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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Dirt Bike Air Filter Oil

When it comes to dirt bike performance and engine protection, choosing the right air filter oil is crucial. In this ultimate guide, we’ll help you navigate the world of dirt bike air filter oils, with a focus on “dirt bike air filter oil.” From understanding the different types to proper maintenance practices and our top recommendations, get ready to rev up your knowledge and enhance your dirt bike’s performance!

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the three types of dirt bike air filter oils is essential for optimal engine protection.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance using appropriate agents and oils helps ensure peak performance.
  • Avoid common mistakes such as wringing out filters instead of kneading oil through pores to protect engines from damage.

All the products we recommend have been thoroughly tested by our team at Motocross Advice over the years. We’ve all been racing motocross for decades, gaining invaluable experience and insights into the intricacies of dirt bike maintenance. Our lead author, Martin Varrand, brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With his extensive experience, he has developed an exceptional understanding of what the best dirt bike air filter oil or dirt bike engine oil should look and feel like. Rest assured, our recommendations are based on hands-on experience and a deep understanding of the needs of dirt bike enthusiasts.

Understanding Dirt Bike Air Filter Oils

A person is oiling a dirt bike air filter

Air filter oils play a critical role in protecting your dirt bike’s engine by effectively trapping dirt and debris while allowing sufficient airflow. There are three main types of air filter oils available for dirt bikes: petroleum-based, synthetic, and plant-based motorcycle foam filter oils. Each type offers unique benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll explore in detail below.

Petroleum-Based Air Filter Oil

Petroleum-based air filter oil, also known as petroleum based oil, has been around for quite some time and was widely utilized before the emergence of synthetic and plant-based alternatives. Derived from crude oil, petroleum-based air filter oil is compatible with most air filters. However, it has its downsides. One significant drawback is its poor penetration capability, which means it might not be absorbed evenly throughout the foam filter. This uneven distribution could lead to inadequate protection and reduced performance.

Another concern with petroleum-based air filter oil is its potential to damage rubber seals, such as those found in airboxes or carburetor connections. This damage could lead to air leaks and other issues, negatively impacting your dirt bike’s performance. As a result, many riders are shifting towards synthetic or plant-based air filter oils for better protection and performance.

Synthetic and Plant-Based Air Filter Oil

Synthetic and plant-based air filter oils offer a host of advantages over their petroleum-based counterparts, including the bio marketed filter oil. For starters, synthetic oils are highly pure, chemically formulated, and can withstand high temperatures. They are known for their dense and even absorption, which ensures consistent protection for your air filter. On the other hand, plant-based air filter oils are derived from renewable sources, making them an eco-friendly option. These oils are less abrasive on filters, biodegradable, and facilitate easier cleaning. As the demand for sustainable solutions increases, the era of fabric filter oil starts to gain momentum in the industry.

Some popular synthetic and plant-based air filter oils for dirt bikes include Maxima Air Filter Oil and Lucas Oil High-Performance Foam Filter Oil. Both options provide excellent performance, with the former being a water-resistant, long-lasting synthetic oil, and the latter a plant-based oil with a unique low viscosity formula, ensuring optimal airflow while capturing dirt effectively. These oils cater to the needs of dirt bike enthusiasts who seek superior performance, protection, and environmental benefits.

Proper Cleaning and Maintenance of Foam Air Filters

A person cleaning a foam air filter with a water

To achieve peak efficiency and engine protection, foam air filters require regular cleaning and maintenance. Proper cleaning involves using the right cleaning agent and reapplying air filter oil after the filter has been cleaned. Sticking to appropriate maintenance protocols lengthens your foam air filter’s lifespan, guaranteeing its effectiveness in trapping dirt and debris and ensuring sufficient airflow for the best performance.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Agent

The effectiveness and prevention of damage to your foam air filter depend on your choice of cleaning agent. Regular gasoline should be avoided as it can harden the glue seams and reduce the filter’s lifespan. Instead, opt for a cleaning agent specifically designed for foam air filters, such as soap and water or detergent for petroleum-based air filter oils, or soap and water for synthetic and plant-based air filter oils. These cleaning agents will not damage the filter or reduce the effectiveness of the oil, ensuring your dirt bike’s engine remains protected.

