Have you ever thought about what hair does in your nose? They filter out dust particles to prevent your lungs from collapsing– and the air intake does the same for your Harley Davidson bike! The impurities in the air can cause slow or incomplete combustion, increased fuel consumption, and dark smoke from the exhaust.
One way to improve the performance of your Harley Davidson is by installing an aftermarket air intake because it can increase the horsepower of a Harley Davidson motorcycle by up to 10% by increasing the flow of air into the engine, which can lead to improved horsepower and acceleration.
To maximize the performance of your Harley, you must choose the proper air intake. However, if you’re unaware of the best Air Intake for Harley Davidson, don’t worry. In this article, you’ll discover the finest air intakes for Harley Davidson and how to choose the best one. Let’s get into the details!
Best Air Intake for Harley Davidson – Our Top Picks
1. K&N 63-1125 Harley Davidson Performance Intake Kit
K&N 63-1125 is the best Air Cleaner Kit for Harley Davidson because of its blended cotton filter. Moreover, there is a promise of improved power, in addition to the renowned million-mile limited warranty that K&N 63-1125 has. So, wherever you go, this air intake is your best bet.
K&N 63-1126 is not just an air filter; instead, it is an entire air cleaner kit comprised of a mandrel-bent intake tube made of aluminum, a billet-designed shield for staging the kit on the throttle body, and a cylindrical AirCharger red blended cotton filter that employs the traditional pleated design. The filter has a conical shape and is red.
To save you time and effort, the filtering element already has some oil mixed in before it is sent to you.
However, given that this is a whole system, as opposed to a single component, the time predicted to be required for its installation has grown to about 90 minutes.
The intake was developed to improve the throttle response and influence your engine’s sound. At a speed of 5533 revolutions per minute, it is expected to gain 8.57 horsepower, which you won’t find in the K&N Universal Air Intake system.
You will be able to improve power and efficiency while also lowering the amount of noise produced by this air intake by up to fifty percent.
In addition, compared to the regular air intake, this air intake eliminates thirty percent more heat. You don’t need to make further adjustments to your Harley Davidson to install this air intake.
The air filter that is included in this kit can be cleaned. The manufacturer estimates it will last you for around 100,000 miles before it must be cleaned, which is a respectable distance.
What We Like
- Perfect Fit and enhance the bike appearance
- Easy Installation, Takes 10 to 15 minutes to install
- Spot on low-end effect
- Real power boost and improved engine response
- Metallic intake tube
What We Don’t Like
- Lowers the miles per gallon
- No Shield to protect the filter
- Slightly rough finish
2. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 57 – 1137
- It improves towing speed and uphill performance by boosting throttle response.
- It can push the boundaries of engine protection by shielding your engine from potentially dangerous impurities.
- This air intake requires no filter cleaning for up to 100,000 miles.
- Dyno-tested to provide up to 50% greater airflow than the restrictive stock box air filter and intake tube.
The K&N 57-1137 removes any obstructions to the engine’s airflow, which improves horsepower and torque. Air Intakes are Dyno-tested with up to fifty percent increased airflow compared to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) intake systems.
This intake system provides you with all the benefits that an air filter potentially offers, including those that you may desire. With this air intake, you can extend the time between cleanings and the need to replace your intake. This is due to the nature of the material that was used to construct this intake and its capacity to ensure that only clean air is allowed to enter your engine.
The K&N 57-1137 has a design that is both washable and reusable, which enables you to save expenditures as well as the amount of trash produced in your house or garage. You will also notice an improvement in your vehicle’s fuel economy and a reduction in the number of pollutants that are let into your engine.
The air filter does not have any upkeep criteria that must be followed. After you have traveled a total of 100,000 miles, only then should you clean this filter.
You may have this air intake filter fitted in less than an hour using basic tools like wrenches and screwdrivers, which is easier and less time-consuming than K&N 63-1125. Moreover, it produces a gratifying grumble during acceleration but gets silent once the vehicle reaches its maximum speed.
What We Like
- Increased Horsepower
- Thicker intake tube
- Amazing Sound and stunning look
- Improved air help reduce the running temperate of the bike
- Good user manual for installation
What We Don’t Like
- Bigger size, it may hit your leg
- Few user complaints about missing parts
3. Arlen Ness 90 Degree Monster Sucker Air Cleaner
- The aluminum backing plate’s rounded air intake corners allow unrestricted airflow into the motor.
