Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson in 2022

Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson in 2022

Today I will be looking at the best stage 1 air cleaner for Harley Davidson in 2022. My love for motorcycles started at the ripe age of three, but modifying and improving them only started to develop at 17. Therefore, I can full-heartedly say that an upgraded air filter from the stock one is definitely one to consider. 

Even though you will not see tremendous power gains from a simple filter change, the peace of mind and personal aesthetic might do the trick. Generally, the OEM filters are pretty restricted as it has to comply with carb EO Emissions Standards. The stage one air filter upgrade is a complete game-changer in that field as it allows more airflow to the engine. The engine is best described as an air pump. Restricting flow will result in a bit more strain and less efficiency while opening it up with a stage one upgrade will allow the engine to breathe more with increased airflow. 

When you decide to upgrade to the stage one air cleaner, there are countless options to choose from. The benefit of increased airflow also allows the owner to choose a specific style that suits him and his style best.

Also Read: What’s the Best Harley-Davidson Starter Bike for Beginners?

Top 5 Stage 1 Air Cleaners for Harley Davidson

Arlen Ness 18-329 Black Big Sucker Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover

Specifications

  • Manufacturer – Arlen Ness
  • Model – 18-329
  • Dimensions – ‎6 x 9 x 8 inches
  • Discontinued – No
  • Pre-oiled – yes
  • Colour options – red and synthetic
  • Hardware – included

Model availability

  • 99 – 17 twin cam ( excluding FBW )
  • 08 – 16 touring
  • 16 – 17 Softail
  • 88 – present XL Sportster
  • 93 – 99 Evo
  • 99 – 01 Fuel injected FLT

Review

The Arlen Ness Big Sucker is the perfect all-round Stage 1 air cleaner for your Harley, and in my opinion the best performer. It offers a wide range of availability to different models. Even though it is the most expensive on the list, do not let that throw you off, as it is most certainly the most eye-pleasing. It is the perfect choice to open up your motor and give it the breath that it does not just need but certainly deserves with the bonus of included hardware and ease of insulation. The Arlen Ness Big Sucker Performance Air Filter Kit is also the best performer air filter, in my opinion, as it is not just a complete replacement. Still, it also offers the options of synthetic or red fins, which are easily cleanable and reoiled. 

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Available in a wide variety of models
  • Two-color options
  • Hardware included
  • Pre-oiled

Cons

  • Only available in black and red
  • Not all models are available
  • Expensive 

Vance & Hines VO2 Naked Air Cleaner Kit 71011

Specifications

  • Manufacturer – Vance & Hines
  • Model – V02 Naked
  • Dimensions – 7 x 13 x 10 Inches
  • Discontinued – No
  • Pre-oiled – yes
  • Colour options – Synthetic
  • Hardware – included

Model availability

  • 2007-2021 Touring,
  •  2009-2021 Tri Glide,
  •  2007-2021 Softail,
  •  2007-2017 Dyna,
  •  2007-2021 Sportster,
  •  2015-2020 Street

Review

The V02 from the world-renowned Vance & Hines offers you a compact but efficient design. Not only does it give you the OEM look, but it also gives the same upgraded performance and feel. The V02 shares the same housing as the OEM filter but is a quick swap that anyone can do at home. Even though it is still on the more expensive side of this list, the benefit is that it is entirely washable, making it an everlasting product.

Pros

  • Washable
  • Easy to install
  • Hardware included
  • Available in a variety of models
  • Stock housing fits

Cons

  • Only one color is available
  • Expensive
  • No visual enhancements

Hoprousa Air Cleaner Cover Fits for Harley 114 Engine

Specifications

  • Manufacturer – K&N
  • Model – HD-0910
  • Dimensions – ‎4 x 10 x 10.5 inches
  • Discontinued – No
  • Pre-oiled – yes
  • Colour options – Red
  • Hardware – included

Model availability

  • 2009-2017 Fat Bob,
  • 2009-2017 Dyna Low Rider
  • 2009-2017 Wide Glide,
  • 2009-2017 Switchback,
  • 2009-2017 CVO Limited

Review

For those seeking an old-school exposed filter look, the K&N air cleaner HD-0910 might be the perfect fit for you and your style. This transforms the motorcycle completely with the ease of insulation and a complete replacement to the OEM filter. I would rate this filter as the best one, as it might not be a worldwide known brand, but it is the cheapest, and for those seeking durability and esthetics on a budget, it fits the feel perfectly. The K&N Engine Air Filter is voted the overall best air filter. 

