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I've noticed through different conversations about the somewhat unavailability of higher octane fuel. To my friends across the pond, my friends across the other contintent that's across the pond and to my brothers south of me, what are you guys running for fuel?

In Canada for high test, pretty much every station carries between 92 to 94 octane.Generaly you have three choices at each station, 88 - 90 - 92 or 94. I've always ran the highest octane I can get and I know at times when I'm supposed to be pumping 94, I'm actualy getting 87 or 88 because the bike is non responsive, pings, and runs like crap. The US is especialy famous for this at a lot of their last chance gas stops. The number of times I've figured I've had an engine problem until I've done a re-fill. There is a world of difference in the performance of our machines depending on the gas you use.

Another novelty we have is ethanol gas made out of grain alchohol. Despite the high octane.....ungood!!!

So boys.....let me know about your octane.
 

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On this little island all we can get is unleaded (usually 94) and many garages don't even list the octane rating of the stuff anyway. We can get so-called high octane unleaded but still often don't know what the actual rating is. If anyone wants leaded petrol they will have to travel far to find it, most of the classic bike and car guys would have a list of places that sell it though most of them get the heads converted on their vehicles anyway.
 

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In the UK, it pretty well seems to be either 94/95 octane unleaded or sometimes the higher 97 octane unleaded., but we do have the priveidge of paying around 82 Pence per litre for it !:(
 

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I find that I get better fuel economy with lower octane fuel(88) than I do with higher octane fuel.

It kind of makes sense if you understand the differences ineach fuel's burning characteristics. Low octane burns fast,similar toadvancing the ignition timing and high octane burns slow,similar toretarding the ignition timing, (to counteract high compression which can sometimes initiate detonation or pinging.) If you understand how important the fuel ignition timing and burn rate are you can understand why you would get more fuel mileage with lower octane fuel because our Wings are not prone to detonation due to fairly low compression, combustion chamber design and relatively low piston speed and max rpm.

Now, when you add alcohol or (heaven forbid) water to the fuel it changes everything for the worse like Kile states and if you allow your bike to get all carboned up inside it will also run poorly on low octane, but, the thing to do is to not let it get that way by shutting off the choke as soon as possible after startup, drive at highway speeds every chance you get and make that engine work hard occasionally as long you keep good clean oil in it.

If you do this, I can't ever see any reason for needing more than 88 octane in your Wing even if you have the extra dollars to waste on higher octane fuels.

Some people think that you're doing your bike a favor by splurging on the high octane, but, in reality our Wings (due to type of engine design) will rarely, if ever benefit from the higher octane unless there's been some high performance modifications done to the engine.

Vic

P.S. There are 2 methods for advertising octane rating, (RON or MON) it is possible that Europe uses a different method as well so I'd like to hear back from fellow Wingers across the pond. Also, low octane fuel here costs 88.9 cents a litre Canadian while higher octanes can be as much as 15-20 cents per litre more expensive.
 

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Hi Kyle, I know what you mean about getting cheaper gas then we pay for, I think I got a tank this week, bikeruns like sh,,,,!! Oops kuck ka? (Hope that’s acceptable) Onthe fuel thing I have talked to J.C. cycle repair, universally accepted as the preeminent independentGoldwing mechanic in Ontario, and he claim that theEthanol (Only available from Sunoco here) in the gas will do no harm and may even help the older bikes, because of the lower sulphur content. And swears by using the highest octane fuel you can get your hands onHope this helps. 87 octane .85/L Sunoco 94 octane .97/L
 

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Kyle.. Over the years, gasoline has changed and so have the octane ratings. My 86 Aspy runs very poorly on regular no-lead which is around 87 octane.. The bike runs perfectly on the 90 or 92 octane here in the states. The price varies now also, anywhere from 7 to 12 cents a gallon more than the regular. My complaint is that the bike was manufactured to consume the fuel availablein 1986,(18 years ago), but the fuel and it's hydrocarbon components is constantly changing. Performance can also change even if running the same "octane rating"you always have. Seems like there is no gurantee anywhere that you will get what you pay for.. Only the increases at the pump. That also bums me out.. It's the same old oil that's been in the ground for billions of years, but the oil producers constantly seek to get more and more $ for it... What's the difference in how muchTHAT crude costs sitting in the ground, vs the crude in the ground today??? :stumped:

