Do Dirt Bikes Have Oil Filters? (+when to change them)

While most people worry about how hard it is to ride a dirt bike when they first get into off-road sports, it’s more important to learn about proper maintenance. For example, changing the dirt bike oil filter at the right time will considerably improve the engine’s lifespan.

Every dirt bike has an oil filter. No matter the brand or the model, you can be sure that your dirt bike has an oil filter. The reason behind this is that all engines need to have oil to keep them running clean and smooth. There are metal parts inside the engine that are moving in close contact with each other, and the oil will prevent them from wear and tear. That’s not all. The oil will lower the engine’s emissions and improve the overall mileage. This is why all dirt bikes are equipped with an oil filter.

Keep on reading if you want to learn how dirt bike oil filters work in a 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine. Stick around for the end because I will also show you the best time to change the filter.

Do Dirt Bikes Have Oil Filters?

a red 70cc Baja dirt bike sitting on the porch

Oil filters are one of the most essential parts of an engine. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that dirt bikes have oil filters. As previously mentioned, the role of the oil in the engine is to keep the parts from wear and tear. The oil will ensure that the engine runs clean and smooth so that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars in repairs every time that you take the dirt bike out for a ride on muddy trails.

One important lesson about dirt bike oil filters that all riders shouldn’t learn the hard way is that the 2-stroke oil differs from the 4-stroke oil. Even though the oil has the same role in the 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines, the viscosity is different. For example, the 2-stroke oil comes in a mixed form and is considered light. On the other hand, we have the 4-stroke oil, which is heavier and has a higher viscosity.

Where is a Dirt Bike Oil Filter Located?

The dirt bike oil filter is generally located on the left side of the engine. However, this is not the case for all models. The best thing you do here is to use your dirt bike’s owner manual to see the location of the oil filter. If you bought a used dirt bike and you can’t access the owner manual, you can always Google your brand and make. You will be able to find all the information you need about the dirt bike this way.

Since I mentioned buying used dirt bikes, I need to highlight that I have a guide that helps you how to determine high mileage. That’s not all. The guide also goes into great detail about the things you need to look out for when buying a used bike. You can read the guide by clicking here.

How Often Should You Change the Oil Filter on a Dirt Bike?

Like you would with a car or motorcycle, you need to regularly change the oil filter on a dirt bike. As a rule of thumb, the oil filter on a dirt bike needs to be changed every 6200 miles (10000 kilometers). Although, you might want to consider changing the oil filter sooner if you are riding the dirt bike every day, especially if you ride it on rugged trails where you need to keep the engine revved to the max.

In case you don’t change the oil filter on your bike, it will get clogged. This is really bad since it can lead to expensive damage to the engine. On the bright side of things, oil filters are not too expensive. A good oil filter is priced at less than $20. Considering that the damages you can cause to the engine by not changing the oil filter on time are way more expensive, investing up to $20 is worth it.

How to Change a Dirt Bike Oil Filter

Changing the oil filter on a dirt bike is essential for maintaining peak performance and extending the life of the engine. Regularly replacing the filter ensures that the engine remains free from contaminants that can cause wear over time. Depending on the frequency of rides and the terrain conditions, the intervals between changes might vary. However, it’s a straightforward process that every dirt bike owner should be familiar with.

Step-by-step Process to Change a Dirt Bike Oil Filter

  1. Preparation: Start by gathering the necessary tools and materials. You will need a new oil filter specific to your dirt bike model, fresh oil, a drain pan, a wrench, gloves, and some rags or paper towels.
  2. Warm Up the Engine: Before beginning, start your dirt bike and let it run for a few minutes. This warms up the oil, making it flow out more easily and helps in draining out contaminants.
  3. Drain the Oil: Position the drain pan beneath the bike’s drain plug. Using a wrench, carefully remove the drain plug and allow the old oil to flow into the pan. Remember to dispose of old oil responsibly.
  4. Remove the Old Filter: Locate the oil filter cap on your dirt bike. Unscrew or unclip it, depending on your bike’s design. Take out the old filter and dispose of it.
  5. Install the New Filter: Before inserting the new filter, apply a small amount of fresh oil to the gasket or sealing edge. This ensures a snug fit and prevents leaks. Insert the new filter as per your bike’s orientation (some will face up, others down).
  6. Replace the Drain Plug and Refill Oil: Once the old oil has been drained, and the new filter is in place, screw the drain plug back in securely. Now, refill the engine with the recommended amount and type of oil for your specific dirt bike model.
  7. Check for Leaks: Start your dirt bike and let it run for a few minutes. Carefully inspect the area around the oil filter and drain plug for any signs of leaks.
  8. Final Cleanup: Once satisfied, turn off the bike, clean up any spilled oil, and put away your tools.

Remember to consult your dirt bike’s manual for any specific instructions or requirements related to your particular model.

What Happens If You Don’t Change the Oil Filter on Time?

The oil filter plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and efficiency of your dirt bike’s engine. It’s designed to catch contaminants, dirt particles, and metal shavings that accumulate in the engine oil over time. When the oil filter isn’t replaced on schedule, there are many things that can go wrong and damage the engine.

Firstly, a clogged or overly saturated oil filter becomes less efficient in trapping contaminants. This allows dirt and debris to circulate freely within the engine, leading to increased wear on vital components such as pistons, cylinders, and bearings. This wear can reduce the engine’s lifespan and performance, as these particles can be abrasive and cause premature wear.

Secondly, the oil pressure in the engine could be affected. A blocked filter restricts the flow of oil, causing the engine to work harder to pump oil, possibly leading to increased oil pressure. Over time, this added strain can result in oil leaks or even engine failure in extreme cases.

Additionally, unchanged filters mean that the engine is using dirtier oil, which lacks the necessary lubrication properties. Insufficient lubrication increases friction between moving parts, causing them to overheat. This can further reduce engine efficiency, increase fuel consumption, and potentially lead to engine seizures. This is why oil filter maintenance is essential!

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at if you want to get in touch.

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