Can You Run Your Motorcycle Without An Oil Filter?

Motorcycle oil filter - new

I get it. You don’t like oil filters. Or just too lazy to change that damn oil filter in your motorcycle. Or even in your car.

So, can you run a motorcycle without an oil filter? You can run a motorcycle, or any engine for that matter, without an oil filter. But, eventually, there will be a huge impact on the performance as well as the lifespan of the engine and its components.

Now, let’s discuss in detail why you shouldn’t run an engine without an oil filter.

Can An Engine Run Without An Oil Filter

You can run an engine – be it in your motorcycle or car or any other vehicle – without an oil filter. It is absolutely possible.

But, there are huge downsides to running without an oil filter.

First, there will be increased wear and tear of the engine components.

This is because the engine oil flowing inside the crankcase of the engine is not filtered. The metal particles and various contaminants will increase the metal to metal friction between the engine parts.

As a result, there will be a large amount of wear and tear that happens.

Second, the engine oil will start forming sludge and deposits on the nooks and crannies of the engine components.

The dirt, dust, and other soil contaminants in the oil, which are not filtered (thanks to you for no oil filter :)), will over time start to form sludge and deposits.

Third, running the engine without an oil filter will result in lowered engine performance, low mileage, and low life of the engine components.

Using unclean and unfiltered oil will take its toll on the engine’s durability and performance. As a result, over time, the engine will show signs of damage far earlier than its life expectancy.

Does Oil Filter Affect Performance

Oil filter definitely affects engine performance.

A clogged or a bad oil filter will result in high wear and tear in the engine components. A bad oil filter also translates to sludge and deposit formation by the oil contaminants in the engine components. In effect, leading to low engine performance.

The poor performance of the engine increases exponentially if you don’t address the issue and install a new oil filter as early as possible.

In addition, having an oil filter is not enough. To keep up with good maintenance, you need to change the oil filter regularly. A good replacement schedule is changing the filter along with the engine oil change. You should change the oil filter at least for every 6000 miles traveled.

For the engine to perform at its peak condition all the other supporting components – be it piston and rings, inlet and exhaust valves, engine oil, and oil filter – all these components should be in good working condition.

If any of them are not functioning properly then the engine performance will automatically be hampered.

The same happens when the oil filter is not working properly as well. The engine performance will severely be reduced. A clogged oil filter or a bad one or worse, no oil filter will definitely result in poor engine performance.

Effects Of Running Without An Oil Filter

Oil filters are installed to clean the engine oil from dust, dirt, metal particles, and other contaminants.

If the engine is running without an oil filter, then the oil will be flowing the crank case in the engine full of its contaminating particles.

That’s why, if you are running the engine without an oil filter, there will be sludge and deposit formation as well as increased metal wear and tear.

Other symptoms and damages include:

  • Black smoke coming from the exhaust
  • Increased engine vibrations and noise
  • Rapid decreasing of oil quality
  • Poor engine performance and low mileage
  • Engine overheating

For more details, here is our post on symptoms of using no or bad oil filter.

To put it simply, running an engine without an oil filter will hamper its performance, durability, and most importantly, its lifespan.

Do all motorcycles have oil filters?

All motorcycles have oil filters installed in them. In fact, it’s not just all motorcycles, but all cars and all vehicles and locomotives that have an engine or oil usage in them – have oil filters.

So, in short, all motorcycles, as well as all cars, have oil filters fitted in them.

How important is oil filter?

Oil filter is extremely important for the engine to function.

As the name suggests, oil filter is designed to filter out contaminants from the oil.

The oil filter will weed out any dirt, dust, and contaminants from the oil before the oil enters the engine. So, invariably, all vehicles and locomotives which have engines in them – be it motorcycles or cars or any other vehicle and machinery – need oil filters.

Does oil filter increase horsepower?

Oil filter does NOT increase the horsepower of the engine.

As significant as an oil filter is for a motorcycle or a car, an oil filter has no role in the engine horsepower.

However, for a good engine performance – be it power or mileage – a good and well maintained oil filter is necessary. So, keep changing that oil filter at regular intervals, will ya.

Are cheap oil filters any good?

Oil filters are an important component to keep the engine oil clean and of high quality. That’s why avoid using cheap oil filters for your vehicle.

Cheap oil filters will get clogged fast and will not filter as many contaminants in the engine oil as a good oil filter is expected to filter.

As a result, the engine oil quality will deteriorate in no time and not to mention the increased sludge formation both on the oil filter as well as the engine components.

So, avoid using cheap oil filters.

How much does it cost to replace a motorcycle oil filter?

A motorcycle oil filter typically costs around $15 to $20. If you are replacing the filter by yourself, that will be the cost. But if you are going to a service shop, changing the oil filter along with the engine oil might cost around $60.