What Type Of Air Cleaner Should I Use For My Harley-Davidson


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What Type Of Air Cleaner Should I Use For My Harley Davidson

Are you looking for the best air cleaner for your Harley-Davidson? Not sure which one is right for you? Look no further! This article takes an in-depth look at the different types of air cleaners available, helping you to make an informed decision about the best air cleaner to fit your bike. Read on to learn more about the differences between the various air cleaners, and how to choose the right one for your Harley-Davidson.

What does an air cleaner do for a Harley-Davidson bike?

Harley-Davidson bikes are among the most popular motorcycles available in the market. To keep these iconic bikes performing at their best, motorcycle enthusiasts often look for ways to enhance their performance and style. One of the aspects that often gets overlooked is the air cleaner. To use an air filter to your advantage, you will first need to know what is it and what it does.

Air cleaners, also known as air filters or air intakes, are an important component of any motorcycle’s engine system. For a Harley-Davidson bike, an air filter is a component designed to maintain the engine’s health by filtering the air that enters the engine during the combustion process.  It filters out dust, debris, and contaminants present in the air before it enters the engine, safeguarding its health and performance. For a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a high-quality air filter will be vital for ensuring optimal engine performance, fuel efficiency, and longevity.

The primary role of an air filter is to filter the air entering the engine. As a Harley-Davidson motorcycle cruises down the road, it sucks in air, which contains microscopic particles that could be harmful to the engine. The air cleaner’s filter captures these particles, preventing them from entering the engine’s cylinders and causing damage to vital components.

The engine of a Harley-Davidson bike operates under extreme conditions, generating intense heat and pressure. Contaminants present in the air like dirt and dust could end up causing abrasion and premature wear on components like the cylinders, pistons, and valves. By acting as a barrier, the air cleaner protects different components, extending their lifespan and minimizing the risk of costly repairs.

Clear air is vital for efficient combustion with the engine. A properly functioning air cleaner will ensure that only clean and oxygen-rich air enters the combustion chambers. This results in more complete and efficient combustion leading to improved fuel efficiency, better throttle response, and enhanced power delivery.

Harley-Davidson bikes are designed to last but proper maintenance will be important for ensuring longevity. An air cleaner’s role in preventing harmful contaminants from entering the engine significantly contributes to the overall health of your motorcycle’s powerplant. Regularly changing or cleaning the air filter as recommended by Harley-Davidson can help the engine’s lifespan.

You will need to replace the air cleaner from time to time. But when selecting the air cleaner for your Harley-Davidson bike, you must consider factors like compatibility, quality, design, and more. Make sure that the air cleaner is compatible with your motorcycle’s make and model. Opt for well-known brands like Harley-Davidson that offer high-quality materials and construction. The design should complement your motorcycle’s aesthetics and suit your personal style. Look for air filters that offer improved airflow and filtration efficiency. Some air cleaners require minimal modification, which makes installation straightforward.

What type of air cleaner should I use for my Harley-Davidson?

Harley-Davidson motorcycles represent a symbol of power, freedom, and individuality. When it comes to enhancing your motorcycle’s performance and personalizing its style, upgrading the air cleaner will be an important consideration. With a wide variety of options available, each designed to cater to specific preferences and performance needs, you may be thinking about what type of air filter should I use on my Harley-Davidson. This decision becomes even more pivotal as choosing the right type of air cleaner for your bike can significantly impact your riding experience. Here are the different types of air cleaners for Harley-Davidson bikes, helping you make a well-informed decision on what type of air cleaner you should go for.

#1. Stock air cleaners

Stock air cleaners, also known as OEM air cleaners, are the factory-installed air intake systems that come with your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They are designed to meet general performance requirements and environmental standards.

Here are the pros of stock air cleaners –

  • Designed by the manufacturer specifically for your motorcycle’s model
  • Maintain a classic and authentic look
  • Typically do not require any modifications or tuning

Here are the cons of stock air cleaners –

  • Limited in terms of performance enhancement
  • Might lack customization options
  • Might restrict airflow in favor of emission regulations

#2. Performance air cleaners

Performance air cleaners are designed to optimize your motorcycle’s airflow and combination efficiency, resulting in improved horsepower and torque. They often feature high-flow filters and advanced filtration materials.

