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THE CALGARY MOTORCYCLE RIDERS AND EVERYTHING ELSE GROUP Message Board › A little info on Octane in gasoline

A little info on Octane in gasoline

A former member
Post #: 4
A number of myths about octane have grown over the years. There is a widespread perception that the greater the octane the better the performance. However, once enough octane is supplied to prevent engine knock, there is little, if any, performance improvement. One exception to this would be in vehicles equipped with knock sensors. In these vehicles, if octane is insufficient, the computer will retard the timing to limit engine knock. If the vehicle is operating in the “knock limiting” mode (retarded timing), using a higher octane fuel will allow timing to be advanced, resulting in some level of performance increase. However, even in these vehicles, tests have shown that there is no perceptible performance improvement from using a fuel of higher octane than that recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Another myth is that using a higher octane fuel will result in improved fuel economy (increased miles per gallon). Octane is nothing more than a measure of anti-knock quality. Fuel economy is determined by a number of variables including the energy content of the fuel. Some premium grades of fuel may contain components which increase energy content. In those cases, fuel economy may improve slightly as a result of higher energy content, but not as a result of the higher octane. Two fuels of identical octane could have different energy content due to compositional differences.

just a little light reading smile got the above from here.

A former member
Post #: 23
I've seen this as well... however I did have an old Maxim that actually did get better mileage on premium... not really any performance change but better mileage.... I always got an extra 50-60km out of a tank if I ran premium vs regular.

My carb fitted VZ800 Marauder and my newer fuel injected SV650 have no change in mileage from premium down to regular but I did notice an odd thing where if I go mid grade, the bikes both tend to have less popping on deceleration... I had an older carb version SV650 and it too seemed to have the same effect....if I run regular or premium they do seem to pop and burble a lot more... I tested this many times on both bikes as well as my old sv650 and see the same thing over multiple gas stations too... so I use mid grade just for that that effect alone... I know there is no other noticeable performance change between regular and ultra premium in the bikes

In my car I can get away with mid grade most times except summer where I have to run premium or I get pinging... but premium was what the car was designed to run and the performance is better on premium... so that is generally what I run in the car.

One thing also to consider is regular gas is often fresher than premium since more people run it... so in most places it may be better to run regular.... but really most gas stations should go through both grades in enough time before they get funky..

I just avoid the ethanol blended gas stations as they fried O2 sensors in cars I had in the past and I've also hears it causes problems in some engines too so I don't care how environmentally friendly it is, I won't run gas with a higher percentage of ethanol.
A former member
Post #: 44
Here's what I learned about gasoline, additives, Octane and gas mileage...

The first thing we have to understand is that 1 litre or regular gasoline has more energy then 1 litre of ethanol...
See link:­
2nd, Mid Grade gas is a blend of Regular and Premium grades gasoline.

Prior to the introduction of Ethanol as a way to reduce emissions, unblended gasoline had better performance when it came to gas mileage. when Ethanol was added to the fuel, it created higher octane blends that burned cleaner while providing better gas mileage. Regular fuel was still blended by 5%-10% but the rating was based on the original formulation.

Recently, our government allowed fuel suppliers to include Ethanol in their calculation of Octane rating. As a result, it lowered the actual octane rating for the un-blended fuel. Since it takes 1.5 L of ethanol to replace 1 L of regular gasoline, we are getting less "energy" per litre of blended fuel.

My experience:
1. I get better mileage (+/-10%) riding my bike in Canada on un-blended gas then in the USA!
2. I get better mileage when filling with Mid Grade in Canada and even better with Premium.
3. I never use Regular gas in the US. Mid or Premium grades always work better and gets me more distance per tank full. As LD rider It is important to reduce fuel stops and get the best gas mileage within the allotted time line (24/36/50Hrs, etc).
4. When riding Iron Butt Association Certification Rides, I use Premium gas and required to keep track of fuel stops, fuel, distance, etc.
5. I get better gas mileage when filling my truck with Med Grade and even better with Premium. On long road trips the price differential between Regular and Mid grades is zero or insignificant when calculating the actual cost/Km.

Recommended reading:­­­

user 24603592
Calgary, AB
Post #: 14
And I thought that I can just park, fill up the tank and drive away, was too good to be true :-(
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