Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have 2 questions about fuel for my new 2012 vulcan 900 custom. I tried looking through the forum for more info on the best fuel to use for my ride, but I can't seem to find a definitive answer.

1)The owner's manual for the vulcan says you should not use fuel with ethanol in it for the bike, however it is nearly impossible to find ethanol-free fuel in the states. I know that (generally speaking) ethanol allows the fuel to absorb water, which then settles in the tank, and can cause issues with rust etc... Are there other issues associated with using fuel containing 10% ethanol? Are there any merits to using Sta-bil (or another fuel stabilizer) with each fill up? My buddy who rides a '05 harley dyna low rider swears by the stuff, but I don't know if carburator vs fuel injector makes a difference. I can understand why you would want to use the stabilizer for winter storage since the bike will not be in use and will have the opportunity to take on water.

2) There is lots of conflicting info on the forums about what octane fuel to use. I know the manual says the minimum is 87 (R+M/2), but I have heard that the higher octane fuels can make the engine last longer. Based on what I have seen in the forums, the fuel that yields the best fuel mile-age varies from bike to bike. My concern is more-so with long term benefits/detriments of using higher octane fuel. I am fine paying a little more now with each fill-up if it saves me money down the road with repairs / helping the bike last longer. There is such an overload of info about the merits of each fuel type that I can't make heads or tail of it.

I appreciate any input on these topics as I would like to make sure I am treating my new baby as best as possible.

Thanks in advance!

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Can't see how higher octane fuels could make an engine last longer because they generate lots more heat. My 07 LT actually performs as well on regular as any. I do occasionally use mid-grade. We have non-ethanol here. It is not good for long storage it has a tendency to solidify and gum up things. I have had trouble in other things such as mowers etc.even using Sta-Bil, I may not have mixed it right. I think the bike will do ok on reg. but keep in mind 87 ron rating is not the rating on the pump in the USA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
If you will search this forum there are some very educational issues with the fuel question. A higher octane fuel burns hotter so I use it once in a while to help with the carbon build up, it's the same thing fuel engine cleaner does. It just causes a hotter burn to help eliminate build up, no magic inner engine washing here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
My 07 LT has over 20,000 miles on mostly 87 octane pump gas. It never spark knocks and it actually gets better fuel mileage on this than higher octane fuels. To each his own whatever trips our trigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
A lot of riders use fuel additive every three or four fill ups. Harley's require premium fuel and I know ofr several riders who use a few Ounces of Sea Foam on occasion. Some says it is better than Sta-bil, again who knows?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Hi All,

1)The owner's manual for the vulcan says you should not use fuel with ethanol in it for the bike...
Greg
That is interesting. I have a 2012 Classic (VN900BC) and on page 37 of the Owner's Manual (Kawasaki PN 99987-1701) that came with my bike it says:
"Gasoline/Alcohol Blends - Gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol (alcohol produced from agricultural products such as corn), also known as "gasohol" is approved for use."

I wonder what is different about a 2012 Custom that would prohibit the use of gasoline with up to 10% ethanol?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
My 07 also says up to 10% ethanol. 87 octane since day 1. 35,000 miles still starts and runs like the first season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Well, it has to be approved because that is what is available, but if it is stored over winter or for several months without some sort of additive it will gell, believe me I know from personal experiences. My grand daughters four wheeler and scooter ruined over the winter and I put the recommended amount of Sta-bil in each one. I sold the four wheeler as salvage. It cost more to repair than it was worth. All the gaskets, seals and o-rings were jellified . I bought a new Zero turn mower and the dealer told me to turn the gas off after each use and let it run out in order to stop the gas from ruining the Carb. etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
I make every effort now to use only pure gas when possible. I haven't had any problems since. I have been told by Tech etc. if I would use an additive such as Seafoam or Sta-Bil by adding a few ounces every other fill up in all my bikes and equipment it would help. Like I say to each his own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
After experimenting all the way up to 94 octane, the bike runs and sounds the best on 87.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
That is interesting. I have a 2012 Classic (VN900BC) and on page 37 of the Owner's Manual (Kawasaki PN 99987-1701) that came with my bike it says:
"Gasoline/Alcohol Blends - Gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol (alcohol produced from agricultural products such as corn), also known as "gasohol" is approved for use."

I wonder what is different about a 2012 Custom that would prohibit the use of gasoline with up to 10% ethanol?

Thanks RickD, That is fascinating... on page 30 of my manual (Fuel Type/Octane Rating section), there is a "Notice" box that says "Do not use any fuel with an ethanol in this vehicle. It has not been tested and certified for use with such fuels..." I attached a screenshot of it for reference, not sure if I did properly tho...

Anyway, the manual then goes on to say that up to 25% ethanol is approved for Brazil, and up to 10% ethanol is approved for Australia/Thailand, but I figured those bikes may be tuned a bit differently due to emission concerns or something of the sort.

Very peculiar the classic/custom manuals differ like that, but if that is the case I will assume that up to 10% ethanol is cool for my custom.

Thanks for all the input folks!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Thanks RickD, That is fascinating... on page 30 of my manual (Fuel Type/Octane Rating section), there is a "Notice" box that says "Do not use any fuel with an ethanol in this vehicle. It has not been tested and certified for use with such fuels..." I attached a screenshot of it for reference, not sure if I did properly tho...

Thanks for all the input folks!
Now that's weird, the screenshot also says minimum octane 91. I have a 2013 Custom and neither of those requirements (premium gas, nonethanol) are in my manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I just downloaded the owners manual for the 2012 Custom from the Kawi website and it says minimum octane 87 and gas with up to 10% ethanol is okay. My guess is that either your manual is for a different bike or you have some kind of special edition bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I just downloaded the owners manual for the 2012 Custom from the Kawi website and it says minimum octane 87 and gas with up to 10% ethanol is okay. My guess is that either your manual is for a different bike or you have some kind of special edition bike.
Weird...I also downloaded the manual from Kawasaki's website a few weeks ago and that's what mine says... However, now when I look the manual is different and does say 10% EtOH is cool....Thanks for the heads up Brewin, guess I'll re-download and print the manual :D
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top