TBR7 Air Filter Pod Replacement, DONE!

I’ve been having stock motorcycle air filter box issues with my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle and started searching for a solution: Need TBR7 help? Upgrade Guides? User Support? We Got You!

Hawk 250 owners also had similar airbox problems with their stock air filter housing. Hawk 250 owners were talking about an airbox mod replacing the airbox with a cone filter motorcycle. Then I thought, why not do the same for my bike?

Time to do an air filter upgrade by doing a complete TBR7 air filter pod replacement. Now how do I replace my airbox with a cone filter? Well, I’ll show you what I found.

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My New TaoTao TBR7 Foam Air Filter Replacement, an Uni 2 Stage Air Filter Pod.

Yes, This TBR7 Air Filter Pod Upgrade Was Inspired by Hawk 250 owners.

Yes, my brothers and sisters in Chinese Dual Sport Motorcycle ownership, I include you sweat people who also own a Hawk 250. We Chinese Dual-sport owners know about the famed oil in the airbox problems, and my TBR7 suffered from this badly. When I tried ways to mod my airbox, I was not happy finding oil in the TBR7 airbox. So, I am trying to fix these problems with replacing my TaoTao TBR7’s air filter with an air pod.

The oil would drip out of the air box, often falling onto the exhaust and smoking. The oil would often find its way into and all over the carburetor. I was tired of it, worrying about the oil dirtying up the intake of my carburetor.

Being a frugal person and a proud TBR7 owner, I wanted to go cheap and solve multiple problems with one mod. Both the TBR7 and Hawk 250 dual-sports come with a multitude of issues out of the box. I was currently concerned about oil getting on and in my carburetor, and I was having carburetor jetting issues.

I am having problems with my TBR7’s performance and finding I am going back and forth with re-jetting the Mikuni carburetor( TaoTao TBR7 Mikuni Carburetor Jet Sizes ). I gave the TBR7 a smooth flow exhaust and figured I could jet up. When I increased the size of the jets, I would get signs of the engine running too rich. Then I did the motorcycle airbox mod, which did improve the motorcycle’s performance but again had signs of the engine still running rich. I didn’t want to jet down, so I had to figure how to air up.

Some of my first attempts was to open the air box. ( My TBR7 Airbox Modification Trials).

The Easy Air Filter Pod Replacement Solution!

TBR7 Replacement Air Pod: UNI UP-4182AST

I picked up a UNI UP-4182AST Air Filter for cheap. Cheap, meaning it was a low-priced upgrade and fixed for my TBR7, but a well-made item. The filter is a foam filter that you moisten with filter oil. The K&N’s I’m used to are a wire-supported cloth that you moisten with oil. I was concerned the foam was too thick to allow the engine to breathe, but I was wrong.

Uni’s foam air pod filter worked great!

An easy install and, like I said, solved a couple of performance problems with my TBR7 motorcycle.

Sorry for the long intro; my goal to increase the motorcycle’s power, specifically the acceleration and the top-end speed, has been a longtime goal. Along the way, I feel I am always trying to fix items on the TBR7 I don’t like. So let’s get to the air pod installation.

The New Motorcycle Air Pod Filter

My new Uni motorcycle foam filter air pod.
Nice, the Air Filter Is Made In America!

It looks simple enough. Here are the components out of the bag.

Opening package of Uni Foam air filter.
Air Filter Pod with Sticker!

Of course, it came with a sticker, a little advertisement for Uni, and fun for people who love decorating their motorcycles. I de-badged mine almost out of the box(Read Post Here: Decals Removed/De-badging Post)

Click For Current Uni Air Filter Pod Prices.

Install The New Air Pod Filter

Note: Make the motorcycle safe( FAQ: Motorcycle Garage Safety Rules). Examples: work on a cool to touch the engine, the motorcycle cannot be accidentally started, and wear your safety glasses (My Safety Glasses Rant for Us Old-Guys).

FYI: Building My List of Must-Have Tools For Motorcycle Owners

1.- Remove The Motorcycle Side body panel.

Remove the Allen head screw from the right rear side body panel. Then carefully remove that body panel. I found the rubber grommets don’t last long when being rough taking off the panels, so take your time or get better grommets(My plan in the future).

2.- Disconnect The Stock Air Intake Hose.

The TBR7 came with a weird but effective, looking hose clamp. If you continue to unscrew the screw, it will disconnect and open the ring for easy removal. Save this if you plan to reuse it later.

Stock TaoTao air hose carb inlet, hose clamp removal.
Red Circle marks air intake tube hose clamp screw.
Stock TaoTao air hose carb inlet, hose clamp.
Air Intake Hose Clamp Removed.

3.- Remove The Motorcycle Air Intake Hose.

This section is where I was going to tell you about the final straw; the oil that found its way into the airbox, and ran out the air intake tube, actually weakened the sealant. The sealant around the air intake hose and the airbox became soft. I plan on fixing the oil in the airbox problems, but now I had to be concerned about dirty air getting into the carburetor.  

My air hose rotated outward easily.
Now The Sealant Is Soft From Oil, the tube just rotate by hand.

My, I folded the top of the air intake tube and pulled, the tube popped out.

TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle inlet hose removed.
Saving air intake tubing for possible later project. 😀

4.- Seal The Motorcycle Airbox.  

I still have oil in the airbox problem, so I don’t want oil coming out or items flying into the airbox. I will later fix the engine crank vent and seal the old airbox, but I will stuff the hole with a rag for now.

Airbox hole.
Nice open hole to collect water, or become a mouse’s home.
air box hole blocked with a shop rag.
Air box quick fix. Once crank case vent corrected, might seal this up.

5.- Dry Fit The New Air Pod.

I tried different angles to move the foam filter away from my leg and as far inside the panel as possible. The angle on the air pod intake is not very sharp but sharp enough to position the filter where I wanted it.

New Uni motorcycle foam air filter pod installed on the TBR7.
Air Filter Pod dry fitted.

6.- Oil The New Air Pod.

The oil seems to catch fine particles and protect the engine. Take your time; I read it should be ‘wet’ but not dripping with oil. Now wipe off connections of any excess oil.

7.- Install The New Air Pod.

I held the air filter pod in place, positioned the hose clamp, and tightened. The hose clamp only had a few mm’s of my VM26 carburetor intake surface to grab hold of, but gentile tightening and testing proved it held tight.

Sharp looking Uni air pod foam filter installed.
Clamp tightened, pod installed. Note after oiling, put red foam on upside down. Duh!

8.- Reinstall The Motorcycle Side Panel.

Remember, the blue thread locker is your friend. 😀

TaoTao TBR7 right side motorcycle panel installed.  Partially hiding Uni filter.
Filter is low, but rubbing legs shouldn’t be a problem.

9.- Test The Engine And Go For A Test Ride.

My favorite part of any maintenance, repair, or upgrade is taking the TBR7 out for a ride. Feels good.

Click For Current Air Filter Pod Prices.

Quick After Market Air Pod Upgrade Results.

Now everyone’s results are going to be different. Before the air pod filter upgrade, I had a shuttering mid-throttle and full-throttle(snapping the throttle open wildly). After the air filter pod upgrade, I still had the mid-throttle shuttering, but my full-throttle open shuttering was almost gone. I can keep my main jet but will have to adjust my jet needle when I get time. Virtually all my engine running rich conditions were fixed with the new air filter pod, and now I don’t have to worry about oil leaking into my carburetor.

A real cheap fix!

Plan to review this upgrade with some, hopefully, final tweaks of my carburetor. Stay tuned.

Ride Safe, Ride Fun!

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

FYI: Motorcycle Air Pod Vs. The K&N Air Filter

I have read that a high-flow aftermarket air filter will improve the airflow and allow more gas into the engine cylinder, resulting in more horsepower. I tried the motorcycle K&N air filter (Model 33-2238) and didn’t like how the air filter installed, so scrapped it.

I read many posts about Hawk 250 motorcycle owners swapping out their stock paper air filter for the K&N air filter with success. But it didn’t work well for my TaoTao TBR7.

When I looked further into this, I found the Hawk 250 air filter housing so different than the TaoTao TBR7 air filter housing. Hawk 250 owners usually do an airbox mod first(air inlet to airbox cutaway) with significantly improved results.

However, my airbox mod of cutting away excess plastic from the air box inlet didn’t have great performance results as I’ve read from Hawk 250 owners.

So the Hawk 250 and TaoTao TBR7 air boxes are very different. This difference could be why my K&N air filter attempt failed. Not a problem; moving forward with the motorcycle air pod upgrade was well worth it.

In hindsight, this failure was good since I found an air pod filter for my motorcycle. An air pod would help by also waiting for it, isolating the carburetor air intake from the airbox. The airbox is where the oil is collected.

An aftermarket air filter was my goal, but now the idea of using an air pod would solve two problems: my engine’s running rich conditions and oil contamination from getting into my carburetor. Yay!
I have been looking at air pods for a while and had some strong reservations. When I wanted to increase airflow into the engine, I figured I could use a drop-in aftermarket replacement air filter like a K&N. All my cars have K&N air filters, so why not my TBR7? I Will cover this in another post, but it didn’t work.

I initially looked at all the air pod mods that could increase airflow into my engine, but I didn’t particularly appreciate where the pods sat(too low to the ground and right next to the rider’s leg). I felt this would allow the air filter to get dirtier and oil on my pants. So I ignored it.

Today, I got fed up with the oil running down the carburetor intake and got an air pod. I will tell you later what the final straw that broke this camel’s back is.

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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