What octane level to use?

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  • What octane level to use?

    At the risk of incurring many oh-so-witty replies, I'm new to the Gold Wing world and while I see the manual says u=to use a rating of 86 or higher some riders told me that 88 or even 91 is a better option (engine runs hotter?) - so is that true? Is it worth the extra cost to use higher-than-required octane gas?

  • #2
    I think it would be a waste of money to use higher octane.
    Costa Mesa, CA
    2012 RED GL1800

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    • #3
      Note the manual provides 'pump octane number' of 86.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane...rement_methods

      "In most countries in Europe (also in Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand) the "headline" octane rating shown on the pump is the RON, but in Canada, the United States, Brazil, and some other countries, the headline number is the simple mean or average of the RON and the MON, called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), and often written on pumps as (R+M)/2. It may also sometimes be called the Posted Octane Number (PON)."

      Now, read the fine print on the pump, observe it has the (R+M)/2 indicated.

      So, is pump octane number equivalent to posted octane number?

      Yes. See the chart in that linked Wikipedia article for the details. "Regular" North American fuel is 87* at normal elevations.

      * Fuel can be purchased with lower octane levels (86, 85) at higher elevations.

      No, not required nor desired (engine is relatively low compression...)
      Ken (IBA #50030) & Grace (IBA #62768)Tucson, AZ"Get busy living, or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption 1994ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕMy blog

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      • #4
        Originally posted by glarson3 View Post
        I think it would be a waste of money to use higher octane.
        Thank you sir! That's what I was hoping

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kwthom View Post
          Note the manual provides 'pump octane number' of 86.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane...rement_methods

          "In most countries in Europe (also in Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand) the "headline" octane rating shown on the pump is the RON, but in Canada, the United States, Brazil, and some other countries, the headline number is the simple mean or average of the RON and the MON, called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), and often written on pumps as (R+M)/2. It may also sometimes be called the Posted Octane Number (PON)."

          Now, read the fine print on the pump, observe it has the (R+M)/2 indicated.

          So, is pump octane number equivalent to posted octane number?

          Yes. See the chart in that linked Wikipedia article for the details. "Regular" North American fuel is 87* at normal elevations.

          * Fuel can be purchased with lower octane levels (86, 85) at higher elevations.

          No, not required nor desired (engine is relatively low compression...)
          And thank you as well, kwthom - good to know. Plus, as I am in southern New Mexico (4K elevation) I guess 86 will be fine and dandy 9do the kids still say that nowadays?)

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          • #6
            Sorry to point to another (non-motorcycle) forum, but there's a short, but rather interesting perspective of the octane wars of the '60's (where many of these old dudes are spewing [very] outdated info from regarding higher grades of fuel...) :

            https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forum...95&postcount=4
            Last edited by kwthom; 09-03-2019, 03:48 PM.
            Ken (IBA #50030) & Grace (IBA #62768)Tucson, AZ"Get busy living, or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption 1994ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕMy blog

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            • #7
              If your ride is pinging on 86 or 87 there is a problem with the bike or the fuel is bad, I read that using a higher octane then needed can cause deposits in the combustion chamber due to a slower burn.

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              • #8
                Low compression Goldwing engines don't need premium fuel.

                https://www.cars.com/articles/if-my-...1420684149356/
                ************************************************** *******
                Maker of the 01-17 GL1800
                "Rocky Tree & Comfort Risers".
                Current bikes.
                1981 CB900C 10 speed (Restored)
                1986 GL1200 SEi
                2004 GL1800

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                • #9
                  Again, thanks to you all - that makes sense so I shall continue using 86 or 88.

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                  • #10
                    Never found any difference used them all my self Happy with the cheap stuff works for me. Ride Safe Ride A-lot

                    2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by f8lee View Post
                      At the risk of incurring many oh-so-witty replies, I'm new to the Gold Wing world and while I see the manual says u=to use a rating of 86 or higher some riders told me that 88 or even 91 is a better option (engine runs hotter?) - so is that true? Is it worth the extra cost to use higher-than-required octane gas?
                      Only if you want that warm and fuzzy feeling.
                      PGR RIDE CAPTAIN.. UTAH

