Everything You Should Know About Oil Filters for Motorcycles

Don’t only change the oil.

An oil filter’s job is to stop impurities and suspended metal shavings from circulating with the oil around the engine. If we liken the engine oil to the blood in our body, the oil filter is the kidney(s); if it breaks down, so does our body.

The modern oil filter has come a long way, but its role remains the same. There are four types of oil filter designs (yes, there are different ones): –

  • Mechanical oil filter: Traps contaminants on pieces of paper. This type requires constant changing to avoid the oil flow from being blocked.
  • Magnetic oil filter: Powerful magnets attract and trap ferrous materials in the oil.
  • Sedimentation oil filter: It uses gravity to pull heavier particles to the bottom. But lighter, finer contaminants still make it through.
  • Spin-on oil filter: This works like a centrifuge with a seal and special bearing. It spins at high speeds causing the large particles to settle.



There are two elements in oil filters these days. Plastic elements last longer and hold more oil than the paper type.

The oil and filter should be changed together during servicing as an old filter may be clogged and will cause the engine to experience shortage of oil during running.

Lastly, do not skimp on OEM oil filters in preference of cheaper aftermarket ones. Sure, there are good aftermarket oil filters but make sure they are genuine. You do not want to have the elements breaking off and circulating around the engine and further clogging the oil flow.

Check out this animation:

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