Another essential aspect of foam air filter maintenance is the use of isopropyl alcohol. This alcohol can be used to thin the air filter oil, making it easier to apply evenly across the filter’s surface. Using isopropyl alcohol in conjunction with the right cleaning agent will ensure your foam air filter operates at peak performance.

Reapplying Foam Air Filter Oil

Maintaining optimal performance and protection demands the reapplication of air filter oil after cleaning your foam air filter. To do this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific air filter oil. For most foam air filters, you should apply the oil evenly throughout the filter by massaging the oil into the pores of the foam with your hands. Avoid wringing out the filter, as this can result in uneven oil distribution and reduced effectiveness.

Whenever you clean your air filter or notice it becoming dirty, it’s necessary to reapply air filter oil. Your dirt bike’s engine stays protected from dirt, dust, and debris, ensuring the best performance on your rides through consistent maintenance like proper cleaning and reapplication of air filter oil.

Top Foam Air Filter Oils for Dirt Bikes: Reviews and Recommendations

A person pouring air filter oil on a foam air filter

Now that we’ve explored the different types of air filter oils and proper maintenance, let’s take a closer look at some of the top foam air filter oils for dirt bikes. These products have been handpicked based on their unique features, benefits, and overall performance, ensuring your dirt bike’s air filter stays clean and operates at peak efficiency.

Uni Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner Kit

The Uni Foam Air Filter Oil & Air Filter Cleaners Kit provides a comprehensive solution for cleaning and oiling any air filter without the use of harmful detergents. The kit includes a 16 oz. aerosol filter cleaner and a 5.5 oz. aerosol foam oil filter, ensuring you have everything you need to maintain your dirt bike’s air filter.

One of the key advantages of the Uni Foam Air Filter Oil & Cleaner Kit is its detergent-free formula, which means it won’t damage your air filter or reduce its effectiveness. This kit is an excellent choice for dirt bike enthusiasts looking for a convenient, all-in-one solution for air filter maintenance. With a price range of $25 to $30, it offers great value for the money.



Maxima Air Filter Maintenance Kit

The Maxima Air Filter Maintenance Kit is another strong player in the realm of dirt bike air filter oils. This kit provides strong cleaners and oils at competitive prices, suitable for all types of filters. The kit includes the Maxima Air Filter Cleaner and FAB-1 Filter Oil, both of which have been highly praised and widely used by dirt bikers, indicating their efficiency and dependability.

Maxima air filter oil is a water-resistant, long-lasting synthetic oil that offers superior protection in wet conditions and prevents the accumulation of dirt and grime that can result in mud clots.

The Maxima Air Filter Maintenance Kit is an ideal selection for dirt bike riders who are looking for a reliable and effective solution for their air filter maintenance needs.



Lucas Oil High-Performance Foam Filter Oil

Lucas Oil High-Performance Foam Filter Oil is another excellent option for dirt bike air filter maintenance, especially when dealing with a slightly dirty filter. This low viscosity, waterproof oil features a blue hue for easy identification, ensuring you never miss a spot when applying it to your air filter.

The unique formula of Lucas Oil High-Performance Foam Filter Oil offers the following benefits:

  • Optimal airflow while capturing dirt effectively
  • Waterproof properties to protect your air filter from rain and humid conditions without clogging the foam’s pores
  • Reliable performance and ease of use

Lucas Oil High-Performance Motorcycle Foam Filter Oil is a popular choice among dirt bike riders seeking superior protection and performance.

Maxima Foam Filter Treatment Oil

Maxima Foam Filter Treatment Oil is a synthetic polymer formulation designed to:

  • Allow 4-12 percent more air flow while retaining dirt and fine dust particles
  • Provide waterproof filter protection
  • Not impede air flow or clog filter cells, ensuring optimal performance

Maxima Foam Filter Treatment Oil:

  • Highly resistant to both gasoline and water
  • Will not cause degradation of foam material or drying out
  • Compatible with any air filter and will not alter rubber seals
  • Provides increased airflow and dirt capture capabilities
  • Ideal for dirt bike enthusiasts seeking advanced protection and performance

PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil

PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil offers excellent protection against various elements, including:

  • dirt
  • dust
  • sand
  • mud

Its thick, tacky and adhesive nature ensures the highest level of protection and prevents the oil from draining out over time, providing greater protection for the carb intake from the elements. The red hue of the oil also allows for easy identification of any missed spots during application.

