Do you know what makes a good motorcycle oil filter? It’s among the most critical parts of your bike since it protects its engine from metal particles and contaminants that cause excessive wear.
Much like all filters, you have to replace it regularly. You got one along with your bike but what happens when it’s time to choose another to replace it?
Finding a suitable filter isn’t always so simple especially since there are so many different models available on the market.
We’ve reviewed the best, so continue reading to learn all the essential info about them. Below, you’ll also find our buyer’s guide with information that can help you choose the best oil filter for your bike.
10 Top Rated Motorcycle Oil Filters Reviewed
This is one of the best choices because K&N is among the most reliable brands in the industry. It offers excellent replacement filters for trucks, motorcycles, cars, ATV’s and SUV’s.
This one, in particular, has a 17mm exposed nut for easy removal. It’s so simple to use that you won’t struggle even if you’ve never changed filters before.
It’s a high-performance product that’s most fitting for Harley Davidson bikes. It features heavy-duty construction that’s ideal for extreme conditions of all kinds. Plus, it makes it durable, so you won’t have to replace it as often.
KN-171C is resin-impregnated and traps 99% of contaminants that could be fatal for your engine. Another thing worth mentioning is the anti-drain-back valve that helps eliminate dry starts. It also prevents oil from draining back into the crankcase.
If you’re looking for durable construction and high flow rate, you should check if this K&N filter is compatible with your bike.
This one is a part of the brand’s Powersports series that contains modern synthetic filter media. It allows supreme flow and less pressure drop. Still, it provides excellent filtration by trapping most of the dirt and debris that could contaminate your engine.
It’s a spin-on filter with a heavy-duty metal can. It has a 17mm nut that’s crossed-drilled allowing you to wire it safely to your motorcycle. Much like all K&N filters, this one is relatively easy to use even if you’re new to this.
K&N is among the best choices for trucks, cars, SUV’s, ATV’s, and motorcycles. The KN-303 is similar to others from the brand with only a few differences that set it apart.
It has a 17mm exposed nut along with anti-drain-back valve. The two enhance its performance and durability so you won’t have to replace it as frequently. The nut is specifically engineered for easy removal and hassle-free handling.
Its anti-drain-back valve reduces dry starts and helps prevent oil from going back into the crankcase. This tends to happen during engine shutdown and can be fatal for some of your bike’s components.
This is a heavy-duty product that can withstand harsh conditions. It has resin-impregnated media that traps most of the contaminants that could harm the engine.
Another great model from K&N is its KN-138 model that’s suitable for a wide range of vehicles. Its dimensions are 2.9×2.9×3.2 inches, and it weighs about 8.8 ounces. At first glance, it’s a bit different than the K&N models we reviewed so far.
One similar thing is the 17mm exposed nut that’s specially designed for hassle-free removal. It’s been a while since the brand developed and started including the nut that’s been very helpful with using the oil filter.
Its heavy-duty construction makes it suitable for harsh conditions. It adds to its overall durability and resistance to different contaminants. On top of that, it has resin-impregnated media that traps 99% of debris and pieces that could contaminate the oil.
Plus, it features the brand’s well-known anti-drain-back valve for less dry starts and no oil draining back into the crankcase.
If you’ve been searching for a new filter for a while, you’ve probably heard of Hiflofiltro. It’s one of the top choices when it comes to high-quality filtering, durability, longevity, and efficiency.
Some tests conducted by the brand show about 28% longer life compared to most other brands.
This one is made from the finest materials such as steel, NKK, glue and filter paper which all came from reliable manufacturers. The filter itself is easy to use and doesn’t require such frequent change depending on the quality of the oil you use.
Every piece goes through sixteen individual quality control checks before it leaves the factory. On top of that, the entire manufacturing process is audited and verified by TUV SUD.
It comes as a single or in a pack of two, three and four.
As we’ve already mentioned, K&N stands out for many reasons, so all its filters are worth your attention. This one, in particular, is a high-performance piece offering excellent filtration and high-efficiency.
What adds to the efficiency is its media with uniform pleats. It helps enhance its performance, ease of use as well as filtration abilities.
The KN-112 allows high flow rates which is more useful with some bikes than others. Still, regardless of the motorcycle and oil, the filter prevents debris and different contaminants from entering the engine oil.
One thing you should keep in mind is that this one works best with high-end synthetic oil. Surely, it can work with any, but it’s recommended only for the high-end ones.
This is probably one of the most popular oil filters for motorcycle. It offers proven protection for up to 5,000 miles which is something not many models on the market can offer. It’s engineered for conventional oil, so it won’t work as well if you’re using synthetic.
Most bikers like it for its capacity and dirt-trapping efficiency. Another thing worth mentioning is that this one is quite effective and doesn’t require such frequent change and maintenance.
It’s simple to install and relatively easy to remove as well. This is thanks to its SureGrip anti-slip texture that makes replacement quick and easy even if you don’t have much experience with this kind of stuff.
The manufacturer claims that it’s designed for everyday riders and those who ride long-distance.
