K&N Filters Early Years

In the Beginning, There was Racing, and it was Good

K&N Filters’ origin story starts the same year that Harley-Davidson launched the Sportster: 1957. That was when Norm McDonald and Ken Johnson opened the shop that would eventually become K&N Filters. The company’s performance air filter and H-D’s bikes have been a hot item for decades. Obviously, it wasn’t love at first sight; it took awhile for both to mature a bit. But who knew that both K&N and the Sporty would still be going strong over six decades later?

In the early `60s, the two racers conjured up an air filter that could take the abuse dished out by all the dust and dirt that offroad racing throws at a motorcycle. They auditioned different types of media for the filtration gig and found that oiled cotton not only did they job really well, you could wash it and reuse it, too. That’s the basis of the K&N air filters many of us now use on our V-twins on the street, too.

kn harley filter
Like, say, this AirCharger Air Intake.

Now, products like the K&N AirCharger Air Intake are available for select Harley-Davidson Touring, Softail, Twin-Cam and Sportster motorcycle models. The one above increases power by eliminating the restrictive stock OE air cleaner and replacing it with a K&N High-Flow Air Filter and a black powder-coated mandrel bent aluminum intake tube. It’s just one of many options you’ll find from K&N for your bike.


K&N Engineering logo


K&N Engineering







(800) 858-3333


1455 Citrus Street

Riverside, CA 92507

ABOUT K&N Engineering®

K&N is a world-class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and air intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. K&N invented the reusable high-flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies.