Imagine riding your bike down the highway, and the engine starts roaring like it’s about to drown from lack of air. What’s next? A trip to the servicing garage to get it fixed for the umpteenth time this month – obviously.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, then it’s high time to consider getting the best air cleaner for Harley 103. It’s going to save both your time and money. And with so much pollution going on in the cities nowadays, do you think getting an air filter is optional anymore?
From lengthening the life of your motor to increasing vehicle performance overall – it’s one of the wiser choices to make.
So, I’ve reviewed the best ones here.
List of Harley 103 Air Cleaner:
Best Air Cleaner for Harley 103
Considering several features like shape, mileage, airflow rate, and more, I’ve settled on the following 7 options. Let’s get to the discussion.
1. K&N Engine Air Filter
The K&N air filter, to begin with, is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get something stronger than usual. The installation for this filter is super simple and takes no time at all. You need to remove a few bolts and dispose of the old ones.
It comes charged from the manufacturer, which is also very convenient. You will notice good power gains even at higher RPM. This is a reusable product which means you can clean it with soap and rinse it dry.
Because of its oval shape, it seems to fit a variety of Harley bikes. I’ve used it on 7 different ones without trouble. It has the same screw setup and shape as the 2006 Heritage Softail.
The mileage is roughly 50,000 miles in regular driving conditions of highways. But, the larger ones from the brand can go up to 100,000 miles without cleaning. So, you can guess that it’s a high-quality filter.
This has an airflow rate of 1020 cubic feet/minute. That’s optimum for driving around cities. There are multiple layers of cotton gauze media that aid in this filtration.
- You don’t need to oil it yourself since it comes pre-oiled
- Perfect size and fit for many different Harleys
- It’s washable and reusable
- Improves engine performance by up to 50%
- Overtightening may bend the product parts.
Honestly, if you want an air breather for Harley Davidson bikes of any model, I’d suggest getting this in a heartbeat. You’ll see the positive difference in both sound and performance right away.
2. HTTMT MT226-BK Black Air Cleaner Kits
With a conical shape and some added accessories, this HTTMT air cleaning kit is another great option I’d like to recommend. It’s made of aluminum and has a 360° slotted spike cover.
Not only does this have an aggressive look, but it also performs exceptionally well. This is also washable, and you can use it for a long time.
Although you don’t need an installation guide to get it set up, I’d say to get a professional to do it. This is because the company policy states that any issue caused by the bad installation will not be compensated for.
The mileage for this is around 85 to 128. This depends on the road conditions and overall vehicle health as well. While this is a medium-quality filter, it looks fantastic on the steed.
My only disappointment, in this case, was its airflow rate. Some days the airflow was just right, and other days my bike choked on it, and I couldn’t go at 30 mph. A friend suggested I use a cloth between the filter and cone shield. It seemed to have solved the problem.
- High-quality chrome billet aluminum built
- Washable and adds some horsepower
- Best value for the money
- It looks stylish on the bike
- Novices may find this difficult to install alone
This is a definite bang for your buck compared to many of the more expensive products like the screaming eagle, heavy breather.
3. HIFROM Replace Air Filter
If you’re looking for a high flow air cleaner for Harley, then the HIFROM filter may pique your interest. This is the perfect replacement for an OEM standard filter. It has a fantastic filtration capacity and a recess to allow the throttle body.
This Harley 103 air filter is easy to install and use. You can easily get up to 50,000 miles on this between cleanups in regular road conditions. And the price is quite fair for the quality and design.
It is a well-made item that’s also long-lasting. You can clean it using a cleaning solution from K&N. It has been designed to boost the horsepower of your engine and increase the rate of acceleration.
Since this has a semi-circle shape, it’s non-intrusive to look at and very modern. The style fits well with most bike aesthetics. However, you should check the specifications first to make sure it fits the vehicle you have in mind.
And the airflow rate for it is just as awesome. It won’t choke the machine but instead reduce the number of your visits to the service shop for sure.
- It is pre-oiled and 100% washable
- Good price point
- Provides higher airflow without choking
- The recess allows the body throttle of modern bikes
- It comes with a paper-grade gasket
Being very similar to a certain well-favored K&N filter, I would say this is a catch, no doubt. For a lower price, I get both the looks, mileage, and an optimum level of airflow. So, why say no?
