More On Aftermarket Fuel Filters

Fuel filters are not included in Randakk Master Carb Kits. But, it would be a crime to redo your carbs and not take prudent measures to ensure a pure fuel supply! We recommend the OEM Honda filter as a high quality replacement unit for owners concerned about originality..

For others – we offer the Randakk High Performance Fuel Filter with sizes to fit virtually any carbureted motorcycle. Details here.

Typical EMGO Aftermarket Fuel Filter for Early ‘Wings…not available from Randakk.

In the past, fuel filter problems have been very vexing for me. The EMGO product has had several enduring advantages – mainly low price and it looks and fits like OEM which is important as most of my customers prefer an original look.

EMGO has been a very difficult supplier to deal with. For years, the EMGO filter was a reliable filter at a fraction of the cost of an OEM Honda filter. But, for several years I had to work with them to correct manufacturing errors that included:

  • loose filter media
  • internal blockages

Those problems were largely resolved.

An unresolved problem: the O.D. of the EMGO filter cases is slightly too large compared to OEM filters. When installed without taking note of this, the bracket can be over-tightened and cause a fracture in the filter case…usually near the metal ring. This has been reported to EMGO, but they never resolved this issue. Here is the workaround.

Then more seriously, problems of failed / dissolving adhesives began appearing. These may be attributed to:

  • Manufacturing errors
  • Harsh in-tank fuel cleaning products
  • Oxygenating and other components in modern gasoline (such as MTBE)
  • High concentrations of ethanol (higher than E10) such as the accidental dispensing and use of E85
  • MEK leeching from tank sealants products (like KREEM) as explained here.

EMGO reformulated the adhesive to correct these problems. I believe that effort was only partially successful. Failures with the “improved” filters have been reported (elsewhere). The cause is not known.

Testing:

• EMGO testing apparently does not reveal any sensitivity to ethanol with their current filters.

• My testing confirms that ethanol (alone) cannot explain the failed adhesive problem. Ethanol fuel is ubiquitous. If ethanol were to blame, one would expect a very high filter failure rate. That is not the case.

• The incidence of actual filter failures has been extremely low. We have seen only a couple of cases out of thousands of filters.

Assessment:

  • I believe the current EMGO filters are OK to use (if you can find one to buy). I believe they are compatible with E10 gasoline.
  • My conclusion: problems with the EMGO fuel filter are most likely the result of manufacturing defects and quality control issues rather than design flaws.

Business issues:

  • EMGO appears to lack adequate lot control to verify the status of all of its inventory out in various distribution channels. Many “old” filters have apparently been commingled with “improved” filters.
  • EMGO has not managed the public relations aspects of these issues well at all. The “hysteria” on some forums about the issue far exceeds the actual facts.
  •  In 2010, EMGO quietly suspended selling all such fuel filter products in the United States. They continue to sell in other markets. This decision was dictated by EMGO executives apparently seeking to avoid “problems” in the US market. I believe this was an unenlightened method to resolve these ongoing problems.
  • Consequently, we had to source EMGO filters from Europe and elsewhere for a while. This was not a sustainable business solution for us.

Other Issues:

  • We have looked at various filter alternatives. Our research shows that all filters than contain paper media have similar failure rates to the EMGO filter. Some brands actually have higher failure rates than EMGO. Fortunately, all these failure rates are very low.
  • Metal mesh filters work well, but not do not “look “right.”
  • The OEM Honda filter is always a good bet. We continue to recommend that for most customers …especially customers who care about originality.
  • Pingel makes some very nice filters, but they are very expensive and do not offer all the sizes needed for our model coverage.
  • Race car supply firms (like Pegasus) sell high-performance filters that are suitable, but they are also very expensive.

 Randakk’s Solution to all of this:

The EMGO fuel filters previously supplied with our Master Carb Kits have been permanently discontinued. We are no longer willing to overlook the sourcing problems EMGO has created for us.

 So – fuel filters are no longer included in Randakk Master Carb Kits. But, it would be a crime to redo your carbs and not take prudent measures to ensure a pure fuel supply!

We recommend the OEM Honda filter as a high quality replacement unit.

Plus, we now offer the optional Randakk High Performance Fuel Filter with sizes to fit virtually any carbureted motorcycle. Details here.

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