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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

Newbie here. Returning to biking(age 60) after a 12 year haitus.

I recently bought a 2009 Classic LT and already have changed out the stock seat to a mustang seat and added an air hawk seat cushion for the wife.

My question is this. I heard that better octane is better so I've been running 90+ octane. My local dealer says just run 87 ocatane.

Which is best?

What say you all?

Take care.

:)
 

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You'll get all kinds of answers to this question. Premium is not any "better" than other grades of gasoline. Use what the owner's manual says to use. Kawasaki engineered the bike and they know more about it than any of us. If you notice pinging then go up a grade in octane and see if that helps, otherwise you're wasting your money. I use 87 in my '09 900 Custom and have noticed no problems whatsoever.
 

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Just after getting my 900 Custom i went on a cross-country trip. I found that it didn't like 85 octane, but 87, 89, or 90 didn't seem to make any noticable difference (to me). I routinely run 87 octane now.
 

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You'll get all kinds of answers to this question. Premium is not any "better" than other grades of gasoline. Use what the owner's manual says to use. Kawasaki engineered the bike and they know more about it than any of us. If you notice pinging then go up a grade in octane and see if that helps, otherwise you're wasting your money. I use 87 in my '09 900 Custom and have noticed no problems whatsoever.
'09 MOM must read differently than the '08, as I could swear mine says to use 91+. As you said, use what the MOM says, as they engineered the bike...
 

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I have an 08 LT. I started out with the 87 and it worked fine, most the time, but it seemed to need a little more. I ried the 87 and that seemed to improve the over all function and gave me a smiggen better mpg. I do know you can certainly run any of the grades. I wouldn't use the high test (as we once called it). Try a couple of tanks of midgrade and if it runs any better, use it and if not, go back...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the responses.

I'm going to double check the owners manual to see what it says as well.

Thanks again.

:)
 

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2007 classic---42,835 miles ---all on 87---I am a firm user of seafoam, 1 oz to a gallon, my fill ups average 4 or 5 gallons = 4 or 5 oz of seafoam every 2500 miles---my spark plugs look the same every time I change them (@ 7500 miles) Never heard pinging, just the old v twin "thrasher sounds"

I spent about a year as a service writer in the local honda store and my biggest worry with todays fuel is the ethanol, DO NOT store your scoot with fuel in the tank, but I wouldn't run it dry either (not good for the electric fuel pump) seen way to many scoots with gummed up carbs (yes I know we have FI) some gummed up after sittting just a few weeks. I don't worry about that cause I have to fill up every other day--I say use the 87 or 89 just make sure it is a good brand, Shell BP etc, watch out for the unknown gas dealers or, if in doubt, use what your MOM told you.
 

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+1 on the ethanol issues. Look for your local "pure gas" seller. Almost every city has one or two stations that sell gas without the ethanol in it. Your bike will thank you over and over and over and over again!
 

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I have to agree as well on the ethanol. I tried gasses both with and without and performance/mpg was better without. I would get as low as 39 mpg with hooch and never near that low without. I've also started using Seafoam. I figure to keep on top of maintenance and prevention.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds like non-oxygenated is the way to go? No to ethanol?
 

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manual (and a sticker on the frame I think... it might be the one under the seat) that says 91.

mine's an 09. Rated with a little less torque :( than the earlier versions, but otherwise the same as I can tell.

I wonder if they've been 'de-fueled' to meet emissions standards, hence the slight loss of power from running leaner (as MC makers tend to tune for power until the EPA steps in and tells them what to do)
 

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I look at it this way... my bike is like my best friend, and I would not feed my best friend chopped steak... only the best ribeyes. No matter what sized or model bike I always run 93 octane... keeps everything cleaner, and I know there will be no ping issues... and what are we talking about... an extra 50-60 cents a tank.?? I think my bike is worth that :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I'm reading the manual right, it says 87 octane. The MOM also seems to state that products with 10% ethanol are o.k....??

I think I'm going to try the non oxygenated stuff. I think that is pretty close to 91% octane.

The mechanics at my local dealership are saying that ethanol causes problems with the rubber...eats away at it.
 

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If I'm reading the manual right, it says 87 octane. The MOM also seems to state that products with 10% ethanol are o.k....??

I think I'm going to try the non oxygenated stuff. I think that is pretty close to 91% octane.

The mechanics at my local dealership are saying that ethanol causes problems with the rubber...eats away at it.
Ethanol used to eat rubber parts in carbs, etc. but that was a long time ago, you'll be all right with a 10% ethanol content. Ethanol contains less BTUs than gasoline so your mileage will suffer a little. Around where I live most of the gasoline contains ethanol and I've never had any problems with it.
 
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