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I have a filter similar to the picture but the element is grey not red. No instructions with the bike. Does it need washing or oiling periodically.
 

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It might have been oiled, then cleaned very well. The K&N oil is red, that is what gives the filter the red color.
 

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Make sure it has oil on it already. Not all gauze filters use oil. I use an AEM Dryflow filter in my truck. No oil, ever. Some of the dryflow are grey as well so color is not a good indicator. The dry ones are just washed with soap and water, dried, then placed back in.

https://www.aemintakes.com/dryflow_air_filters.htm
 

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I have a filter similar to the picture but the element is grey not red. No instructions with the bike. Does it need washing or oiling periodically.
If a K&N reusable then both.

The red color just helps you more evenly apply the oil. The red color disappears after a while. Gray doesn't necessarily mean it isn't/hasn't been oiled, nor an inherent indication it needs oiling.

That said, the unknown condition suggests washing and oiling to re-establish a known state.
 
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