Pros

  • Unique look
  • in-expensive
  • Clean it manually
  • Pre-oiled

Cons

  • Year model specific
  • Not a fit for all models
  • Only available in one color

Kuryakyn 9439 Alley Cat Air Cleaner

Specifications

  • Manufacturer – Kuryakyn
  • Model – 9439 Alley Cat
  • Dimensions – ‎3.5 x 3.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Discontinued – No
  • Pre-oiled – N/A
  • Colour options – Chrome
  • Hardware – included

Model availability

  •  ’99-’16 Touring
  •  ’00-’17 Softail
  •  ’99-’07 Dyna
  •  Kuryakyn Street Sleeper II and III All Kits
  •  Arlen Ness Stage 1 Big Sucker Kits Only

Review

Though this is not exactly an air cleaner kit, it still made our list because it is a versatile air cleaner Cover. You will not see any power gains from this item, but this might be the item you are looking for from a visual perspective. It is made to fit a wide variety of models, including the few kits that are a complete filter replacement. It comes with a hefty price tag of just shy of $100.00.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Availability

Cons

  • One-color availability
  • Quite expensive
  • Acquired taste

Krator MT226

Specifications

  • Manufacturer – Kraker
  • Model – MT226
  • Dimensions – ‎13 x 8.5 x 6 inches
  • Discontinued – No
  • Pre-oiled – Yes
  • Colour options – Chrome
  • Hardware – included

Model availability

  • 2001-2007 Softail series with EFI engine
  • 2001-2007 Night Train 
  • 2001-2007 Fat Boy 
  • 2001-2007 Cross Bones
  • 2004-2007 Dyna series with EFI 
  • 2004-2007 Super Glide
  • 2004-2007 Street Bob
  • 2004-2007 Low Rider
  • 2004-2007 Fat Bob
  • 2004-2007 Wide Glide
  • 2002-2007 Touring series with EFI
  • 2002-2007 Road King
  • 2002-2007 Street Glide
  • 2002-2007 Road Glide
  • 2002-2007 Electra Glide
  • 2008-2009 Rocker Softail
  • 2008-2009 Cross Bones Softail

Review

The Krator MT226 is the best value for money. Even though the Krator MT226 has the most extensive availability for model fitment and ease of installation, the aesthetics come in an acquired taste that might not be to everyone’s liking. At just under $100.00, I would say that it is reasonably priced. It is an easy install replacing both filter and cover in one go. This filter offers you the best value for money as it is entirely versatile and available on a wide range of models. Coming shy of $100.00 makes it a perfect stage 1 filter replacement for the average Joe.

Pros

  • Wide model variety
  • Reasonably priced
  • Two-color options

Cons

  • Acquired taste
  • Replaces both filter and cover

Key factors to look at when looking at stage one air cleaners for your Harley Davidson.

best stage 1 air cleaner for Harley Davidson

The question to ask is, what are the key factors to look at, and how do they affect the choice you make? When looking at the filter’s warranty, you always have to consider that it differs from models and manufacturers. Anything can happen on the road and will result in you immediately looking at the product’s warranty. The second question you will be asking yourself is, “can I install this myself, or should I get a professional? “It is quite easy to change out an air filter, and you will not need a professional’s help, but just a basic understanding of tools and how they work. Thirdly, you will need to consider how much effort and maintenance you are willing to invest as the stage 1 air cleaner upgrades are generally cleanable. They will need to be re-oiled as they are usually made from synthetic materials, which are primarily red or grey.

One of the first things you usually replace on your motorcycle is the air cleaner, and Harleys are no different. There are countless reasons why you would need to change your air cleaner, such as:

  • It opens up the engine
  • It doesn’t clog up the motor
  • Aesthetic appearance
  • Horsepower and torque gains

Also Read: Best Way to Clean Dirt Bike

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a stage 1 air cleaner for Harley Davidson different from a stage 2 air cleaner?

There are key differences between the stage one and two air cleaners. The main difference is the air intake. You receive more air intake into the engine than in stage one with stage two. Your stage one air cleaner is designed to capture larger particles. The stage two has been designed to capture smaller and more refined particles. With stage two, you will need to look at different upgrades as well. The first is the exhaust. It has to compensate for the increased volumes of air outlet. 

Do I need to tune my Harley Davidson if I add an air cleaner?

No. It is not a specific engine performance part. Once you start to tamper with injectors or exhaust upgrades for power gains, you will have to start looking at a different tune, as the motor might not be happy in the original tune-up. 

How often should I change my Harley Davidson air filter?

Depending on usage and road conditions, you will need to replace or reoil your filter every 10000miles. If you drive with a naked filter, you will have to do more maintenance than with a closed one, as it will catch more open-air dust. 

Also Read: A Timeline of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Conclusion

Choosing the best stage one air cleaner for your Harley Davidson will depend on personal choice. If aesthetics appeals more to you than performance, then the Krator MT226 is perfect, but you can always look at the Arlen Ness Big Sucker kit if you do not mind the price tag. Keep in mind, though, that more does not always mean better. Needless to say, there is always something out there for everyone that will match your budget and the look you want.

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: