As we all know one of the easiest and best looking upgrades to a stock Harley-Davidson is to swap out the stock air cleaner for an aftermarket unit. While just about everybody under the sun makes a replacement, as of late Roland Sands Design (RSD) seems to have some of the best looking on the market.
An installed air cleaner.
The last time we were at RSD’s Southern California headquarters, Roland was telling us of his new Clarity Line, where each of the intakes and engine covers had see-through windowed compartments so each part can be see working in action. We thought the kid was nuts, but low and behold a few weeks later we got a box from RSD and inside it was an air cleaner with a clear faceplate. We tore it out of the box with much curiosity and studied it for a while with discerning eyes. After pulling it apart to investigate it further, we found it to be well built just like the other RSD parts we have been in contact with. The clear Lexan outer cover is permanently installed at the factory so that no worries regarding an airtight seal is achieved. The filter element is also made for RSD by K&N. We were happy about that fact due to K&N’s reputation of having great elements that last a lifetime if cared for correctly.
All of the rest of the machined parts and attachment hardware were top-notch making this one of the most interesting and well-built intakes we have seen.
We had the filter out of the box already. We also a nice bike with its stock breather box still on it within arms reach, so we decided to give you a window of opportunity to see this particular installation. Just so our readers could be crystal clear on how to properly install it.
1. The RSD Clarity air cleaner came complete with all the needed hardware to install it on any Twin Cam motor.
2. We started this swap by pulling of the OEM Harley ham can cover.
3. The attachment hardware was pulled from the outside of the air filter element.
4. From there we pulled of the stock filter element from the OEM air filter’s backing plate.
6. Using the supplied RSD hollow breather bolts, we loosely attached the new billet aluminum backing plate to the engine’s heads.
7. A new RSD gasket was slid between the bike’s throttle body and the RSD billet backing plate.
8. We then installed the backing plate to the throttle body with the supplied Allen bolts torqued to 8 lb-ft. We also used thread-locking compound on all three of them.
9. The breather bolts were then torqued down to 15 lb-ft of torque.
10. Special rubber breather tubes were slid into the machined spaces in the backing plate to better direct the crankcase fumes to the intake.
11. Once installed you can see how the breather tubes would direct the fumes into the throttle body.
12. The secondary plate was installed over the breather tubes. It just slides into place and cleanly covers all of the backing plate hardware.
13. Before we installed the filter element and Clarity faceplate, we made sure to clean off any fingerprints from the inside of the Lexan window.
14. The filter and faceplate were attached to the backing plate with five billet aluminum stand-off spacers and stainless steel Allen bolts. We used thread-locking compound on all of them before honching them down to 8 lb-ft of torque.
15. After a total of 20 minutes of tech time, we trashed the ugly OEM intake and classed it up with some glassy goodness and better breathing. Now when the throttle is cracked you can see the butterfly putting on a little show inside the filter and hear cold air getting sucked into the engine.
by Jeff G. Holt
Keep in mind that it is important to be certain that you cruise with your motorcycle with safety. Always make sure that you use original carbon fiber helmets.