Gas octane for the 800 - Page 4 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #31 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sfair View Post
When I visit the lower mainland, I switch to 94 octane in my 33 year old motorhome with a 360 and 8.4 to 1 compression to avoid the perils of ethanol in the fuel system.
It runs better than ever, more likely because of the altitude than the fuel....manifold vacuum is waaay up there as compared to home. Like I said, so many variables.
Is it carboning up? Who knows. There probably is carbon a-plenty already from just normal driving and how could I possibly separate the two?
The thing that irritates me the most is the PRICE, and that engine can slurp it up in double quick time!
Next time your planning on visiting the lower mainland give me a note and maybe we could get together for a beer or lunch or something like that. I'm sure we would have lots in common to talk about.
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post #32 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 06:41 PM
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My neighbor tried the ATF trick on his '57 Buick once. It did de-carbon the could we know that for a fact? Because one was sticking out the side of the block when he was finished! I always maintained that the piston crown was cleaned off by the flying bits of cast iron, thouigh.
That car was an eyesore in his yard for years until it was finally towed.
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post #33 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 09:21 PM
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Lets not forget the magic patented Tornado for more power and better mpg , I actually found a link for this thing , they still sell them , I remember the infomercials from 20yrs ago, LOL

Maybe it does work but I'm not spending $70 to find out.

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post #34 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 12:33 AM
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Back to the original question, sort of

Last week I removed the seat on my 2005 800 and found a factory sticker that said to use 91 octane. Like most, I have been using 87 with no ill effects as far as I know. My dealer says 87 is fine. What's up with the factory recommendation? I have not yet tried the 91.

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post #35 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 06:36 AM
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I don't know, as I said many times, my dealer told me in August not to use anything less than 91 ( supreme ). Mainly because of the ethanol in the lower grades. My bike works great on the 91, last year I did have a bit of carbon but I was also running with my wife who just got her licence and new bike. We never went over 40 for 2000 miles, and stupid me was using 5th gear most of the time. Once we got on the highways and got the speed up to 60-70 mph everything cleaned up.
I find the engine to have a bit more power on the 91 as well.

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post #36 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 08:55 AM
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I bought my 05 800 new and have used premium a couple times, and didnt notice any gains. Always use the cheaper gas, price wise, and at 96,650 miles still running strong, engine never been apart.Several things can determine if you need higher octane besides compression. Combustion chamber design probably is the bigggest factor. The higher octane fuels burn slower, so the piston travels farther past TDC before the fuel is completely burnt, unless you start the combustion sooner, advance timing. I beleive the more complete the combustion is while the piston is at TDC, the more torque you create, thus you need less throtle to get the same exceleration, increasing fuel milagage and you get more power when you do crank the throttle. This is just my opion on the power and milage. Makes sence to me.
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post #37 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by pacomutt View Post
That sticker says 91 RON minimum. That equates to 87 octane at U.S. gasoline pumps. You're listed as being in Novato, and I assume that's the one in California. Since that's still part of the United States (well, sort of), you're good to go with 87 octane.
Thanks Ron, this makes sense. And thanks for admitting that California is still sort of part of the United States. Sometimes I wonder, especially when I travel outside our borders, er state line!

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post #38 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 11:36 PM
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What octane does my vehicle need?

To determine your vehicle's octane requirement, look at the manufacturer's recommendation in your owner's manual. Most auto manufacturers recommend 87 octane gasoline, as measured by the (R + M) / 2 method on a test engine under defined operating conditions. If the vehicle knocks on the recommended grade, a higher octane grade should be selected. Some foreign vehicle manuals recommend a Research Octane Number (RON) instead of the more common octane rating that appears on most gasoline pumps. As a rule, the recommended octane rating can be determined by subtracting four (4) from the recommended RON number. A vehicle that calls for "91 RON" should use 87 octane gasoline (as measured by the (R + M) / 2 method). Using a higher grade than is required will not usually increase performance. However, if the vehicle is equipped with knock sensors, as many late model vehicles are, a higher octane grade may enhance performance.

They go on to tell that ethanol as an additive actually increases the octane level due to lower operating temps because the ethanol is more sensitive than hydrocarbons. I think they mean the flash point is lower so you get combustion quicker with ethanol added.

All this stuff is about the anti knock ability of the fuel. If you're not getting any knocking or pinging as we call it with a particular octane rating then everything is fine. If knocking is occurring then you would benefit from a higher octane to solve it.
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