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Here are the pros of performance air cleaners –

  • Improved engine performance and throttle response
  • Enhanced overall fuel efficiency
  • Increased horsepower and torque output
  • Wide range of styles and designs available for customizations

Here are the cons of performance air cleaners –

  • Might require tuning or remapping of the engine’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for optimal results
  • Some models might be pricier compared to stock options

#3. Screamin’ Eagle air cleaners

Screamin’ Eagle is Harley-Davidson’s own performance parts line. Harley’s air cleaners are specifically engineered for enhanced performance while maintaining the motorcycle’s unique Harley-Davidson character.

Here are the pros of Screamin’ Eagle air cleaners –

  • Designed by Harley-Davidson for optimum performance on Harley-Davidson motorcycles
  • Offer improved airflow and filtration compared to stock options
  • Available in different designs and finishes

Here are the cons of Screamin’ Eagle air cleaners –

  • Might require additional components or tuning to maximize benefits
  • Could be more expensive compared to aftermarket options
What Type Of Air Cleaner Should I Use For My Harley Davidson

#4. Custom air cleaners

Custom air cleaners will allow you to fully personalize your motorcycle’s aesthetics and performance. These air filters carry a wide range of designs and materials from vintage-inspired to contemporary styles.

Here are the pros of custom air cleaners –

  • Provide an opportunity for unique customization
  • Enhances your bike’s overall appearance
  • Might be designed to fit specific aftermarket parts

Here are the cons of custom air cleaners –

  • Custom designs could vary in terms of performance gains
  • May need additional benefits or professional installation

#5. High-performance air cleaners

High-performance air cleaners are engineered to deliver maximum airflow and filtration efficiency. They often come with washable and reusable filters for long-term cost savings.

Here are the pros of high-performance air cleaners –

  • Significantly improves engine performance and power output
  • Can be a cost-effective option in the long run due to reusable filters
  • Offers optimal filtration while maintaining high airflow

Here are the cons of high-performance air cleaners –

  • Typically require tuning or ECU adjustments for peak performance
  • Might be pricier upfront compared to other options

What type of air cleaner should I use for my Harley-Davidson?

There is no universal answer for the type of air cleaner you should use in your Harley as different riders will have different bikes and different goals. This would demand a different type of air filter. Choosing the right type of air cleaner for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle will involve a balance of performance, aesthetics, and practicality.

You need to consider your goals, budget, and level of customization as these things will help you make a smarter decision that elevates your riding performance. Whether you are looking for increased power, a more personalized look, or both, the perfect air cleaner will help you unleash your motorcycle’s true potential while maintaining the spirit of Harley-Davidson’s legendary craftsmanship.

Many air cleaners are designed for straightforward installation, which makes it a relatively simple upgrade that does not require extensive mechanical knowledge. Depending on the model, you may or may not require professional assistance to install the new air cleaner.

Benefits of air cleaners for Harley-Davidson bikes

Harley-Davidson bikes are more than just machines for transportation. To ensure your beloved Harley-Davidson bike performs at its best, it will be important to pay attention to every component that contributes to the performance of the bike. Among these components is the air cleaner, which plays a key role in maintaining engine efficiency and performance. Here are the benefits of using air cleaners for Harley-Davidson motorcycles and how they can elevate your riding experience.

#1. Improved airflow and enhanced performance

Air cleaners are designed to filter out contaminants and particles from the air before they enter the bike’s engine. By using a high-quality air filter, you will be ensuring a steady flow of clean and filtered air into the engine. This leads to improved combustion efficiency, resulting in enhanced horsepower, torque, and throttle response. A properly functioning air cleaner will allow your Harley-Davidson bike’s engine to breathe easier and perform at its peak potential.

#2. Preservation of engine health

Dust, dirt, and debris can wreak havoc on the engine, causing premature wear and tear. A reliable air cleaner will act as the first line of defense, preventing these harmful particles from infiltrating the engine’s sensitive components. By keeping the engine clean and free from contaminants, you are extending its lifespan and reducing the risk of costly repairs.

#3. Optimized fuel efficiency

When your motorcycle’s engine receives clean and filtered air, it can achieve a more efficient combustion process. This improved combustion results in better fuel efficiency, allowing you to get more mileage out of every tank of gas. Better fuel efficiency will not only save you money at the pump but also contribute to a more environmentally conscious ride.

