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  1. #1
    Richard230's Avatar
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    I just posted this in the Hall of Wisdom section, but I will re-post it here should someone want to discuss the subject further. If you are interested in reading a very long and detailed discussion regarding gasoline and its use in motorcycles, here is a link to an article that was just published by Motorcycle.com:https://www.motorcycle.com/features/...ycle-fuel.html
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    A long, circuitous ramble. I prefer concise. It all boils down to a short statement towards the end of the article.

    " try to use the highest octane that’s available at the pump."

    In the owners manual for the F800ST it stated use premium. But it also said that a lesser grade fuel use "Could provide less power and fuel economy". Didn't say not to use lower octane gas. Just said performance and mileage may result. I always bought the lower grade and the bike performed fabulously to my standards.
    Even got the best mileage in Colorado using 85 octane, 71 mpg.

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    First off, if you're getting 71 mpg then the way you ride will not be affected by using lower octane gas in our bikes. They are designed to adjust things based on octane. You can see that both octane levels are listed in the manual as acceptable, but you'll get lower peak power with less octane. I remember seeing the actual hp and torque numbers (for different octane) published somewhere, but can't find it now. So if you're cruising around, then low octane will be fine. If you want to rip it a bit, then the extra 10 or so hp with 91 octane will make a significant difference in both quickness and mileage. On that note, anything over 91 will not help unless you have a bolt on tuner like a powercommander.

    I would not go lower than 87 though because you will get knocking and thus cylinder damage. Lower octane needs at a higher elevation (85) only applies to carbureted engines. Modern, computer controlled, fuel injected engines adjust to the elevation and still need the minimum octane it was designed for to avoid knock, and thus damage.

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    Last edited by ccramerusc; 07-25-21 at 08:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    A long, circuitous ramble. I prefer concise. It all boils down to a short statement towards the end of the article.

    " try to use the highest octane that’s available at the pump."

    In the owners manual for the F800ST it stated use premium. But it also said that a lesser grade fuel use "Could provide less power and fuel economy". Didn't say not to use lower octane gas. Just said performance and mileage may result. I always bought the lower grade and the bike performed fabulously to my standards.
    Even got the best mileage in Colorado using 85 octane, 71 mpg.
    I thought the article was full of platitudes and mythology. The most useful thing they said was how octane rating did not affect energy content. In practice this is true but when gasoline was made of octane and the remainder heptane, then higher octane did result in more energy. Octane has more energy than heptane. But gasoline is made of many other molecules than just octane and heptane so today we have an "octane rating".

    F800S owner's manual states one should use 95 ROZ/RON or 89 AKI, and calls this "premium". Around here 89 AKI is the midgrade.

    Every tuner I respect has said "If you can't hear it knock then it is good enough. Micro-knocking you can't hear doesn't hurt anything and does good keeping piston and valves clean. Beyond that if you get better MPG with higher AKI then do the math to see if it is worth it (almost never is). If you get more HP (almost never do, the Ford Ecoboost is a rare exception) and need more HP then use higher AKI but don't assume higher AKI will result in more HP or MPG."
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    I've adjusted the needles and jets on carburetors when they were standard but I've not been enticed to try to out do the engineers with the injected stuff. How it works seems fine to me. So if my motorcycles perform to my degraded standards with a more economic pump gas, wonderful. I liken some of these discussions to the theoretical most best condition. I rarely find redline and try to not ride over my head and talent. So I don't need the highest level of power providing burn in my cylinders. That's why my choice on motorcycles is toward the mundane. G650GS, Wee Stroms and now the F750GS.
    I'll also mind my mirrors and pull to the right and let you rip past me when I see you coming up behind as you enjoy the epitome of performance.

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    What I never understood is why BMW recommends 89 AKI octane fuel for my R1200RS, but 91 AKI octane for the R1200R, which uses exactly the same engine in the same tune.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    Even got the best mileage in Colorado using 85 octane, 71 mpg.
    You will find that riding at higher elevations you will always get better mileage. I lived there for 20 years and in the high country I would consistently get 10% or better mileage in all of my vehicles. I am religious about tracking my fills and MPG on every vehicle so I have historical MPG on all and you can tell when I was in the high country just by looking at the records.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grabcon View Post
    You will find that riding at higher elevations you will always get better mileage. I lived there for 20 years and in the high country I would consistently get 10% or better mileage in all of my vehicles. I am religious about tracking my fills and MPG on every vehicle so I have historical MPG on all and you can tell when I was in the high country just by looking at the records.
    That has certainly been my experience with fuel injected engines, but not with carbureted ones.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    That has certainly been my experience with fuel injected engines, but not with carbureted ones.
    This is true. Computerized engines. Also turbo charged engines mileage increase I noticed up to 20%.

