Africa Twin Air Filter Replacement (GUGLAtech)

It’s been a few years since I bought my 2017 Africa Twin and it has seen its fair share of dusty dirty roads, so I figured while I had the bike apart for other projects it was time to replace the air filters. I replaced my Africa Twin Honda OEM air filters with GUGLAtech Ultra4 Rally Desert Air Filters. This post provides a video and narrative of my air filter replacement maintenance with simple installation instructions for removing the OEM air filters and installing the new air filters on the Honda Africa Twin (CRF100L and CRF1100L).

GUGLA-what? Why I chose GUGLAtech air filters

GUGLAtech is an Italian company that produces these awesome high tech air filters. GUGLAtech filters are made from high quality materials with advanced technology to provide maximum protection without impeding airflow. These air filters have been designed specifically for the Africa Twin and other similar bikes. The air filters are reusable and exceed OEM air filter specs, including a 30 to 40 micron high tech 3D matrix synthetic fabric mesh and a reinforced wire screen. The filters can be run without oil (for normal ‘on road’ type riding conditions) or oiled if you expect to do more off-road. Since my Africa Twin sees just about everything, I decided to oil my GUGLAtech filters before installation.

I chose the GUGLAtech Ultra4 Rally Desert Air Filters because of their washable and reusable filter media, excellent engine protection reputation, and the apparent robustness of their system. Yes there are lots of aftermarket air filter options – and the OEM filters aren’t half bad either. But I wanted something that was reusable, washable, and robust. I didn’t want more throw away paper filters (like the OEM), I had heard too many horror stories about particle leakage through K&N type cloth filters (even when well oiled), and foam filters are not particularly robust (and a bit problematic for fit in the Africa Twin – though I did look at the TwinAir filters quite a bit). I can say that the GUGLAtech Ultra4 Rally Desert Air Filters I received appear to meet all these promised criteria and I am very happy with my selection.

I ordered the GUGLAtech Ultra4 Rally Desert Air Filters for my Africa Twin from BestRestProducts.COM, the US distributor. The filters arrived within a few days and came with the two filters and adapter plates for the CRF1100L. Apparently some slight modification of the air filter is required for the 1100L, but since I have a CRF1000L no modification was required. The filters were very simple to install (once I had gotten the bike taken apart to access them).

Africa Twin Air Filter Installation Procedure

Installation of air filters on the Africa Twin is not a trivial task. First all the farings need to be taken off. For a brief tutorial on how to do this, see my 4-minute Africa Twin fairing removal quick reference instructions and video.

OPTIONAL Gas Tank Removal

Once the fairings are off, the gas tank can also optionally be moved back away from the air filter housings. This is accomplished by removing the plastic cover and metal seat attachment at the rear or the fuel tank. Pop the push pins on the plastic cover and then remove the two 10MM bolts on either side the seat attachment module. It helps to have an extension on a ratchet for this. And sliding the seat detach cable out of its attachment point. Note that moving the gas tank back (like I do in the video) for better access to the air filters is OPTIONAL. This is not strictly required for air filter replacement. For me, I went ahead and did this because I was doing other work on the bike at the time that did require gas tank removal.

Next there is a 10mm bolt in the middle to remove, detaching the gas tank from the frame.

Though not shown, it’s also helpful to remove the plastic tray just behind the gas tank to make more room for removal and reinstallation of the gas tank. This is accomplished by removing the 2 push pins on each side of the plastic tray, 4 total. You do not need to detach the fuel pump or hoses from the bottom of the gas tank to get to the air filters (or even move the gas tank at all – but it does make access easier). Just slide the gas tank back to get better access to the air filter housing.

Africa Twin Air Filter Housing Cover Removal

There are 4 screws holding on the air filter on each side. These are probably JIS head type screws, but a philips head driver worked just fine for removing them. Be mindful of the electrical cables running alongside the air filter housing. There is a grommet near the front of the air filter housing that clips into the body, but with some light pressure you can pop the housing free of the grommet and the air filter cover slides out.

As you can tell, my factory air filters are dirty and in need of replacement. Let’s get these changed out. The air filters are removed be removing 2 JIS or Philips screws on each side of the filter. Be very careful not to knock any dust or debris into the air intake.

Oiling the GUGLAtech Air Filters

I used the No-Toil air filter oil system to add an additional level of protection to the GUGLAtech air filters on my motorcycle. Even though oil is not required, it provides added protection for the CRF1000L. I had a bottle of No-Toil air filter oil already, so I used that to oil the GUGLAtech filters. But if I was going to do it all over again, I would have purchased a spray type filter oil, like the Rock Factory Eco Foam Air filter treatment that BestRestProducts sells on their website. That would have been a lot easier (and used a lot less oil) than my method of oiling the filters in a plastic bag. Still, after a bit of work I got oil worked into the entire matrix of both filters. The basic procedure for oiling filters in a bag is exactly that; put air filters in an air/oil tight plastic bag. Add filter oil shake around until everything is coated. I learned this trick for foam air filters where it works really well – less so for the GUGLAtech filters, but it got the job done. Again a sprayed on oil would have been better.

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Note: I highly recommend using a biodegradable air filter oil that can be cleaned up using regular detergents (not specialized air filter oil removers). It’s just a better way to go – especially for the se reusable filters.

I also applied air filter rim grease (again part of the No-Toil system) to the outside edge of the GUGLAtech filter and then place it into the air filter housing.

Installing New Air Filters

To install the new GUGLAtech Air Filters into my Africa Twin I simply oriented the new air filter so it aligned with the screw holes and screwed it in – it really is that easy. The procedure is the same for the other side. Unscrew the four screws holding on the air filter housing cover. Remove the old dirty OEM filter and install the oiled GUGLAtech filter.

Putting it Back Together

Then it’s just a matter of putting everything on the motorcycle back together.

Replace the air filter housing covers on each side, sliding the air breather tube back into its grommet and replacing the 4 screws on each side. Make sure the seating surface is nice and clean and everything is snugged up nicely.

Slide the gas tank back in place and replacing all the fairings (if it was moved for installation). Note that while I didn’t remove the plastic tray behind the fuel tank during installation, I was forced to remove it for reattachment of the fuel tank. Make sure the tank slides into the two lower grommets underneath the front of the tank, before bolting it down in the back. this can be a bit tricky. My suggestion – don’t remove the gas tank unless you really need to.

And finally reverse out of the fairing removal (watch that video backwards 🙂

And that’s it. Thanks for reading!

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