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Best type of petrol for my bike?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by vrooom69, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Hi there,

    I ride a 06 VTR250. Been filling it with 98 Octane all the time. But when I took my bike in for a check up the mechanic warned me against higher octane fuels...stating they contain additives designed for car engines and these silicon based lubricants and cleaning agents will clog up the carbs.

    So have I been possibly doing damage to my engine with 98 octane and throwing away more money while doing so? I've always avoided 91 Octane thinking the ethanol would be harmful to a bike....the latter being the fuel he recommended :s

    Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. Everyone has an opinion on the matter. I'd be inclined to look when the bike was built and think of regular unleaded at the time and use the equivilent.
    It's certainly no complicated or performance bike, so basic unleaded will be fine.
  3. No damage in any real sense. Many mechanics tend to a)know it all b)be a bit rigidly hysterical about 'the correct' way to do things (despite there being many intelligent opposing approaches out there).

    Use 91 without ethanol.
  4. Thanks for the replies guys.

    Every one does seem to have their own opinion on this issue hey...I just saw a vlog on youtube, where this dude goes on to say the likes of BP uses additives..so he gets only Caltex. Suggesting the difference in fuel across brands, instead of it purely being octane rating. I am sure Caltex would use various additives in their fuels too.
    Cant seem to find a definitive answer for the life of me...

    Yeh, thats what I was thinking too...I dont really need 'jet fuel' in a smaller capacity street dwelling work horse sorta bike like the VTR.

    Didnt realise there was an option with 91 without ethanol...I always see that E10 right next to it. Will keep an eye out for that.

    "a)know it all b)be a bit rigidly hysterical about 'the correct' way to do things (despite there being many intelligent opposing approaches out there)."

    couldnt agree more on that :p the guy was a bit of wanker too when he spoke to me about it....he made it seem like I was feeding a child kid cat food instead of normal...human food lol
  5. Haha good gawd, this. This. This. This. I've been advised to use specifically BP 98 in my current bike because BP have the least mineral shit added (I guess BP is pretty popular with motorbikes) which is beneficial for a teeny weeny bike like mine as smaller bikes struggle to burn the shit off more... "contaminated" fuel. And then someone else (not a motorcyclist but still a road user and relatively mechanically-minded) said it doesn't matter, 98 is 98 and if anything Shell would be the best bet out of everything because that's what the racing cars and whatnot use as it's shit-free. I dunno. BP 98 for me. :)
  6. This question pops up on a semi-regular basis. The answer is always "use whatever fuel is specified for your bike by the manufacturer". Check the handbook.

    It is common for 91 octane to be specified for bikes, and you will probs find the 250 actually runs very well on 91.

    Incidentally, everyone has their own (possibly superstitious :) ) preference wrt fuel brand. For what it's worth, like Tildette I prefer BP although I use BP 91.

  7. Vrooom69 your mechanic is on the ball 98 is too high rating,most bikes are tuned to 91 through the ecu for that specific rating,unless its for park dragging.it also affects the engine timing,being a 250 91 is sufficient,i suggest no higher than 95,i use 95 in my car and 1100 honda,cheers.
  8. Unleaded 91 RON fuel does not have ethanol in it at all. If it did, then it would be E10 and have a RON of 94 or 95 depending on the brand which makes it equivalent to PULP (Premium).
  9. Sweet...thanks guys.

    All the manual tell me is to NOT put in leaded fuel. That didn't really help me at all..hence posting this thread online. Apparently leaded fuel hasn't been around for quite some time and then you get all these funky types of fuels...it was getting a lil annoying.

    Just wanted to find out what would be best for my bike, cos I love it to bits.

    Peace! <3
  10. meh,
    my limited understaning of fuel is that the higher the rating is not actually that the fuel gives more power......
    its the resistance it has to cumbusting under pressure...
    so the higher the compression of the engine the higher the fuel rating,
    as if it combusts too early you get engine knocking.

    modern cars run at a much higher and precise level than older cars, so they need a fuel that will not combust early and will handle the pressure. thus the run a higher rating. so using a higher then recomend grade does nothing.... wont hurt it, but wont help it either

    anyway this is my limited grasp from reading an old wheels magazine in the local fish and chip shop while waiting on my order
  11. i would be using 91 octane with no ethanol, its hard to find though and if i couldn't find it i would be putting 95 in and then as last resort 98, never e10.
  12. Fuel is one of those things that is constantly debated about in motorsport and engine builders, i get bored of listening about it real quickly with my colleagues.

    i'll throw in my 2 cents

    91 is your basic fuel, general has no additives besides that occasional fuel stabilizer and most engines can run on it quick comfortable. But have you ever taken apart an engine that has run its whole life on 91? (I have many times). Its full of black crap, carbon, everywhere, piston crown, valves, exhaust gas recirculation etc etc. Premium fuels have extra detergents that help remove this carbon which is beneficial for performance and engine longevity.

    I'm not saying you should use 95/98 all the time. But from time to time its a good idea to run a tank of premium fuel and go for a good fang to remove carbon deposits before the get to bad. Because once its caked on its really hard to remove.

    I fill mine with 95 even though my manual says 91, had a peek down the cylinders when i did my last service, nice shiny metallic pistons and valves, not one bit of carbon in there.

    I serviced my gfs car the other week, all its gets is 91, it was so dark down the intake ports and spark plug threads i couldn't see anything but black. Mind you the car runs fine and gets OK economy but its full of carbon deposits... Not good

    As for providers i find BP is generally the most consistent. You can look up and compare the fuels online.

