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Offline FJR1300

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Octane?
« on: January 09, 2014, 06:35:13 AM »
I will be the first to admit I don't know much about engines. I can change my oil and do a few other things, but that is about it for my mechanical skills and knowledge.

The owners manual for my new BMW suggests super unleaded (89 octane) but the book also shows "with regular unleaded" which is 87 octane.

I also know many bike owners who only put premium in their bikes.

So... am I hurting the bike by running 87? Is it even better to run 91?

Offline Stripes

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 06:48:36 AM »
Use premium.
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Offline st2sam

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 06:48:46 AM »
What they are saying is, "for best results run hi-test, bike will run fine on regular because the computer will adjust accordingly".
(maybe a little less (hp) performance with reg..)

I always run Hi-test in my C14 because that's the only grade they mention.
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 06:57:15 AM »
What they are saying is, "for best results run hi-test, bike will run fine on regular because the computer will adjust accordingly".
(maybe a little less (hp) performance with reg..)


/thread.

Online R Doug

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 07:18:45 AM »

So... am I hurting the bike by running 87? Is it even better to run 91?
From Edmunds....

If you're in doubt about switching to a lower-octane fuel, here's a deeper explanation of why the change is unlikely to hurt your motor.

Premium gas is more expensive because it contains a higher percentage of octane. Why is this important? When vaporized gas mixes with air and fills the combustion chamber, it is compressed by the rising pistons. This makes the gas-air mixture grow hot and it could ignite before the spark plug fires, pushing backward on the piston. Higher-octane fuels can be compressed to a greater degree without self-igniting. That's why premium gas is used in high-performance engines.

In the old days, engines could not adjust to fuels with varying octane ratings. Use the wrong fuel and the engine would knock or "ping" audibly because the gas exploded prematurely. This knocking damaged internal engine components over time.
Today, engine control systems can compensate for low octane by monitoring knock activity and adjusting ignition advance to avoid knocking. This sophisticated electronic capability effectively tunes the engine on the fly and gives drivers more flexibility in the grade of fuels that they can safely use.

Compared to premium gasoline, lower-octane fuels don't allow the engine to run as much ignition advance during situations calling for rapid acceleration. More ignition advance allows the engine to make more power, and accelerate more quickly, during these conditions. Since the engine doesn't make quite as much power with lower-octane fuels, this translates into slower acceleration in cars for which premium fuel is recommended. The performance loss is especially noticeable in turbocharged gasoline engines, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.

The performance loss, however, is something you will only notice if you flog the bike and accelerate rapidly from a dead stop or while changing lanes at highway speeds. But if you accelerate moderately, the loss of power is barely noticeable, regardless of whether you use premium or regular-grade fuel.


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Offline Stripes

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 07:27:55 AM »
Use premium.
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Offline FJR1300

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 07:32:30 AM »
Use premium.

After doing some additional research I discovered Missouri requires 10% ethanol to be blended into all gas EXCEPT premium, so I will go with your suggestion.

Quote
Ethanol Blend Mandate

All gasoline offered for sale at retail stations within the state must contain 10% ethanol (E10). This requirement is waived only if a distributor is unable to purchase ethanol or ethanol-blended gasoline at the same or lower price as unblended gasoline. Premium gasoline is exempt from this requirement. Ethanol is defined as fuel that is derived from an agricultural source and that meets ASTM specification D4806. (Reference Missouri Revised Statutes 414.255)

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 07:32:59 AM »
Use premium.

There's no benefit in running an octane higher than what's recommended.

IMO, run what the bike calls for.  Which, in this case, is 89 (mostly called "plus").

EDIT: Oops, moderator error. I clicked on the wrong post to edit.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 07:34:54 AM by FJR1300 »
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Re: Octane?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 07:35:27 AM »
New bike, so;
Run it on 89 until it's broken in and you're familiar with how it runs, sounds, rides, performs, etc.  Record your mileage.
Then;
Run run a few tanks of 87.  Note any differences - mileage is the one that can be compared with hard data.
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Re: Octane?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 07:35:57 AM »
After doing some additional research I discovered Missouri requires 10% (soon to be 15%) ethanol to be blended into all gas EXCEPT premium, so I will go with your suggestion.

Well, OK.  That would be a benefit to using premium.   :thumbsup:

I too would do anything to avoid add'l ethanol.   :(
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 07:36:09 AM »
Use premium.

After doing some additional research I discovered Missouri requires 10% (soon to be 15%) ethanol to be blended into all gas EXCEPT premium, so I will go with your suggestion.


