The Seasoned Wrench


The Best Stage 2 Air Cleaner for Harley Davidson Motorcycles

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Rev up your motorcycle experience with an upgrade that’s a game-changer for any enthusiast! If you’ve ever wondered how to unlock the full potential of your ride, the answer lies in enhancing your engine’s maximum airflow with a quality air filter (and associated mods, of course).

Ready to feel the surge of power and experience the roar of maximum performance? Dive into our comprehensive guide on the best Stage 2 air cleaner for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Discover how these upgrades can transform your ride, and why a performance air filter might just be the key to your dream bike.

Ready? Keep reading to turbocharge your knowledge and your Harley!

Understanding Stage 2 Air Cleaners

Before diving into the best stage 2 air cleaner for Harley Davidson, it’s crucial to understand what a stage 2 air cleaner is. In general, “stages” in motorcycle enhancements refer to various levels of engine upgrades. A stage 2 air cleaner is part of a comprehensive performance upgrade package, which also includes camshaft modifications.

Why Choose a Stage 2 Air Cleaner

Opting for a high-performance air filter is all about unlocking your engine’s potential. More airflow into your engine results in more power output. A high-flow filter offers a significant increase in air filter element, potentially leading to notable horsepower gains.

The Market Leader: Arlen Ness Big Sucker

One of the most popular choices for enhancing airflow is the high-performance air filter. This air filtration product consistently receives high ratings for its exceptional performance, durable construction, and sleek design.

Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit For 2008-2017 Harleys

Key Features

  • 20% Larger High-Flow Filter: Provides increased airflow for better performance.
  • Scalloped Billet Aluminum Cover: Adds a stylish look to your motorcycle.
  • One-Piece Aluminum Backing Plate: Integrates carb support and breather tunnels for ease of installation and a cleaner setup.

The first thing I noticed after installing this kit was the remarkable improvement in filter air effectively. The ‘Big Sucker’ Stage II comes with a 20% larger high-flow filter, making it evident in the way my bike now responds. Throttle response is crisper, and the overall power feels significantly boosted.

Not only does it enhance performance, but it also adds a sleek black or dark grey aesthetic appeal to my bike. The scalloped billet aluminum cover is a real head-turner. It blends seamlessly with my Harley’s design, featuring either a black or dark grey finish, giving it a more customized, high-end look.

Installation was straightforward, thanks to the all-in-one backing plate steel with built-in carb support and breather tunnels. It’s a virtually closed-loop system, meaning there’s less mess and hassle. Maintenance is equally straightforward, keeping my focus on the road, not on constant adjustments.

Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit For Harley Davidson Evolution Engines (1993-2000)

Key Features

  • Larger Air Flow Capacity: The 20% larger high-flow filter significantly improves engine breathing.
  • Classic Aesthetics: The smooth chrome steel cover with rust resistant stainless steel adds a sleek, timeless look to the bike.
  • Easy Installation: Designed for seamless integration, ensuring a straightforward setup.

After experiencing the remarkable improvements the Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit brought to my 2008 Harley, I was intrigued to see how it would perform on my older Harley Evolution from 1993. So, I decided to upgrade it with the Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit designed for the Harley Evolution models from 1993-2000.

The smooth chrome steel cover not only added a sleek look but also complemented the classic aesthetics of my bike. It’s like this kit was made keeping in mind the timeless appeal of older Harleys.

Installing the kit was straightforward, just like with my 2008 model. The one-piece aluminum backing plate with built-in carb support made the process hassle-free. The reliability of performance since installation has been exceptional, reaffirming my trust in Arlen Ness products.

Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit For Harley 1988-2022 Sporster Models

Key Features

  • Enhanced Engine Efficiency: The 20% larger high-flow filter significantly improves airflow and engine performance.
  • Grooved Billet Aluminum Cover: Adds a distinctive style that complements the Sportster’s look.
  • Simple Installation: User-friendly design ensures easy installation and hidden breather technology across various Harley models.

After witnessing the transformative effects of the Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker kits on my 2008 Harley and the older Evolution model, I was curious about It’s effectiveness for the Sportster, a bike that’s been on my mind since the late ’80s. The Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner Kit for Harley Sportster Years 1988-2022 seemed like the perfect fit. However, as unfortunate as it may be, I don’t have a Sportster these days – so it’s up to my buddy Jacob to let me experiment on his! Anyways, let’s keep moving.

The installation for the Sportster was a breeze, echoing the simplicity I had come to appreciate with Arlen Ness kits. The impact on performance was immediately noticeable. The bike’s response felt more agile, and the engine seemed to breathe more freely, thanks to the 20% larger high-flow filter.

The grooved billet aluminum cover added a rugged yet refined touch to the Sportster’s distinct aesthetic. It was impressive how the kit managed to enhance the bike’s appearance while staying true to its iconic style.

One thing that stood out to me across all models was the consistency in quality and performance improvement the Arlen Ness kits provided. Whether it was my newest Harley, the vintage Evolution, or the trusty Sportster, each bike benefited uniquely from the upgrade.

Arlen Ness Naked Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner For 2008-2017 Harleys (Variant 2 w/ Updated Cover)

Key Features

  • Streamlined Design: Offers a minimalist look while enhancing engine performance.
  • 20% Larger Air Filter: Improves airflow for increased horsepower and torque.
  • Customizable: Compatible with a range of Arlen Ness covers for those who wish to personalize their bikes later.

Having experienced the remarkable improvements brought by Arlen Ness Stage 2 Big Sucker kits to my the Harleys in my vicinity, I was intrigued by the Arlen Ness Naked Stage 2 Big Sucker Air Cleaner, specifically designed for Harley models from 2008-2017. However, this one has the updated faceplate for the intake.

What sets the Naked Stage 2 Big Sucker apart is its minimalist design. Unlike the previous models with their distinct covers, this one offers a more stripped-down look. It’s perfect for riders who prefer a raw, mechanical aesthetic without compromising on performance.

True to its lineage, this kit significantly improves airflow, courtesy of a filter that’s 20% larger than the standard Stage I filter. The result is a noticeable boost in horsepower and torque, making my Harley feel more alive and responsive.

Another aspect I appreciated about the Naked Stage 2 is its flexibility. For those who might want to add a bit of flair later, it’s compatible with various Arlen Ness covers. This versatility allows for personalization while enjoying the core benefits of the kit.

What Are Users Opinions on Stage 2 Air Cleaners

User opinions on stage 2 air cleaners can be quite illuminating. Many users testify to the noticeable improvement in horsepower and filter air performance after installing a stage 2 air cleaner. However, some also suggest that the aesthetic appeal of the air cleaner should be a consideration, as there isn’t much difference in performance among the top brands.

Purchasing Your Stage 2 Air Cleaner

Once you’ve decided on the best stage 2 air cleaner for your Harley Davidson, the next step is to make your purchase. Many online retailers offer these products, and most accept major credit cards and PayPal as payment options. Be sure to choose a reputable retailer to ensure the authenticity and quality of your product.

Is A Tune Required for Stage 2 Intakes?

When it comes to upgrading your Harley with a Stage 2 air intake, one crucial aspect you can’t overlook is the need for a tuner. Here’s why tuning becomes an essential step in this process:

Why Tuning is Essential

Balancing the Air/Fuel Ratio:
  • With a Stage 2 intake, your Harley will experience increased airflow. This alteration can disrupt the delicate balance of the air-to-fuel ratio. A tuner is required to recalibrate this ratio, ensuring your engine runs efficiently and safely.
Enhancing Engine Performance:
  • To capitalize on the full potential of the increased airflow and horsepower that a Stage 2 intake offers, a tuner is necessary. It optimizes engine settings to match the enhanced airflow, translating to smoother rides and better overall performance.
Preventing Engine Damage:
  • Running an upgraded air intake without proper tuning can lead to engine damage over time. A tuner helps prevent issues like lean running conditions, which can cause overheating and other engine problems.

Taking the Next Step

Now that you understand the importance of a tuner with your Stage 2 intake upgrade, it’s time to explore your options. There are several excellent tuners available specifically designed for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Investing in a good tuner not only complements your Stage 2 intake but also ensures your Harley runs at peak efficiency.

Are you ready to take your Harley to the next level? Dive into our guide on the best Harley Davidson tuners to find the perfect match for your upgraded intake system. With the right tuner, you’ll unlock a new realm of power and performance for your ride.

Related: ThunderMax Tuner Reviews: A Complete, In-Depth Analysis

Installation Tips and Tricks

Installing your stage 2 air cleaner kit is a fairly straightforward process, and most products come with simple instructions. However, if you’re not comfortable with DIY installation, it’s recommended to seek professional help to ensure correct installation and optimal performance. Or, if you’re like me and prefer to do things yourself (when possible), check out this installation video:

Video titled “Harley-Davidson Arlen Ness Big Sucker™ Air Cleaner Install | ’14 Twin Cam”


Choosing the best stage 2 air cleaner for Harley Davidson is an important decision that can significantly enhance your bike’s performance. While there are many products available, the Arlen Ness Big Sucker stands out for its impressive features and consistent high ratings. However, personal preference, air cleaner housing options, and budget also play a significant role in the decision-making process.

In the end, the goal is to choose a product that will not only boost your engine’s performance but also complement your bike’s unique style. Happy riding!

Why Should I Upgrade to a Stage 2 Air Cleaner?

Upgrading to a Stage 2 air cleaner is beneficial for boosting your engine’s performance. It allows more air to enter the engine, resulting in increased power output. This upgrade is especially popular among riders looking to enhance their bike’s horsepower and overall ride quality.

What Makes the Arlen Ness Big Sucker a Popular Choice?

The Arlen Ness Big Sucker is popular for its exceptional performance, durability, and sleek design. ts 20% larger high-flow filter with synthetic filtration gauze significantly improves airflow, contributing to better engine performance. Additionally, its aesthetic appeal and easy installation make it a favorite among Harley Davidson owners.

Can I Install a Stage 2 Air Cleaner Myself?

Yes, installing a Stage 2 air cleaner is generally a straightforward process. Most kits come with simple instructions, including air cleaner images for guidance, making it feasible for individuals comfortable with basic DIY tasks. However, for optimal performance and safety, those unsure about the installation process should seek professional assistance.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Stage 2 Air Cleaner?

When choosing a Stage 2 air cleaner, consider factors like the specific model of your Harley Davidson, your performance goals, the cleaner’s design and construction quality, ease of installation, and your budget. Personal preference in aesthetics should also play a role in your decision.