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I know this seems to be a never ending subject but I'd like to hear it from you guys who ride the Wings all the time! I called a local Honda dealership and they said that on a older GoldWing (81 GL1100) I should be using the premium gas without ethenol with an octane of 91-92. But mostly in this forum I see posts of people using the regular 87 octane. Can someone please explain what could happen to the engine by using the premium? As of now I'm using the premium and it does seem to run better but don't want to do any damage. I think I've read posts about "burning valves" or something like that. It's very obvious that I'm not a mechanic guru so I really appreciate a forum like this and all the help from you guys. I'm sure I'll be posting more (dumb???) questions but with help from you I'll keep it running smooth!! Thanks!
 

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Using premium won't burn out valves, in fact lower octane and unleaded are more likely to burn valves on engines that aren't set up for it. But as the GL1100 has hardened valves and seats it will cope very well because the engine is set up for it already.
 

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Try to obtain an owner's manual or repair manual.. Octane requirements will be listed there. I'm not sure abou the 1100's, but the 1200's will run fine on regular, low octane unleaded fuel.

FYI, I had one customer who complained of severe pinging on regular fuel while riding his 1100 up an incline and he went over to high octane to eliminate the poor performance.. He was running spark plugs that were too hot for the New England area. After installing the recommended spark plugs, he could run regular without a problem...
 

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The burn rate of 87 octane gasoline is better suited to the relatively low compression ratio (9.2/1) of the GL1100 or GL1200's. If you use premium, 92 octane,gas you will typically find power output and fuel economy to be reduced slightly, as well as emissions to be increased.

In essence what happens is that regular gas burns faster and is completely burned during the combustion cycle andconverted to power, whereas, premium gas will still be burning as it leaves the combustion chamberand goes out the exhaust on fire, thereby wasting it's energy and your hard earned cash.

Vic
 

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puttitin wrote:
Can someone please explain what could happen to the engine by using the premium? As of now I'm using the premium and it does seem to run better but don't want to do any damage. I think I've read posts about "burning valves" or something like that.
puttitin, using premium gasoline won't harm or damage your engine in any way. It doesn't run any hotter or make any more power than regular fuel.

The octane RATING of gasoline fuel is just a measurement of it's ability to ignite (or not ignite). The higher the octane rating the less apt it is to ignite before the spark occurs and less apt it is to knock once ignited. In most cases premium gasoline does have a very slightly slower flame front travel but again not enough to effect much.

As far as starting and running goes, regular gasoline will start very slightly easier as it ignites a little easier. The actual engine operation should be about the same.

The biggest difference in the runability of the different gasolines is it's vapor pressure. Winter gasoline (most areas of the country) has a much higher vapor pressure to enhance starting in cold ambient temperatures so can cause all kinds of poor running problems as the ambient temperature starts to elevate. Have you ever noticed how vapor lock, spark knocking, & stalling increases in the first few weeks of warm weather after winter (cold climate areas of the country), that is due to winter fuel still being sold gassing at a much lower temperature. Premium fuel is a little more stable under climate change than regular fuel.

Premium fuel is needed in certain engines either due to their higher compression ratios (those are subject to pre-ignition and/or spark knock. It is also needed for some supercharged or turbocharged engines as those have higher combustion pressures due to the boost.

Whether or not you need to use a higher octane fuel is really determined by MANY factors, like compression ratio, spark advance curve, air density, air humidity, altitude, air temperature, combustion chamber design, coolant temperature, valve placement, spark plug placement, engine load, fuel/air mixtures, camshaft profile, & other factors.

Ideally you would like to use the lowest octane RATED fuel that will work without knocking or pre-igniting. Compression ratios in the low to mid 9's is getting borderline for regular gasoline on a carbureted engine without a knock retard sensor for the ignition timing.

One of the advantages of using a premium fuelare slightly more cleaning additives added along with the ability to handle higher engine loads without knocking.

