How to Choose The Best Air Cleaner for Sportster! (Our Picks)

When you think about quality motorbikes, the Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 is the supreme choice for bikers. With its sleek and sexy design, you get to make a solid statement on the road.

But just like all other bikes, air cleaners are highly necessary to keep that roaring engine of your Sportster running smoothly. And as Harley Davidson bikes are all about power and speed, the air running inside needs to be clean to keep those qualities consistent.

So to keep that premium bike in good shape all the time, you should consider getting the best air cleaner for Sportster 1200. We have compiled a list of the top air filters below to help you with that.

What To Consider When Buying Air Cleaner For Sportster 1200

Before we get ahead of ourselves with the best products, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind when purchasing air filters for your Harley Davidson. It will be a huge loss if you end up buying the perfect air cleaner but are unable to even use it for your bike.

Here are some important factors to keep in mind that will help you choose the best air cleaner:

1. Flexibility in usage

It is important to note that not all types of air cleaners work with every type of bike. There is no common “one design fits all” type of air cleaner that can be used. So, in that case, you will have to thoroughly go through your bike’s specifications and the type of air cleaner you are willing to install.

2. Area restrictions

As odd as it sounds, some areas in the US don’t allow bikes to use too many air cleaners. It is best to do your research on the state laws related to bike usage and associated issues with air cleaners.

3. Durability of material

Since you are choosing to invest in a good air cleaner, you should make sure that it is of good quality. Air cleaners made of steel or aluminum are usually better and are more resistant to damage in the long run.

4. Reusability

When considering a bike air cleaner, you may also want to consider whether you want to replace it afterward. Or if you want to go through the process of maintenance.

If the air cleaner can be reused, it is a great advantage as it will cost you less money. But do note that you need to clean the cleaner itself after several years.

5. Additional hardware requirements

Not all air filters are easy to install, and you might require a mechanic to properly set them into your bike. So before you go ahead and choose the best air cleaner for Harley Sportster 1200, you need to check the specifications of the product and see what the installation process would be like.

In some cases, the hardware will be very different from commonly used filters. Thus, being aware of all requirements and installation process is a good practice.

Top Best Air Intake for Sportster 1200

Although there are a lot of good air cleaners on the market for Harley Davidson, we have the best ones only.

1. Turbine Spike Air Cleaner Fit For Harley Sportster 1200

Turbine Spike Air Cleaner Fit For Harley sportster 1200

Manufactured by HappyMotor, the Turbine Spike Air Cleaner is an aluminum-based cleaner with a reusable filter. Also, like the name suggests, this filter is round in shape and does indeed look like a small turbine with spikes.

The hardware needed for mounting this cleaner is included with the product, along with a user’s manual. Don’t worry; the installation steps are simple and easy to follow.

Who should buy it?

Do note that this model is not a standard fit for all types of Harley Davidson bikes. This Turbine Spike air cleaner is for bikers with 1991 and up Sportster 883 or 1200 with CV Carb or Delphi EFI H-D bikes.

2. CNC Air Cleaner Fit For Harley sportster XR1200X

CNC Air Cleaner Fit For Harley sportster XR1200X air filters Sportster 1200 Low

Not only does this cleaner make your Harley Sportster look good on the ground, but it gives a smooth ride as well. This model is made from billet aluminum with a backing plate designed to allow a smooth flow of air in the throttle.

You will also be able to look at the internal intake components with this cleaner. All the mounting hardware is included with clear installation instructions.

Who should buy it?

Like the previously mentioned air cleaner, this one is also suitable for 1991 and up Sportster 883 or 1200 with CV Carb or Delphi EFI H-D bikes. Also, if you’re looking for an air cleaner that is reusable, then CNC is for you!

3. Vance & Hines VO2 Naked Air Cleaner Kit 71011

Vance & Hines VO2 Naked Air Cleaner Kit 71011

Although on the heavier side, the VO2 Naked air cleaner requires no additional hardware during installation and can simply be controlled from outside your bike.

With the billet aluminum venturi body, more air can get into the motor and provide more power. It also features a large inlet backing plate to help with that.

The VO2 design does not alter you entire bike’s appearance when installed.

Who should buy it?

As this is a replacement part for the air filter, there is very little work needed to install it. So if you’re looking for a quick fix, then this is the ultimate air cleaner for you.

4. KIPA Air Cleaner Intake Filter System Kit For Sportster

KIPA Air Cleaner Intake Filter System Kit For Sportster

The most interesting feature about this air cleaner is that it has its own internal ventilation system with no hoses or oil catchers. Also, this design works with carbureted and fuel-injected models of Harley Davidsons.

The installation is clean and provides high mileage for the bike.

Who should buy it?

It must be mentioned that the KIPA air cleaner is extremely. If you are willing to pay that amount in return for an excellent and reliable product, then go ahead and purchase this with your eyes closed.

5. Spike Turbine Air Cleaner Fit for Harley Sportster

spike turbine AIR CLEANER Fit for harley sportster

This is essentially the same product mentioned in point 1, but the color is gray. The flow of air through the carburetor is high because of the exposed filter.

Durability is high, and your bike’s power will greatly increase will, giving your bike an overall standard look.

Who should buy it?

If you are looking for good utility but with a bold look to your Harley Davidson bike, then do consider buying the gray version of the Spike Turbine air cleaner.

A Few Additional Tips for You to Follow

A few things should be noted that are common to most types of air cleaners for your Sportster 1200.

The first thing is that if the filter is washable or reusable, you should wash it every 5 to 6 years. Maintaining the air cleaner well will increase its longevity and also give your bike more power. 

But if you ride your bike often in dirt and areas with gravel, the air cleaner needs to be washed and reused sooner.

A good air cleaner will rarely ever need to be replaced. This is because the product is made of sturdy material, and the design is made to last long and be extremely durable.


The products listed above have been selected based on their features and compatibility with Harley Davidson hardware. Hopefully, by considering all specifications and personal requirements, you can choose the best air cleaner for Sportster 1200 models of bikes.

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