Join Date: May 2009
Location: Prevezanian Riviera
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I agree with subS but I have managed to get more out of mine by "cleaning" them in smaller intervals. Either by blowing air on the reverse direction or sucking with a strong vacuum cleaner on the other side. The way I think about it is that particles get caught traveling one direction may get loose and be drawn from the element on the reverse direction. Not with the RC but with other bikes, especially commuters, I have had noticeable results. I also put a thin film of grease on the surface where the filter seals and pay attention to it. If I see that film getting dirty somehow or having stuff on it that indicates the filter is not working anymore and is allowing crap in.
It also depends on the area you ride and weather conditions. Moist air, and humidity, keeps all particles stuck on surfaces, while dry air is full of particles. So your air filter needs in the North East are minimal, compared to places like AZ or NM/TX etc.
I think the performance penalty is very small compared to the benefit of the engine running with clean air. In hot dry conditions I'd recommend an additional oiled foam filter around the pods.