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#4. Reduced maintenance frequency

Using a high-quality air cleaner can also reduce the frequency of maintenance tasks such as cleaning or replacing the air filter. Some air cleaners come with washable and reusable filters that can be cleaned and reinstalled, saving you time and money in the long run.

#5. Enhanced engine sound

For many riders, the distinctive sound of a Harley-Davidson engine is part of the allure. Upgrading your air cleaner can enhance its auditory experience. Some air cleaner models offer a more pronounced and aggressive engine sound adding to the overall excitement of your ride.

#6. Prospect of customization and style

Air cleaners are available in a wide variety of designs and finishes, which allows you to personalize the look of your bike. Whether you prefer a classic chrome finish, a sleek black design, or a custom pattern, you will be able to find an air cleaner that aligns with your motorcycle’s aesthetics.

What Type Of Air Cleaner Should I Use For My Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson bikes are known for their distinctive rumble and timeless design. To truly unlock the potential of their powerful machines, riders often turn to aftermarket upgrades. One of the most effective and impactful upgrades is the air cleaner. With so many options available in the market, it can get confusing to select which one to go for. Here are some of the popular air cleaner options for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, each designed to elevate your motorcycle’s performance, aesthetics, and overall riding experience.

#1. S&S Cycle Air Cleaners

S&S Cycle is a trusted name in the world of motorcycle performance and its air cleaners live up to the brand’s reputation. S&S offers a wide range of air cleaner options designed to optimize airflow, increase horsepower, and enhance the throttle response of your Harley-Davidson bike.

These air cleaners come in different styles and finishes to suit your motorcycle’s aesthetics. The high-flow filters offer improved performance. They are designed to be compatible with a wide range of Harley-Davidson models. Moreover, they feature washable and reusable filters for cost-effective maintenance.

Here are some of the benefits of S&S Cycle Air Cleaners –

  • They offer enhanced power and acceleration
  • Customization options for a personalized look
  • Improved engine power and acceleration
  • Long-lasting durability with washable filters

#2. K&N High Flow Air Cleaner Kits

K&N is a household name in the realm of high-performance air filters and its High Flow Air Cleaner Kits are tailored to deliver improved airflow, filtration, and engine performance for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

These air filters come with high-flow filter technology for increased air intake. They are designed to fit specific Harley-Davidson models with chrome or black finishes for customization. You can enjoy easy installation with detailed instructions.

Here are the benefits of K&N High Flow Air Cleaner Kits –

  • Increased horsepower and torque
  • Enhanced engine protection with advanced filtration
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Reusable and washable filter for easy maintenance

#3. Arlen Ness Big Sucker Stage Air Cleaner Kit

The Arlen Ness Big Sucker Stage Air Cleaner Kit is a premium option for bikers looking for both performance gains and a striking visual enhancement for their Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

These air cleaners are designed to maximize air intake and filter surface area. They feature patented hidden breather technology and high-performance filters for improved airflow. Moreover, there is a CNC-machined billet cover for a distinctive look.

Here are the benefits of Arlen Ness Big Sucker Stage Air Cleaner Kit –

  • Superior air filtration for engine protection
  • Significant horsepower and torque improvements
  • Unique aesthetics with customizable covers
  • Hidden breather design for a clean appearance

#4. Vance & Hines VO2 Air Intake

Vance & Hines is a brand synonymous with motorcycle performance. One of its most popular products is the VO2 Air Intake System for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This air cleaner kit is designed to increase airflow, improve throttle response, and enhance the motorcycle’s overall power output.

This air filter kit features a high-flow filter element for optimized air intake. It has a sleek and minimalistic design for a clean look. The tuning components are included for optimal performance. Moreover, it is available in different finishes to match your motorcycle’s aesthetics.

Here are the benefits of Vance & Hines VO2 Air Intake –

  • Improved horsepower and torque
  • Enhanced throttle response and acceleration
  • Customizable appearance with different finishes
  • Intuitive installation with included instructions

#5. Roland Sands Design Clarity Air Cleaner

Roland Sands Design Clarity Air Cleaner is a unique and visually striking air cleaner option for riders seeking both performance and style. This air cleaner kit combines form and function seamlessly. It features a high-performance filter for increased airflow. There is a transparent polycarbonate window for a view of the open filter. Moreover, there is a CNC-machined billet aluminum cover in different finishes. This air cleaner is compatible with various Harley-Davidson models.