I'm not sure on your 1100 if it was designed to use a higher octane fuel but on my 1200 I usually just use a mid-grade or use a mixture of regular, then premium every other fill up. A little premium fuel mixed with regular can vastly improve it's ability to not knock or pre-ignite. I push my 1200 pretty hard at sustained high speeds and at the higher speeds I can't hear any spark knocking due to the wind noise so err on the side of a littlehigher octane rated fuel.

One of the things to watch for is the use of alcohol as a fuel additive. Those older fuel systems like the early GoldWings don't have the fuel system components to handle much alcohol so can end up with damage to the carb diaphragms or other fuel system rubber parts.

Again using premium fuel (as long as no alcohol involved) won't hurt anything but your wallet. Try some regular fuel and if no knocking or pinging noted you will be good to go. If ANY pinging or combustion knocking noted then move up to a slightly higher grade of gasoline.



Twisty
 

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My GL1000 runs best on mid-grade 89 octane.
 

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Another thing to try is to locate a different fuel source. I have found that even though 2 stations sell the fuel at the same price and Octane rating they do have a different effect on the "knocking". Sometimes, a station may cut down on the additives in the fuel formulation to make a better bottom line on profits. Many independent station buy their fuel from the open market and today they may get Shell and next load may be Exxon. So it can be a hodge podge of fuel blending. I have also seen where an Exxon tanker had loaded his fuel at a Unical refinerery. So it is a crap shoot from one station to the other what fuel you are getting. Most cars do not have a problem as they gennerally do not have the engine right below the driver that can hear a pre-ignition. Also most cars on the roads today do not have the performace of a Wing / motorcycle and are not as likely to notice the difference.

Short answer. Try a couple different retail stations to see if any improvement.



Mark Gaeth

Decatur, IN
 

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markgaeth wrote:
Another thing to try is to locate a different fuel source. I have found that even though 2 stations sell the fuel at the same price and Octane rating they do have a different effect on the "knocking". Sometimes, a station may cut down on the additives in the fuel formulation to make a better bottom line on profits. Many independent station buy their fuel from the open market and today they may get Shell and next load may be Exxon. So it can be a hodge podge of fuel blending. I have also seen where an Exxon tanker had loaded his fuel at a Unical refinerery. So it is a crap shoot from one station to the other what fuel you are getting. Most cars do not have a problem as they gennerally do not have the engine right below the driver that can hear a pre-ignition. Also most cars on the roads today do not have the performace of a Wing / motorcycle and are not as likely to notice the difference.

Short answer. Try a couple different retail stations to see if any improvement.



Mark Gaeth

Decatur, IN
Hi All... Just would like to clear up part of what was said here. I drive a gasoline transport tanker for a living, and my wife and I go "Winging" as possible. It is true taht if you go to an "Un-Branded' station you are playing roulete as far as additives go...BUT... the stations have NOTHING to do with theaddition of ANY additives to the end product (though they may Blend Reg & Prem to get PLUS or midgrade). This (Addition of Proprietary additives)is all done at the TERMINALS and Sometimes at the Refinery. Further, Exxon may get gasoline from a variety of sources (as do many other BIG companies) BUT they are VERY, VERY Strict about the Product that goes into their tanks at Branded Stations (while most get really upset about "Mistakes") EXXON hasa ZERO Tolerance to any violation of their Blend Requirments that make up their Fuels. Want to be consistant? Use ONLY Branded Gas and try several Branded types until you find the one that PURRS best in your WING, then Stick with it!!
 

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Well, I've been running 87 octane in my 81 since I bought it and it runs fine, no pinging, and I've been buying my gas on FT Hood, or at Wally World mostly and neither one is what you would call Name Brand. I keep my fuel filters changed on a regular basis, keep the engines tuned up, and every 3 months run Chevron Techron in each tank of the car, truck and bike.:D

Gene:waving::11red::11red::11red::cooler:
 

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I have started running the mid-grade 89 octane with ethanol and so far, I have really liked it. I seem to be getting a little better gas mileage and a little better performance. Of course, anything would be better than when I first got it. I have run several tanks of MMO and seafoam and thing I have gotten my fuel system fairly cleaned up. I was running the low-grade non regular unleaded at first but then found that I can actually buy the mid-grade with ethanol cheaper than the low-grade without ethanol.