Much like all Fram filters, this one also goes through severe testing and quality checks before leaving the manufacturing process. It performs at 96.2% efficiency in the single-pass tests which says a lot about how it’s manufactured.
It’s uniquely formulated for longevity and supreme efficiency. This means you probably won’t have to replace it as often though it’s recommended you do whenever you change the engine oil.
The PH6018 has a thick multi-fiber media along with a so-called maze for trapping all contaminates with ease. Most of what could mess up the oil will stay in the filtration system.
Also, it features a grip along with a rough textured surface. This allows easier installation and removal since it won’t become slippery once there’s lubrication on it.
WIX Filters - 51358
Wix filters 51358 deserved its place on our list thanks to its efficiency and capacity. It includes a gasket, center tube, mounting plate, and inner element tube.
This one stands out for its increased dirt-holding capacity allowing you to go on for a longer period without changing the filter. This still depends on the kind of lubrication you use, so make sure to follow all the rules applying to your bike and oil type.
There’s also the high particle size retention and low flow restriction. The two enhance its performance and overall efficiency. On top of that, the entire construction is quite durable and resistant so you shouldn’t have any issues with it before it’s time to replace it.
Going back to the K&N, you should also check its KN-145 model. It’s among its best-selling products since it carries the well-known quality, efficiency, and longevity much like all its previous models.
Its high-performance design allows outstanding filtration especially if you’re using high-end synthetic oil. Other oils might do well, but quality synthetic is what the filter is made for.
KN-145 has a high-efficiency media along with uniform pleats. Thanks to its construction and quality of manufacturing, it allows high flow rates especially with the recommended type of oil.
It’s smaller in size measuring 2.2×2.2×2.5 inches in total. It weighs around 2 ounces and comes with all three o-rings included.
One of the best things about this one is its ease of use. It’s easy to install while removal is equally as hassle-free and doesn’t require any special tools.
What an Oil Filter Does
You probably already know the importance of engine oil. It has an important job of cooling, lubrication, as well as absorbing debris. Still, none of that is possible without reliable filtration.
Many things like bacteria, dirt, dust, airborne fungus and metal particles would get into your engine oil if you didn’t have a good filter. They’d go straight to your engine which could have fatal consequences.
You should always look for a quality filter that suits your bike, lubrication and the terrain you plan to ride on. Motorcycles filters are finer than those for cars because they are more likely to capture the tiniest pieces and contaminants.
Get more information on when to change your motorcycle oil here.
How to Choose the Right One
The one way you cannot go wrong is by consulting with the owner’s manual you got along with your motorcycle. All motorcycles have different characteristics and so do filters which means some are more compatible for certain vehicles while others don’t fit at all.
Knowing which type is the best for your motorcycle will narrow the list of choices. There are many models on the market, and the last thing you want is to go through tens before finding the one for you.
Filters might look the same when you first look at them, but they’re not. They vary in size, design, construction and come with different parts. The differences are usually based on the model and year of your vehicle. For this reason, all of that must match, or the filter might not attach properly or work at all.
Paper vs. Plastic Filters
Paper has been around for a longer period than plastic and is a cheaper option. The synthetic alternative has its perks compared to the paper filter media which is why it’s been more popular recently.
Read more about synthetic and regular oils here.
Synthetic are a bit better at trapping smaller contaminants over a more extended period. As a result, you’ll probably get more out of a plastic filter than a paper one.
On top of that, synthetic models usually include blends of rubber for drain-back valves and gaskets. This is for an enhanced design that’s sturdier and more capable of handling rough and even extreme road conditions.
Plastic ones are typically longer and larger than paper ones. For this reason, they have higher capacity and can last you for 7,000 to 25,000 miles.
Still, it’s hard to tell which one is better for any bike in particular. The choice is usually up to you since both options are efficient.
You may have noticed that most models on our list have an anti-drain-back valve. This is an important feature to look for especially if the filter is mounted horizontally on your vehicle. It will prevent the oil from going back into the pan once you shut off the engine.
Another thing you might want to consider is the safety release valve. Filters feature a safety valve otherwise known as bypass valve that’s one of the most important parts.
It’s there to allow the lubrication to flow into the engine even when it’s thick, or something gets clogged. This tends to happen when the weather is extremely cold, so if you live in such an area, you should pay special attention to it.
Pretty much any relief valve on a bike opens at low pressures of 8 to 11 psi. The more robust systems should have one that opens between 11 to 17 psi. Though this might sound a bit confusing, it’s quite important for you to know relief valve specifications and details.
All of this might sound like a lot especially if you’ve never had to replace the filter so far. It’s a critical part of your vehicle that plays a significant role in the longevity of its engine.
As we mentioned, when the time comes for you to replace the filtration, make sure to check the owner’s manual you got when you purchased the vehicle. If you didn’t get any, try and find some information directly from the manufacturer.
Focus only on the high-quality filters since you want something reliable and able to protect your engine from the contaminants we mentioned earlier. You wouldn’t believe the kind of dirt and debris can reach the engine if there’s no filtration.