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Which fuel should I use in my honda cb400?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by paul09, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. The sales guy at dealer said to use BP ultimate...and specifically said 'stay away from Shell, it has some additives that fuel injected bikes don't like'

    Is this true? I only ask because I actually work part time at shell haha and often get some decent discounts! I have been filling BP ultimate and bike is running well but obviously v-power is cheaper for me, but I wouldn't use it if it is actually not good for the bike. My car (v8 monaro) loves v-power :(

    I also got stuck running low in the middle of nowhere yesterday, filled up with best I could find (caltex 95) and bike seems to be running fine on that too.

  2. Ran my bike down to half a litre of full left in the tank about 4 weeks ago. filled up at shell and then noticed - was kinda hard not to - that the bike was making a sh!t load of noise. at 5k rev it sounded like it was doing 10k. Engine noise mind - not exhaust. sorted itself out about 20km into a fresh tank of fuelbut wasn't confidence inspiring. could have just been a bad batch or could have picked up some rubbish from the bottom of the tank but either way not cool. haves used fuel from shell since without any problems but it's always been mixed with whatever fuel was left over in the tank and I usually have about 4 litres left when I fill up.

    Probably doesn't answer your question conclusively but it could be along the lines of what you're talking about
  3. Not sure of the actual compression of your year CB400 but going by a 2008 of 11.3:1, you won't notice the difference using 95ron fuel. 98 is meant to be cleaner and stricter quality controlled. I had to put 5 litres of 95 into the GSXR1000 the other day as there was no other choice and with a compression ratio of 12.8:1 you can feel the power difference, as soon as I found some 98 and filled it up, it was so much nicer and crisper.
  4. Have a similar question as to what I should be putting in my GS500? What do people recommend?
  5. 95RON will be fine. No point going to 98 and I wouldn't subject any engine to 91.
  6. Manual for the CB says 91.

    I use Shell non-E10 91 RON as often as possible. No BP is conveniently located and I found the 98RON fuels got lower economy and less power anyway. Yeah, go figure.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. My GS500 runs on pretty much anything. Even ran well on 91 that was left in the tank for 3 months.
  8. 98 only for my ride...i use Shell/Bp/Caltex, whatever is convenient.
  9. I know about all the RON arguments/opinions - what I'm asking, is about Shell fuel specifically, since the sales guy mentioned 'do NOT fill at Shell'
  10. guy is a little outdated....
    As stated it has more to do with their old Optimax fuel and not their current VPower 98 fuel..

    You can use any fuel as directed from your manual but you may still find a difference between the different octanes..

    I can use 91 in mine but as I religiously reset my trip meter at every fill, I have found that I get some 50 or more k's per tank on 98 than 91..
    with 91, reserve starts flashing soon after 300k but with 98 I'm well over the 350k mark before the reserve indicator flashes and in a few cases over 400 before it flashed (Depends how I ride..:D)..

    For the other rider with the gs500, being carbs I found there wasn't such a difference between the octanes..

  11. Awesome thanks! :)

  12. I've never had a problem with shell fuels in all the years I've used it nor with any other brand I've used for that matter.
  13. I disagree. I used Shell VPower initially in the Ducati, because Ducati international recommended it, and has a relationship with Shell. The Ducati dealership recommended that I didn't use Shell, but I tried it anyway, for about six months or more.

    I didn't work very well. So I tried a bunch of different fuels of different octanes. The bike runs just as well on Shell 95 as it does on VPower, if not better. I was paying more and getting less power (at least it felt that way) and I was definitely getting worse economy. Probably 20 Km less distance on a tank full of VPower.

    Then some mates who will only use BP 98 unless totally desparate converted me to BP. Now I use it all the time and it is much better. More consistent, best power, and best economy. I still use Shell if I have to, but usually only 95. If I use Shell 98, I know to plan for a shorter range, and a duller throttle response.

    Yep. Use the octane that the manual says to use. The engine is designed for it.

    Don't use any fuel that has ethanol in it, unless it is recommended by the manufacturer, or they say it is okay. Most (all?) motorcycle engines are not designed to use ethanol, as the seals used in them will be damaged by it. The engine will fail early.

    Do use 91 if it is recommended, since it is cheaper and the engine is designed for it. The engine probably won't take advantage of a higher octane.

    PS: In a fuel injected engine with a ping detector and ECU will "learn" the correct settings if you change to a different fuel. That is why on first use something like VPower may not work as well, and later it will improve. The noise you heard Viscera99 was probably the engine detonating like crazy, which stopped once the ECU retarded the ignition. (Or something to that effect.)
  14. I'm going to put my hand up on the anti shell V-Power side as well.

    My bike runs like a pig on it (Street triple), my car hates it and a mates CB400 seems to run like a pig on it as well.
  15. While this is almost certainly true of some engines, it doesn't apply to all. But even those that the factories deem okay to run on up to 10 per cent ethanol, like my Honda CB1300, come with a caveat in the owner's manual that they may not warrant the fuel system (note; no mention of engine warranty). So, it's a case of it's probably okay but we reserve the right not to back you if it goes wrong for reasons we can't foresee. Honda specifically warns against methanol mixes higher than 5 per cent and also requires other stuff in such fuel to protect the system.

    I think if Honda had any fears of early failure of the engine their lawyers would insist that the manual carries a total ban, and they sell in markets that mandate ethanol.

    I choose not to use E10 petrol but would be okay to do so if nothing else was available for half a tank to get me to some better fuel.
  16. Been using shell 98 in the cars and the bikes for years and years and never an issue, stay away from 91 RON it's shite here in oz.
    They all come out of the same refinery anyway just a few different additives.
    The higher octane fuels work well in fuel injected bikes that can run them whereas in carbied bikes it's hit and miss as the additives in the 98 ron fuels do tend to remove gunk that can clog the needles and make bikes run like a bag of shite, especially if there is not a fuel filter.
  17. Its all marketing, buy the minimum ron that the bike needs and go.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. My new Kawasaki 650L has up to 10% ethanol RON 91 is ok in the manual. But not putting anything less than 95RON in the bike.

    Interesting that there is such variabillity between petrol stations of what should be essentially a controlled regulation substance.


    Cheers Spocky