Our local grocery store chain has these discount cards that you can get for free. You get discounts on your groceries and also several other merchants around town give discounts if you show the card.

Low grade at the gas station just down the street from me is $2.49 per gallon. With the card, you get a $.02 per gallondiscount so it is $2.47 per gallon.

Mid grade with ethanol is $2.55 per gallon. With the card, you get $.10 per gallon discount so it is $2.45 per gallon.

Premium is $2.65 per gallon and with the card you get a $.06 per gallon discount so it is $2.59 per gallon.

I run the mid grade because it is cheaperplus it has the ethanol added.
 

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Chris.. Just an FYI. When using the any ethanol based fuel, be sure to pour some gas line antifreeze in the tank once in a while.. It will soak up any moisture that has accumulated in the botom of the tank andin turn will prevent rust from accumulating... :cooler:
 

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Renegade wrote:
Chris.. Just an FYI. When using the any ethanol based fuel, be sure to pour some gas line antifreeze in the tank once in a while.. It will soak up any moisture that has accumulated in the botom of the tank andin turn will prevent rust from accumulating... :cooler:
as long as you are running the bike regularly that should not be a problem as the ethanol will abosrb moisture. However, letting the bike sit with a blend is asking for trouble as the moisture will end up mixing with the ethanol and going to the bottom of the tank.
 

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Hi folks,

My '85 will ping on 87 octane if I crank on a big handfull fo throttle , or up large hills. If I'm easy on the throttle, it's fine.

The bike runs best on mid-grade, (89) octane so that;s what I use most of the time.

TOJ
 

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Has anyone read the label on a container of Dry Gas, Fuel line anti-freeze or Whatever you'd like to call it lately?

gil
 

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A long thread ago......I indicted how important it was to use high grade gas. The challenge was put out to me to run regular, as I had never intentionally done this before. I've run nothing but 87 octane in my 82 this year, as well as in my 96 and both bikes have run fine. Though I did notice a difference in performance after I added Seafoam to the 82.

Kyle
 

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I got 87K on my 87 GL1200 I run a pretty flat road 35 miles into work, if I stay out of the throttle I can run 89 mid grade and will average 39 to 40 mph on the hiway, if I want to cruise the backroads and mountains I have to run premium. I've tried all the combinations and all different brands, bike runs like a clock but it just doesn't like regular at all.
 

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Hi puttitin,

I also have an 81 wing and I run 89 octane with no problems at all. performance is a little better than with regular. With that said, if you look at the emmissions label on the rt side lower frame rail, the recommended fuel octane rating for this bike is 92 octane. I do run the premium on occasion, but see no great differences between it and the 89 octane.

wilddoug :waving:
 

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GIL wrote:
Has anyone read the label on a container of Dry Gas, Fuel line anti-freeze or Whatever you'd like to call it lately?
gil
Yep, most of that stuff including Heet is alcohol.:goofygrin:
 

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I have always been under the impression that the 89 octane always contains ethanol, (At least here in Minnesota). And I've also had the impression that the ethanol is not a good choice for older engines. From reading these posts I guess maybe the ethanol isn't to hard on them unless they sit for a while. Not sure. I'm just leery of using ethanol as like I said I heard it's not good for older vehicles. I've also heard it shouldn't be used it outboard motors, so I don't use it there either.

I have been running the lower 87 octane in the ol' girl and haven't seen any trouble to speak of. Once in a while throw some premium - 91 octane in. But don't even know if that is needed.

By "branded" gas, do you mean BP, Conoco, Citgo, etc? Plus I've seem to usually have good luck with Amoco.

One should also note to NEVER get gas at a station that is dumping at the time from a tanker. The dump stirs up the water and any gunk on the bottom of storage tank. I only wish I knew how long it takes for the gas to "settle" down after a dump.
 

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Hi,

In Michigan gasoline is 100% gas, atleast I have never come across it mixed with anything else.

TOJ
 
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