Changing the air filter is one of the two most cost-effective ways of increasing the life and maintaining the performance of your motorcycle (the other is changing the oil). This is an easy maintenance procedure, and it only takes about 15 minutes. The only difficulty comes in that you need to go through a bit of a hassle to actually get to the filter. Before you begin, have the following tools available: What air filter to get? K&N's filters tend to be the best in my opinion (and opinions do vary) and I use them on all my vehicles regardless of the number of wheels. They don't just use physical filtering in the form of micro holes, but also coat their filters with oil, which helps trap even more dust, while at the same time letting more air flow through. This results in a tiny bit of increased horsepower, so they claim. They aren't cheap - about $55, so judge for yourself (model HA-1302 fits the ST1300).

When the time comes, instead of replacing them, you just wash them off and "recharge" them with a new shot of oil (kit sold separately). I recharge my filters in the spring and in the fall, otherwise every 5000 miles. Just like changing the oil, you can't really change your air filter too often.

In general, they are expensive filters, but you only need to buy them once.

Step 1: Lift the tank. Unscrew the 8mm bolts at the top and the 10mm bolt at the base of the tanks and lift it up as you slide it back.

DO NOT LOSE ANY PARTS DOWN THE BIKE WHEN YOU DO THIS AS YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN. This includes the two metal collets under the rubber grommets that hold the 8mm bolts you removed. If you do, here's the part number (61104-422-000 0692202) to request a replacement from

Prop up the tank with the bar stored in the back. To prop it up, you need to pop out one of the plastic caps on the handlebar (don't lose it). I use a standard screwdriver to pop it out - be careful, they scratch easily.

Now take a #2 phillips screwdriver and remove the 9 screws holding down the cover. Don't lose these screws as you remove them. Leave the two at the top for last as they are a bit harder to actually remove. Loosen those two, then lift the cover slowly. As you do this, grab the screws and save them, then lift the cover the rest of the way.

There's the filter. Lift it out, recharge (or replace if you're using a basic one) and then reverse the steps above and you're done. Again, be VERY careful not to drop things down into the bowels of the bike throughout the entire process.