Which Air Cleaner for Harley Sportster Is The Most Reliable? Here’s A Buyer’s Guide For You!

List of Top-Rated Air Cleaners for Harley Sportster Comparison Table:

Product ImageProduct NameYearStyleMore Information
1. Bullet Air Cleaner Filter Kits For Harley S&S Custom Cv Evo Xl Sportster Chrome1. Bullet Air Cleaner Filter Kits For Harley S&S Custom Cv Evo Xl Sportster Chrome1991-2006ConeMore Information
2. Spike Air Cleaner Filter Kits For Harley S&S Custom Cv Evo Xl Sportster Black2. Spike Air Cleaner Filter Kits For Harley S&S Custom Cv Evo Xl Sportster Black1988-2018ConeMore Information
3. Arlen Ness 18-326 Black Big Sucker Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover3. Arlen Ness 18-326 Black Big Sucker Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover1988-2018RoundMore Information
4. Vance & Hines Naked XL883N VO2 Air Intake 2015-20184. Vance & Hines Naked XL883N VO2 Air Intake 2015-20182015-2018RoundMore Information
5. K&N 63-1126 Harley Davidson Performance Intake Kit5. K&N 63-1126 Harley Davidson Performance Intake Kit2007-2014ConeMore Information

The Harley-Davidson Sportster started out in 1957 with the product code XL. This innovative line changed the previous side valve “flat head” engines with the new overhead valve design. While the engine was different, the design features of the body remained similar to the older KH models.

When you choose an air cleaner you have to consider three characteristics or functions, these are the model variant, and that is very specific, the role or stage you want, and the overall design features. There is a vast array of air cleaning options to choose from, and I have assembled a quirky assortment of the 5 best air cleaners for Harley Sportster models taking into account brand, performance, and design.

The Air Cleaners for Harley Sportster Reviews & Buyer’s Guide:

1. Bullet Air Cleaner Filter Kits For Harley S&S Custom Cv Evo Xl Sportster Chrome

Description

This is the Bullet Air Cleaner Filter Kits For 1991-2006 Harley Davidson XL Models Sportster.

Performance

I have to start out with the design features of this exceptional air cleaning kit. To start off with what you have here is chrome finished, gothic style design, a complete 360 Degree Slotted Spike Cover air filter head with that is made of High-Quality Chrome Plated Billet Aluminum and contained a washable red filter. The filter is a K&N KN-SP3301 model.

It is recommended that you get this filter installed professionally, but if you are an enthusiast with great hands and good vision, then installing this baby will take under 90 minutes.

The spike cone attachment needs to be screwed in correctly, and the supplier suggests that you alternate between the set screws, and turn each one a quarter turn between each screw until the spiked cone is tightly secured. Apply enough torque to assure a tight fit.

Features

  • All Aluminum tube and frame
  • Exceptional bullet design
  • Chrome polished finish
  • Aluminum body and tubing
  • K&N Red cotton gauze washable filter

Recommendations

Yup, I started with a great vision of beauty, this shiny bullet shaped air cleaning system is about as classy as you can get, and it sits on many models with a style that calls for attention.

2. Spike Air Cleaner Filter Kits For Harley S&S Custom Cv Evo Xl Sportster Black

Description

This is the black Spike Air Cleaner Filter Kits for 1988-2018 Harley Sportster models

Performance

This is the mean version of the bullet. It’s a black mat spike for your matt black Sportster models, such as XL1200N “Nightster” and the XL883N “Iron 883”.

What you get is a matt black finished, gothic style design, a complete 360 Degree Slotted Spike Cover air filter head with that is made of High-Quality Black Finished Billet Aluminum and contains a washable red filter. The filter is a K&N KN-SP3301 model.

It is recommended that you get this filter installed professionally, but if you are an enthusiast with great hands and good vision, then installing this baby will take under 90 minutes.

The spike cone attachment needs to be screwed in correctly, and the supplier suggests that you alternate between the set screws, and turn each one a quarter turn between each screw until the spiked cone is tightly secured. Apply enough torque to assure a tight fit.

Features

  • All Aluminum tube and frame
  • Exceptional bullet design
  • Matt Black Finish for the Darker models
  • Aluminum body and tubing
  • K&N Red cotton gauze washable filter

Recommendations

If you want to scare little kids and old grannies, make sure they aren’t biker kids or old biker grannies because this awe-inspiring air cooling unit is about as dark as it gets. Talk about steam-punk Harley style.

3. Arlen Ness 18-326 Black Big Sucker Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover

Description

This is the Arlen Ness 18-326 Big Sucker™ is a stage 1 kit and a popular bestseller for a very long time. The Big Sucker™ is a performance upgrade that will increase your torque by 21%, for all 1988 to 2018 Harley Sportster models.

Performance

The Big Sucker™ is engineered to perfection and is made to deliver maximum airflow continuously to the engine through its one-piece billet backing plate that comes with the Arlen Ness patented hidden breather technology.

The Arlen breathers have throttle body mouth head and exit o-rings, these rings eliminate the use of external hoses or hardware, delivering a one flow seamless upgrade.

The backing plates come with a smooth radius air inlet which delivers a full flow of unobstructed air via the filter and into the engine.