- There are four layers of high-quality surgical cotton in the filtration element.
- This air intake comes with two stages, i.e., Stage 1 and Stage 2.
- It’s likely responsible for its ability to increase performance, which it advertises as a 21 percent increase in horsepower.
Arlen Ness comes with an integrated carb support and breather tunnels. The tunnels emerge at the carburetor mount to provide a nearly complete loop that relieves crankcase pressure.
It comes in variable stages, i.e., Stage 1 and Stage 2. With stage two filters, performance is improved by 21%.
The regular and steel jacketed filters may be built to order. Filters made of stainless steel often include a finer mesh installed over the coarser mesh, eliminating the need for gauze. Pink cotton gauze and metal mesh are included in most regular filters.
Like those included in the Arlen Ness 90-Degree, air filters with billet outer covers are a stylish and functional upgrade. The components in these sets have been chosen with an external air filter cover or an Arlen Ness custom cover in mind.
Each kit has an aluminum base plate, a high-flow air filter from Team Ness, a user guide, and the necessary fasteners.
The breather technology is concealed in the aluminum backing plate, beginning at the cylinder heads, and ending at the throttle body inlet, eliminating the need for external hoses or hardware.
Besides that, it is a universal fit air intake, meaning it can fit with any Harley Davidson. You won’t find the above ability in Arlen Ness 08-16, a vehicle-specific air intake.
Arlen Ness’s 90-Degree Air Intake is one of the most well-known. In addition to speed, this filter will give your vehicle a sleek and sophisticated appearance, making you seem like a true biker. You may choose from several hues, including black, ball mill, and chrome.
What We Like
- Looks Cool and perfect fit
- More Throttle response
- Improved intake sound
What We Don’t Like
- Holes on the mounting bracket may not align with the head
- May take some time to install
- Doesn’t fit a 03 Softail
4. K&N Air Intake System + Air Cleaner Kit for Harley Davidson
- It was created to increase the throttle responsiveness as well as the sound of the engine.
- It comes with High-quality add-on components such as the renowned washable permanent air filters.
- It is a high-performance air intake system with curved pipes made of aluminum and an angle of ninety degrees.
- It comes with cylinder head ventilation systems that are incorporated, which are meant to replace the original breathers.
For Harley-Davidson motorcycles, K&N Street Metal RK-3956 replaces the restricted standard OE air cleaner with an enlarged K&N air Intake system and a high-volume cast aluminum housing.
This high-flow air intake system is just what your Harley needs if you want an aggressive appearance and a significant boost in airflow, which will ultimately increase the amount of power it produces. Installation is so uncomplicated that it may often be completed in less than ninety minutes.
The K&N air filter may be cleaned and reused several times, and it comes pre-oiled and ready to be installed. This intake system has been given a refreshed and contemporary appearance, and its housing is now finished in a matte black oval form.
The silver embellishments and the sanded fins further accentuate the sleek appearance of this air intake. The integrated internal breathers provide a smooth and uncluttered look, making it better than the K&N HD-0910.
This air intake has a traditional appearance yet gives an aggressive vibe simultaneously.
K&N RK-3956 is the best option if you’re looking for air intake with a sleek appearance at a reasonable price. With its high-aluminum cast mounting, you can comfortably pass through all the bumpy roads.
What We Like
- Makes your Harley’s exhaust deeper and throatier
- Improves Horsepower and torque
- Good fit for taller people
- Easy to Install, Clear directions with color illustrations
What We Don’t Like
- Prone to oil leaking
- It is too wide and might cause an uncomfortable leg position
5. K&N RK-3955 Intake System-Harley Davidson
- It delivers up to 50% more ventilation than paper filters to boost power and acceleration.
- To avoid shocks, it has a forged high-volume aluminum housing.
- It contains a high-flow cotton air filter for excellent performance and protection.
- It boasts a bold design that improves throttle control and engine sound.
This K&N RK-3955 air filter is designed to suit Harley motorcycles manufactured between 2008 and 2014, including the FLTRX Road Glide Custom and various other models. It is a potential replacement for the stock cleaner that comes with your bike and may save you money.
The filter installation is pretty simple and does not require any specialist equipment or take more than five to ten minutes, according to the manufacturer’s estimates. It is pre-oiled, much like our best option, which you can find above.
The pleated design enhances the filtering surface and, as a result, the capacity. This design is paired with a specialized layered cotton fabric that captures oil and other hard particles.
