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Hello! Just took delivery of a 2013 classic today! Puzzled about one thing. Sales associate said upon delivery to not run premium fuel due to the large amount of alcohol in the premium blend of fuel. Stated to only put in 89 octane (recommended is 91). I am sure the bike will be fine on either but seems odd to me. thoughts???
 

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Hello! Just took delivery of a 2013 classic today! Puzzled about one thing. Sales associate said upon delivery to not run premium fuel due to the large amount of alcohol in the premium blend of fuel. Stated to only put in 89 octane (recommended is 91). I am sure the bike will be fine on either but seems odd to me. thoughts???
He's talking nonsense. The ethanol % is on the pump. If it is says 10% then it will be 10% if it is 87 or 93. I only use 93 (or 91 when 93 is not available). My bike deserves it. :)
 

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I only use 93 (or 91 when 93 is not available). My bike deserves it.
+1 ;)

Plus you are only talking a dime or two per gallon. I'd rather pay $.40 more per tank and have that piece of mind that I put in it what it deserves. After all, when you spend $9k-$17k for a motorcycle, what's $0.40/refill? I'm sure the bike computer will adjust timing accordingly to account for 89 or 87, but if you hear any knocking/detonation, then i'd suggest bumping up your octane rating. Otherwise, if you don't have knocking issues, the worst that can possibly happen is slightly lower power (due to timing retardation). 89 is the absolute lowest I'd go.

FWIW, DO NOT put in Sea foam or any other caustic fuel additive into you gas tank. It will eat up your fuel level strip/sender. Trust me, I learned the hard way...

Sales associate said upon delivery to not run premium fuel due to the large amount of alcohol in the premium blend of fuel.
This is so untrue. I'd be weary about anything else this guy tells ya. When in doubt, talk to the service dept associate.
 

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Add me to the list of r12r owners who say your sales rep doesn't know about what he speaks. 93 where available, no lower than 91 except in an emergency (which as yet has not occurred)"
 

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In UK and France standard petrol is 95, premium fuel is 98. I used E10 fuel, which is 10% ethanol, in my R1100s once or twice and didn't notice much difference but prefer to stick to 95.
 

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I only use premium at stations I am familiar with and know the tank is circulating/empty/refilled. Many stations sell very little premium which allows some of the separation of gas from ethanol which gives fuel (no pun intended) to the salesman's point that one might get a heavy dose of ethanol.

Fortunately there is a station that sells ethanol free premium close to my home. On the road I take my chances but usually buy regular with no noticeable effects or knocking as the electronics, I am told, monitor and adjust to the different octane ratings.

I am not a mechanic nor do I KNOW any of the above. I have three friends, though, who ride 25-30K miles a year on their 1200 R and GS's and that is their practice with no ill results after a collective 1.5 million miles on 1200's in one model or another.
 

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I don’t wish to start controversial dialog similar to the oil dialogs (diatribes) on Bobistheoilguy…but…yes, there is more ethanol (to increase the gas’octane rating) added to premium fuel. As ethanol actually contains less energy than untreated gas, the net result from the ethanol component is a reduction in your MPG. Other premium additives, however, have the reverse effect, and slightly increase your MPG. End result: overall premium provides a very slight net increase in MPG... (excerpted from cartalk.com…but found on every other gasoline forum too).

Bottom line is probably best based upon each R12’s observations. If you’re at high altitudes, run lower octane gas...although be aware you may already be running lower octane gas by virtue of where it is being sold. At sea level, try lower octane gas and listen closely for detonation (pinging) under high load…such as lugging….which no R12 owner should be doing anyway.

I’ll wager very few of us can differentiate the difference (perceived power, ping, low end torque…or anything) between most fuels. Bottom line, in the US…most are lousy…and not getting any better. Try www.puregas.org to see just how rare good, unadulterated gasoline is becoming. If you’re really stuck on this whole issue, you can always scout small airstrips to buy Avgas…but I’ll bet you still will not notice any difference.
 

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btw...interesting to note that the www.puregas.org website is run by Sam Hokin...a fellow BMW rider! Check out the "about this site" on the site for his full credentials. Might be interesting to email him to see if he is adamant about running pure gas in his machine(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I figured as much....I was suspect of this. I have an ethanol tester at work and have never seen more than 10% in my area (unless it was E85)
Thanks for the input. The only thing I try to do is to find a station that still uses three hoses. I don't know where the switching valve is on the single hose fuel pumps. Don't know how much of the prior fillers choice you are getting.
 

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If you're worried about the gas/ethanol gumming up your system, use a fuel cleaner like Star-Tron. As far as octane, my dealer says premium, so that's what I put in. at 50-70 mpg on the highway, I'm not feeling all that aggrieved over the price of premium gas.
 

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50-70mpg on the highway? 50 sound reasonable, but anything more than 55mpg has me wondering how easy you must be on that throttle!
 

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If you're worried about the gas/ethanol gumming up your system, use a fuel cleaner like Star-Tron. As far as octane, my dealer says premium, so that's what I put in. at 50-70 mpg on the highway, I'm not feeling all that aggrieved over the price of premium gas.
drDave...we gotta get you out of that urban/suburban setting, onto the deserted rural backroads and highways...not to be critical, but 50-70 mpg indicates some mundane riding. Mileage is inversely proportional to R12R fun. How can we help? :001_rolleyes:
 

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My Guzzi requires the same octane. When I purchased it the owner of the dealership told me to use regular. The reason he gave is that regular cycles through the storage tanks faster than premium. The longer the gas sits in storage the better the chance of water contamination. The ethanol in gas attracts water. The Guzzi has a plastic tanks that does not like either ethanol or water. I used regular grade for the first year until I discovered Startron. I now use premium and put in on ounce of Startron with each fill up. No problems with the plastic tank in over 4 years.