4. Air Cleaner Intake Turbine Filter
Aggressive-looking bikes deserve more than just a dome or oval-shaped accessory. And while a filter is not just a decoration, it doesn’t hurt when it fits your aesthetics.
It seems that most of my fellow bikers agree with me on this because this rugged-looking Motoku turbine accessory has become quite popular nowadays.
This is designed to perfectly fit the Road King, Electra Glide, Touring Street Glide, and the Road Glide 2008-2016. The installation process is very easy for this.
You can look up online for tutorials, but I didn’t need it – even without the instructions. But I do recommend having someone help since it requires bulging down the outer ring.
It’s also budget-friendly and reusable by washing. The turbine shape with a central cone and spikes look very edgy. If you are riding at speeds of around 30 mph, then the mileage for this on normal roads is almost 50,000.
Again, it has an outstanding balance of airflow rate that makes sure your engines don’t get damaged. You won’t have to worry about dirt and debris getting collected inside either. It’s possible to wash. It has media gauze as well to ensure the best filtration within a budget.
- The edgy and aggressive design looks stunning
- It has an easy installation process
- Allows balanced airflow through the motor
- Sounds spectacular on the throttle
- It’s a bit bulky and may obstruct your leg space on the running board
If you’re looking for a show and a good go, then this one’s perfect for you.
5. Arlen Ness 18-326 Black Big Sucker Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover
This Arlen Ness air cleaner made of alloy steel is yet another excellent product. It has a universal fit design with vehicle service types of street cruiser bikes. The kit includes the filter, the backing plate, and an outer cover made of steel.
Here the breather passages exit at the mouth of the carburetor. It results in the creation of a virtually closed-loop system. And as a result, you get super quality air cleansing and performance of your vehicle.
For unobstructed airflow rate, this has a radius air inlet. What’s more, it increases both horsepowers up to 21%. The torque of the bike also increases alongside that. So you, as a rider, will get the best experience.
The shape of this being circular removes the issue of bulkiness too. You can install this in less than 15 minutes on your own. It is pre-oiled, so all you’ve got to do is wash and re-use.
You’ll find that this is a very durable product, unlike some of the flimsier ones on a budget. The mileage for this being more than 40,000 miles proves it. They don’t call this the big sucker for no reason, it seems.
- Improves throttle performance visibly
- Incredibly easy to install in a few minutes
- The mileage is very good (industrial-level strength)
- It has a very high-quality and sophisticated filtration system
- The color of the center screw and the two breather bolts for holding the backplate don’t match with the cover and backplate
Unless you’re looking to create a complete black-on-black outlook, I don’t see any reason to hold back from getting this product.
6. Arlen Ness Smooth Stage 1 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit for Harley
Are you a minimalist kind of guy? Then you can opt to get this very minimal-looking filter from Arlen Ness. This Big Sucker definitely does not suck at being awesome.
In fact, its round shape and simple design allow more surface area, resulting in a 21% increase in horsepower. The airflow rate is 200 CFM in volume. As for installing it, you can do so by following the instructions provided. They include all the gasket, hardware, chrome banjo bolts, and backing plate in the package.
As this is a synthetic air filter, you can guess that it is a high-flow standard product. The quality of clean air that it provides is excellent. It’s sure to increase the lifetime of your engine motors to a great extent.
And to top off all that, it has great mileage. With the right cover, you can easily go as much as 60,000 miles with this. However, I’ve noticed a bit of heating at one point, so you should keep that in mind.
There are lots of brand names out there that heavily underperform when it’s time to walk the talk. Fortunately, this is not one of those cases. With hidden breathers and o-ring at their heads, this has been designed to provide amazing internal engine pressure relief.
- Synthetic material makes it long-lasting and washable
- Allows efficient relief to the internal engines
- Excellent quality of air filtration
- The volume of filtration is impressive (200 CFM)
- It was a bit expensive
You really can’t argue with anyone about this. With a suitable Harley Davidson 103 air cleaner cover, this is undoubtedly the best in the market.