You get to choose to from two different filter media; the standard red pre-oiled cotton that is washable and reusable, and the washable and reusable black synthetic filter elements which come contained in a stainless-steel jacket. The synthetic filters do not need a rain sock and don’t use oil.

The big sucker is a top-level performer in a modest package, it doesn’t look even a tenth as impressive as a bullet or spike, but it delivers power and performance beyond most models. You can always find a fancy cover if you want that special look to go with a special filter.

Features

  • Stage 1 kit
  • One-piece aluminum backing plate
  • The increase of 21% torque

Recommendations

If you want to add enough torque to your Harley with just one upgrade part, this would be the one to get. Inexpensive, reliable, rugged and high-grade performance delivery.

4. Vance & Hines Naked XL883N VO2 Air Intake 2015-2018

Description

This is the Vance & Hines Naked XL883N VO2 Air Intake for 2015-2018 Harley Roadster models.

Performance

When it comes to OEM and factory replacement kits, this is the classic OEM replacement part, it provides stock performance and is designed to maintain the original feel and style of the ride.

This Vance & Hines Naked XL883N VO2 Air Intake model is designed to fit right into place using the original filter cover. If its more beauty and appearance you need, you can always buy an aftermarket filter cover to spruce up the image of your ride.

The bottom line is that this is an extremely reliable model, it combines performance with design, and it sits perfectly on all Harley Davidson Roadster models.

Features

  • Enhanced Air Flow Over Stock
  • Washable High Flow Filter
  • Larger Backing Plate
  • CNC Machined Venturi

Recommendations

If you want a stock replacement item in an aftermarket body, this is the kit to get, and you can play around with the covers to make it look more than it is.

5. K&N 63-1126 Harley Davidson Performance Intake Kit

Description

This is the K&N 63-1126 Air Intake that fits most Harley XL1200 models from 2007 to 2014.

Performance

This is the classic K&N cone-shaped AirCharger Air Intake model 63-1126 that comes as a full replacement for the Harley factory air cleaner kit. The AirCharger comes with a mandrel-bent aluminum intake tube that is engineered to provide significant improvements in airflow that leads to an unobstructed output of additional torque.

The AirCharger is made with a billet aluminum throttle-body mounting plate, and it comes with a complete set of mounting hardware.

The K&N red cotton gauze pre-oiled filter is washable and reusable and will last up to 100,000 miles in certain conditions.

Consider that this is a basic design, if you want to make the cone appear with more charisma, you will need to consider buying an aftermarket filter cover. Whatever you decide, it won’t change the filter kits performance as a great stock replacement component.

Features

  • Increases horsepower
  • Improves throttle response and engine sound
  • Black finish aluminum tube
  • Washable and reusable air filter
  • Not legal for sale or use in California
  • Lasts up to 100,000 miles
  • Easy to install in under 90 minutes

Recommendations

This is a classic high quality, high grade, rugged performer that delivers factory style performance. If you like the feel of your ride and don’t want to touch it, this is the kit to install.

For Which Models Do This Air Filters Fit?

As of today, there are 33 different Sportster models since 1957 with the XL900, and the latest XL883N introduced for 2019. Here is the complete list of all 33 Sportster models, and the air filters I present in the article today are all designed to fit some of these applications.

Models

  • XL900 Series including XLH900 (High Compression engine) and the XLC900 off-road version of the XL. The
  • XLCH900 off-road version of the XLC.
  • XLX-61 an entry-level “Ironhead” era Sportster.
  • XLS1000, XLT1000 “Tourer” 1977, and the XLCH, XLH and XT models of the 1977 Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition.
  • XLCR1000 “Cafe Racer” is the 1977 and 1978 Cafe Racer model.
  • XR1000
  • XLH1100
  • XLH1200
  • XLH883 “Deluxe” and the “Hugger”
  • XL53C “Custom 53”
  • XL883 “Sportster 883”, XL883C “Custom,” XL883L “Low, XL883R “Roadster”
  • XL1200C “Custom” XL1200L “Low”, XL1200S “Sport” , XL1200R “Roadster”
  • XL50 1200 “50th Anniversary” 2007 limited production came out with only 2,000 models
  • XL1200N “Nightster” first of the Dark Custom Models.
  • XL883N “Iron 883”, blacked similar to the Nightster.
  • XR1200 “Euro”, XL1200X “Forty-Eight”,
  • XR1200X Starting as an XR1200 with piggyback/fully adjustable shocks, fully adjustable front end, available in either Black Denim or White Denim paint colors
  • XL883L “SuperLow” from 2011
  • XL1200C “1200 Custom” also from 2011.
  • XL1200V “72” Radical Chopper

Roadster

the XL1200CX “Roadster” model was introduced by Harley-Davidson in 2016. This is a Sportster model made even sportier. This design uses a has café bike styling and stance, and comes with mid-position pegs and with a slammed drag bar. There is a 43mm inverted cartridge fork. It also comes with a twin 300mm floating disc and a tach with the speedometer. This version gives you HP of 65.4 hp (48.8 kW).

Current Models

The current models on the market at most distributors are the:
SuperLow – XL883L, Iron 883 – XL883N, Iron 1200 – XL1200N, 1200 Custom – XL1200C, SuperLow 1200T – XL1200T, Forty-Eight – XL1200X, and the Roadster – XL1200CX.