The R12 has a metal tank. I use only premium and no Startron. So far so good.

Just got back from a 350 mile weekend camping trip. The R12 is getting over 50 mpg. I am total amazed. I was hoping for mid to high 40's.
 

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drDave...we gotta get you out of that urban/suburban setting, onto the deserted rural backroads and highways...not to be critical, but 50-70 mpg indicates some mundane riding. Mileage is inversely proportional to R12R fun. How can we help? :001_rolleyes:
Most of my riding is commuting and Chicago's Slabs are sclerotic with Cheeseburger-eating yuppies, inebriated texting soccer moms driving home in their Land Crushers from hot yoga, demented 5 foot tall geriatrics entombed in 20 year old Cadillacs and an assortment of blacked out window trucks piled high with glowing industrial waste. Not very conducive to crotch rocketry. .. :)

With my Ztech windscreen and the wunderlich spoiler, the thing just slips through the wind, so if I'm not going to zip, at least I can slide. . . .:)
 
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Actually I'll admit. I did clock upwards of 65-70mpg in the mountains. With lower air pressure, I observed better gas mileage. I would go ~150miles, find a gas station and think I need to top off. I mean, that would usually leave me with about a gallon or so left in the coastal plains that I'm from. I was shocked to discover that topping off, I only used ~2 gallons. I never trust my fuel meter, I always go by my trip. So yes, it is possible. It even shocked my two friends who joined me during one of those trips. Depending on where you are, elevation can really help a motorcycle improve MPG.

Geeky math below:

I'm from from a 400 ft elevation (14.4 PSI)
During my mountain runs, I'm typically around 4,000ft elevation (12.5 PSI).

That's nearly 15% difference, given a few other factors (ie weather, tempterature) remain the same. Lower pressure contribute to less drag, which means greater aerodynamic efficiency on the motorcycle, which means you don't have to get on the gas as much to accelerate as you would in lower elevation areas with higher air pressure. That and engine braking while going down mountain sides uses little to no gas (i'm not sure if these bikes have fuel cut-off when coasting throttle closed). So yeah. The increase in gas mileage made sense to me.

I do admit that when I did a mostly downhill run, i did get around 70mpg. Going up hill, I achieved around 55mpg. (topped off at the bottom of the mountain, rode around ~150 miles to the top of the mountain and got gas again, then headed back down).

Oh how these bikes love to eat curves.
 

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It may also be the bike :) Chicago is not known for it's altitude. . . .
 

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US/Euro Octane rating differences

In UK and France standard petrol is 95, premium fuel is 98. I used E10 fuel, which is 10% ethanol, in my R1100s once or twice and didn't notice much difference but prefer to stick to 95.
FRom Wiki: United States: in the US octane rating is displayed in AKI. In the Rocky Mountain (high elevation) states, 85 AKI (90 RON) is the minimum octane, and 91 AKI (95 RON) is the maximum octane available in fuel[citation needed]. The reason for this is that in higher-elevation areas, a typical naturally aspirated engine draws in less air mass per cycle because of the reduced density of the atmosphere. This directly translates to less fuel and reduced absolute compression in the cylinder, therefore deterring knock. It is safe to fill a carbureted car that normally takes 87 AKI fuel at sea level with 85 AKI fuel in the mountains, but at sea level the fuel may cause damage to the engine. A disadvantage to this strategy is that most turbocharged vehicles are unable to produce full power, even when using the "premium" 91 AKI fuel. In some east coast states, up to 94 AKI (98 RON) is available.[26] As of January, 2011, over 40 states and a total of over 2500 stations offer ethanol-based E-85 fuel with 105 AKI.[27] Often, filling stations near US racing tracks will offer higher octane levels such as 100 AKI
 

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+1 ;)

FWIW, DO NOT put in Sea foam or any other caustic fuel additive into you gas tank. It will eat up your fuel level strip/sender. Trust me, I learned the hard way...
Our winters in ILL can be long. Should we stabilize our gas with anything or just let it be?
 

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Our winters in ILL can be long. Should we stabilize our gas with anything or just let it be?

Surely cannot hurt to use Sta-bil or equivalent...at the 1 oz./2 gallons (minimum rate). In my opinion, using Sta-bil (or equivalent) is paramount if using oxygenated, ethanol adulterated (read: short shelf life) fuel.

I just took my boat out yesterday...for the first time in 35 months!!! Yikes. My heart was in my mouth, fearing the worst for my 4.3L V-6 having had to sit that long with...yes....35 month old, oxygenated, ethanol adulterated fuel. Also there is no easy way to fully drain the carb on this engine (not FI...it's marine). I had initially prepped the fuel with 1.5 oz. / gallon of Sta-bil when mothballed. End of story: the engine started right up, idled perfect, full transition through RPM range, and no perceptible loss of power. Even then, I'm still worried, and now have to burn up the remaining 48 gallons of old gas to replace with CountryMark 90+ real gasoline. It will be interesting to see if there is a performance difference when I switch from a near empty tank of old gas to "the good stuff".
 
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