In addition to its positive effects on the natural world, the K&N RK-3955 comes with an extended limited warranty that covers more than one million miles. The model is also an excellent option to consider when driving in muddy circumstances. The typical mileage before cleaning is around 50,000 miles, depending on the specific setup.
It effectively optimizes the airflow into the engine, which in turn increases the amount of torque. Because horsepower is directly proportional to torque, this results in a significant increase in overall performance.
Moreover, the K&N RK-3955 comes with a chrome air cleaner cover, an air intake tube, and a high-performance air filter. The dirt, dust, and other particles that may be present in the air drawn into your engine are captured and filtered out by the chrome air cleaner, which you won’t find in K&N HD-1717.
Although K&N RK-3955 has less mileage before cleaning than the ones reviewed above, it is still one of the best air intakes for Harley Davidson. With its ability to increase the torque and horsepower of your bike, you can get a high-quality performance from your bike.
What We Like
- Amazing look
- It protects the filter from rain better than other intake systems
- Improves the airflow and sound of the engine.
What We Don’t Like
- Sticks out due to the large throttle body
- You may face fitting issues
- Some users complaint about missing parts
Buying Guide for Choosing Best Air Intake for Harley Davidson
Now that you know about the best air intakes for Harley Davidson, you must be wondering how to choose the best one for yourself. And this is what you’ll get in this section. There are many factors to consider when picking an air intake for your Harley Davidson since your bike’s performance depends on it. Some of the essential factors are;
One of the most important considerations is an air filter’s emissions. Many types of pollutant emissions are not only bad for the environment but may also be illegal in certain jurisdictions. You must check whether the air filter you want is legal in the state or country you plan to drive.
Check online for local regulations to check whether an air filter is acceptable in your area. Some of the more commonplace air filters may even be readily located through a Google search for the exact filter.
Quality of Air Intake
When choosing an air filter, it’s important to consider the quality. Cheaper air intake parts won’t last up if their higher quality counterparts. Their benefits, such as increased performance, are debatable, and they may potentially cause physical harm to your bike. In most cases, better air intakes are the best choice for preventing problems.
Size of Air Intake
An air intake’s size is crucial for many reasons. A primary consideration is that not all Harley engines can use the same air intake. Consequently, it would be futile to squander money on an improperly sized air filter. An air filter may be the right size for your motorcycle, yet it may seem too large or too little on your bike. Fixing this issue requires determining whether an air inlet may be installed on your Harley Davidson.
Keep an eye out for manufacturer specifications detailing the types of vehicles for which their air filters are suitable, and make sure your motorcycle is among them.
Visuals of Air Intake
Visual appeal is often overlooked when choosing an air intake. Nobody wants to buy an air filter that makes their motorcycle less appealing to the eye. Instead, choose an air inlet that complements your bike’s design. Of course, aesthetics is always up for debate. Some folks are more concerned with the aesthetic value of a certain air intake for their Harley, and they fail to notice this. They use an air filter instead that maximizes efficiency and performance gains.
However, if an air filter looks bad on your bike, it may not be replaced for a long time. This might be a huge issue if you’re unhappy with how your Harley looks. There’s a chance that, even while it improves performance, the air intake you choose makes your bike seem worse, leading you to want to buy another one.
Style and Durability
The two most common styles of air intake are cold intake and short ram. Both the real cold intake and the short ram systems are quite popular. You can also ask your modifier for advice on buying one to get the best results and the most power out of your modified bike. Pick the long-lasting one that can accompany you on your travels for a long time.
Material of Air Intake
The material used in the air intake is crucial to its overall performance. The air intake system is designed to do one thing, and one thing only: provide the system with cold air. If you like thrilling rides, you’ll want to be sure the material can withstand high temperatures.
Many air intakes are made to make installing them as easy and smooth as possible. On the other hand, some of them are not. If you want to assemble your air intake, you’ll need to ensure it can be done easily. If not, you’ll have to take your Harley to a repair shop.
The motorcycle’s engine relies heavily on the quality of the air it takes in. Air intake systems are an absolute need for a quieter, more fuel-efficient ride on your Harley Davidson. However, since several manufacturers are making air intakes in the market, finding a reliable one for your Harley Davidson is difficult. But we hope you’ve found the Best Air Intake kit for Harley Davidson after reading this article.
I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I’m a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.
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