7. Screamin’ Eagle Multi-fit High-Flo K&N Heavy Breather Air Filter Element
I’ve saved one of the best products for last. The product I’d like to end this list with is the Screamin’ Eagle. This oval filter fits many Harley and FX touring models easily.
It has been tested, and the results show its filtration efficiency of over 98.5%. What’s not to be impressed about?
Moreover, the airflow rate for this Harley 103 air cleaner is spectacular. Its dirt holding capacity is 27 grams.
Overall, this is a premium product that has top-tier performance. It’s also washable and reusable, so you don’t have to worry about your money going to waste.
This is a direct replacement for many specific fitments. And yet it is relatively simple to install. You’ll have to oil it yourself, though.
You can easily go 50,000 miles with this before needing any cleaning. If it’s a high-flow air cleaner for Harley you’re looking for, that’s what you’ll exactly get.
- Great durability and mileage
- Very high filtration efficiency
- Shape-wise it is very convenient and has good surface coverage
- Provides engine relief and holds a higher dirt amount
- It doesn’t come pre-oiled
Almost everyone has heard of this offering – a classic choice as far as air cleansing equipment goes. It hasn’t let the public down and is still one of my favorites, personally.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Whether you’re planning to get a vintage Harley air cleaner or a budget buy, a few factors need to be considered prior. Don’t get carried away by all the different modern features and outlooks of these exhausts but stick to what’s really important.
1. The Type and Fit
You’ll have to check beforehand if the cleaner you’re aiming to get fits the model of your bike. Usually, the fit is mentioned as vehicle-specific or universal.
You also have to consider the two main types of air exhausts in the market – expensive and cheaper ones. The former are usually reusable and made of cotton. And the latter is just paper-made.
2. CADR Rating
This rating signifies the level of purified air when your bike goes at its highest capable speed. So, it’s essential to check this beforehand because it tells you about the filter’s efficiency in removing dust particles.
3. Resistance to Temperature
Unless you’re getting one of those custom air cleaners for Harley Davidson, some of the gear will likely touch your leg when riding. It’s essential to get a cleaner that doesn’t heat up easily to be safe and comfortable. Plus, it’s going to let you run the engine without interruptions for an extended time.
If you happen to live somewhere like Australia or a humid Asian country, then this decision will be crucial. Consider your motorcycle’s horsepower in combination with its existing heat resistance to choose an exhaust.
4. Surface Area Coverage
In this case, the equation is simple. Bigger means better. The larger the surface area, the more dirt gets trapped, and cleaner air is provided to the engine.
Besides, the best performance exhaust for Harley Davidson 103 will definitely have more ridges and pleats. As these increase the surface area, they work better too.
5. Company Services
Despite the high quality of the product, what matters at the end of the day is the service the company provides. Check the warranty and company policies if they cover damages and faulty deliveries or not. Some even offer installation services and extra benefits on sale. So, do keep your eyes peeled for those.
In the grand scheme of bikes, it’s the little things that matter the most. And if you don’t want to see your precious steed’s engine die an untimely death, it is better to grab a Harley Davidson 103 air cleaner while you still can.
Frequently Asked Question
a. How to clean stock Harley air filters?
You need to blow out the dirt and debris with low-pressure compressed air to clean your filter. Then use a cleaning solution to rinse it. Mix lukewarm water with some detergent to make the solution.
b. How does a Harley air cleaner work?
Since most countries have high pollution levels in the air, a filter is used to clean it before it enters the bike motor. Usually, a fuel or air mixture is used for combustion.
c. How often should I change my Harley air filter?
A rule of thumb is changing the filter or cleaning it every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Delaying it for too long may damage the engine and cause a visible decrease in fuel mileage.
d. Do I need to tune my Harley if I add an air cleaner?
No, you actually don’t have to tune your bike if the cleaner you are using is an after-market one. For example, for a K&N filter, you don’t have to tune the bike.
e. Are Harley air filters washable?
The simple answer is yes, they are. But for stock filters, you can clean it just once, and that’s it. After the first cleanup, you can’t do it again, so you’ll need a replacement.
The way air pollution and the price of bike servicing have risen nowadays will make a dent in our wallets at one point. You can smartly prevent that by getting the best air cleaner for Harley 103 that money can buy.