MXA TEAM TESTED: TWIN AIR 2023 KTM 450SXF AIR FILTER
WHAT IS IT? The 2023 KTM 250/450SXF and Husqvarna FC250/450 have all-new air-filter shapes. Introduced on the 2022-1/2 Factory Editions and Rockstar Editions, the classic twin-layer, reticulated, polyester foam air filter has some new features that improve the air filter breed.
WHAT’S IT COST? $35.95 (dry air filter), $38.95 (pre-oiled air filter), $39.95 (airbox cover).
CONTACT? www.twinair.com or (800) 749-2890.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the 2023 KTM 250SXF, KTM 450SXF, Husqvarna FC250 and FC450 air filter. The 2023 GasGas models will still use the same 2022 air filter as before.
(1) Air filter design. The MXA wrecking crew has more than a passing knowledge of air filter design, because MXA test riders Dennis Stapleton and John Basher spent time at Twin Air’s Dutch factory in the past. Back when Stapo and Basher were there, a Twin Air filter was composed of separate pieces of reticulated foam—the top, the base and the wraparound sides, plus a rubber gasket or two on some models. All the foam pieces were specially die-cut to form the perfect shape for the airbox it was destined to fit in. To complete the air filter, the foam pieces were glued together.
(2) Glued seams. It all sounds so easy; however, it was not only time-consuming, but Twin Air discovered that on its previous air filters, dirt and water would collect next to the glued seams, which could leak as the filter got older. The solution? Fewer seams. On the latest generation of filters, Twin Air has formed the top and sides of the filter into one domed section (with short 2-inch seams at the corners), and they no longer glue the base at a 90-degree angle but in a manner that allows the sides to tuck in more. All in all, the 2023 KTM/Husqvarna air filter has 25 percent fewer glued seams.
(3) Pre-oiled or dry? Twin Air started selling pre-oiled filters in 2005 for a $3.00 upcharge, but dry filters account for the majority of Twin Air’s filter sales.
(4) Reticulation. Reticulation is a process whereby a block of foam is placed in an airtight chamber filled with an explosive gas mixture that the foam soaks up. When the time is right, the operator ignites the mixture via a switchboard. A controlled flame passes through the foam, melting the window membranes and leaving only the foam’s skeletal structure intact. In essence, reticulation opens up the foam pores and allows air to flow more consistently through the foam; otherwise, the foam might as well be used for packaging material.
(5) Performance. If your filter does its job, it will soon become so dirty that it can’t do its job. Check your filter regularly. Never clean your filter with gasoline. Be gentle with the foam. Don’t dry your filter with compressed air. Avoid getting the oil filter wet when cleaning the bike, which is why Twin Air sells a plastic air-filter cover to keep water out of the engine when spray-washing your bike.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No complaints.
MXA RATING: Don’t be among the legion of apathetic souls who never check their air filters. It is the only source of air for your engine.