What Octane Gas??? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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What Octane Gas???

It looks like the 2009 Vulcan 900 Custom says it takes 87 octane gas.

Does anyone notice a difference or any benefit from 91-93?
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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendog View Post
It looks like the 2009 Vulcan 900 Custom says it takes 87 octane gas.

Does anyone notice a difference or any benefit from 91-93?
I allways put 93+ in mine I've accidently put 87 in it, and it ran like crap.
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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 09:18 PM
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Run my 900 classic LT on 87 octane for 3 yrs. No problem so far.


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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WaterfowlWidowMaker View Post
I allways put 93+ in mine I've accidently put 87 in it, and it ran like crap.
I'd like to hear more about this... What did you notice?
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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 09:50 PM
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When I'd roll on the throttle it'd seem to spit and stutter some in the lower rpm range. Then it would back fire alot more for some reason. ( but my bike belches flames since it needs custom mapping ). Just seemed to do it more. I'd like to try 110 or 114 octane.... But I'm a little worried I'd melt something at that octane.
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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 11:04 PM
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I've never run anything but premium in my tank... no reason especially, but figured that the cost from 87 to 91-93 is minimal in this application, so why not give it the best? That being said, never have I had any pinging or stuttering from the good juice in the tank.

Just my opinion.

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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 11:19 PM
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Uh, you guys do realize that the Octane Rating just means that the gas doesn't combust until higher pressures, right? It has nothing to do with quality of gas, but everything to do with the compression ratio of your engine. Based on the cylinder size of our bikes, the fuel isn't exposed to enough heat for enough duration of time to necessitate anything beyond 87 octane. Running higher octane levels may actually be damaging to your engine because it burns the fuel faster and can cause heating issues. There is absolutely zero performance gain to be had from switching octanes, unless you mapped for it and were riding something a little more, shall I say, horsepower heavy.

EDIT: A smoother ride from higher octane is just a placebo effect of it costing more. Your gas mileage will be reduced and it will smell funny, but it will not make the bike run better. In higher altitudes you could even run the 900 on 85 octane.

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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 01:54 AM
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I agree Caj,,,,,,doesn't make any difference. The book says run 87,,,so I run 87

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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 07:10 AM
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I usually run 87. For winter storage though, I filled it with 91 only because having read a few posts from people in the fuel industry who said that there actually is some difference in the more "premium" grades in terms of refinement and extra cleaning additives... the higher octane rating really doesn't help us though since the 900 mill is not considered a particularly high-compression engine. The one time I tried a tank of 93 octane non-oxygenated it ran about the same but my gas mileage took a nosedive.

Over all, I think the best strategy is to go for the lowest recommended octane (87) to be sure you get the fullest combustion, and whenever possible stay with the so-called "top-tier" fuels and stay away from convenience store brands. The base gas may be the same, the difference is in the cleaning agents and other additives.

Disclaimer: I'm certainly no expert on this subject either, but this is just what I do and I'm always curious what others' experiences are. Take it FWIW...

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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterfowlWidowMaker View Post
When I'd roll on the throttle it'd seem to spit and stutter some in the lower rpm range. Then it would back fire alot more for some reason. ( but my bike belches flames since it needs custom mapping ). Just seemed to do it more. I'd like to try 110 or 114 octane.... But I'm a little worried I'd melt something at that octane.
whatever you do, do not put that racing fuel in your bike, the pistons are not meant for that type of octane and will probably mess up your rings
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