                      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                      • #12
                        I've read on other forums that lower octane fuel produces more btu's than higher octane and as such MAY slightly improve MPG over the premium mix. Haven't tried 91 in this GW, so can't verify. I do know that my GL1500 consistently got 38 MPG on ethanol containing fuel, and jumped to 54 MPG on a 4 state trip using non-ethanol gas. No BS! As soon as we got back to Kalifornia, it dropped back to 38 MPG. Riding same type of roads, same ambient temp, same speeds. Everyone on the trip enjoyed and increased MPG, altho not to that degree. Use regular.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by doxbike View Post
                          I've read on other forums that lower octane fuel produces more btu's than higher octane and as such MAY slightly improve MPG over the premium mix. Haven't tried 91 in this GW, so can't verify. I do know that my GL1500 consistently got 38 MPG on ethanol containing fuel, and jumped to 54 MPG on a 4 state trip using non-ethanol gas. No BS! As soon as we got back to Kalifornia, it dropped back to 38 MPG. Riding same type of roads, same ambient temp, same speeds. Everyone on the trip enjoyed and increased MPG, altho not to that degree. Use regular.
                          Non-corn gas is all I use from lawn mowers,generators,cars to bikes.
                          PGR RIDE CAPTAIN.. UTAH

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by INTHEWIND View Post

                            Non-corn gas is all I use from lawn mowers,generators,cars to bikes.
                            can't get it here

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                            • kwthom
                              kwthom commented
                              Editing a comment


                              Difficult to source in some areas of the country (non-ethanol). I live in a region that has close to a million people - next-to-impossible to find.

                          • #15
                            Its non existent in the Midwest because they grow a lot of corn.

                            https://www.pure-gas.org/
                            PGR RIDE CAPTAIN.. UTAH

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                            • #16
                              Originally posted by INTHEWIND View Post
                              Its non existent in the Midwest because they grow a lot of corn.

                              https://www.pure-gas.org/
                              I can only speak for Kansas, but Cenex has become my friend for non-ethanol fuel.
                              2008 Red GW1800 -- NRA Life Member - American Legion PUFL, American Legion Riders
                              USMC 21 YRS/9 MO and when dead, a dead Marine.
                              US Four Corner Ride https://clayusmcret.blogspot.com/
                              2014 Mid-States Ride https://mid-states.blogspot.com/
                              2015 NC to UT/NV Ride https://2015nvride.blogspot.com/

                              50th State ridden on 19 Aug, 2016 DS #1584

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                              • #17
                                Who’s pumping ethyl!!!!

                                not me

                                mattbcnv
                                2018 Pearl Stallion Brown DCT

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                                • kwthom
                                  kwthom commented
                                  Editing a comment


                                  Your significant other probably appreciates that response.

                                • GWRider
                                  GWRider commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  "Only if she's working"

                              • #18
                                Originally posted by Mattbcnv View Post
                                Who’s pumping ethyl!!!!

                                not me

                                mattbcnv
                                Now your age is showing Matt.
                                PGR RIDE CAPTAIN.. UTAH

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                                • #19
                                  Heck with the new tank getting smaller your ratio of getting a portion of whatever is in the hose first is increasing. I would be interested to know just how much is residing in the hose prior to what is being pumped from the holding tank.

                                  If that is in fact how that system works.

                                  Internet, just google it....
                                  According to the American Petroleum Institute the gas-pump hose typically retains about
                                  one third of a gallon of fuel. 0 12-10-12, 03:06 PM #3
                                  kiptap - Paul
                                  Bolingbrook, IL (Greater Chicago Area)
                                  1979 Kawasaki Z 200
                                  1981 Kawasaki GPZ 550
                                  1996 Honda GL 1500SE
                                  2018 Honda GL 1800DJ

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                                  • #20
                                    Originally posted by kiptap View Post
                                    Heck with the new tank getting smaller your ratio of getting a portion of whatever is in the hose first is increasing. I would be interested to know just how much is residing in the hose prior to what is being pumped from the holding tank.

                                    If that is in fact how that system works.

                                    Internet, just google it....
                                    According to the American Petroleum Institute the gas-pump hose typically retains about
                                    one third of a gallon of fuel. 0 12-10-12, 03:06 PM #3
                                    Yes, but if so you're getting the third of a gallon the person in front of you didn't get and are leaving a third for the next person. In theory, only one person gets screwed at each pump.....the first one to ever use it.
                                    2008 Red GW1800 -- NRA Life Member - American Legion PUFL, American Legion Riders
                                    USMC 21 YRS/9 MO and when dead, a dead Marine.
                                    US Four Corner Ride https://clayusmcret.blogspot.com/
                                    2014 Mid-States Ride https://mid-states.blogspot.com/
                                    2015 NC to UT/NV Ride https://2015nvride.blogspot.com/

                                    50th State ridden on 19 Aug, 2016 DS #1584

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