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Old 01-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
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Are motorcycles more sensitive than cars to bad gas?

Apologies if this is a dumb question....

http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=76063

Apparently my motorcycle didn't like the 87 Valero gas I fed it. I used (and continue to use) the same 87 Valero from the same station in both my 4 cyl cars and have not had any problems.

Are motorcycles more sensitive to low octane or bad gas?

Was it really bad gas or just too low octane? (e.g. was the 87 I bought really not quite 87 and that is what caused the problem) - I am pretty sure 87 is what is recommended in the manual.

Should I stick with a higher octane from now on? Different brand?

Any thoughts appreciated...
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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Try using 89 or 93 and see if that helps.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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I've always used Shell V-power(93). Never any problems.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04r6 View Post
I've always used Shell V-power(93). Never any problems.
+1 valeros 87 kiled one of my spark plugs
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:07 PM   #5
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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i wont put anything less than 90 octane in a bike. especially a sport type bike...they do not have compression for low octane gas!
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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I normally prefer Chevron Supreme, but Shell is everywhere.

Anything w TopTier standards should suffice.

However, I may switch to 87 after reading a discussion in a busa forum.

Here are the highlights:

RVtech:The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of gasoline and other fuels to detonation (engine knocking) in spark-ignition internal combustion engines. High-performance engines typically have higher compression ratios and are therefore more prone to detonation, so they require higher octane fuel. A lower-performance engine will not generally perform better with high-octane fuel, since the compression ratio is fixed by the engine design.
The octane number of a fuel is measured in a test engine, and is defined by comparison with the mixture of iso-octane and normal heptane which would have the same anti-knocking capacity as the fuel under test: the percentage, by volume, of iso-octane in that mixture is the octane number of the fuel. For example, gasoline with the same knocking characteristics as a mixture of 90% iso-octane and 10% heptane would have an octane rating of 90. [1] Because some fuels are more knock-resistant than iso-octane, the definition has been extended to allow for octane numbers higher than 100.

Some people think just because the octane rating is higher that there Busa will run better, not so.

kaosccw: My manual says 87. I haven't tried anything else

ckholloway: Well because I am a slow learner I started out running premium and it didn't run bad but also not the greatest I figured fuel so I ran 110 then back down to premium and now mid-grade. Running mid-grade it runs alot better and I will drop to 87 when this tank is gone.


My manual says 87 as well.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
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use what your manual says to use! real simple, my busa ran like a champ on 87. guess what.... the manual says to use 87.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witchdoctor575 View Post
use what your manual says to use! real simple, my busa ran like a champ on 87. guess what.... the manual says to use 87.
I agree. Higher octane does not mean the gas is any cleaner and with most computers they will adjust for any deficiencies. Never had a problem with 87 but I do change my fuel filter every 6000 miles...just cause.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunshotwound View Post
I agree. Higher octane does not mean the gas is any cleaner and with most computers they will adjust for any deficiencies. Never had a problem with 87 but I do change my fuel filter every 6000 miles...just cause.
most bikes do not have an o2 sensor, so computer will not adjust for anything. that is what power commanders are for. 93 octane burns slower to prevent detonation at high compression or rpm's. I run 93 octane in the 675 cause it turns 14,000+ rpm's. the busa turns at a slower rpm and has lower compression so it is happy with 87 octane.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #11
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Most bikes don't have knock sensors like cars. They can adjust timing for different gears/rpm ranges but without the knock sensor they are only going to cover it for most conditions and not if a knock occurs. You cannot always hear the knock especially on a bike due to the overall noise. Knocking is when the piston is travelling up in the compression stroke and is fired upon before it gets to start the downward motion. This can break rods, is bad on rod bearings and the engine as a whole. A higher octane fuel will prevent this and should be suggested for all N/A high performance engines as a safegaurd.

The O2 sensor is for the Air/Fuel Ratio and while it is important, it doesn't have a profound effect on detonation. Detonation occurs when gas ignites without a spark and off of pure compression of the fuel alone. Timing can help the most in this situation. O2 will keep you from running too lean or to rich. Lean and you burn up valves and cause a higher operating temp and rich will make the bike backfire on downshifts and also causes issues on the valves and increased fuel consumption.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:40 PM   #12
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The main reason that I can see that would cause the bike to run like chit and not your car is simple. It seems like the higher the compression ratio, the higher the octane requirement. High compression/high performance sports cars require higher octane to run right. The same thing goes for a bike. Most sportbikes now are running around 11:1-13:1 ratios I believe. Your car is probably running around 9.5:1. When I first started riding, bikes were running 8.5:1 up to 10:1. Back then, we could run regular unleaded, but I've noticed that my Gixxer is no fun at all to ride unless I'm running Super. I WILL NOT run anything less.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaligoneTx View Post
http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html
QuikTrip
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Texaco
MFA Oil Co.
Conoco
Phillips 66
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Entec Stations
Shell
The Somerset Refinery, Inc.
Kwik Trip / Kwik Star
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Mileage Stations
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Shell Canada
Petro-Canada
Sunoco Canada
^^^He tests for ethonal regularly on vehicles that run rough; and finds many with levels above factory recommendations...
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:56 PM   #14
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manual and sticker on tank said minimum octane rating of 90 so i use 93
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witchdoctor575 View Post
most bikes do not have an o2 sensor, so computer will not adjust for anything. that is what power commanders are for. 93 octane burns slower to prevent detonation at high compression or rpm's. I run 93 octane in the 675 cause it turns 14,000+ rpm's. the busa turns at a slower rpm and has lower compression so it is happy with 87 octane.
Your 675 will run fine on 89 octane. Mine does and that is what the manual calls for. RPM's are not the concern when it comes to detonation. It usually occurs at low rpm. The faster the engine is running the less opportunity for precombustion.

You shouldn't compare compression ratios from auto engines to 4 cylinder motorcycle engines. Motorcycles have much smaller diameter cylinders which are more effecient burning. A 1200 cc motorcycle engine at 11:1 compression will function just fine on 87 octane where a 350 chevy or a big vee twin at the same compression will rattle the heads off.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:35 PM   #16
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I wonder if the manual takes into consideration the 10% ethanol that is added to all of the gas now? I would just pay the little amount more and put the supreme in. I wish there was a place left that did not add the ethanol.

Performance wise, the lower octane you can run without knock is actually better and produces more power. I know it seems like that is incorrect, but if you do some research, you will find this out. I can only run 93 because I have a milled head which increased the compression ratio.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudBug View Post
Chevron or Shell 93 octane is all Dino gets.
you are wasting your money
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:33 AM   #18
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jk I really fill up anywhere I'm at, I don't really pay attention to brand all I make sure that it is 93 octane.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:17 AM   #19
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The lowest octane useable without pinging yields the most power and best fuel economy.

The higher the octane, the slower the fuel burns.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipSideUp View Post
The lowest octane useable without pinging yields the most power and best fuel economy.

The higher the octane, the slower the fuel burns.
Yeah, we covered that in greater detail in post #7..
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