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    When I first got my F800ST I tried both Premium for a few months, then regular, and kept a very careful record of mpg. I saw little or no difference, except it climb up a bit on both as the bike was being broken in I think. As to performance I could also tell no difference. coming from an RS100RS, the performance was quite a bit better so small nuisances weren't noticed. I doubt most people would benefit from premium even when getting on the throttle as so many variables come into play. Weather, curves, mood, who you're riding with etc. etc. For me, I could never justify using premium and the extra cost.

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    Some time back, I responded to a similar thread. I believe there is an argument to be made for using the highest quality available fuel. This would be in the U.S., what is described as "top tier" fuel, and with the highest available octane or RON rating. My first choice is Shell with Chevron a close second. Shell Premium in Nevada is 91 octane. The Shell Premium octane rating appears to vary from state to state, being 91 to 93 octane. Chevron ratings appear to be similar.

    How many tankfuls of cheap gas savings does it take to cover the cost of one visit to the dealership for a fuel system related problem? There is a definite relationship in longevity and trouble free operation of fuel injectors, throttle bodies, etc. from the detergent agents in top tier gasoline. That using cheap gasoline leaves deposits on fuel system and engine components that top tier gasoline counters is a fact, not an opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post
    Some time back, I responded to a similar thread. I believe there is an argument to be made for using the highest quality available fuel. This would be in the U.S., what is described as "top tier" fuel, and with the highest available octane or RON rating. My first choice is Shell with Chevron a close second. Shell Premium in Nevada is 91 octane. The Shell Premium octane rating appears to vary from state to state, being 91 to 93 octane. Chevron ratings appear to be similar.
    Top Tier is a marketing organization who charges gas stations for the privilege of displaying TT signage. At most TT audits the gas station's purchase records to assure sufficient detergent was purchased with gasoline. TT doesn't ensure the quality of the base fuel, does nothing more than stipulate minimum quantities of EPA approved detergents over and above the EPA minimums.

    Is rumored TT does not charge Shell, Chevron, or others because these stations were doing what TT is selling and TT's purpose is to convince you that Costco gasoline is as good as Shell.

    TT stipulates the base fuel sold as gasoline to be no less than 8% motor grade ethanol. Who in their right mind considers ethanol in gasoline improves quality?

    Neither is "octane rating" (AKI, Anti-Knock Index) a measure of quality. An engine runs best with an AKI just above the point preignition occurs. Some engines are able to tune themselves to match the fuel to produce more power, more MPG. In my experience Ford EcoBoost engines are the best at this, but even they can not get enough better MPG to cover the increase in cost of fuel. Add ethanol for increased HP. Cost/mile will increase. MPG will plummet.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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    Quote Originally Posted by N4HHE View Post
    Neither is "octane rating" (AKI, Anti-Knock Index) a measure of quality. An engine runs best with an AKI just above the point preignition occurs. Some engines are able to tune themselves to match the fuel to produce more power, more MPG. In my experience Ford EcoBoost engines are the best at this, but even they can not get enough better MPG to cover the increase in cost of fuel. Add ethanol for increased HP. Cost/mile will increase. MPG will plummet.
    WHS ^^^

    We have (had) an independent motor TV show here in UK that did a test on different vehicles using differing grades of fuel. The only vehicles which benefitted from higher octane above manufacturers minimum recommendations, were the ones which had 'Knock Sensors' in the engine via which the ECU could adjust the ignition timing to the maximum advance where pre-ignition (knocking/pinking) was just about to occur. The video is somewhere on Utube if you want to go see.

    Unfortunately our Rotax powered machines don't have the above system so no extra power will be gained from higher than recommended octane fuel.

    The same programme tested supermarket fuel against premium brand (Shell, ESSO etc) and came to the conclusion that for economy v price there was no difference. Cheap fuel gave fewer mpg while premium brand fuel gave just enough of an increased mpg to balance the extra cost. At the end of the day gallon for gallon/litre for litre, it made no difference to your pocket.

    The one area premium brand did benefit was in helping to keep the engines fuel system etc. clean. They had one high mileage car (poor service history) where mpg improved as the tank of fuel was used as it helped clean out the fuel system. This video is somewhere on the tube too.

    So, maybe stick to the premium brand but not necessarily their highest octane.

    Me ? I might use premium brand for local ride-outs throughout the riding season (usually around 150 mile days), but substitute supermarket fuel for long round-trips home (900 miles). I definitely avoid the overpriced fuel stations on our motorways no matter whose name they show !
    Ian
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    In California, all of our fuel comes from the same few refineries. It is all mix and match. I have been told (by someone who has seen it happen) that all they do is to dump in a bottle of fuel additive into the tank when the unmarked tanker truck picks up the fuel from the distribution facility to cart it to the branded gas station. But I have also heard that in California, the fuel requirements are so strict and controlled that all of the fuel sold in the state is pretty much all the same quality no matter where you buy it.

