Originally Posted by Chicago_Cheech
My owners manual on my 1700 says 90 octane or better. The bike is new and it has about 450 mi on it now.
I checked the forums and I see riders are running anywhere from 87 to 93.
So what is the real deal? Thanks in advance
89 is only one point below Kawi's recommendation of 90. I have found , and this holds true on the sportbikes we work on, that alot of times factory recommended octane levels are a bit higher than what the engine will be happy with. 89 would be a better choice for octane as compared to 93. Too much octane is exactly that, too much. Gas mileage and performance will not be as good as with 89, and I have found most 1700's are happy with 87.
We have a 250 Ninja race bike on the dyno right now. Factory recommends 90 but the owner has been running 93. We performed baseline dyno runs with the 93, drained the tank and carbs, put in 89 and performed back up dyno runs. This little thing picked up over 2 H.P., with the gains starting at 4000 rpm! Major gains as this thing went from 29 h.p. to over 31!
You are still in the breakin period and the running characteristics of the engine have been and will continue to change over the next 1000 miles or so. Taking it easy during breakin actually requires less octane as compared to more aggressive riding that may be done when the skoot is well broken in.
On the next tank try the 89, you may already have somewhat of a baseline idea of how your skoot is running, so let us know what you detect. I am sure there will certainly be no disadvantage, and most (including myself) report slightly better mpg, better throttle response and a little bit smoother running engine.
Both my previous ZX-14's (which also had the factory recommended 90 octane) made more power, got better mpg and ran smoother on....87 octane!!