WHAT IS IT? Air filters have not been one of Honda’s strong suits over the last two decades. The tight confines of aluminum Delta-box frames don’t exactly offer friendly ingress and egress for foam air filters. This is where K&N’s molded, rubber-framed, washable, HA-4513XD fabric air filter comes into play. The “XD” indicates an extra-fine weave for added protection against dirt.
WHAT’S IT COST? $85.00.
CONTACT? www.knfilters.com or (800) 858-3333.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with K&N’s CRF450 air filter. (1) Installation. Step one: remove the stock air filter and cage—you won’t be needing them. Step two: since the K&N X-Stream filter comes in two pieces, you install the K&N filter first, minus the top piece. Thanks to the K&N filter’s rubber construction, you can squeeze it to help it fit through the frame. Step three: put the supplied rubber washer on the center of the K&N’s top piece and slide the stock wing-nut bolt through the washer and the top. Step four: line the wing-nut bolt up with the stock airbox post before snapping the top into place. Do not overtighten the wing-nut bolt, and make sure to apply the included grease. ( 2) Oiling. Out of the box, the K&N filter is pre-oiled, but the black polyurethane sealing surface needs to be greased to help it stay secure. K&N provides a tube of sealing grease with every filter. ( 3) Cleaning. One of the best traits of a K&N X-Stream filter is that it doesn’t need to be cleaned as
often as a foam filter because of its larger, pleated surface area. When it does need maintenance, you can use K&N’s filter care kit that includes cleaner and air-filter oil. You just spray the filter cleaner on the fabric and back-flush the dirt out with cool water. Once the filter dries, you can manually apply the K&N filter oil to the pleats or use K&N’s aerosol air-filter oil. ( 4) Construction. A fabric filter is an entirely different animal from the typical foam air filter. Instead of oil-soaked reticulated foam, a fabric filter uses fine strands of oil-soaked cotton material sandwiched between two layers of wire screen. The filter’s surface area is increased by the pleated design. ( 5) Performance. Once in motion, the MXA test riders could feel a slight increase in throttle response, but no rider raved about an overall increase in power. On the dyno, the minimal air restriction of the K&N air filter made a little more power everywhere on the curve (but never as much horsepower).
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Price. At $85, it is expensive. It comes with a one-year warranty and, when treated properly, should last longer than a foam air filter.
We like the ease of use of the K&N filter, not to mention the slight increase in throttle response, but most of all we love how long the filter can go between cleanings.
K&N HONDA CRF450 X-STREAM XD AIR FILTER MXA TEAM TESTED