Every dirt biker has to do it eventually. Those who ride in dusty conditions have to do it after every ride or two. Cleaning and changing foam air filters. We all know that a clean air filter helps the performance and longevity of motorcycle engines by giving them plenty of clean air to breathe.
Anyone who has done this often knows that cleaning the nastiness from a used filter and re-oiling it is a time-consuming, messy job involving often unpleasant solvents and sticky lube. Also, pro desert racers have told me that foam filters disintegrate a little each time you wash them, so that used filters, no matter how clean, never filter small particles as well as new filters. They use new filters every time because top end failures can be disastrous.
Ready Racing has come up with an easier way. For about $9 (US) each, you can buy a Ready Filter for your dirt bike. Each individually-packaged, shrink-wrapped Ready Filter is made of high-quality dual-stage foam, is pre-lubed, and comes with a pair of plastic gloves you can wear when handling the filters.
I got a chance to test the Ready Filter in this year’s Dakar Rally. The first good thing I noticed was the small size of the Ready Filter packaging, about the size of a wallet. Being shrink-wrapped, these filters can easily fit in your tool kit or fanny pack. I kept a spare on my bike for the entire Rally. The Dakar is a torture test for air filters; sandstorms, endless soft dunes, and fine silt. Many of the days were so dusty that I used two filters. The Ready Filters performed very well. In those conditions it was best to squeeze excess oil from the filters before installing them to delay them packing full of dust.
Compared to the pre-oiled KTM filters I used the previous year, the Ready Filters allowed no more fine dust into the airbox. No filter could keep all the African dust out, however. Size and convenience-wise, the Ready Filters were better than KTM’s because of the small package and the handy gloves.
Most importantly though, the Ready Filters cost about one fifth of the KTMs. I admit that KTM 660 filters are expensive, but Ready Filters should be about one-third to one-half the cost of most other aftermarket dirt bike filters. You could wash, re-oil, and re-use the Ready Filters, but given their low price, the nastiness of the job, and damage to the filter, many people, including me, will simply put a new one in.
– Written by Charlie Rauseo
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San Diego, CA 92121