Meh.  Everything has ethanol these days and has for years and years around here.  The only way I'd pay more for premium with no ethanol is if the increase in MPG justified the difference in price at the pump.  Odds are it doesn't.   :naughty:

Offline Jay547

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 07:47:15 AM »
The only way I'd pay more for premium with no ethanol is if the increase in MPG justified the difference in price at the pump. 

I've checked the mpg of "real gas" vs. ethanol blended gas several times on my bike. The mpg is generally 3-4 mpg better with the "real gas." This has been using 87 octane on both varieties. I've never tested the higher octane "real gas."

Offline mxvet57

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 08:13:49 AM »
When i first got the FJR i was running premium but when the price of gas went up i started running 87. 272,000 and no problems. When it gets hot out i do get a little nock when acseletaring off of low end but not an issue. When it gets hot out (85+) i will run 87 or 91 octane.
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Offline CLAY

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 08:34:48 AM »
Be aware those ethanol blends can vary by state.  I should look up what it is in Michigan.  My truck will run E85 and after some testing not even including the whole food-to-fuel discussion E85 costs more to run in my truck due to the poor performance with Ethanol.  It would be interesting to run those numbers on a long-term test with premium vs 10% ethanol in 87 octane.
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Offline bomber

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 09:08:17 AM »
Use premium.

There's no benefit in running an octane higher than what's recommended.

IMO, run what the bike calls for.  Which, in this case, is 89 (mostly called "plus").

EDIT: Oops, moderator error. I clicked on the wrong post to edit.

This, all day long.

Unless, as in your situation, hi-test contains reduced or no ethonal, in which case, it would be worth while to test performance (mostly milage) with that . . . .


Running higher than suggested octane buys you nothing at all. Octane is simply an indication of the fuel's resistance to pre-ignition.
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Re: Octane?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2014, 09:15:41 AM »


Running higher than suggested octane buys you nothing at all. Octane is simply an indication of the fuel's resistance to pre-ignition.

 I agree with this and understand the science behind it to some degree. But, why does my 2 stroke dirt bike run sooo damn good on 1/2 pump and 1/2 AV gas??
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Offline open sore

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2014, 09:16:18 AM »
In NY all gas has ethanol now so no benefit of Super unless called for.  I run the cheapest I can in all my stuff.  My car calls for 91, so in my car its the 91 or higher.  Any knocking or pinging and I go up to the next octane grade.  No better performance based on octane, just raises combustion temp.

If I had the option of no ethanol in only one grade, I would run that. 

Offline open sore

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 09:17:32 AM »


Running higher than suggested octane buys you nothing at all. Octane is simply an indication of the fuel's resistance to pre-ignition.

 I agree with this and understand the science behind it to some degree. But, why does my 2 stroke dirt bike run sooo damn good on 1/2 pump and 1/2 AV gas??

Maybe no ethanol in the AV gas?

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 09:23:39 AM »


Running higher than suggested octane buys you nothing at all. Octane is simply an indication of the fuel's resistance to pre-ignition.

 I agree with this and understand the science behind it to some degree. But, why does my 2 stroke dirt bike run sooo damn good on 1/2 pump and 1/2 AV gas??

Maybe no ethanol in the AV gas?

 it runs noticeably better than 93 octane w/o ethanol too?
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2014, 09:35:13 AM »
I will be the first to admit I don't know much about engines. I can change my oil and do a few other things, but that is about it for my mechanical skills and knowledge.

The owners manual for my new BMW suggests super unleaded (89 octane) but the book also shows "with regular unleaded" which is 87 octane.

I also know many bike owners who only put premium in their bikes.

So... am I hurting the bike by running 87? Is it even better to run 91?

You did not state whether your manual specifies that the octane rating is RON, MON, or R+M/2. Some BMW manuals say RON, and most US pumps use the R+M/2 method.
Gotta talk apples to apples before you figure out what the factory requirements are.

edited to add: This is also called the AKI rating also. (R+M/2)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 10:00:48 AM by Max Wedge »
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2014, 09:52:33 AM »
Assuming it's a US model you would hope they give the rating we use in this market.

Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2014, 10:01:56 AM »
Assuming it's a US model you would hope they give the rating we use in this market.

My US model specifies RON on the tank (IIRC) and has others listed in the manual.

Quote: Measurement methods
The most common type of octane rating worldwide is the Research Octane Number (RON). RON is determined by running the fuel through a specific test engine with a variable compression ratio under controlled conditions, and comparing these results with those for mixtures of isooctane and n-heptane.

There is another type of octane rating, called Motor Octane Number (MON) or the aviation lean octane rating, which is a better measure of how the fuel behaves when under load. MON testing uses a similar test engine to that used in RON testing, but with a preheated fuel mixture, a higher engine speed, and variable ignition timing to further stress the fuel's knock resistance. Depending on the composition of the fuel, the MON of a modern gasoline will be about 8 to 10 points lower than the RON. Normally fuel specifications require both a minimum RON and a minimum MON.

In most countries (including all of Europe and Australia) the "headline" octane that would be shown on the pump is the RON, but in the United States, Canada and some other countries the headline number is the average of the RON and the MON, sometimes called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), Road Octane Number (RdON), Pump Octane Number (PON), or (R+M)/2. Because of the 8 to 10 point difference noted above, this means that the octane in the United States will be about 4 to 5 points lower than the same fuel elsewhere: 87 octane fuel, the "regular" gasoline in the US and Canada, would be 91-92 in Europe. However most European pumps deliver 95 (RON) as "regular", equivalent to 90-91 US (R+M)/2, and even deliver 98 (RON) or 100 (RON).
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2014, 10:23:49 AM »
Assuming it's a US model you would hope they give the rating we use in this market.

My US model specifies RON on the tank (IIRC) and has others listed in the manual.



In most countries (including all of Europe and Australia) the "headline" octane that would be shown on the pump is the RON, but in the United States, Canada and some other countries the headline number is the average of the RON and the MON, sometimes called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), Road Octane Number (RdON), Pump Octane Number (PON), or (R+M)/2. Because of the 8 to 10 point difference noted above, this means that the octane in the United States will be about 4 to 5 points lower than the same fuel elsewhere: 87 octane fuel, the "regular" gasoline in the US and Canada, would be 91-92 in Europe. However most European pumps deliver 95 (RON) as "regular", equivalent to 90-91 US (R+M)/2, and even deliver 98 (RON) or 100 (RON).


Gotcha.  All my bike warning stickers come off once I get home from the dealer.  I don't want the death reminder.  ;D

I'm aware of all the different grade/methods.  :smiley_thumb:

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2014, 10:24:37 AM »
Oh, if you try 87 and it doesn't quite do it you could always step up to 87.5

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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2014, 10:27:42 AM »
Oh, if you try 87 and it doesn't quite do it you could always step up to 87.5

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That has to be at least 0.5 better! :lol: a difference you can FEEL!
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Re: Octane?
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2014, 10:31:34 AM »
That's what you should run in that wethead you just bought. 

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2014, 10:32:29 AM »
That's what you should run in that wethead you just bought.

That is just a rumor! -which may or may not be true.  ;D
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Re: Octane?
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2014, 11:12:30 AM »
Oh, if you try 87 and it doesn't quite do it you could always step up to 87.5

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$3.23 for premium. God i wish. I payed 3.32 for 87 yesterday.
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Re: Octane?
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2014, 11:15:08 AM »
That was from a few years ago on a trip down to Merlin*.








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Offline bomber

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2014, 11:24:09 AM »


Running higher than suggested octane buys you nothing at all. Octane is simply an indication of the fuel's resistance to pre-ignition.

 I agree with this and understand the science behind it to some degree. But, why does my 2 stroke dirt bike run sooo damn good on 1/2 pump and 1/2 AV gas??

Maybe no ethanol in the AV gas?

 it runs noticeably better than 93 octane w/o ethanol too?

Mixing octanes often yields an octane that is higher than either of the base fuels . . . . old racer trick . . . . .I have no grasp of the chemistry involved, only that it is so, and it works.
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Offline Justin

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2014, 12:18:29 PM »
Geeze, it's an F700. I doubt the engine was tuned for high performance fuels :lol:

Seriously, put regular in it. If it knocks or pings, then use the good stuff. Unless the engine has a knock sensor, which most bikes don't, it will not adjust for lower octane.

Edit: a quick internet search confirms the f700gs does not have a knock sensor. So yeah, if low octane runs crappy, use the 89.
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2014, 01:17:00 PM »
Geeze, it's an F700. I doubt the engine was tuned for high performance fuels :lol:

Seriously, put regular in it. If it knocks or pings, then use the good stuff. Unless the engine has a knock sensor, which most bikes don't, it will not adjust for lower octane.

Edit: a quick internet search confirms the f700gs does not have a knock sensor. So yeah, if low octane runs crappy, use the 89.

Does it have to have a knock sensor? Won't the sensors in the exhaust detect a burn condition that indicates pre-ignition? The 1200 manual states you can use lower octane but the engine will compensate and power output will go down.