I've missed something since the beginning of time!!:baffled:
 

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Well Goldwinger 1984....you have given me an education on gas. I always felt the opposite of almost all you have stated. I have felt my poor performance has been due to low octane. I have always been under the impression that higher octane burns easier, hotter, much cleaner, which leaves less carbon. Perhaps my occassional poor performance and pinging has been due to "flat gas" or old gas. I have to say I feelI run better on high octane....way more zip!.... :shock:

As the snow is about to fly here, I may do a 3 or 4 consecutive tank test of 88 octane in the spring. It will be tough to convince me, but nothing ventured nothing gained as I don't think I have ever intentionaly used 88 octane. Thanks for the insight. As a matter of fact, I don't think I even know anyone that doesn't use high octane in any brand of bike.:?

I would be very interested in hearing if there are any others out there who use low octane or ethanol. I've also been led to believe that ethanol will break down rubber and plastics, and thanks for your input from the Newmarket Goldwinger.:cool:

Renegade....I would have to agree with you.:D

Sounds like our European Island dweller friends are high octane users. Can you ship me over some of that 97 octane?:cheeky1:
 

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As I stated most people think that their bikes need high octane and some of those folks are absolutely correct because their engines are pre emission and/or high compression engines or the engines are in a poor state of tune. A good running 1200 or later Gold Wing doesn't need or benefit from higher octane fuel, unless, psychologically it makes you feel better to fill the tank with expensive high octane fuel.

I'm anxious to hear back from you after you do some real world comparison tests with the different fuels. Just remember, driving style, ambient temperature and state of tune must be close for accurate comparison otherwise figures will be convoluted or skewed.

Ride safe, Vic
 

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I definitely will give it a try. Like I said, nothing ventured nothing gained, this almost falls into the catagory of urban legends.

Kyle
 

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As a new winger I have had the chance to use both High octane and low and I really can't say I noticed any increase or decrease in performance. Who knows maybe just me. (84 int.)
 

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My 1986 SEI doesn't seem to care what octane I use. I've run it on all three grades available here in the Pacific Northwest and once had half a tank of 100LL Avgas in it when I was fuelling an old airplane I had. The only brand I shy away from is ARCO (nee Atlantic Richfield) because in my area they add a lot of alcohol. Not too worried about the octane rating but the alcohol can cause trouble with rubber seals and since it's a bit hydroscopic can promote rust and corrosion too. I've never seen any difference in mileage on the bike's computer with different fuel ratings either. It might make a slight difference in starting in cold weathr, I suspect the lower octane might make for a little quicker startup since it does light off a little easier.
 

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Just to bring back an old thread. I've done my test with gas on the 96, and ran regular gas my entire trip this year, 8,000 plus klm. Did not notice one ounce of difference from running high octane and that included my high altitude cruises through mountain passes. Thanks guys as you've saved me more than a couple of bucks on this trip. Actualy, my trip cost $416.00 in gas, and at about $.20 per saving on the dollar by running regular works out to saving about $83.00 in gas for the trip.

Kyle
 

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Hi Kyle, I asked almost an identical question here a while back and got the same responses. I too thought the higher octane was the way to go but since my post I've been using the 87 octane with absolutly no problems.

Again, I take my hat off to the people on this forum. Super site.... & Super help.

Thanks again to all!!!



puttitin
 

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Well. I've always ran 87 octane in my vehicles since with under 10:1 compression it serves no purpose to run higher octane. I've worked for years with petroleum in the military, I too have ran Avgas in at least 1 motorcycle, and as long as your engine is not overly lean, timing is not advanced and no performance mods other than exhaust work, none of these bikes should require "High Test, Super, Premium, etc". Also, most modern engine management systems should have a knock sensor on the engine that would prevent the engine from pinging by retarding the timing. Now I have no idea if Mother Honda installed these on the newer Wings, but I bet the service manager at the dealership can tell you. And if it does have one and it is pinging, then it needs to be seen at the dealer for a check of the system.
 

