Stock Air Filter Wow's - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Stock Air Filter Wow's

The stock air filter on the Vulcan 900 is very restrictive, as most of you know, so I will likely upgrade to a Baron BAK soon. Even though the bike runs great and gets 50 mpg, I'd lie to improve the breathing. I'm told that the metal screen on the filter blocks 1/3 of the airflow, if that's true what harm is there if the screen is removed (would be like an ordinary filter).
Also, I always thought the bike was factory tuned to run lean, now I'm told that it runs rich so air air filter upgrade should improve combustion without and EFI re-tune, correct??
I welcome any and all feedback.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:18 PM
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Stock air filter

Go ahead and cut off the metal mesh screen on your stock air filter. It's like adding 200 cc's. to the engine. Throttle response is greatly improved and highway acceleration is way better for when you just have to get around someone. More air equals a happy engine and a cooler running engine as well. To a point, if the engine gets to much air it will run to lean and to lean is going to run to hot. My 900 seems to like the missing screen and I like the slightly improved sound of the engine as well. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that the screen cuts off a good 40 % of the air flow. My bike likes the change and so do I.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:50 PM
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Sorry if this sounds dumb, but what screen are you talking about? Also if you cut out the screen could the motor run the risk of sucking in a stone or something?

Would you be willing to post a photo of it?

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 08:18 PM
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Air filter mod

On the front of the 900 cc. Vulcan air filter is a metal screen, a thin membrane that has a bunch of holes in it to allow the air to flow through the paper element covering the throttle bodies. There are five plastic rivet like studs that hold the screen on to the body of the air filer. I used a utility knife to remove the tops of the rivet like studs and then lifted the screen off the air filter body (frame). I have no way to send a picture of the screen but if you remove the air cleaner cover to expose the air filter it is the shinny metal part of the air filter with all the holes in it. It's right in front staring at you. As far as I can tell there is no way that a rock or other object can penetrate the paper element to damage the throttle bodies. I have even removed bugs that have some how gotten behind the paper element but was trapped in the pleated portions of the air filter. I really don't know what purpose this screen plays in the overall scheme of things but it really restricts the amount of air flow. Time will tell but I'm will to bet this is a cheap fix to the air flow problems plaguing all modern engines thanks to the E.P.A. I'll keep you posted on my findings.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 09:07 PM
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nadman, Thanks for the info!

I know what I'm going to do tomorrow......
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-18-2009, 04:42 PM
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Doesn't the screen hold the filter in? Is it still secure when you cut the screen off?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-18-2009, 08:24 PM
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I happen to have just had my air filter apart and removed the screen, so I have attached pictures. The picture with the filter on the bike is the side where the screen used to be before removal. This screen does not provide any mechanical/structural support for the filter. The filter is molded onto the plastic and is supported down the middle. The pleats in the filter are very stiff, and there's no was the engine will provide enough vacuum to pull the filter element through. I'm not sure what Kawasaki's purpose was but it won't hurt anything by removing it and it will improve airflow.
I believe that most new cars and motorcycles are designed to run more on the lean side for EPA purposes. If it was designed to run rich it probably wouldn't pass EPA emission standards.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-18-2009, 08:29 PM
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Removing the metal cover sounds interesting, but man, I sure hope it wouldn't lean out the engine to a pisser to burn it up due to being too lean.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 08:01 AM
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FYI guys, that screen is not some EPA cooked up item for emissions. It is called a backfire screen and most 4 strokes, particularly singles have them on the air filter. It is to help prevent your air filter from catching fire in the event your engine backfires through the throttle bodies. With all due respect, I have yet to see a dyno chart published proving that these mods do anything for HP gains. If anyone knows where I can find one please post a link as I'd love to see it. IMHO, I do not believe you are going to gain a heck of a lot without spending some cash on pipes, intake kit and fuel management system for the 900. It's not like an ancient air cooled Harley where decent gains can be made with intake, exhaust tweaking. The engine is a very efficient liquid cooled 4 valve engine. Any gains even throwing $$$ at it would most likely be very modest.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 08:07 AM
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Ok how does this affect things if you have done the debaffle?
If I remove the screen do I need to then have the computer redone?

Just want to make sure I wont mess anything up having already done the debaffle.
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