    Sorry to add more confusion :p
  13. Do NOT use any Ethonol blend unless you specifically know that your bike can take it. My bike for instance I know cannot, and its a 2010 model so the year alone is not a guide.
  14. Just to throw in my 2c, I generally prefer to use 'united e10' stuff - usually cause its cheap and its 95... But if I need to put in fuel, the closest thing will do. Learnt my lesson by trying E85 - don't do it... had to drain half the tank and top it up with Unleaded (w/o Ethanol) to balance it out. That said - I have ~9 litres of E85 in a jerry can which I will use to 'cut' the tank over the next few fill ups. Runs fine... Bike is a 06 GPX 250 - its a carby engine... runs on pretty much anything, have tried 98 / 100 etc all good. I have only put in 100 once just to try it, no noticeable difference to me :)
  15. E10 may be cheap but has a lower calorific value than non alcohol petrol. So you will get more miles from that, In other words just because it is cheaper doesn't make it good value. You need to do the sums for your bike. If the cheaper cost outweighs the fewer kilometers fine but otherwise cheap is false economy.
  16. Ok I'll throw my 2 cents worth in as well, if your bike is NOT recomended by the manufacturer to run on any blend of Ethonol fuel , DONT run it.

    You may be saving $0.30 cent a tank but the possible damage to fuel system/engine will cost you a lot more in the long run!

    But in the long run its your bike an your money :angel:

    All from copy and pasted from here ( Kawasaki.com.au )

    Q. Can I run my Kawasaki Motorcycle, ATV, UV, PWC, RUV or Power Products on Ethanol Blended Fuels?
    No. However, any modification from standard may affect the performance and/or durability of the unit. Failures caused as a result of an accessory or the fitting of, are not a manufactured defect and as such are not covered by warranty.


    Q. Can I run my Kawasaki Motorcycle, ATV, UV, PWC, RUV or Power Products on Ethanol Blended Fuels?

    Kawasaki does not recommend the use of unleaded fuel blended with any ethanol content in Kawasaki engines. Please refer to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) website www.fcai.com.au & follow the links to the information regarding ethanol for further information with regards to running Kawasaki engines on fuel blended with ethanol.

    And here is a snipit from the FCAI LINK [ scroll down to the bike section .

    Kawasaki Motorbikes

    All models of bikes and ATV's

    NO to both E5 and E10



    The following information outlines the key reasons why vehicle manufacturers do not recommend the use of any ethanol/petrol blended fuels in vehicles made before 1986. This information is also applicable to post-1986 vehicles listed as unsuitable to use ethanol blended petrol.

    Ethanol has a number of important chemical and physical properties that need to be considered in a vehicle's design.

    Carburettor Equipped Engines

    Vehicles made before 1986 vehicles were predominantly equipped with carburettors and steel fuel tanks.

    The use of ethanol blended petrol in engines impacts the air/fuel ratio because of the additional oxygen molecules within the ethanol's chemical structure.

    Vehicles with carburettor fuel systems may experience hot fuel handling concerns. This is because the vapour pressure of fuel with ethanol will be greater (if the base fuel is not chemically adjusted) and probability of vapour lock or hot restartability problems will be increased.

    As a solvent, ethanol attacks both the metallic and rubber based fuels lines, and other fuel system components.

    Ethanol also has an affinity to water that can result in corrosion of fuel tanks and fuel lines. Rust resulting from this corrosion can ultimately block the fuel supply rendering the engine inoperable. Water in the fuel system can also result in the engine hesitating and running roughly.

    Fuel Injected Engines

    In addition to the issues mentioned above for carburettor equipped engines, the use of ethanol blended petrol in fuel injection systems will result in early deterioration of components such as injector seals, delivery pipes, and fuel pump and regulator.

    Mechanical fuel injection systems and earlier electronic systems may not be able to fully compensate for the lean-out effect of ethanol blended petrol, resulting in hesitation or flat-spots during acceleration.

    Difficulty in starting and engine hesitation after cold start can also result.
  17. They do.

    Given that ethanol fuel was introduced to US in the 70's I highly doubt that Honda (or any other manufacturer) have not made the fuel system suitable for a couple mL of ethanol anytime in the last 30 years.
  18. Yeah - I hear that, the mileage is generally the same if not just a little better on E10.

    I was riding today - and noticed that my 'home bake ethanol blend' (see above) was actually running pretty damn nice... I'd even go as far as to say the best I have seen it run in a while. Maybe it was just my vivid imagination - but yeah... maybe there is something to it! :p
  19. I use 98 Shell V-Power or BP Ultimate in my WR450F and my Dads Honda Valkyrie. My brother uses it in his Ducati Monster and YZF1000.....My mate uses it in his 08 CBR600RR which now has 40,000kms on and my other mate uses 98 in his 95 CBR 250......Never had an issue at all. My other mate uses it in his ZX9 and his R1 track bike.

    I would not touch 91 with a ten foot poll for bikes. A guy did a test of a bike forum a few years back. He made a mesh funnel that sat in the opening to the tank and could be left in the with the fuel cap shut. He filled his DRZ400 up over one month with 91 octane from all different petrol stations. What was left in there you ask? Flys, dirt, little bits of twigs, very small stones and so on.

    I will always be using 98 unless the bike is early 90s and below.....
  20. i went to united today.. i never go there.. they only had the ethanol pumps open.. i saw this, kept on riding to shell.

    @OP just put in what the manual suggests.. and don't go to united or 7/11.