Here are the benefits of Roland Sands Design Clarity Air Cleaner –

  • Eye-catching design for a custom look
  • Durable construction with high-quality materials
  • Improved engine performance and power delivery
  • Designed to fit seamlessly within your bike’s aesthetics
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#6. Fueling Reaper Air Cleaners

Fueling offers the Reaper Air Cleaners, which are known for their amazing filtration and airflow capabilities. These air cleaner kits are engineered to deliver optimal performance and engine protection. There is a unique S&S style tear-drop design to offer improved air intake. There is a high-flow reusable filter element while the integrated crankcase breathers provide a clean appearance.

Here are the benefits of Fueling Reaper Air Cleaners –

  • Stylish and functional design
  • Enhanced engine performance and throttle response
  • Improved air filtration for engine longevity
  • Easy installation with detailed instructions
What Type Of Air Cleaner Should I Use For My Harley Davidson

Factors to consider when selecting air cleaners for your Harley-Davidson bike

If you are looking to enhance your Harley-Davidson bike’s performance, upgrading the air cleaner is an important step. The right air cleaner can make a major impact on your motorcycle’s engine efficiency, power delivery, and overall riding experience. This is why you need all the help possible with selecting the right air cleaners. Here are some of the factors you need to consider when choosing air cleaners for your Harley-Davidson bike.

#1. Performance goals

Before diving into the world of air cleaners, you need to define your performance goals. Are you looking for improved horsepower, better throttle response, or enhanced fuel efficiency? Different air cleaners come with varying degrees of performance gains, so knowing what you want will help you narrow down your options.

#2. Compatibility

Not all air cleaners are compatible with all Harley-Davidson models. Before you make a decision, make sure that the air cleaner you are considering is specifically designed for your motorcycle’s make and model. Compatibility will ensure a proper fit and optimal performance.

#3. Type of riding

Consider your typical riding style before making a decision. Are you a casual cruiser or a spirited rider who loves accelerating swiftly? Your riding habits can influence the type of air cleaner you should go for. Performance-based riders could opt for high-flow air cleaners whereas those who prioritize aesthetics may lean towards custom designs.

#4. Ease of installation

If you are comfortable with DIY installations, you may prefer air cleaners that come with straightforward installation instructions. Some air cleaners will require minimal modifications whereas others might necessitate professional installation or tuning. Choose an option that aligns with your mechanical skills and comfort level.

#5. Tuning and remapping

Upgrading the air cleaner can affect the air-to-filter ratio in your engine. Some air cleaners may require tuning or remapping the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to ensure optimal performance. Consider whether you are open to this process and whether your preferred air cleaner supports it.

#6. Design and aesthetics

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are as much about style as they are about performance. If aesthetics matter to you, explore air cleaner options that complement your motorcycle’s overall look. Custom air cleaners often offer various designs and finishes, allowing you to personalize your motorcycle’s appearance.

#7. Maintenance requirements

Regular maintenance is important to ensure your air cleaner continues to perform optimally. Some air cleaners come with reusable and washable filters whereas others require replacement after a certain mileage. You should consider your willingness to perform maintenance tasks and opt for an air cleaner that suits your preference.

#8. Budget

Lastly, your budget will play a significant role in your decision-making process. Air cleaner prices can vary based on brand, features, and performance gains. Set a budget range and explore different options within this range to find the best value for your investment.


What types of air cleaners are available for Harley-Davidson motorcycles?

There are several types of air cleaners available for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including traditional air cleaners, high-flow air cleaners, and performance air cleaners. Traditional air cleaners are designed for general use and provide basic protection from dust and dirt. High-flow air cleaners provide increased air flow and protection from particles, while performance air cleaners provide improved air flow and performance.

What are the benefits of using an air cleaner on my Harley-Davidson?

Using an air cleaner on your Harley-Davidson can help protect the engine from dust, dirt, and other particles that can clog the engine and reduce performance. It can also help improve air flow and increase horsepower and torque.

What should I consider when choosing an air cleaner for my Harley-Davidson?

When choosing an air cleaner for your Harley-Davidson, you should consider the type of engine, the size of the air cleaner, the type of material, and the brand. You should also consider the type of riding you will be doing, as some air cleaners are designed for specific riding styles or conditions. It’s important to find the right air cleaner for your needs to ensure maximum performance and protection.

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White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.

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