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Look in the manual, the carbureted Goldwings don't need higher octane. If they ping or knock on the low test stuff, there's a mechanical problem with the bike. It's possible to get a load of bad fuel, usually due to errors in adding additives to the basic gasoline, or a load of contaminents from a dirty tanker, but that has nothing to do with octane.

Many fuel injected cars do have knock sensors that set back the ignition timing or vary the fuel injection as Gene mentioned to control the detonation, but I don't know of any carbureted engines that do that including motorcycles. It's possible the 1800 might have such a feature but I don't know.
 

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exavid wrote:

Many fuel injected cars do have knock sensors that set back the ignition timing or vary the fuel injection as Gene mentioned to control the detonation, but I don't know of any carbureted engines that do that including motorcycles. It's possible the 1800 might have such a feature but I don't know.
exavid, there were many carbureted vehicles that used a stand alone knock sensor & spark control box. Most of the late 80's G.M. carbureted light duty trucks & a lot of the last of the G.M. carbureted cars used a basic knock sensor with a spark retard box that pulled out spark as knock was detected, or an ECM spark control that used a knock sensor in the engine block& caused the ECM to pull advance as knock was detected. Those units (at least the GM units I am familiar with) could ONLY remove spark advancenot add any advance so you were basically stuck with the built in mechanical, ignmodule, orengine controlleradvance until a knock was detected. Some of the early units were not filtered very well & used a frequency close to valve clatter & would pull spark out due to valve lifter noise.

Twisty
 

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Renegade wrote:
Only the increases at the pump. That also bums me out.. It's the same old oil that's been in the ground for billions of years, but the oil producers constantly seek to get more and more $ for it... What's the difference in how muchTHAT crude costs sitting in the ground, vs the crude in the ground today??? :stumped:

I've missed something since the beginning of time!!:baffled:
It might be the same old oil, but its getting more scarce and harder to extract, there are now wars being fought over it, many of the places that still have large reserves are politically unstable,and the worldwide demand is higher (and growing exponentially).

It's the simple economic truthof supply and demand... less supply and more demand means the price goes up. It will keep going up until nobody can afford it anymore.
 

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twisty wrote:
exavid, there were many carbureted vehicles that used a stand alone knock sensor & spark control box. wisty
I stand corrected, I've only seen such with fuel injected vehicles.Good to know.

As far as gasoline costs go, I don't think it's all that bad in the US. It's costing around$1.25 for a gallon of crude now, Then there's refining, shipping, vending and taxes. I firmly it's various governments that get the lion's share of each gallon when you add up all the various taxes on the petroleum at each stage of the game. Even then the cost of gasoline hasn't gone upadjusted for inflation in US dollars. If you bought gas in 1960 for $0.35 it would be $2.30 today. .
 

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exavid wrote:
twisty wrote:
exavid, there were many carbureted vehicles that used a stand alone knock sensor & spark control box. wisty
I stand corrected, I've only seen such with fuel injected vehicles.Good to know.

As far as gasoline costs go, I don't think it's all that bad in the US. It's costing around$1.25 for a gallon of crude now, Then there's refining, shipping, vending and taxes. I firmly it's various governments that get the lion's share of each gallon when you add up all the various taxes on the petroleum at each stage of the game. Even then the cost of gasoline hasn't gone upadjusted for inflation in US dollars. If you bought gas in 1960 for $0.35 it would be $2.30 today. .
Seeing the $.35 a gallon reminds me of the cheap gasoline in the mid 60s, I bought regular for $12.9 a gallon. Oh well it is only 17 times higher today.:)I am not really complaining, just reminiscing.
:blowingup:
 

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dean_3326 wrote:
Seeing the $.35 a gallon reminds me of the cheap gasoline in the mid 60s, I bought regular for $12.9 a gallon. Oh well it is only 17 times higher today.:)I am not really complaining, just reminiscing.
I gather you meant $.129 per gallon? I never saw it that cheap around these parts! I do remember having to pay $.45/gallon in Long Beach, Washington in 1962 and thinking I was getting ripped off.
 
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