One downside to PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil is that it requires a solvent for cleaning, such as automotive solvents, kerosene, or cleaners from the same manufacturer as the filter oil. However, the superior protection it offers makes it a popular choice among dirt bike riders who are willing to invest the extra effort in maintaining their air filters.



Pre-Oiled vs. Non-Oiled Air Filters: Pros and Cons

pre-oiled dirt bike air filter

For dirt bike air filters, you primarily have two options: pre-oiled and non-oiled. Pre-oiled air filters come pre-treated with oil, while non-oiled air filters require oil to be applied prior to use. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss in this section.

Pre-oiled air filters offer several advantages:

  • They are ready to use, providing convenience and saving time.
  • They require less upkeep than non-oiled filters. However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:
  • The filter may not be adequately oiled.
  • They may require more frequent cleaning and re-oiling compared to non-oiled filters.
  • There may be limited choices in terms of oil type and brand.

On the other hand, non-oiled air filters also provide improved filtration in dusty conditions and the potential for reuse with adequate upkeep. In the end, the choice between pre-oiled and non-oiled air filters depends on your personal preferences, riding conditions, and maintenance habits.

Be it any type you opt for, cleaning and using the right regular motor oil is crucial to guarantee the best performance and engine protection.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with Foam Air Filters

An image of a dirt bike air filter with dirt bike air filter oil

Avoiding common mistakes while handling and maintaining foam air filters is crucial to guarantee the best performance and engine protection. One such mistake is using gasoline to clean the filter, which can harden the glue seams and reduce the filter’s lifespan. Instead, opt for a cleaning agent specifically designed for foam air filters, as discussed in Section 2.1.

Another common mistake is wringing out the filter when oiling it, rather than kneading the oil through the pores with your hands. This can result in uneven oil distribution and reduced effectiveness. By avoiding these common mistakes and adhering to proper maintenance practices, you can extend the life of your foam air filter and ensure optimal performance.

Tips for Storing and Prepping Foam Air Filters

A person storing a foam air filter in a ziplock bag

The effectiveness and optimal performance of foam air filters are maintained through proper storage and preparation. When storing foam air filters, it is important to:

  • Keep them in a clean and dry environment, away from dust and moisture
  • Use sealed containers or bags for storage
  • Maintain the temperature at room temperature

Before a ride, follow these steps to prepare your foam air filter:

  1. Remove the filter element and cage/frame.
  2. Wash the filter with a mild solvent or cleaner.
  3. Rinse the filter thoroughly.
  4. Dry the filter completely.
  5. Oil the filter.
  6. Reinstall the element and cage/frame back into the airbox.

By following these tips, you can ensure your bike’s air filter, specifically the foam air filter, remains in top condition, protecting your dirt bike’s engine and enhancing its performance. Speaking of protecting your dirt bike engine, make sure you learn how to properly change oil on your dirt bike.


Choosing the right air filter oil and maintaining your dirt bike’s foam air filter is essential for optimal performance and engine protection. By understanding the differences between petroleum-based, synthetic, and plant-based air filter oils, as well as following proper cleaning and maintenance practices, you can make informed decisions that will benefit your dirt bike. With our top foam air filter oil recommendations and tips for storage and preparation, you’ll be well-equipped to keep your dirt bike running smoothly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use to oil my dirt bike air filter?

To oil your dirt bike air filter, use air filter oil and pour it over the foam filter. Massage it into the filter and then install the filter in your bike.

Should I oil my dirt bike air filter?

It is very important to oil your dirt bike air filter for protection from dust and dirt passing through to the engine, which can cause accelerated wear on engine parts. Make sure you oil the filter thoroughly with a quality foam filter oil.

How often do you need to oil a dirt bike air filter?

Depending on your usage and the environment, you should check your air filter after every ride – especially when the track is dusty. If you ride frequently in sandy or dusty conditions, it’s best to clean it after each ride.

Can you use WD40 as air filter oil?

No, you should not use WD40 as air filter oil as it can cause restriction to the air flow and suck WD40 into the engine where it does not belong.

What types of air filter oils are available for dirt bikes?

Petroleum-based, synthetic, and plant-based motorcycle foam filter oils are all viable choices when it comes to protecting your dirt bike.