ever last ounce of power or filtration. I cannot, nor will I make this decision for you. I do know that on a relatively stock car with a properly sized air filter, you indeed have very little if any performance to gain by swapping filtration material.”

    “I personally do not like the difficulties associated with servicing foam filters. I do enjoy the simple drop in of an OEM style filter. Imagine servicing and changing 5+ filters in one day for pressure drop testing. You begin to dislike serviceable filters quickly.”
    Last edited by Chumly; 07-29-2004 at 10:43 AM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BCSportBikes.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    I do all my own stunts Array boarder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Vancouver
    Bike
    only 1 bike now, '02 gsxr750
    this is for car filters, or all filters. All I care about is that it's reusable..if u put high millage on your bike then get a reuseable one if possible. Mine cost 80 bux, so it'll pay for itself the next time I clean it.
    anyone wanna lend me a bike ?

  4. #3
    Registered User Array Commuter Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Burnaby
    Bike
    Suzuki Bandit
    Ah, but will it pay for itself if the engine wears prematurely?

    I've given up on K&N's despite my environmentally friendly bias.

    I did the "dirt & grease" test a couple of times now with K&N's and stock
    pleated paper filters. Put a good smearing of grease inside the airways,
    clean out after a similar amount of riding under similar conditions.

    Check out how much grit's in the grease. The K&N always ended up leaving
    more crap through. Unscientific as hell, yes, but enough to satisfy myself.

  5. #4
    Ronin_CBR_RR
    Guest
    It's funny I guess this was somewhat caused by a little sticker shock (wrongly quoted price):
    http://bcsportbikes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37454

    As in the other thread, this has given me something to ponder.
    "... ponderous man... really ponderous...."

    I've always been a proponent of the convenience/reusable aspect more than the "butt dyno" feel of it. But... as in the other thread. More research is required.

  6. #5
    Registered User Array SpideRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Fraser Valley
    Bike
    ...
    It's not the engine improvement I was looking for when purchasing a K&N, it was the fact I didn't have to replace it.
    Cry in the dojo, laugh on the battlefield
    -----
    Sparring speed is a matter of simple physics:
    The height of your flight is inversely proportionate to the mass of your ass.

  7. #6
    Save water, ride oil cool Array PeteDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Surrey what
    Bike
    Bmx-r
    a lot of car mags have done air filter dyno tests, they could be biased but there is alway a 3-5 hp gain at teh rear wheels by swapping the filter. On a bike i imagine the effect is more conservative but power is power.
    if some is good, more is better, then too much is just enough.

    I'm not Fast...your just Slow

  8. #7
    Registered User Array Chumly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Vancouver
    Bike
    Honda & Suzuki
    Whelp I am not convinced that the lower cost (not that much IMO) and claimed better performance (*maybe* a tiny fraction in some specific circumstances at the very top end) is worth the time and trouble and potential lower filtering efficacy. If you wish to save a few dollars, there are better safer ways.

    (Broken record I know)

  9. #8
    Registered User Array
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    West Vancouver
    Bike
    '79 Honda 500SE<- Joke, I have a nice bike
    But much depends on the specific bike. Most bikes have oversized airfilters. That way they can become clogged up with dust/dirt and still let enough air through. Some bikes, such as custom hogs, may have rather small airfilters. A K&N could really help there, but so could a bigger paper filter. If anyone is worried about not letting dust/dirt through the filter for fear of damageing the engine the answer is simple. Just don't clean/change the filter.

    I would like to see a return to the oil-pan filters that some cars had years ago. No filter medium, no paper, just a pan of motor oil. When it's time to change the filter, you just change the oil in the pan. They worked rather well, except in tight corners, but thats not an issue with bikes since the lean.

    -SAndworm
    AVATAR AmUSER and
    NOT A LAWYER

  10. #9
    Registered User Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Greater Vancouver
    Bike
    ...
    I don't believe a K&N filter makes any significant difference to performance. Since it doesn't require jetting, that's the first sign it doens't make a significant difference in airflow. If you remove the airbox and go to an individual filter set up, you will pick up a few horses, but at the expense of mid-range. Sportbikes all have tuned intake systems, and throwing away the airbox will destroy that.

    Some people claim they can feel the difference with a K&N, but remember, the cheapest way to make a car seem faster is to add a kick-ass stereo. I don't think anyone can tell if their bike goes from 100 to 102 hp. In the lower gears, the bikes rev out so fast anyways you won't be able to tell, and in the higher gears any percieved difference in acceleration is more likely to be caused by a tail wind lowering aerodynamic drag.

  11. #10
    More filling! Array stily1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kits
    Bike
    V-Strom DL1000
    I think this debate may never be solved. Back with my ol' TL1000S with the K&N foam/oil filter (and for the record, I'm 99% sure this filter was a thin foam pleated filter with an open core, not this cotton fiber element with a foam core several have described in other threads???) I felt a marked difference (improvement in engine response) the first time I serviced the filter, but that only means it was way packed up and not passing much air (poor bike was suffocating......but that also implies to me it was filtering). For the record I also had a Power Commander installed on that bike.

