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For the naysayers K&N air filter

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Craig, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Read the Norvil News this morning ( start the heckling ) .... interesting testimonial from a Norton rider in Sweden ... he bought new in ‘76 has covered 329836 kms over last 42 years using a K&N filter as one of his mods ... while I use a 2 layer Uni-filter on the Norton , I do have an open air box with K&N fitted to the Ducati .... anyways kind of interesting after reading all the dire warnings on this forum in regards to air filter choice .... seems to work for Stephan in Sweden ....
    Craig
     
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  2. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    It all depends on the condition of the air. If you ride in dusty conditions the K&N is probably not a good choice. There are guys that have ridden their 900 SS bevelhead (and Nortons) with bare velocity stacks for years with no issue. If you live on a gravel or dirt road, I don't think I would trust the K&N, but that's just my opinion.
     
  3. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    I stopped worrying about undue wear with K&Ns after Dan Smith pulled his Rapide engine down for a look post Tierra del Fuego South America then Arctic circle NA back to back trips.
    They covered 800 miles of dusty gravel road in South America and another few hundred in the Arctic.
    I think the total mileage was over 20,000.
    The bores looked as new, you could see the cross hatch Dan's hone put in.

    Glen
     
  4. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    I have been running K&N air filter for over 37 years on my Norton and I have done well over 160k mile and I still run my orginal valves, original con rod size bearings, motor is on 40thu oversize but thats was from early days of flogging my motor not from the air filters, I have run many of miles on dirt roads, I have never removed my rockers from the head and my bike was a everyday ride for over 38 years , so realy can't see why others think K&N air filters are no good, maybe they are not maintaining them right.

    Ashley
     
  5. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    I believe the negative criticism of K&N filters "filter" back to LACK OF PROPER MAINTENANCE, as always...
     
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  6. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    I use them, despite the fact that one once dropped a piece of wire and trenched a cylinder wall.
     
  7. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Anecdotal evidence is good, for many things. However, some scientific testing has proven many, many times, K&N rock screens are not as effective as pleated paper at trapping dirt. These are automotive paper air filters (much like the OEM Commando filter) tested against a K&N. Read the whole test here: http://www.billswebspace.com/AirFilterTest.htm

    Highlights below

    upload_2018-8-7_18-20-38.png


    upload_2018-8-7_18-22-40.png

    upload_2018-8-7_18-23-30.png
     
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  8. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Thanks for info Concours ... we are assuming the auto filters are made to same specs as Cycle filters ... or is it stated in the info you provided , thanks
    Craig
     
  9. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    As Concours posted, objective testing has been around for a long time re KN filters showing that they do not filter as well as paper. The issue becomes, as was noted earlier, do they filter "well enough?" For practical purposes in most situations, the answer is "it appears they do." Basically, for normal operation, the filter difference PROBABLY makes no practical difference in engine wear for the typical rider. The advantage of the KN is that it can be cleaned though it's not as if paper filers are expensive! ;) They can also be used in situations where, for whatever reason, the stock filter system is not wanted - maybe for appearance/clearance for modifications, etc. The CNW Norton E-starter is a good example; the OEM airbox will no longer fit; a KN will.

    Rant follows...

    The claims that KN or other aftermarket filter can flow "more air" and increase power is one of those marketing things that is based on several premises that almost never exist. Yes, a KN filter of the same surface area CAN flow more air than a paper filter. But does it matter? Not usually, unless the OEM air filter or airbox is, intentionally or unintentionally, undersized or poorly designed. If an engine needs, say, 450CFM of air at WOT to make max power and the paper air filter can provide that, the engine makes its max HP. Installing a filter that can flow "more air" does nothing because the engine can't use it/won't "pull" any more air.

    We did tons of dyno tests years back on air filters and never found any HP to be gained on a stock engine by just installing a KN (or any other) aftermarket filter in place of a new OEM paper filter. I could tell you many stories (several of which I was directly involved in the dyno work to "support" the claim) of the way aftermarket manufacturers make HP improvement claims. In most cases it wasn't really "false advertising," it was advertising that left out some information...like, the 13 HP increase published in a magazine by a well-known (and very loud) aftermarket muffler was actually based on a comparison between a new, aftermarket muffler against an old, rotted out OEM muffler. In reality, on the dyne a new OEM muffler produced more HP than the aftermarket "performance" muffler and was quieter as well.

    Then there was a well-known drag racer that used a famous additive in his Pro-Stock race car. It was obvious he used it (and that you should too!) because the ad, filmed at Thunder Valley, showed him pouring a bottle of it into the engine at the race track between rounds...except the additive wasn't in that bottle; the same oil that was used in the engine was in the bottle - FWIW, Lucas 0W5. (Yes, you read that right. ZERO W Five.)

