We all know that fuel is essential to keep your bike engine running, however, keeping your petrol or diesel clean is just as important. If contaminated fuel enters the fuel system and engine, it can cause blockages, corrosion and wear, and eventually lead to fuel pump failure. Contaminated gasoline or diesel also burns less efficiently, leading to engine performance issues. For example, you may notice symptoms such as clicking and knocking, misfiring and stalling.
This is why fuel filters play a vital role in keeping the engine healthy. This component is connected to the fuel tank and collects pollutants as fuel passes through the fuel system. It filters out various contaminants, including water, rust and dirt, and is designed to withstand high pressures. The filter element is usually made from cellulose or sometimes microglass fibers, and the housing is usually made from a sturdy plastic or metal. The most common type used for motorcycles is the in-line filter, which is installed in the fuel line, between the tank and the pump or nozzle.
How often should I change my fuel filter?
Over time, the component will gradually clog due to contaminant buildup. This prevents the fuel supply from reaching the cylinders and reduces the efficiency of the filter element. Most manufacturers generally recommend replacing the fuel filter once every 20,000 to 40,000 miles or 3 years. However, much will depend on the durability of the parts and the quality of the fuel.
What to look for when buying a fuel filter
If you want to get the most out of your motorcycle‘s engine, it is advisable to opt for well-known and reliable brands that are approved by car manufacturers and comply with OEM standards. This way you can ensure that the part meets the vehicle requirements. The most recognizable brands in this sector are for example MAHLE, Mann and K&N.
Next, you’ll want to check the compatibility of the part. Some filters are universal, while others are more brand-specific. You should be able to find compatible parts by searching using the vehicle identification number or OEM part number. If you’re shopping online, there should also be a list of compatible vehicles next to the product description. For example, the The MAHLE ORIGINAL Classic Inline Fuel Filter (KL145) is compatible with a long list of BMW, Ducati, Cagiva and Triumph motorcycles.
Product dimensions may also vary. Important measurements include the inlet and outlet diameters as well as the length, width and height of the filter housing. These must match your vehicle’s requirements and the micron must be high or low enough for the filtration and pressure requirements. For example, this standard MAHLE ORIGINAL KL145 fuel filter has an inlet and outlet diameter of 8mm and a height of 94mm, making it suitable for a wide range of motorcycle models. It filters particles as small as 0.01 mm (10 microns).
As mentioned above, the housing of inline filters is normally made of a transparent plastic or a strong metal, such as steel. The advantage of a plastic filter is that you can see the condition of the filter element inside, so it’s easier to detect when it needs to be replaced. However, these parts are more susceptible to damage and can crack due to road impacts and stone strikes, for example. Metal is more durable and therefore better protected against leaks.