This is ST.o, and we won't let this die until every dead horse if thoroughly flogged.
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Offline motormike

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2014, 01:21:36 PM »
Doesn't the octane of gas you choose depend on the oil specs?

 :tinfoil:

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2014, 01:27:20 PM »
No knock sensor on the C14.  You need to listen for pre-ignition, over the noisy cam chain and loose header nut rattle.  :lol:

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2014, 01:32:27 PM »
Geeze, it's an F700. I doubt the engine was tuned for high performance fuels :lol:

Seriously, put regular in it. If it knocks or pings, then use the good stuff. Unless the engine has a knock sensor, which most bikes don't, it will not adjust for lower octane.

Edit: a quick internet search confirms the f700gs does not have a knock sensor. So yeah, if low octane runs crappy, use the 89.

Does it have to have a knock sensor? Won't the sensors in the exhaust detect a burn condition that indicates pre-ignition? The 1200 manual states you can use lower octane but the engine will compensate and power output will go down.

This is ST.o, and we won't let this die until every dead horse if thoroughly flogged.

I believe the 1200 actually has a knock sensor.
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Offline bomber

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2014, 01:41:12 PM »
I believe the 1200 actually has a knock sensor.

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Offline CLAY

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2014, 03:17:49 PM »
I believe the 1200 actually has a knock sensor.


Letting you know if someone make fun of your bike?


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Re: Octane?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2014, 04:09:27 PM »
Doesn't the octane of gas you choose depend on the oil specs?

 :tinfoil:

It depends on if it's Dino octane or synthetic octane.
At the risk of encouraging him, I agree with Cookie.   "Bomber"

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Offline rgbeard

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2014, 06:29:13 PM »
IBA: 63413

Online Skee

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2014, 08:35:12 PM »
Stop trying to confuse us with facts.
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Offline JonS

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2014, 06:30:24 AM »
Use premium.

Both my bikes call for premium gas in the manual, so that's what I use. Bikes get great mileage anyway, so I think nothing of the small amount extra I pay. :shrug:
You can't avoid aging, but you don't have to get old.

Offline Stripes

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2014, 06:30:03 PM »
Use premium.

Both my bikes call for premium gas in the manual, so that's what I use. Bikes get great mileage anyway, so I think nothing of the small amount extra I pay. :shrug:

True. My K1600GT fuel tank is 7ish gallons so to use premium, which it calls for anyways, is only a difference of $0.30/tank more than mid-grade... I try to only use Shell but it doesn't always work out. I've always used premium even when the manufacturer, Triumph for example, calls for at least mid-grade. Don't ask me why. I have no reason. It's just my choice to use premium. I like it!
Hard work, pays off in the future. Laziness, pays off now.

Offline huron52

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2014, 11:02:57 AM »
My Fjr has used 87 since it was new.  Our rating system is diferent but as to how different, I don't know.  I run the WR250R on premium.  If it wasn't available when I filled up I would put 87 until I could put premium next time or to top it back up.  It blows up.... it blows up.   

Offline SuperHans

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2014, 07:57:30 AM »
This is like an oil question. My car calls for slightly better than Mid Grade, I forget the exact octane rating. I put Regular in it with the occasional tank of Mid Grade. I can find no difference in performance or mileage. All indications show me the higher octane does nothing.

Of course if you have the choice between and ethanol blend or something without ethanol you would have to do a price versus milage comparison to truly see the benefits. Personally, I bet the higher btu content of the straight Premium still does not offset the higher cost over Regular. Yes I said Regular, as I personally wouldn't put anything else in the tank since I truly don't believe based on what your manual says you need anything more.

Thats my opinon and opinons are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink.

Online Black Hills

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2014, 08:16:58 AM »
don't forget elevation plays into the mix as well ;)
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2014, 08:24:34 AM »
...And engine age/mileage. Carbon build up and hot spots....
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
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Offline Stripes

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2014, 10:25:01 AM »
Use what the manufacturers manual recommended!
Hard work, pays off in the future. Laziness, pays off now.

Offline SuperHans

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2014, 11:26:04 AM »
Use what the manufacturers manual recommended!

Screw that, I know better. :bigsmile:

Offline Stripes

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2014, 11:44:47 AM »
Use premium!  ;D
Hard work, pays off in the future. Laziness, pays off now.

Offline giaka

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Re: Octane?
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2014, 03:22:56 PM »
Use what the manufacturers manual recommended!

Winner

Use premium!  ;D


Loser, a wasteful one at that.
I don't know how to act my age, I have never been this old before.........
MR MOJO RISIN unscrambled spells JIM MORRISON

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