Modify An Air Cleaner On A Harley

Modifying the air cleaner on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is one of the simplest ways to make your engine run more efficiently and boost the power at the same time. The easiest way to accomplish this is to merely replace the stock air filter element with a lower-restriction replacement unit. This will cost you much less than buying an entirely new custom air cleaner assembly. This task can be accomplished in just a few minutes and requires only a minimal level of mechanical skill.


1. Remove the Allen-head screws securing the air cleaner cover to the backing plate, using an appropriate-size Allen wrench. Remove the air cleaner cover and any rubber gasket that is used.

2. Remove the three or four bolts that secure the air filter element to the backing plate, using a proper size nut driver or ¼-inch socket and speed handle. This will be a 3/8-inch hex-head bolt, in most cases. Remove the factory air filter element.

3. Coat the new low-restriction air filter with filter oil, if required (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions).

4. Coat the ends of the threads of the air filter mounting bolts with a drop of blue thread sealant. Install the new filter and all the mounting bolts. Snug them up EVENLY until the air filter is secure.

5. Coat the ends of the air cleaner cover screws with a drop of blue thread sealant. Install the cover and the screws. Snug them up securely.