Motorcycle oil filters exposed!
Because of my job and other demands, these pages are no longer actively being updated. I will do my best to respond to email.


My Choices

Honda Applications
Honda OEM
Yamaha OEM

Other Applications
Ducati OEM
Mobil 1
Suzuki OEM

Group 7
Union Japan
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Oil Filter FAQ Page

Questions, with my responses

Why are you bothering with this?

I read that some certain popular manufacturer's filters were constructed poorly, so I cut one open to see for myself. After that, it became a comparision. If imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery, than no other manufacturer thinks much of Fram.

Do you sell Amsoil or other products?

No. I have no ulterior motive for distributing this information, other than as an exercise of my First Amendment rights under the Constitution of United States of America and as a testament to the open nature of the Internet.

Have you looked at a _____ brand filter?

If you don't see it here, I have not cut it open. I gratefully accept donations of new or used filters of brands that I don't have currently. If you can tell me where you bought it, I might just go get one.

If you want to send me a filter, please email me. Note that used filters contain motor oil (duh!) and can be considered hazerdous materials. Please check with your carrier to make sure you don't upset anyone.

What filter do you recommend that fits my bike?

There are plenty of resources to help you get filters.

  • If you have a metric bike from any of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, or Yamaha, and would like the OEM filter, call or visit Sloan's and ask for the parts department.
  • If you want to walk into an auto parts store and buy a filter, try the NAPA, Purolator, or ACDelco.
  • If you want to walk into a motorcycle shop and buy a filter, look for K&N, Vesrah, Emgo, or HiFlo.
  • If you like to order in your underwear from in front of your computer, visit Dennis Kirk, Chaparral, or any of the other motorcycle e-tailers.
In each case, either the person on the phone or the website will be able to help you better than I can. Just don't buy a crappy filter because it's cheap.

What do you have against Fram?

Nothing, other than the cheap construction of their filters relative to everyone else. It's not a matter of whether their construction in adequate; I don't use stuff that's "just adequate" with my bikes, in my guns, or anywhere else, especially when it's not any cheaper! It's good to have a certain amount of overengineering in any system.

I used to use Fram's in my truck and my motorcycle. I never had problems with them, but then again, I probably only used a dozen or so before switching.

I found an automobile filter that fits. Should I use it?

I haven't gotten a definitive answer to that question myself. It could be that filter companies use a different part number because they can charge more for a lower-production filter, but it also costs more per unit to make a smaller run of filters. It could be that they have to fit ALL motorcycles with that crossreference, so they use a different size can. It could be that the bypass pressure or burst rating or any of a number of things really are different. I don't know. Until I do, I'll keep buying the exact replacement. There's little cost advantage in going to an automobile filter unless you are simply unable to plan ahead for your oil changes.

For those of you under warranty, don't forget: the Magnusson-Moss warranty act won't cover you if you don't use an equivalent filter. If your motor experiences an oil-related failure when you've got a filter that doesn't crossreference to the original, you are not going to be covered.

What filters and oil do you use?

In my bikes, I run Shell Rotella T 15W40 from Wal-Mart. It's cheap, comes in large jugs, has a high Total Base Number, and was rated well by Motorcycle Consumer News. For filters, my choices have been and are Perf-Form, Honda OEM, HiFlo, and K&N. The reasons for that are ease of availability, features, and price. In my automobiles, I use Purolator Pure-One filters, which has been rated as the flat-out best filter more than once. My Acura 3.2TL Type S gets either Mobil 1, Castrol, or Pennzoil synthetic 5W30 every 3000 miles. I have not yet attempted extended drain intervals.

Your site sucks! You don't rate the filtration media!

I don't have access to the appropriate equipment to complete that level of testing. All I do is cut the filter open and take a look at the quality of construction. I have gotten some help from those in the filtration industry to educate myself about how a good filter should be built.
The filter manufacturer should be able to provide first-pass filtration results for their media. I have not gone that far in my evaluations. If someone would like to pick this ball up and run with it, I would be most appreciative. I'm sure a lot of others would, too.
Oh, and by the way, if that comment is all the help you can give me, then who cares what you think! Opinions are like anuses; everybody has one and most of them stink.