For some really healthy potatering and throaty gargleblasting a Harley engine needs a steady supply of clean air. To keep foreign matter such as dust, beetles and low flying hamsters from clogging up the delicate mechanical innards of your engine, some bright spark back in the good ole days invented the air cleaner. Depending of the vintage or customizing level of your ride, these gizmos are filled with a variety of filter media. Reaching from metal mesh for the really old Linkert filters to foam elements or cotton gauze media elements (washable) to disposable paper elements on the later models.
Even when you’re not the heavy mileage eater, filters get clogged up with dirt after a time, foam and K&N type filters also lose their cleaning power due to the loss of air filter oil. The air resistance grows and the engine’s power decreases, the idle suffers and both you and your engine start feeling less than happy.
Service intervals can be found in the bike’s manual or in a model specific Clymer repair handbook. Once a year (or a riding season) should be the minimum. If you live in a dusty place, do it more often.It's not hard to do, so let’s get started: