Top 6 Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson in 2021 Reviews

Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson

Like any other auto part, a motorcycle engine is key to everything. Thus, it needs proper care, servicing, and maintenance. Air cleaners or air filters, function like the human nose. In other words, they limit the entry of foreign particles from getting into the engine. Most importantly, they maintain top-notch levels of air circulation within the engine.

The cleaner the air the engine receives, the better the combustion of fuel. So, it enhances the speed of your bike. Plus, the general horsepower of the motorcycle will get increased to optimal. Unfortunately, most modern style motorcycle lacking the Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson may never enjoy all these privileges. 

Best Stage 1 Air Cleaners for Harley Davidson

The big issue comes in when you have plenty of alternative options available to choose from. Therefore, we have a list of the best air cleaners for Harley Davidson available on the market. Hence, you can compare and pick one that suits your desires. Here is a short list about Air Cleaners for Harley :

  1. Arlen Ness 18-329 – Stage 1 Air Cleaner Kit with Cover
  2. Arlen Ness 18-803 – Stage I kit Includes a high-flow filter
  3. Arlen Ness 18-326 – Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover
  4. Vance & Hines VO2 – Naked air intake kit for Harley
  5. Kuryakyn 9439 – Air Cleaner Cover for 1999-2017 Harley
  6. K&N Engine – Air Filter for HARLEY DAVIDSON

So, let’s dig into the depth ..

1. Arlen Ness 18-329 – Stage 1 Air Cleaner Kit with Cover

Most Harley Davidson fans have given excellent recommendations about this air cleaner. They see it as the best unit for modifying Harley cruisers to improve their performance. Besides, Arlen Ness 18-329 Air Cleaner has continued to give an impressive performance. Also, it gives an impressive increase to the throttle effect on a bike.

This air cleaner has shown a realizable power increase to any Harley motorcycle it fits on. Interestingly, it’s more superior to the extent that you can hear and feel it sucking air. It comes as a high flow air cleaner that you can always rely on its performance and efficiency.

Furthermore, it comes as a real game-changer. This is to say, it not only helps to change the horsepower but also the general performance of the bike. In fact, it works to perfection than what you expected. The best thing is that it helps to eliminate valve beeping, and most users consider it a built-in design.

Does the factory air cleaner on your XL 1200R or Sportster annoy you? If that’s the case, you can to upgrade it with this unit. Thus, it will improve both the performance and elegance of your bike. Another cool thing with this unit is that it comes with all the necessary installation tools. Plus, instruction manual packed with it is easy to read hence easy to install it by yourself. Therefore, you can set it on your motorcycle very quickly and without any issues.


  • Steel outer cover and high-quality cleaner enhance performance
  • Beautiful chromes in K&N red finish makes it look so pretty
  • Boosts general bike performance


  • Red color doesn’t blend well with other models’ finishing’s

2. Arlen Ness 18-803 – Stage I kit Includes a high-flow filter

The Arlen Ness 18-803 comes as one of the best stage 1 air cleaner for Harley Davidson motorcycle. It tends to give a more smooth functioning system to the motorcycle. And, it provides excellent power and a tolerable sound by the bike.

Besides that, this air cleaner is available as a one-piece aluminium backing carb. As a result, it assures the safety of the braking system while keeping it securely in place. Moreover, it helps to do away with the need for banjo fittings, hoses, and extra filters.

A cotton foam surrounding the rim forms the structure of this fantastic air cleaner. Therefore, it restricts all foreign particulates from entering into the engine system.

The center of this air filter gives a pathway to let fresh air enter and leave from the hole in the carburetor. However, its entire structure forms a closed-loop system. This helps to ensure that the engine remains in a high-class performing condition.

The best thing is, it comes with great structured user instructions. Plus, add-on hardware tools to assure you a stress-free installation.


  • Enhances complete fuel combustion
  • Features high flow air filters to give great power and efficiency
  • Fast and easy installation process
  • Utilizes ventilator design for optimum airflow


  • Silver finish hence it may not last long

3. Arlen Ness 18-326 – Stage I Air Filter Kit with Cover

When it comes to giving top-notch air filtration, Arlen Ness 18-326 does it to perfection. It is a one-piece aluminum plate support bracket with a well-meshed and netted surface. Thus, ensuring that any kind of contaminants doesn’t get into the engine system. The big plus is that its construction focuses on eliminating dust particles. Plus, the smoke emitted upon fuel combustion gets removed too.

Besides that, it ensures that the engine remains out of reach by foreign particulates. Thus, enhancing its general lifespan.  It comes with an integrated breather technology. This sits at the central point of the carburetor’s mouth. As such, new unique, closed-loop system forms.

The Arlen Ness 18-326 Black Air Cleaner has a relatively heavyweight, which tends to get stability by the heavy-duty steel case cover. Therefore, it gives excellent resistance over the dirt and debris for long-term performance. Additionally, this air cleaner comes with all the necessary hardware tools for installation. And, an easy to read and navigate panels included makes it easy to set it up.


  • Plate support bracket eliminated the desire for additional banjo fittings or hoses
  • A one-piece aluminium air filter allows for easy installation
  • The closed-loop feature keeps dust or debris from getting in the engine’s system
  • Well sized and compact design gives the best fit for most motorcycles


  • Weak quality bolts and may need tweaking

4. Vance & Hines VO2 – Naked air intake kit for Harleyake

Does the idea of keeping the stock Harley air cleaner’s elegance sound good? If the answer is yes, then the Vines & Hines VO2 Naked Air Cleaner offers the best solution. This is to say, it allows you to use the stock air cleaner cover. Without any doubt, this air cleaner sucks more air while delivering high power to the engine. 

You can witness it pairing and operating correctly with the V&H FP3 model. Besides that, it’s the best choice to revive your dull or dead Harley motorcycle engine. Moreover, its tubes are pretty helpful in redirecting the oil to the air cleaner. Thus, this comes as a blessing and a unique feature that most famous brands like the Arlen Ness lack.

The good thing is, it has a significant impact on the engine’s power even if you don’t adjust the fuel supply to the motor. Some brands have hefty priced stage 1 air cleaners. The Vines & Hines VO2, on the other side, comes with an impressively reasonable price. Therefore, its worth to give it a try and rest assured of no disappointments in performance.

Do you want to feel a vast difference between torque and power on your 1991 to 2018 Harley Sportster? Or, do you wish to have an air filter that allows higher airflow to the engine compared to a stock air cleaner? Then, this Best stage 1 air cleaner for Harley Davidson would be an excellent choice. Above all, this air filter makes your bike run and sound fantastic. Plus, it comes as a real power addition unit to the motorcycle.


  • Washable and reusable
  • Reasonably priced
  • Gives beauty to your bike
  • Installs fast


  • Tricky user manual

5. Kuryakyn 9439 – Air Cleaner Cover for 1999-2017 Harley

We all like making our motorcycles look awesome, right? Do you have a high airflow air filter installed on your Harley’s and Kuryakyn Street Sleeper II/III? If the answer is yes, you would consider getting the Kuryakyn 9439 Alley Cat Air Cleaner Cover. It comes with a unique chrome mesh insert and a knock-off styled end cap, which gives an elegant look to the bike. Besides, it boosts the air cleaner’s performance to perfection.

The chrome polish combines with the sturdy aluminium construction to give ultimate durability. Thus, the stainless steel mesh gets assurance for a lasting air cleaning performance. How is that possible? Well, its construction gets destroyed or catches rust even on harsh weather conditions.

Its well-crafted structure features plenty of tiny holes on the mesh. They help to restrict any dirt and particles from entering the cleaner. The ultra-lightweight design makes this air cleaner cover to give an unnoticeable weight. Therefore, you have the ease of cruising with freedom and ease.

A one chrome alley cat cover, a stay ring, plus a hardware kit comes with this unit. Hence, it makes it easier for new users to have an easy time using it. Want to install the Kuryakyn 9439 Alley Cat Air Cleaner Cover on your Harley? You’ll need a set of the hex, a collection of mixed wrenches, LSB torque wrench, and a socket set. Hence, this will help you to have a convenient set-up process. Most importantly, this air cleaner suits well most 1999 to 2017 Harley’s motorcycles.


  • Beautiful chrome finish adds décor
  • High-quality aluminium construction enhances durability
  • Lightweight design makes it easier to operate your bike
  • Designed well to promote great airflow


  • Pretty pricey

6. K&N Engine – Air Filter for HARLEY DAVIDSON

Do you want to improve your Harley motorcycle’s engine performance? The K&N Engine Air Filter would be the best option. This air filter is typically engineered to increasing airflow and filtration by 50%. Hence, this is three times more efficient than what a standard air filter can do. As a result, it increases the horsepower and speed of a motorbike by up to 10%.

What’s interesting is that this high-quality air filter is washable and reusable. Therefore, it assures a lasting air filtration performance while enhancing the engine’s lifespan. Besides, they offer the best way to reduce land waste pollution thanks to its washable design. Other than that, K&N Engine Air Filter comes with a 10-year/million miles limited warranty. Thus, it guarantees you a long yet satisfying performance.

Moreover, its design allows for a straightforward installation. This is to say, it comes pre-oiled to fit into your current factory air box system readily. Thus, you can have your excellent air filter mounted in a few minutes, ready for the endless action. Above all, K&N makes and tests each air filter on the world’s toughest race tracks. As a result, it brings you the highest level of engine performance.


  • Easy to install as it comes already pre-oiled and offers a perfect fit
  • Durable and environmentally friendly air filter thanks to the cotton design
  • Gives top-notch filtration and increases efficiency to greatest levels
  • Fits 2008 to 2014 Harley models


  • Increased combustion may reduce the bike’s traveling distance

Which Things to Consider When Buying the Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson

With a large number of air filters in the market, choosing the best unit has become quite tricky. But why? In short, every brand claims that its air cleaners are the best. As a result, most users and newbies find themselves in a dilemma on what brand to choose. Luckily, our buying guide will discuss the vital things to check out for in an air cleaner.

Type of Air Cleaner

The material construction determines the type of air cleaner. To clarify, you will find foam, paper, and cotton air filters. However, each type has its functionality made to suit the needs of different users. Those made of paper may not be a great pick both to the bike and environment. In other words, they have poor quality, flimsy, and hence very cheap.

Foam cleaners tend to be pricier, but they are common in most off-road bikes. Sometimes their ventilation system can get blocked by dirt. Hence, you can remove, wash, or replaced with ease. Unfortunately, if they stay uncleaned for longer, the rate of airflow may get lowered. Hence, it may cause severe damage to the engine.

For that matter, a cotton foam filter would be a perfect solution. Even though they come as the most expensive units, their performance is exceptional. And they can last longer than even the engine. In other words, you can use it for thousands of miles with less cleaning tasks. Still, it ensures that the engine gets top-notch protection.

Surface area

Air cleaners with greater surface area provide a great barrier to foreign particles. As a result, it helps to ensure that the engine stays safe and clean for optimal performance. Indeed, choosing one with several folds and tucks would be the best because they help to increase the surface area of the air filter.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)

The HEPA comes as an essential filter that helps to keep out small molecules and allergens as tiny as 0.3 microns. However, the powerful the HEPA filter is, the more excellent its performance becomes.

CARD Ratings

The CARD rating defines the volume of cleansed air an air cleaner gives. This occurs when a motorcycle is at its most attainable speed. At the same time, it shows the efficiency of foreign particle removal. Therefore, you need to check the CARD rating your featured unit has before spending any penny. Most importantly, higher CARD ratings mean higher efficiency.

Customer support and warranty

The quality of support the manufacturer of an air filter gives their product’s users is vital. About that, check the reliability of the warranty offered on their replacement parts. Above all, ensure that the seller has a good reputation and that the warranty is worth it the pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What role does an air cleaner play?

As much as an automobile’s engine runs on fuel, the air is helpful in cool the engine and enhance performance. However, it may contain different kinds of pollutants, depending on the surrounding environment. When such air enters the engine system, considerable damage will happen to it. Thus, imparting to its performance. An air filter/cleaner helps in cleansing and filtering any impurities from the air. 

What does stage 1 air cleaner mean?

Stage 1 is a common phrase used by the Harley community. Ideally, a stage 1 air cleaner is a tool that helps in modifying an engine’s air and fuel systems. This happens without altering the parts in motion inside the engine.

How does stage 1 and stage 2 air cleaners differ?

A stage 2 air filter differs from stage 1 in that it incorporates a more air filter element. Therefore, a stage 2 air filter tend to have 20% more filter capacity than stage 1.

Can you wash a Harley air filter?

 Well, not all Harley air filters are washable and reusable. Why? Okay, most air filters have a material construction of paper, foam, and cotton. Paper made filters work only once and get disposed of. But, air filters made of foam and cotton can get cleaned and reused for more extended periods.

Do I need to tune my Harley if I add an air cleaner?

Yes. If you are replacing or adding a new air cleaner, you need to tune your Harley. This happens in the engine’s air and fuel management system. As a result, it ensures improved performance while enhancing the safety of your bike.

How often should I change my Harley air filter?

Cleaning and changing a Harley air filter depends on the type of air cleaner system. The paper made air filters need you to change them quite often after traveling about 5000 miles. Other air filters made of cotton and foam can get washed and reused for up to 50,000 miles. However, you need to check more often to ensure it doesn’t get damaged.


To sum up, air cleaners confirms to be a basic unit of motorbike. It offers plenty of benefits to the bike. For instance, it increases the airflow and enhances the engine’s performance plus lifespan. Besides, most help to conserve the environment since they are washable and reusable. Hence, they help riders save with convenience.

With all that said, it’s time to find the Best Stage 1 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson from our top picks. You will find a unit that’s friendly to your budget and give you exceptional performance. Above all, they should last long and give perfect fitment on most Harley Davidson models.

Related posts:

  1. LOCTITE 271 Vs 272 – Which Lube is the Best for Your Threadlocker?
  2. 7 Best Led Headlight for Harley Davidson with Buying Guide 2020
  3. 5 Most Comfortable Harley Touring Seat
  4. 5 Best Performance Exhaust for Harley Davidson : Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
  5. Harley Evo Vs Twin Cam: Which Engine Systems is Better?
  6. Harley Davidson Street Glide Vs Road Glide | Which is Best?

Recent Posts