Oil filters, and their selection, can be a mystery to us since we are not able to see how or how well they are working without getting very dirty, hooking up a bunch of instruments, and doing extensive testing on both the filter and the oil. Understanding how the oil filter works with the oil pump to provide the engine with an adequate oil pressure of relatively clean oil at all times is the first step in knowing what filter to use. Most importantly, it is more important to have the correct oil pressure and flow through the engine at all times than having the cleanest oil possible. Motorcycles use what is called a full-flow oil system. Assuming that the oil pump is properly spec'd to exceed the needs of the engine at any given rpm, the oil filter must clean the oil without interfering too much with the oil pressure and flow. Since the filter works by forcing the oil through a filtering medium, some measure must be taken to ensure that the pressure loss in the filter does not exceed what margin the oil pump has over the pressure and flow requirements of the engine. This is where the bypass valve in the oil filter comes in. If the pressure between the engine and the filter ever drops below the pressure between the pump and the filter by an amount over the PSI setting of the bypass valve, then the valve opens, allowing oil to bypass the filtering system, and balancing the oil pressures. Since motorcycles tend to be very high performance machines that get driven very aggressively, have very little flywheel effect, have the smallest oil pumps allowable, and rely only on oil pressure for motor bearings, the bypass valve PSI setting tends to be quite low, 8-11psi in most cases, compared to 11-17psi for more robust auto systems. The bypass valve also ensures that engine oil continues to flow, even when the filter has clogged, and during startup when the oil is very viscous compared to how thin it is at running temperature, and that the pressure differential does not destroy the element. Ensuring that the oil filter that you choose not only fits, but has the correct bypass valve setting is very, very important. The best explaination of the oil filter that I have read is by George Nehls. Also, seeRoss Presta's Oil Filter Experiment , another is The Oil Filter Study. LBP - 2-7 PSI, Low Pressure By-Pass Valve
BP - 8-10 PSI
MBP - 11-17 PSI, High Pressure By-Pass Valve
HBP - 18-25 PSI, High Pressure By-Pass Valve
SHBP - 30-45 PSI, Super High Pressure By-Pass Valve
XHBP - 50+ PSI, Extra High Pressure By-Pass Valve AD - Anti-drainback valveThe best cross reference resources online are WIX and Baldwin & FRAM. With regard to filtration, suppose 100 particals of 20 microns were passed through an oil filter and 95 of those were captured in the element. That filter would be rated at 95% efficent @ 20 microns. This is how single pass (SAE J1985) filter ratings work. True industrial filters will be rated at 5, 7, 10, 12, and 20 microns. A filter must be rated for each particulate size under single pass conditions. Remember that the oil in your engine will cycle through the filter countless times during the filters life. Some types of filters may perform better under multi-pass conditions than the single pass numbers would lead you to belive. Some other ways of rating oil filters for multi-pass filtering have been proposed, but none have been standardized that I know of. Three different spin on filters exist for late model Honda sportbikes. They are made by Toyo Roki Mfg. Co., LTD. in Japan. The three filter generally correspond to bikes made in different decades:

2000's ($14.49)
15410-MCJ-000 15410-MM5-003 15410-679-013
15410-MM9-003/013 15410-MB0-003
  15410-MM9-305/405 15410-MB3-003
  15410-MM9-P00/P01 15410-MJO-003
K&N KN-204 (Top Choice!!) K&N KN-303 K&N KN-202
Hiflofiltro HF-204 (Top Choice!!) Hiflofiltro HF-303 Hiflofiltro HF-202
WIX 51365 WIX 51358 WIX 51334
NAPA 1365 ($8.18) NAPA 1358 ($10.17) NAPA 1334
Unocal PF1365 Carquest 85358 Rockhill 61334
Phillips 66 WO1365 FRAM PH6017A Silverline 21334
FRAM PH6607 Champ PH7015 FRAM PH6010A
Bosch 72181 Kawasaki #16097-1058 FRAM PH3593A
Bosch 3300 (Top Choice!!) Kawasaki #16097-1059 Kawasaki #16097-1054
Kawasaki #16097-0002 Kawasaki #16097-1061 Kawasaki #16097-1056
Kawasaki #16097-1068 Kawasaki #16097-1063 Mobil 1 M1-104
Kawasaki #16097-1070 Kawasaki #16097-1064 Purolator PL14459
Kawasaki #16097-1072 Kawasaki #16097-1066 PowerFlow SL14459
Mobil 1 M1-108 (Top Choice!!) Kawasaki #16097-1068 Jiffy Lube L14459
Purolator PL14612 Yamaha #3FV-13440-00 Emgo 10-82210
MICRO-GARD GL14612 Yamaha #3FV-13440-10  
Emgo 10-82240 Yamaha #5GH-13440-00  
Denso 150-1008 Emgo 10-82232  
Denso 150-1011 Denso 1150101750  
Artic Cat 3201044 Denso 1150105230  
Nissan 15208-65F00 Denso 150105390  
  Polaris 3084963  
2.625" OD x 2.5" Tall 2.625" OD x 2.5" Tall 3.250" OD x 3.125" Tall
8-11 psi bypass valve 8 psi bypass valve 8-11 psi bypass valve
20 x 1.5 mm Thread 20 x 1.5 mm Thread 20 x 1.5 mm Thread
WIX 51356 WIX 51357  
NAPA 1356 ($7.34) NAPA 1357 ($7.34)  
Rockhill 61356 Rockhill 61357  
Unocal PF1356 Unocal PF1357  
Phillips 66 PO1356 Phillips 66 PO1357  
Phillips 66 WO1356 Phillips 66 WO1357  
Pennzoil PZ-109 ($5.49) Pennzoil PZ-108 ($5.49)  
FRAM PH7317 FRAM PH5343  
Bosch 72179 Bosch 72180  
Bosch 3323 (Top Choice!!)    
Purolator PL14610    
Mobil 1 M1-110 (Top Choice!!)    
Denso 150-1009    
Denso 150-1010    
Nissan 5208-9E000    
2.625" OD x 3.25" Tall 2.625" OD x 3.25" Tall  
8-11 psi bypass valve 8 psi bypass valve  
20 x 1.5 mm Thread 20 x 1.5 mm Thread  
*Race Use Only
*Race Use Only
*Race Use Only
Canton 25-282 (4.25") (?fit?) Canton 25-282 (4.25") (?fit?) Canton 25-282 (4.25") (?fit?)
Scotts Scotts Scotts