    It seems incomplete to compare a new clean paper filter with an oil/foam filter. How about comparing a freshly cleaned and oiled foam/oil filter with a paper filter, both at the indicated "blow out with compressed air" recommended service interval for the paper filter?

    It seems clear that the foam/oil filter will pass more air if you clean/oil it vs. the paper filter after just blowing it out with compressed air, as I think there is no way you can get even most of the small clogging particles to come back out of the fiber element (it may look like you're getting lots of crap to blow out, but I suspect those are primarily the larger particles, leaving the truely fine crud stuck in, and plugging, the filter).

    At the same time, if you never service your foam/oil filter, or if you do it incorrectly (and leave dry spots, for example) then the foam/oil filter won't work well at all (at filtering).

    I would suggest that if you don't do your own work, and your bike doesn't accumulate a lot of miles in a given year, then the paper filter is probably best for you (especially conidering that, even unused, the oil on a foam/oil filter will volatalize over time and loose it's "stickyness"). This suggests to me that even unused, a foam/oil filter should be serviced each year. For the same reasons that engine oil changes are based both on distance traveled and *time*.

    The "environmentaly friendly" argument is an interesting one.....by going K&N you send less garbage to the landfill. I think this is a nice justification for wanting to up the power of your bike, considering that it leaves you flushing engine oil down the kitchen sink each time you service your foam/oil filter. Is that environmentally friendly? No.

    Will you save money by going the foam/oil route? Perhaps, if you in fact service your filter correctly and frequently. But, consider the money you'll spend on the fancy oil cleaner and specialty oil (or not, if you just go soapy water and engine oil). But if you're a lazy squid who just wants that extra 2 HP and who never services your filter, you're possibly going to pay the big bucks down the road in increased crud in your engine, increased oil change frequency (I do believe that crud that gets into the cylinders will also cause your engine oil to foul more quickly), increased wear on other engine components due to prematurely fouled engine oil, etc.

    Sorry to run on here. I say if you put a lot of miles on your bike, *and* if you're one of us sickos who actually enjoys stripping the bike down to it's frame to see what's going on, then a foam/oil filter is probably for you. If that's not you, but you want to ensure that your bike's running its best at all times, then belly up to the bar and pay to have the OEM element replaced more frequently by your mechanic.

  12. #11
    Registered User Array Chumly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Vancouver
    Bike
    Honda & Suzuki
    Hi stily1,

    Alas foam or cotton do not flow more or better than paper. There is far more to it than that. The unbiased lab style testing show K&N style filters do not filter well enough. Seat of the pants "this filter improved my performance" provides no subjective data nor does K&N's hype. For all intents and purposes for street riding an OEM bike with an OEM filter is already maxed in terms of flow. I bought a K&N for my 2004 VFR and after further review I am going to sell it.

    With today’s bikes if you really want more performance you’re a lot better off simply buying a higher performance bike than hoping any reasonably priced mod is going to make a consequential difference. Changing the final drive ratio may possibility be exempt from this view to some degree. Also some reasonably priced mods that hopefully improve tractability may also still be a valid.
    Last edited by Chumly; 10-13-2005 at 11:49 AM.

  13. #12
    I am not Michael Jackson Array jako's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Metro Vancouver
    Bike
    Honda F4i
    Awww man!!! I just bought a K&N for my F4i. You guys are screwing with my decision now.
    What???

  14. #13
    ??????? Array Defaulthonda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Vancouver
    Bike
    medium red R
    "... Filters better the dirtier it gets!" Huh? Prolly ok on older bikes? I wouldn't put one on a newer bike with ramair.

  15. #14
    Ridin hard n dirty Array Mr.Sushi ya ha's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    3rd rock from the sun. po co.
    Bike
    bunch "o" bikes
    Well I had my turbo diesel on a dyno before and after some mods plus the air filter and the dyno don't lie...i gained 5 hp and 17 ft lb torque...but it was after the chip and exhaust...on a street bike I don't know...but i met the inventor of the no toil filter system and he was working with oils at the molecular level and by designing the oil molicules to lay flat there was an increase in hp....I use this product and can feel the improvment...I think the other benifit of a washable filter is that you can clean it before it gets too dirty where as you would probably not change your paper filter till it showed signifigant dirt
    Remembering Bill Mclean.
    Having had a colonoscopy......I have now seen where the sun don't shine......(Me)
    Cancer Sucks!!!

  16. #15
    Ride the winds of change Array scooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    N.Vancouver
    Bike
    Adventure and Sport
    I've been thinking about the K&N. For the reuseabilty of it. How are the K&N filters different to a resusable filter say on a ZX9R. It sounds like the secret to not letting the grit into the motor is to spend the time reoiling it properly.
    Do you have to use the specific K&N oil on it or could I just use air filter oil.

    I totally agree that blowing air through a dirty paper filter element does not clean it adequetly.
    Usely blowing air through the air box side of the filter doesn't dislodge much and if you blow from the wrong side you may visualy clean it but you have forced the grit closer to the air box side.
    Last edited by scooter; 10-13-2005 at 11:42 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •