TBR7 K&N Motorcycle Air Filter Upgrade? No.

But The Hawk 250 Motorcycle Worked?

So as a Chonda Owner(TaoTao TBR7, RPS Hawk 250, etc.) I always quest for aftermarket upgrades and extract the most horsepower from my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle. One way I tried was experimenting with a high-flow, low resistance aftermarket air filter like the K&N air filter, but it didn’t work out for my TBR7 motorcycle.   Read about how I tried to upgrade the motorcycle air filter with a K&N Air Filter and failed.

I read online this air filter upgrade worked for the Hawk 250 motorcycle, but I couldn’t get the air filter to install correctly, which led me to head in another air intake modification direction. Read on if you want to critique my work and offer some feedback on how I tried to upgrade the TBR7 motorcycle from its stock paper air filter.

After personal research, if I could get my TBR7 motorcycle to breathe better, I could get more power out of the engine, so the first significant restriction I could upgrade was the air filter. I have experimented with removing the air filter altogether, and I got exciting results: My TBR7 Airbox Modification Trials.

FYI: Do not try this at home. Running an engine without protecting foreign air particles could lead to catastrophic failure of your machine.

My Motorcycle K&N Air Filter Purchase.

As expected, I ordered the K&N from Amazon. I like their service and easy return policy, and of course, I am an Amazon Associate because I trust their services.  

I got this out of the way since the first thing people ask, is “Where did you get the K&N air filter?” instead of “Did the K&N air filter upgrade work for your motorcycle?”

OK, What K&N Air Filter Did I Buy?

I picked up the K&N Model 33-2238 Air Filter. One I read worked with the Hawk 250 dual-sport motorcycle and a Chonda-Cousin to my TBR7. It had good outcomes from what I read. But I didn’t read far enough to cover why I believed their upgrade worked and why I wasn’t happy with my TBR7 air filter upgrade.

The Famed Motorcycle K&N Air Filter #33-2238.
The Famed K&N Air Filter #33-2238, all set for my TBR7 motorcycle.

Author’s Notice: This page contains affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission by their use. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.

Click Here For More Filter Information: K&N Engine Air Filter Replacement Filter #33-2238

My Steps To Change Out Stock Motorcycle Air Filter For The K&N Upgrade

Remember Safety First: My Motorcycle Garage Safety Rules – FAQ

1.- Removed The Motorcycle’s Rear Side Panels And Seat.

If you need tool suggestions, I am building a list here: Must Have Tools For Motorcycle Owners

2.- Removed The Motorcycle Airbox Inlet Cover.

TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle Air Filter Box Lid On.
TBR7 Motorcycle Air Filter Box Lid On, watch those screws.
TBR7 Motorcycle Air Filter Box Lid removed.
TBR7 Motorcycle Air Filter Box Lid off.

Careful, don’t lose the screws, why I use a magnetic parts tray. Click here for current prices: Round Magnetic Parts Tray.

3.- Removed Motorcycle Air Filter Mounting Ring.

TBR Air Filter Mounting Ring.
TBR Motorcycle Air Filter Mounting Ring.

Careful, those tiny screws like to get away from you; I did and had to use a magnetic pick-up probe for easy retrieval. Like one I have: Durable Telescoping Magnetic Grabber.

4.- Swap Out The Stock Motorcycle Air Filter For The New K&N Air Filter (33-2238).  

Holding the TaoTao TBR7 Stock Motorcycle Air Filter.
TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle Stock Paper Air Filter

Ensure you face the new motorcycle air filter in the same direction as the old stock paper air filter.  

The New Motorcycle K&N Air Filter Came Pre-oiled and sealed.
The New Motorcycle K&N Air Filter Came Pre-oiled in its package.

5.- Reinstall The Motorcycle Air Filter Mounting Ring.

This step is where I had problems, and let’s move forward with the following steps to complete my thinking process and help you succeed where I failed with this motorcycle upgrade.

6.- Reinstall The Motorcycle Airbox Inlet Cover

Be careful to control the air filter cover screws. I dropped a couple installing the cover and had to fish them out with a magnetic pick-up tool. Must Have Tools For Motorcycle Owners

7.- Reinstall The Motorcycle Seat and Side Panels.

Don’t forget the powers of thread locker!

8.- Test Start The Motorcycle.

The goal of changing to a low resistance air filter allows the motorcycle engine to breathe more. This upgrade could cause the engine to run lean, especially if you upgraded to a low resistance motorcycle exhaust system.  

With EFI(Electronic Fuel Injection), the computer can compensate after it relearns the new parameters and matches them to its saved fuel/air ratio tables. This change can work for EFI Hawk 250s, but not for the carbureted Hawk 250, especially the only version of TBR7 made, carbureted.  

9.- If Needed, Tune The Motorcycle Carburetor.

If you you have Electronic Fuel Injection, you can, of course, skip this step. If you have a TaoTao TB7 or carbureted model of the Hawk 250, this might be a needed step.

FYI: the stock carburetor that comes with these motorcycles isn’t easy to tune since they are ‘sealed’ against modification. I changed over my TBR7’s carburetor to an aftermarket Makuni VM-26. This Makuni carburetor upgrade allowed me to change the pilot and main jets with ‘somewhat’ ease.

Some Chonda-Owners have ‘opened’ their stock carbs to allow for modifications, but this can be messy and found just getting an aftermarket carburetor too easy. Read this post: Completed My TBR7’s Carburetor Upgrade.

10.- Take Your Motorcycle Out For A Ride!

Now nothing tests your motorcycle upgrades like actually riding around after the upgrade. As you know, the motorcycle behaves differently when it’s under load and being tested by your riding style.  

For me, a motorcycle upgrade might have a different outcome than for you, based on how I ride and what I expect from my motorcycle.

Face it; this highlights upgrading our motorcycles, more fun, and more time in the saddle. 😀

Done here, now going to cover what happened and my future ideas for my TBR7 airbox plans.

What Went Wrong? A Bad Motorcycle K&N Air Filter?

First, let me say, one of the first upgrades to any car I buy is to install a new automotive K&N air filter. I’ve had great results over decades(Yes I said decades), using the K&N line of aftermarket air filters. By no means was this a K&N Air Filter problem. They are excellent upgrade products.

That said, yes, it failed. The K&N Air Filter upgrade for my TBR7 motorcycle failed.

BTW: If Interested In The Line Of K&N Products, Amazon has a great selection of K&N Air Filters.

What went wrong was I could not get a good seal between my airbox air filter mount and the K&N air filter. I tried cranking down, without breaking things, on the mounting ring, and I still had an air gap about the air filter. So, I was unhappy with an unfiltered air pathway into my motorcycle.

What Could I Have Done Different With This Filter Upgrade?

This shared information is where I hope my post comes in handy for you by sharing more information.

I missed what some Chonda-Owner’s shared with their air filter upgrade information; they created a ‘mat’ or ‘gasket’ to fill the gap between the K&N air filter and the air filter mounting surface. 

Nothing complicated. One solution I read was using gasket material, thicker and softer, and another was creating a gasket out of foam.  

What Could I Have Done To Make The Upgrade work?

Make a gasket to match the new motorcycle air filter to the stock airbox mounting area.

What Did I Do?

At the step where I figured I wouldn’t get the K&N air filter to fit correctly, I still wonder I have a warped airbox; I just reinstalled the TBR7’s stock air filter, and I followed my steps to reinstall the motorcycle’s parts.

What Is My Air Filter/Airbox Plans?

I gave up on installing an aftermarket air filter in my airbox and figured I would move forward with doing a complete airbox delete.

I have oil problems with my airbox(See Previous Posts: Fed Up With Oil In My Motorcycle AirBox. 🙁 and if you have the same problem of oil in your air box: Oil In Motorcycle Filter Airbox, Fixed!), and eliminating the airbox would be a good idea, and I might get a K&N air pod filter instead. I’ve found information about Hawk 250 airbox delete upgrades and thinking about doing the same for my TBR7.

Motorcycle Air Filter Upgrading Wrap Up:

I repackaged the K&N Model 33-2238 Air Filter and returned it to Amazon. I got a full refund, and maybe another TBR7 owner will enjoy completing the K&N air filter upgrade. I hope they post about it.

I am amazed at Amazon’s business model.  

I will post any air filter or airbox upgrades on the blog and hopefully remember to post them here. Do a blog search, and maybe I can help you too with the quest to get the most horsepower out of your TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle as well.

Again, my blog is NOT a How-to, just a collection of shared activities and ideas from my new motorcycling hobby. I hope to inspire you to have fun and develop ideas about how you can improve your motorcycling experience by seeing it through my newbie’s eyes. Get help from an experienced motorcyclist for your upgrade needs, and please feel free to share the results in the blog’s comment sections. 

FYI: Thank you, Hawk 250 owners who took the time to share their upgrade experiences on the web. As a TBR7 owner, I appreciate it.

Ride Safe, Ride Fun!

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

Motorcycle Air Filter Update:

Went forward with Air Pod Filter Upgrade, here is that post:
TaoTao TBR7 Air Filter Pod Replacement, DONE!

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