*Do not use a race filter for street applications. They are designed for maximum flow, but lack adequate filtration for daily use.
I did my own cut away of the Honda and one of the WIX filters. You can see that HERE. Staying with stock is always safe. They measure 0.685" diameter x 2.782" tall, using a 20x1.5mm (6H) thread. The by-pass valve is set at 8 or 8-11 psi (BP). It also has an anti-drainback valve. Using another filter, even if it fits and looks fine, runs the risk that the bypass valve has a higher setting, possibly starving the motor for oil at times. I would not worry too much about this, but it is worthy of noting. This is a cut away of the Bosch 3323 oil filter. This is one of the best cheap substitutes for stock Honda oil filters that I have looked at. The media is slightly denser than the stock filter, for better filtration, and the filter is longer, helping it flow better.

When deviating from stock it is a good idea to use the largest oil filter that will fit within the confines of the bike and has the same by-pass valve setting. The K&N (auto), Bosch and the Mobil 1 filter are made by Champion Labs and K&N (bike) are made by Hiflofiltro. They are constructed differently, but all well. The K&N (auto) is geared more toward high flow (20microns) while the Mobil 1 is geared toward deeper cleaning (10microns). If money is no object, or your engine is worth more than a new SUV, you could consider the Canton CM Filters Performance Filters. Without any doubt, you should stay away from any oil filter made by Fram. The Filter Manufactures Council is a good source for linking to all filter manufacturers in the US. If you ever need to install an oil cooler of a bypass oil filter, the Flex-Lite sandwich adaptors are the way to go. One important note: Always fill the filter with oil before installing. This is very important. This insures that the oil pressure comes up as soon as possible upon starting. It would be very nice to see an actual test of various filters with regard to their filtering capability rather than their observed construction. but that, we may have to wait for. Many cut apart tests are done by folks like you and me to try to get to the bottom of which filter is better. This may be fine from a quality of construction standpoint, but the only measure for how the filter works with regard to filtration and flow are the SAE J806 & SAE J1858 tests. SAE HS-806 dictate the bypass valve settings.Some people have taken up the task of opening up the oil filters and it is for all of our benefit. Toby Creek writes a nice article about this. Mark Lawrence again has a great write-up on this topic. Russ W. Knize goes nuts about filters as well, but does deal mainly with car filters. Gerhard Bartsch does a similar investigation HERE . Mike Guillory has a general write up on how oil filters work HERE. The Ford SHO Club has a neet look at how a filter works HERE. Fram actually has some great info on rating oil filters HERE and a descriprion of full flow and bypass filtering systems HERE and also a discrition of the vital valves in the lubrication system HERE.One of the best sources for information on oil, greases, and filters online is the Bob is The Oil Guy Forum. Many different opinions and facts are presented, but it is the best place to work out the fine details. Disecting Honda oil filter and good interchanges.

I cut apart a stock Honda oil filter (#15410-MCL-003), the new ones used on more and more of the current bikes. I also cut apart a NAPA Gold (WIX) filter (#1357) a filter that was apparently a good interchange filter, but slightly taller, leading me to belive that more flow and life would be available from it. In fact, the actual fiter element size was approximately the same.These are the two filters side by side. The Honda is on the left and the Napa/WIX filter is on the right. The internal parts of the WIX filter are definitely more robust and look much stronger. The filter has metal end caps, the Anti Drain Back Valve (ADBV) is way nicer, and the the Wix has more pleats of a denser material. The can of the Honda filter is about 0.017" thick whereas the WIX is about 0.10". Flow is the most important roll of the filter, filtration is second to that. The honda filter looks like it will really flow well. The WIX is definitely stronger. This is the bypass valve, possibly the most important part of the filter. It decides when oil must bypass the filtering to ensure proper oil pressure and flow to the engine. The Honda valve is very small and flimsy. It may work well, but I question it's ability to flow compared to the WIX part. It is critical that the PSI rating of the valve match the design or intent of the power plant engineers. The valve on this filter should open between 8 and 11 PSI. Because the valve area on the WIX part is 9.2 times larger than the honda part, the preload on the spring should be 9.2 times as much. This feels to be true, but I will check this out on my spring scale when I am ready to cut these valves apart. One filter that I have found that really comes close to challenging the OEM filter is the Bosch 3323 filter. The bypass valve is very similar by feel, and it has slightly more filter element. I would expect this filter to flow very well, but maybe not as much as stock, but it will definately filter better. The cost is about $6.50 and is widely available. In a jam, this is the filter that I would use.


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