Air Filters, your bike needs them, your car needs them, and you need to know about them. They battle between blocking foreign particles and allowing as much airflow as possible. So what is the best air filter? It’s 2022 and it’s a question that keeps getting thrown around. This is Mani from Motomillion and we’re talking about Sprint Filter.
Air Filter Rundown
Getting down to the basics, air filters clean up the air going into your engine to help burn fuel, and prevent unnecessary wear and tear to your engine internals. When dust or sand gets in through the filter, it mixes with the engine oil which is bad news for your internals.
So, cleaner air in your combustion chamber ups the efficiency and power that your engine can produce. More air also ups the efficiency, and that’s the battle manufacturers face. Keep the air cleaner to prevent wear and tear in the engine, or allow a little more dust in there for better airflow and more power.
Most bikes come with paper filters. These are pretty good at keeping dust and dirt out of your engine, but restrict the airflow. If all you care about is keeping clean air going into your engine, these do the job. Some of us, however, want a little more power.
Other materials commonly used are cotton or sponge. For cotton, K&N is an example that uses it for higher airflow. Cotton gauze is more porous (compared to the paper air filters), so it flows more air, but usually cotton is coated in oil to catch more of the fine dust particles. A plus about these cotton filters is that they can be washed and reused, but you need to re-coat it with oil. And this oil-coating can be sucked into the engine, which may not do any damage to the internals, but it will damage sensors over time.
Sponge filters, well, I mean we use these more for washing than anything, right? Servicing these is messy and they need to be serviced almost every ride. Which is why you don’t really see sponge filters being used in OEM or Aftermarket applications.
But all these have one thing in common. Their achilles heel. With paper, cotton or sponge, the material cannot be made uniform, so some of the openings in the material end up being larger which allows more dust. To fix this they are coated with oil, and multiple layers of the material are used.
Sprint Filter Enters
For a long time, this was all that we had, but Sprint Filter came in and revolutionized the air filter space. They did this by using new material: Polyester Fabric.
Polyester is not affected by folding. And only a single layer needs to be used. And because of the material, each hole can be made the exact same size, so the airflow and filtering is consistent throughout the entire weave, ensuring consistent filtering of foreign particles. The consistency also provides a benefit that is overlooked, turbulence. In the paper, cotton and sponge filters, the inconsistency of their hole-sizes introduces turbulence in the air-flow. With Sprint Filter’s technology, the turbulence is completely eliminated.
We gotta mention the maintenance too, because all you need is a can of compressed air and it’s good to go.
This all started in 2010 when Sprint Filter launched its motorcycle line. And they’ve only grown since then. Right now, they supply filters to over 70% of the MotoGP teams.
Sprint Filter Specs
- Airflow: 5050 liters per meter square a second
- Traps 93.13% of 100 (micrometer) particles
- Cotton filters only reach numbers between 3700-4800 liters per meter square a second, depending on the number of layers used.
- Airflow: 15,000 liters per meter square
- This is the filter used by many top level factory racing teams in MotoGP and WSBK
- Besides the polyester fabric, it also has a steel mesh with epoxy coating. This mesh is to make sure the filter doesn’t collapse while the engine is running at high revs.
Are you using Sprint Filter currently? What are you running on your bike at the moment? Check out our video on this topic for further details, and let us know what topics you want to see us cover next!