    Rant complete... ;)
     
  10. Matchless

    Matchless

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    I started using a K&N filter on my 850 soon after I first built it. After being parked outside at work in the puoring rain
    I started it on choke, but when I knocked the choke off it was if I hadn't. The ham can paper filter was soaking wet & the engine refused to keep running. I often wonder what owners did when these bikes were new & they rode them every day, rain or shine.
    For this reason alone K&Ns get my vote.
     
    Nater_Potater, Danno and concours like this.
  11. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    I recall reading some years ago on a K&N website that they were investigating why some independent tests were showing poor flow/filtration results. Turns out their internal testing uses a vibrating test bed to simulate engine conditions. It is this vibration that seems to provide improved flow & filtration of the oiled-gauze element. Also, they claim the oiled element can perform much better than paper elements as dirt loading increases....so any independent testing needs to look at laden filters, not just fresh ones.

    I've used their air filters in most of cars for the past decade and also on my 2013 Bonneville. Norton is using the Emgo paper element in the HamCan b/c I have not heard it is possible to kit a K&N within the HamCan...just cone types seem to be used and I'm not ready to go there yet.

    BTW, I've come across a YouTube video (Mi Ti's), showing he had a K&N oil filter...the type with the welded on nut. I alerted him that these have a long history of failing at the weld points for the nut...spewing oil over rear tire. This got so bad there was a recent recall on these filters (check the website). Not sure if this has ever/would ever happen on the Norton application b/c the filter is not receiving any significant pressure (return feed line) as most other modern bikes run through the filter. Still, I would not like to risk it....
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  12. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    After scratching the paint on every removal of the stock filter, I was fed up, installed the K&N, couldn't be happier.
     
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  13. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    I can see that as a plus. Right now I just secured my "Collector" license plate for the bike. There are quite a number of rules that permit this category (and making insurance about 1/3 standard level cost). Appearance needs to be period correct and any change from that must be approved by some bureaucrats with sharp pencils and magnifying glasses ;-)
     
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  14. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Here in Nova Scotia all it took was a mechanical fitness form filled out and signed by a certified red seal Cycle tech. ... good to go as long as no more than 5000 kms a year , and they have no way of tracking you , Bike becomes your responsibility for safety etc. no more inspections of any kind .... $20 a year to keep it on the road .....
     
  15. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    I'll give you 500:1 odds that (without coaching) no bureaucrat, no matter how sharp her pencil and all her magnifiers, will ever spot the K&N as non-stock. Even if the unthinkable happened, it's "period correct" anyway.
     
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  16. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Yeah, I would think that law was to weed out the ‘55 Chevy with a blown LS motor, narrowed 9” rear, etc.
    Interesting though.
     
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  17. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Link to rules? Wish we had something like tgat here.
     
  18. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    I don't know if it's precisely the same but many (most?) US states have regs that allow "antique" or other specialty vehicles to be registered at reduced rates with no inspections required and greatly reduced insurance premiums. In MD, for example, a car more than 20 years old can be registered as "historic" and no subsequent inspections (mechanical or emissions) are required. There are mileage and other restrictions that may apply. In MD, for example, the historic registration says the vehicle can only be driven to/from events or related venues (including repair shops, etc). TX regs are less strict. But, in all cases, as pointed out, there is no tracking done. There is no issue re "originality." An original Model T body/frame (serial number/ID number) with a blown Hemi motor in it is the same as a totally original Model T.
     
  19. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Registration of Antique Vehicles

    regulations made under Section 10 of the
    Motor Vehicle Act
    R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 293
    O.I.C. 73-433 (May 15, 1973), N.S. Reg. 36/73


    1 There is a class of vehicle designated and known as an antique vehicle.

    2 An antique vehicle is a motor vehicle which is at least thirty (30) years old or is a recognized classic.

    3 A vehicle may be registered as an antique vehicle where

    (a) the vehicle has been tested for originality, running order and safety and certified as such;

    (b) the owner of the antique vehicle is a resident of Nova Scotia;

    (c) the antique vehicle is in addition to any other class of motor vehicle registered in the name of the owner and is not used as a family vehicle or for business purposes;

    (d) there is in force in respect of the vehicle a policy of automobile insurance providing public liability and property damage insurance of not less than the minimum limits prescribed by the Motor Vehicle Act as proof of financial responsibility; and

    (e) upon application for registration, the owner pays the recording and annual registration fee.
    Registration of Antique Vehicles

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Acc...gistration&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b

    maybe this helps .... registration for a vintage bike is $20 yearly , plus insurance , mine runs about $200 yearly .... that's what it takes here .... the mechanic really just looked bike over , asked a couple of questions and filled out my form .... like has been said no way for Gov. to track your mileage ....
    Craig
     
  20. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    We get a small relief.. safety inspection every 2 years instead of annually.
     
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