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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Air Filter Change / Resonator Removal

It would ordinarily be a bit premature to change the air filter element, but my recent trip had me concerned. I rode on a number of dirt roads through a bunch of fine dust and I suspected that my filter would be clogged up.

The local Honda Powerhouse wanted $120 for a new filter which I found flat-out insulting, especially as someone who has recently bought a new motorcycle from them. I ordered it from Ronayers.com for less than half that price. I had to wait a couple weeks to get it but I didn't have any riding planned in that time. I will always give the local retailer the first opportunity to earn my business, and if it is even reasonably close to what I can pay online, even within 25%, I'll buy it locally. When the price is 100% higher, I'm afraid I can't justify buying local.

Lift the tank

Take the airbox cover off... here's the old filter.

Old filter on the left, new one on the right. It doesn't look especially dirty, but it was obvious by the weight. The old filter felt like it was at least double the weight of the new one. Its folds were packed with fine dust. I'm convinced that stock paper filters do a much better job at picking up fine dust than the oiled cloth filters from K&N, etc. You'll never see a K&N in one of my vehicles.

While I had the airbox open I decided to remove the resonators. As far as I can tell, they're there to tune the induction noise. From what I know of similar systems on cars, they are meant to reduce the "sucking" sound when the throttles are opened.

They came out easily, 2 small screws each. I took my time to clean the airbox, scoops, and velocity stacks, wiping up any residual dust and oil and even sucking up debris with a vaccuum cleaner.

I doubt that removing the resonators will make any performance difference whatsoever, but I do know that I haven't seen them in any of the supersports bikes I've owned. They do take up a lot of space in the airbox and probably generate a lot of turbulence. I started the engine up and cracked the throttle a few times to see if I could tell a difference in the sound. I'd like to think I can hear more of a "ssschwissshhhh" with the resonators out but would I be able to tell the difference in a double-blind scientific test? I'm not sure.  If I don't like it I can always put them back in.

I wonder what Honda's genius engineers would think of all the hacking up this roundeye bumpkin has done to their creation? I'd love a chance to talk to them all about it. If anyone from Honda reads this, my passport is up to date and I have some vacation days to use up this year. You're invited to fly me to Kumamoto for an all-expense paid tour VIP of the factory, as well as an exclusive meet and greet with the engineers where we will eat a bunch of sushi and get drunk.

Arigatou Gozaimasou (bows deeply)


  1. How do I lift the gas tank to get at the air box. Need instructions.

  2. You have to remove the side fairings both sides... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkHdUsblwmg
    Next remove the left and right knee guards, then you have to remove the fuel tank covers.
    After that you loosen the nut on the tank hinge bolt at the rear of the fuel tank, then there are two bolts on each side at the front of the tank...remove those and pull the tank upward...I use an empty milk jug to prop the tank up.
    Basically you should be pretty well mechanically inclined for this job. If not you should get some help.