    I might add that refineries keep closing in the state, either due to economic reasons, pollution reasons, or lack of maintenance reasons. I figure it is only a matter of time before there will not be enough gasoline to go around. But by then (2030) the state regulators and politicians figure that everyone will be driving electric cars so that won't be a problem. Of course, by then our electric grid will be in such a shambles that there won't be enough juice to run all of those vehicles and power our computers, too. So you will be back to pedaling a push bike to get around, or maybe dragging your Stanley Steamer out of the garage and power it with the charcoal bricketts out of your barbie. Now where did I park my horse?
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    I drive a 2018 Subaru Forrester. The owners manual says regular gas. It is cheaper for me to run premium. This has been the case on many, but not all cars I have owned. It is not the case with my wife's Honda Fit. The premium gums up the engine less and I suspect is better for the environment. No gas is good for the environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    In California, all of our fuel comes from the same few refineries. It is all mix and match. I have been told (by someone who has seen it happen) that all they do is to dump in a bottle of fuel additive into the tank when the unmarked tanker truck picks up the fuel from the distribution facility to cart it to the branded gas station. But I have also heard that in California, the fuel requirements are so strict and controlled that all of the fuel sold in the state is pretty much all the same quality no matter where you buy it.
    That is true in most of the USA. Most locales are served by one fuel depot, a terminal on the pipeline network. The local distributor can sometimes fudge a bit as to whether he buys winter or summer gas during transitions.

    Ethanol is added at the same time as the tanker truck is loaded. As is the detergent package. There are a number of generic packages. Shell, Exxon, Chevron/Texaco, all have their own. Top Tier specifies more be used than the EPA minimums. The EPA minimum varies as to which detergent package one uses, not all are as strong as the others.

    I might add that refineries keep closing in the state, either due to economic reasons, pollution reasons, or lack of maintenance reasons.
    Federal and state/local regulations have stymied new refinery construction in the entire country. IIRC exactly 1 new refinery in 40 years because it is much easier to expand an existing refinery than build new. This situation is even worse with California government so it becomes attractive to shut down California refineries and charge extra to ship fuel in. Added benefit is one can charge even more for fuel refined in California.

    I figure it is only a matter of time before there will not be enough gasoline to go around.
    Only if we continue to see the level of government incompetence we have seen the past 6 months. What will happen is we will be something like Iran/Iraq/Saudi Arabia. They have lots of crude but almost no refineries. They have to import refined gasoline and diesel.

    But by then (2030) the state regulators and politicians figure that everyone will be driving electric cars so that won't be a problem. Of course, by then our electric grid will be in such a shambles that there won't be enough juice to run all of those vehicles and power our computers, too. So you will be back to pedaling a push bike to get around, or maybe dragging your Stanley Steamer out of the garage and power it with the charcoal bricketts out of your barbie. Now where did I park my horse?
    The grid is fine. The problem is centralized management. Public Utility Commissions are Tzars governing a collectivist economy. Utilities do nothing more, nothing less, than what the PSC permits. No funds to clear brush under powerlines? Then no brush is cleared.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen View Post
    I drive a 2018 Subaru Forrester. The owners manual says regular gas. It is cheaper for me to run premium. This has been the case on many, but not all cars I have owned. It is not the case with my wife's Honda Fit. The premium gums up the engine less and I suspect is better for the environment. No gas is good for the environment.
    My 2016 Outback 2.5i has the hallowed "knock sensor" (all USA cars have it) but 93 AKI makes almost no difference in MPG vs 87 AKI.

    You are wrong to assume "premium" has more detergents than regular. There are some brands who boast their premium cleans better than regular but most brands are riding on the other's coattails in letting you believe their premium also has more detergents. They simply do not say anything letting your imagination do the work. That is how marketing functions.

    Most brands of synthetic motor oil do not say anything about their oil being better than refined. What little they say isn't anything their feet can be held to the fire. They just say happy words like "this is our best oil!" and let your imagination do the rest. Besides, marketing has already convinced you that "synthetic" is always unquestionably "the best" and you are neglecting your engine if you use anything else! Just as marketing selected the word, "Premium" to label the highest octane rated fuels. They could not outright call it "the best" because it is not. Its just higher AKI and more expensive.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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    I've seen a few interesting articles in the past couple weeks. One was about electric buses in California. It appears the batteries caught fire on some of them, plus the expense of keeping them running had three-quarters of them out of commission. The other article was about how most purchasers of electric vehicles buy a ICE vehicle when replacing it. The hassles of living with the all-electric car aren't worth it to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    I've seen a few interesting articles in the past couple weeks...
    Over the years, I've read a few articles on the internet saying that the sun wouldn't rise in the morning. All interesting reads but not necessarily the most accurate.

    I've been out of the automotive sector for a while now but, I can't think of any of the major global vehicle manufacturers, where electric power vehicles doesn't figure in their future plans. Having said that I'm sure that there's a dubious web page somewhere that will prove me wrong.

    Ride safety.

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