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I'm a newbie - I recently bought a 2010 Vulcan Classic. I would like to hear some of the experienced Vulcan owners' thoughts on gas? I know in a carbureted world, the higher the octane the better. How about with a Fuel Injected Vulcan?

I know on some cars, the fuel injection systems are set up specifically for regular unleaded and using premium gas can actually damage your engine or at least provide less than optimal performance.

So what is the best gas to use in my bike? I have no problem spending a few more dollars at the pump but I also don't want to use the wrong gas.

Thanks!
 

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Most decisions about our bikes are purely personal choices that make us feel better about our rides. For me, i want to feel i'm giving it a little better life by using the middle grade gas rather than the lowest octane, this is not a scientific reason, nor our most of my decisions i make in life, i use a K&N oil and air filter, only because it makes me 'feel' like i'm taking better care of my ride and hence it will of me.....ride on...
 

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87 octane in the Vulcan 900's if that's what you have.
 

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I use 93 octane in both Vulcans and my Spyder. FI bikes tend to run lean and I have always felt the little extra boost was worth it.
 

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I have a 2009 1700 Classic. I run 93 with every tank & add SeaFoam when put in storage for the winter. Im not saying that my approach is the best.........just, thats what I use and im happy with the results.
 

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Use at least what the manual recommends. And keep in mind if your particular manual uses "RON", and you're in the United States, it's a little high. Meaning if it says "Min 91 RON", it's equivalent to a minimum of 87 R+M/2 that you'd find here in the US and some other countries.

Experiment, find what works for you. There's really not a lot of benefit to higher-than-necessary octane on a stock engine. But it won't hurt anything either. And some perceive better performance. Myself, I get exhaust popping with premium and don't with regular; so I run 87. I run 93 in both cars; but they have much more advanced fuel injection systems, variable valve timing, and a host of other tech that actually adjusts FOR the fuel so there is a measurable bump in power and efficiency.

So, find what works for you. Just don't go below what the manual says. Pinging can happen even when you can't/don't hear it, which is why the manual has a minimum octane number!
 

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Read your manual. My 2004 Classic says 91 RON, which is the European/Asian version of US 87 (RON/MON).

Higher octane is not a "boost" or better grade of fuel, though fuel companies love to create that impression on unsuspecting customers. Octane is merely the speed at which fuel under compression detonates. The higher the octane, the later it ignites in the piston cycle. other than that, it is identical fuel to lower octane.

High octane is recommended for high compression racing engines, aviation engines, and so on, where the high compression could cause pre-detonation, which can be catastrophic to an engine. Most V Twin are not that high of compression. But other factors may come into play, which is why it is best to check your manual. It should be noted that once you change your air and pipes, you should be able to adjust it to run just fine on regular 87 octane.

Running too high an octane in an engine that doesn't need it can result in lower mileage because of its retarded ignition properties, and cause a bit more carbon buildup. My bike actually runs better, has better throttle response, and gets better mileage with regular 87.
 

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Running too high an octane in an engine that doesn't need it can result in lower mileage because of its retarded ignition properties, and cause a bit more carbon buildup. My bike actually runs better, has better throttle response, and gets better mileage with regular 87.
Intresting.....ill have to try several tanks at 87/89 & track the MPG average difference.

Good to know....
 

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Buckeye, just go with what the manual recommends. Under high heat/high load conditions an internal combustion engine with 10:1 compression or greater will more than likely knock using regular fuel and you won't hear it on a bike. I just run high test (91 octane). Price difference in negligible for the amount of fuel burned. Enjoy your new toy. Bob
 

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The higher the octane, the later it ignites in the piston cycle.
Not completely correct...it doesn't ignite later, it just burns slower. Ignition is determined by when the plug fires.

I run 93 in mine because I have encountered some nasty knock under a low speed/high load situation with regular 87.
 

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Read your MOM (Motorcycle Owners Manual). My Voyager says to use a minimum of 91 octane (RON+MON)/2
 

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We see this type of thread all the time. And I always recommend 87 octane (US) for the 900's. Mainly due to the responses we see from all the knowledgeable folks on this forum. me myself and my experience was indeed decal popping when running 91 octane, in the stock configuration. I am now wondering if with my stage one upgrades (ie... cobra power-flo intake, Power-Pro Tuner, and Speedster Long Pipes) would running higher 91 octane be any better? I would preferably love to get away from the ethanol fuels all together. I run it in my Harley due to the carb, for that it has been great. Wouldn't the tuner being the Power-Pro auto tune and adjust as necessary to run 91 octane? I may just try it and see how it goes for a while. Thoughts?
 

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The one poster is correct, the higher the octane just slows the burn down so it doesn't become out of control. My VN1500 calls for 87 in the USA rating method. It pops back less and mileage picked up. During the really hot summer months, 105*, and riding in the mountains I will run 89 octane in it. Running to high an octane will hurt performance. Seen this on more than one race engine on a dyno. Our 15:1 421" SBC engine likes the 114 octane gas the best..Burning 91 or 92 octane in a stock V Twin just costs more, for less performance..
 

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The guys made good points about octane choices. Look up "Top Tier". It is a petroleum industry measuring stick so to speak. TT fuel is consistently the highest detergent grade and the least ethanol content along with other good things. In northern Ohio Shell is the most plentiful and convenient. I use nothing but top tier rated fuel. When I see a Clark or Valero station jam packed on a weekend I just ride by and shake my head.
 

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Took my 900 from NY to CA last year. Used 85/87 octane of just about every brand and did not experience any problems..........
 

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As far as gas and oil goes just use what the owner's manual says and don't get caught up in all the ridiculous oil/gas threads you see on forums....you'll be fine.
 

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Not completely correct...it doesn't ignite later, it just burns slower. Ignition is determined by when the plug fires.

I run 93 in mine because I have encountered some nasty knock under a low speed/high load situation with regular 87.
Good catch. Poor choice of words on my part. :eek:
 

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Is there a gas company who don't have any Ethanol?
http://pure-gas.org

You should find out how your bike runs on the various grades, and decide which to use regularly based on your findings. Use the lowest grade that doesn't make things worse. If it runs the same, same mileage no matter which, then use regular. If you get pinging or worse mileage with regular, then move up.

No matter what your induction system.
 
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