Multistrada 1200 / 1200S – Air Filter Check, Cleaning and Changing the Air Filter

Multistrada 1200 / 1200S – Air Filter Check, Cleaning and Changing the Air Filter

Perhaps obvious to most but a quick intro to air filters. The air filter prevents harmful dust and dirt from getting into the engine and a dirty filter can adversely affect the performance of your bike. Air filters such as the Multistrada 1200 OE item with paper elements should be changed regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Regularly cleaning the air filter becomes particularly important if you are using your bike off-road or in dusty conditions. A clean filter means better engine performance and more power as air can flow as intended i.e. excessive dirt in air filter elements will restrict air flow. If the filter gets choked, it will limit the airflow to the engine meaning the fuel will not burn as efficiently as possible, reducing engine performance drastically.

The things you’ll need:

A decent socket set

Air filter (this one’s for the original 1200). You can use the part finder to get the right one for your model (1260 etc)

Air filter cleaner


Multistrada 1200 – Changing and cleaning the air filter

The following applies to the OE paper element (or equivalent replacement) air filter that the Multistrada 1200 uses as standard i.e. not the DP free flow filter fitted on installation of the full Termignoni exhaust system or other air filters such as K&N oiled gauze or foam filters.

The air filter should be changed every 15000 miles / 24000 kilometers

Recommendation: check your air filter and clean if necessary at least once every 12 months or more regularly if the bike is used in dusty environments. The OE type of filter / paper element filters are not designed to be cleaned but larger debris can be shaken loose/brushed out and finer particles removed with the use of an air line (blowing air through the filter element from the clean side of the filter – CARE, use of too high a pressure could damage the filter element!)

Multistrada 1200 Air Filter – what the manual says

  1. Remove the front half-fairing
  2. Remove the tank covers
  3. Remove the fuel tank

(NB: see additional comments below – the job needn’t be as hard as the instructions in the manual make it! 😉

Working on the right side of the vehicle, unscrew the fixing screws (1) of the intake duct (2). Remove the intake duct (2).

Pull out the filter cartridge (3) from the seat in the filter box.

The filter cartridge can be cleaned with a jet of compressed air or renewed as necessary.

IMPORTANT A clogged air filter will reduce air intake and engine power, increase fuel consumption and cause a build up of deposits on the spark plugs. Do not use the motorcycle without a filter as impurities in the air could get into the engine and cause damage.

Refitting the air filter:

Reinstall the cartridge correctly into the seat of the filter box, place the intake duct (2) with the rubber seal.
Fit and tighten the screws (1) to the specified torque.

IMPORTANT If the motorcycle is used in very damp or dusty conditions, the air filter cartridge must be changed more frequently.
NB: Also check the air filter in the opening at the front of the timing belt cover.

Air filter change / access – in reality!

Thanks to ‘Dr Phibes’ (aka Geoff) of for the following:

Changed mine recently and it is quite straightforward. The service manual tells you to remove lots of panels and, I think, the tank! No need, what you do is, on the right side of the bike (from a riders perspective), remove the small ‘air extractor’ panel (two screws). You will now see the plastic triangular end cap where the air filter is slotted into the airbox.
This end cap is is also the vent that points toward the front of the bike and simply pushes into a rubber boot type connector at the end of the air intake pipe running back from the snout (I sounds complicated, when you look you will see it’s not). The cap is secured by three screws; without moving any other panels two are easy to access and one is a bit of a bugger. However, all three can be removed with a bit of fiddling about. You then simply pull off the end cap and pull the filter out from this side of the bike. Put the new in, checking that the seal is in place, and reverse fit the other bits – job done.
How long? Well if I had to do again 10-15 mins at most. It took me longer first time of course because like you I wasn’t too sure how to go about it.

Addendum [AndyW]:

Removal of the right hand air deflector panel – two 3mm Allen head bolts

The three 4mm Allen head bolts securing the air filter box cover / air intake are arrowed in the photo below. Two are easily accessible but the third will require either a long ratchet drive Allen bit or an Allen key of at least 100mm length (as shown in the ‘blow-up’ in the photo below). I’ve not removed the air filter yet myself but I’m guessing that a certain amount of care will be required not to loose that third (difficult) Allen bolt – as you can’t get hold of it it could drop out 😉

Update: Additional comment by ‘dr Phibes’
You’re additional notes are also correct Andy, the third ‘tricky’ screw is in danger of being lost as you cannot get a decent hold on it. Magnetic keys might help (?) but I just took care to keep the Allan Key tool on the screw until it was clear. As I said in the post, it is fiddley but a whole lot quicker and easier than the service book route dictates!

  • Chuck A says:

    Thanks for posting! I was able to duplicate your approach here, and successfully pull the air filter without removing the whole gas tank. I will say that top bolt is a real treat to get back in….

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