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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The owner's manual states Regular Unleaded gasoline (Gasohol E10 acceptable). However, the Vehicle Emission Control Information label specifies 91 RON (Research Octane Number). This may be confusing as regular gas has the posted pump octane number 87 (pump octane is the average of RON + MON). In general, RON values are never less than MON (Motor Octane Number) so 87 pump octane could meet emission specs. In riding practice, if you don't hear pinging or knock under acceleration, regular should be OK.
 

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With a compression ratio of 9:1, I'm sure 87 should be okay. What about the guys living in California though with that horrendous fuel they have ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My HD Sportster 883 was also 9:1 compression but required 91 pump octane. It had a less efficient 2-valve head and I expect the more modern Yamaha pent-roof 4-valve combustion chamber would be less prone to preignition so regular gas is OK. The emissions label 91 RON is more for lab testing compliance. Yes, if you had the CA model you would have extra stuff to deal with.
 

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I've always filled with 89 or 91, wasn't always required but that's what I usually put in. The price difference isn't all that much between 87 and the other two so I just fill up on the other two even if the regular doesn't cause the bike to knock.
 

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I go with 87, you lose some power on paper but I don't care enough to use anything more and from what i noticed it wont do any damage, if it does it won't be anything to be overly concerned about.
 

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That's the main thing, if it doesn't hurt the engine, screw it and run the 87. No point paying for premium 94 octane when it's not gonna make the difference.
 

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That's the main thing, if it doesn't hurt the engine, screw it and run the 87. No point paying for premium 94 octane when it's not gonna make the difference.
Absolutely!
The octane is there to resist detonation.
I can't convince my brother that higher octane fuel won't hurt his chainsaw that runs crazy hot or help his car with the compression ratio of a lawn mower ;-) .
And his best friend is a retired chemistry teacher! LOL

Personal story: I had a 1st year DL1000 V-Strom. Lots of web-list friends made from that experience including "accidentally" holding the very first V-Strom rally by inviting my "stromtrooper" buddies to a Honda Transalp rally, where we outnumbered them.
Anyhow, the list would be quick to tell someone new complaining they had an ill-running bike even though they ran premium gas,
"Stop! Go put in a full tank of 87 octane and see if your trouble goes away."
Strange as it seemed, that high-po 999cc L-twin ran like crap on premium.
Feed it regular gas and it would run all day happy as a clam. =)
 

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Absolutely!
The octane is there to resist detonation.
I can't convince my brother that higher octane fuel won't hurt his chainsaw that runs crazy hot or help his car with the compression ratio of a lawn mower ;-) .
And his best friend is a retired chemistry teacher! LOL

Personal story: I had a 1st year DL1000 V-Strom. Lots of web-list friends made from that experience including "accidentally" holding the very first V-Strom rally by inviting my "stromtrooper" buddies to a Honda Transalp rally, where we outnumbered them.
Anyhow, the list would be quick to tell someone new complaining they had an ill-running bike even though they ran premium gas,
"Stop! Go put in a full tank of 87 octane and see if your trouble goes away."
Strange as it seemed, that high-po 999cc L-twin ran like crap on premium.
Feed it regular gas and it would run all day happy as a clam. =)
Lol now that's a story that'll butt hurt a lot of people hahah !
 

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The one thing people forget is to listen to the engine, if it starts acting up then stick to what's recommended, if not then keep doing what you're doing.
 

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I live in California and mine runs fine on 87 octane. I've tried all three, 87, 89 & 91. I consistently run at 80 down the freeways for hours on end. No difference in performance or milage with higher octane fuel.
 

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I live in California and mine runs fine on 87 octane. I've tried all three, 87, 89 & 91. I consistently run at 80 down the freeways for hours on end. No difference in performance or milage with higher octane fuel.
+1 for 87 octane, if plug condition is any indication..
Genny's 2012 V-Star 950 has the same basic engine and we replaced the spark plugs the other day for the 1st time. The originals had 11k+ miles on them and she has run 87 octane pretty much most of the time. The old plugs had a bit of deposits on them from fuel additives, but the electrodes' condition were actually quite good.

Note: The plugs in her bike (and the SCR950) are NGK CPR7EA-9 and ran me $15+ for two at a bike shop. Out of curiosity, I later checked Auto Zone & O'Reilly's and they list them for as little as $3.19 each. Oops.
 

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there's really no performance benefit from using a higher octane fuel than needed for your ride, octane doesn't mean more power. Maybe you'll fill up on higher octane fuel at higher altitudes but that's pretty much it. Gotta love the scr950 for eating 87 octane gas, I'm sure a few wallets are thanking it.
 

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(snip). Maybe you'll fill up on higher octane fuel at higher altitudes but that's pretty much it. Gotta love the scr950 for eating 87 octane gas, I'm sure a few wallets are thanking it.
Actually, the higher altitude you go, the lower octane required.
Thinner air equates to less compression and more natural resistance to knocking. 85 is less expensive than 87, too.
The danger there is if you filled up on 85 octane at high altitude and then rode down closer to sea level on the same tank. One could expect some knocking at that point.
As for the SCR950 and 87, oh, yea! I'm really liking it. I had three vehicles that required high octane. Now, it's only the Super Ténéré.
The SCR & Toyota run all day on 87. =)
 

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Thanks for the correction. Best to just stick with 87 to prevent knocking unless you're willing to drain the tank before riding down.

I'm driving a Toyota Camry and it's fine with 87 too! Gotta love economically friendly vehicles.
 

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I didn't even know there was an 85 octane.. the gas station I got to only goes down to 87. With the price of premium gas now a days, I love anything that runs 87 (regular) gas lol. My wallet loves it even more.
 

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This is new to me, didn't know ethanol was such a big problem for bikes until now. May have to look into those additives to prevent separation.
 
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