Best Motorcycle Oil Filters: Safeguard Your Engine
These top motorcycle oil filters will keep your engine running efficiently
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PUBLISHED ON October 8, 2019
A motorcycle filter prevents debris such as dirt and dust from getting into the engine. It's an essential piece of equipment that traps those very small contaminants so they don't mess with your bike's performance. Some motorcycle oil filters are better than others, and we highlight the top three in the buying guide below.
- Best OverallK&N Motorcycle Oil Filter: High-Performance Black Oil FilterSummarySummaryThis filter with a 17mm nut is designed for synthetic or conventional oils and fits 1996-2018 Harley-Davidson and Buell motorcycles.ProsProsThis resin-impregnated filter traps 99-percent of harmful contaminants and features an anti-drain-back valve to prevent oil from draining back into the crankcase when you turn off the engine.ConsConsThis filter won't seat properly on some bikes because it doesn't engage the threads. Also, the nut on the end of the filter may strip.
- Best ValueHiflofiltro Black Premium Oil FilterSummarySummaryThis filter is intended for various Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Triumph models. Each filter is subjected to to16 individual quality-control checks.ProsProsIt has a longer life than comparable OEM filters and is easy to remove using the attached nut on the end. It's also more affordable than some other brands.ConsConsIt's too easy to over- tighten the filter using the nut, which is for removal purposes only. It may not fit certain bikes as advertised.
- Honorable MentionHonda OEM Oil FilterSummarySummaryThis is a genuine, high-performance Honda filter that fits a variety of Honda models.ProsProsThis filter is good quality, easy to install, and does its job properly and reliably. You don't need a special wrench and can remove it by hand.ConsConsThis OEM filter is a little more expensive than some aftermarket replacements. It only works with Honda motorcycles.
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- It's critical that you determine what type of oil filter your bike needs by reading the owner's manual. Filters come in various sizes with different characteristics and are usually model specific.
- If you're not sure what kind of oil filter you need, then choose a genuine OEM one. It's guaranteed to fit and is designed to work specifically with your bike's engine.
- Filters that are mounted horizontally should include an anti-drain-back valve. This keeps the oil from rolling back into the oil pan after you shut off the engine.
Q: How often should I change my oil filter?
A: You should change the filter every time you change the oil. This is typically every 2,000 to 3,000 miles for most motorcycles.
Q: Do motorcycles need special oil?
A: You need to use an oil that is designed for your particular motorcycle. Motorcycle oil is used to lubricate the wet clutch and transfers power to the drivetrain.
Q: Does oil go bad/expire?
A: You need to change the oil on a regular basis because it can oxidize and thicken in your engine, making it less effective. Also, it will have a tougher time warding off debris. As for bottles of oil, they remain effective as long as they are properly sealed and are stored in a cool place.
Our pick for the best motorcycle oil filter is the K&N Motorcycle Oil Filter: High Performance Black Oil Filter. It traps nearly all types of contaminants, includes an anti-drain-back valve for horizontal installation, and is a great aftermarket filter for most Harley-Davidsons.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Hiflofiltro Black Premium Oil Filter.