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Was at my dealer last month picking up a set of air filters and was talking to young kid at the counter.

I was telling him I like to keep spare air filters cleaned and oiled ready to go. After every ride I wash the machines and check the air filters. If I notice it starts getting too dirty, I just swap them out with the cleaned ones. Then during spare time I'll wash them out, let them dry and re-oil so there ready to go for next time. I don't change them out every ride. But depending on the conditions, I will.

Now the young kid is telling me they work better when they are dirty. He's been riding dirt bikes for years and rarely cleans them. I basically just ignored his input thinking it was BS and went on my way. But he's got me thinking a little and wondering if there is any truth to it.

So what you guys think? True or BS.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Forgot to mention the kid at the counter was working there. So I assumed he must be one of the kids that work with the mechanics and on our machines. That's what got me thinking. I'm just glad I do all my own maintenance.
 

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I'll sell someone my dirty ones for a crappy clean one. lol
 

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Actually there is a certain amount of truth to it in regards to pleated paper filters.
The porosity of the paper is such that it offers an acceptable degree of filtering efficiency.
As dust gathers on the filter paper these "pores" get smaller and the filtering efficiency improves.
This effect will last until the filter is dirty enough to restrict airflow to the engine hurting performance.
A clean filter is good, a lightly soiled filter is better, a dirty filter needs replacing/cleaning.
 

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Who has a paper filter on a can am? I thought they where all foam except K&N which is made of who knows what (not paper). I agree that a filter a little dirty is no issue. But as the dirt builds air flow is restricted and dirt will start to pass through the filter. Dirt that passes through the filter is basically sandpaper rubbing on the inside of your engine. I like to err on the side of caution as I had to rebuild 1 engine and it aint cheep.:smilietwocents:
 

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[QUOTdoesn'259;532933]Who has a paper filter on a can am? I thought they where all foam except K&N which is made of who knows what (not paper). I agree that a filter a little dirty is no issue. But as the dirt builds air flow is restricted and dirt will start to pass through the filter. Dirt that passes through the filter is basically sandpaper rubbing on the inside of your engine. I like to err on the side of caution as I had to rebuild 1 engine and it aint cheep.:smilietwocents:[/QUOTE]

Dirt doesn't pass through a paper filter with clogged pores unless it tears. It's clogged because dirt is not going through it.
The first post asked if there was any truth to the theory that a dirty filter is better than a clean one. I used "paper" filter answer in reference to the theory, not in reference to Can Am/foam filters.
As far as foam filters... Clean is better than dirty in all cases because we use oil as a dirt capturing medium in the filter. The oil clings to the pores of these filters in a thin film which when dirty air passes over it captures the dirt particles. When enough dirt has accumulated on the oil film it becomes covered over, so when dirty air passes through, it no longer makes contact with oil and passes directly into the motor.
I believe K&N filters are made of woven cotton fibers.
 

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What Icabod said. The kid is right, in a theoretical sense.

Dirty filters are actually better at trapping particulates than clean ones, but a point is reached where the impeded air flow outweighs the benefit of particulate trapping.
 

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Who has a paper filter on a can am? I thought they where all foam except K&N which is made of who knows what (not paper).

I do... anyone with a stock BRP filter does... and you probably do as well.
Here is what stock (and some) aftermarket filters look like..
https://www.dropbox.com/s/iia5brptjfikkma/20140518_100056.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/174kkmkw6ck2y6t/20140518_100111.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/j5dx8r65ov30xcp/20140518_100104.jpg
The outer sleeve is foam which captures large particles to protect and increase the lifespan of the inner paper core filter. The paper filter is far more effective at filtering fine particles than foam.
Some aftermarket filters use woven plastic fiber cloth instead of paper which makes them washable so they may never need replacing.
 

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The biggest issue we face riding dirt is a clogged air filter, because we ride such dirty conditions. Its important to start with an air filter with a large capacity, so by the end of the day its not plugged up. Thats the only reason I clean mine often.
 

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Who has a paper filter on a can am? I thought they where all foam except K&N which is made of who knows what (not paper). I agree that a filter a little dirty is no issue. But as the dirt builds air flow is restricted and dirt will start to pass through the filter. Dirt that passes through the filter is basically sandpaper rubbing on the inside of your engine. I like to err on the side of caution as I had to rebuild 1 engine and it aint cheep.:smilietwocents:
your 1000XT has a paper air filter. :th_smiliewavey:
 

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[QUOTdoesn'259;532933]Who has a paper filter on a can am? I thought they where all foam except K&N which is made of who knows what (not paper). I agree that a filter a little dirty is no issue. But as the dirt builds air flow is restricted and dirt will start to pass through the filter. Dirt that passes through the filter is basically sandpaper rubbing on the inside of your engine. I like to err on the side of caution as I had to rebuild 1 engine and it aint cheep.:smilietwocents:
Dirt doesn't pass through a paper filter with clogged pores unless it tears. It's clogged because dirt is not going through it.
The first post asked if there was any truth to the theory that a dirty filter is better than a clean one. I used "paper" filter answer in reference to the theory, not in reference to Can Am/foam filters.
As far as foam filters... Clean is better than dirty in all cases because we use oil as a dirt capturing medium in the filter. The oil clings to the pores of these filters in a thin film which when dirty air passes over it captures the dirt particles. When enough dirt has accumulated on the oil film it becomes covered over, so when dirty air passes through, it no longer makes contact with oil and passes directly into the motor.
I believe K&N filters are made of woven cotton fibers.[/QUOTE]

I understand what you are saying and belive the theory. Franky said it was giving him second thoughts about keeping his filter so clean. I was only trying to get the point across that the theory doesn't count for can am filters. and PS the K&N is gauze cotton.
As for awful knawful's remark on the stock filter being paper I was not aware of this, my initial question of who has paper was a question not a smart remark.
 

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This is a good debate .
But as stated above , as the big trapped particles catch & hold the smaller particles , CFM will be gradually reduced & we all know o2 + fuel = power .
I will continue to keep mine as clean as I am able .
 
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