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 Motorcycle Safety
 Technical/Maintenance
 Low octane gas in V Max
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97 VMax
Male Starting Member
3 Posts


Eugene, Or
USA

Yamaha

VMax

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  3:29 PM                       Like
About a week ago I decided to see how mid-level octane fuel would do in my 97 VMax, stupid I know... It ran well the first day, but on starting it up the next morning it was hard to start, sounded awful in neutral and was very slow to accelerate. I topped off the gas tank with super and added most of a bottle of octane booster, it seemed to help some. I ran about half of that tank out and topped it off again with more super. Yesterday I attended a ride that covered more than 200 miles, and the bike was doing WORSE at the end of the ride, even after refueling twice more with super. Starting out in first the bike would bog down and actually died twice unless I over revved the engine.

I was thinking of draining the tank and starting over, but I'm wondering if the mid-octane fuel can damage other components of the engine like the plugs or carb? Any ideas?

James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17377 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  3:50 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
The mid octane gasoline caused no damage whatever.

It is possible that you picked up some water in the gasoline, however.

Octane booster only makes the gasoline burn slower. (Higher octane gasoline is NOT more powerful than lower octane gasoline.)

You choose octane based upon what your engine needs as judged by whether or not it pings.
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Jerry Godell
Male Senior Member
441 Posts


Kansas City, kansas
USA

Harley-Davidson

FXD SuperGlide

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  5:11 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

The mid octane gasoline caused no damage whatever.

It is possible that you picked up some water in the gasoline, however.

Octane booster only makes the gasoline burn slower. (Higher octane gasoline is NOT more powerful than lower octane gasoline.)

You choose octane based upon what your engine needs as judged by whether or not it pings.

James is absolutely correct on this. High Octane is not more powerful. Also be advised when a bottle of Octane Booster states that it will raise your Octane 2 points. That is what it means. (.2) points. It will take 5 bottles to raise it 1 Octane Point. Very expensive.
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howard.v
Male Senior Member
406 Posts


North Bend, OR
USA

Honda

2004 VT750 Aero

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  7:50 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Godell

quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

The mid octane gasoline caused no damage whatever.

It is possible that you picked up some water in the gasoline, however.

Octane booster only makes the gasoline burn slower. (Higher octane gasoline is NOT more powerful than lower octane gasoline.)

You choose octane based upon what your engine needs as judged by whether or not it pings.

James is absolutely correct on this. High Octane is not more powerful. Also be advised when a bottle of Octane Booster states that it will raise your Octane 2 points. That is what it means. (.2) points. It will take 5 bottles to raise it 1 Octane Point. Very expensive.




Am I missing something here? If each bottle of octane booster raises you 2 points, why does it take 5 bottles of it to raise you 1 point?

If the bottle claims that it will raise your octane by 2 points. That's what I take it to mean, 2 points. Not .2 points.

I have never used the stuff in any case. My motorcycle runs just fine on 87 octane ( the regular stuff).
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Jerry Godell
Male Senior Member
441 Posts


Kansas City, kansas
USA

Harley-Davidson

FXD SuperGlide

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  8:08 PM



[/quote]James is absolutely correct on this. High Octane is not more powerful. Also be advised when a bottle of Octane Booster states that it will raise your Octane 2 points. That is what it means. (.2) points. It will take 5 bottles to raise it 1 Octane Point. Very expensive.

[/quote]

Am I missing something here? If each bottle of octane booster raises you 2 points, why does it take 5 bottles of it to raise you 1 point?

If the bottle claims that it will raise your octane by 2 points. That's what I take it to mean, 2 points. Not .2 points.

I have never used the stuff in any case. My motorcycle runs just fine on 87 octane ( the regular stuff).
[/quote]
Here is an example!
Notes:

1. Toulene: Common ingredient in Octane Boosters in a can. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, i.e. from 92 to 92.3. Often costs $3-5 for 12-16 ounces, when it can be purchased for less than $3/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.

2. Xylene: Similar to Toulene. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, i.e. from 92 to 92.3. Usually mixed with Toulene and advertised as *race formula*
http://www.team.net/sol/tech/octane_b.html
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97 VMax
Male Starting Member
3 Posts


Eugene, Or
USA

Yamaha

VMax

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  8:30 PM
James, thanks for the input it's much appreciated. Judging from your response I don't need to worry about the plugs and carbs. Would draining the tank be an advisable next step or treating for water possibly being in the tank by means of an additive?

Thanks.
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howard.v
Male Senior Member
406 Posts


North Bend, OR
USA

Honda

2004 VT750 Aero

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  10:42 PM
quote:
Originally posted by 97 VMax

James, thanks for the input it's much appreciated. Judging from your response I don't need to worry about the plugs and carbs. Would draining the tank be an advisable next step or treating for water possibly being in the tank by means of an additive?

Thanks.



Octane booster talk aside, you could have gotten more than just water from a gas station visit. You could have gotten gas just immediately after the tank truck finished delivering a load of gas to the station. That usually stirs up the tanks and their filters may have been clogged and bypassed if they had filters. Anyway, you could have ended up getting a lot of crap pumped into your tank. Get a new fuel filter for your bike, drain the tank, use the gas for your lawn mower. Clean the tank really well, replace the old fuel filter with the new one, and fill tank with fresh fuel.

Oh, and read the owners manual concerning the minimum octane the manufacturer recommends. No sense paying for 92 or 89 octane if 87 octane will suffice. If the mfg says the bike will run fine on 87 octane, you are wasting your money on the other octanes for no additional benefit.
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nolafolk
Male Junior Member
55 Posts


Trussville, AL
USA

Suzuki

SV-650

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  7:50 PM
I always favor doing the easy stuff first. Check the fuel filter for clogging. Also drain just the carburetor bowls into a glass container. See if there is any water in the fuel that comes out of the bowls. If there is then you will probably have to disassemble the carbs and blow the passages out, just to be safe.

Also, if you do find water, drain about a half cup of fuel at a time and look for water. Water will settle to the low point. Once you stop getting water you should be good to go.

In general, you should use the lowest octane you can without pinging. That's the most energy-dense and easiest burning fuel you can use.
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Harry
Junior Member
91 Posts


Suffern, NY
USA

Honda

1983 V65 Magna

Posted - 05/16/2007 :  5:33 PM
Using a higher octane than necessary can actually be detrimental. I have a V65 Magna (About the only cruiser on the road that'll outrun your VMax) and you would think that running super in a high-performance V4 would make the most sense - but it doesn't. It's made to run on 87, and that's how it runs best.

I don't remember the exact reason that higher octane fuels can cause trouble when they're not necessary, but I got the info from a well-respected engine builder/mechanic in the Honda community. I can go back and read up what he wrote and post it here if you're interested.

Then again, you don't have a Honda, so your mileage may vary.
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97 VMax
Male Starting Member
3 Posts


Eugene, Or
USA

Yamaha

VMax

Posted - 05/17/2007 :  11:29 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Harry

Using a higher octane than necessary can actually be detrimental. I have a V65 Magna (About the only cruiser on the road that'll outrun your VMax) and you would think that running super in a high-performance V4 would make the most sense - but it doesn't. It's made to run on 87, and that's how it runs best.

I don't remember the exact reason that higher octane fuels can cause trouble when they're not necessary, but I got the info from a well-respected engine builder/mechanic in the Honda community. I can go back and read up what he wrote and post it here if you're interested.



Then again, you don't have a Honda, so your mileage may vary.




Thanks for the reply Harry. Since originally posting this I've determined the problem to most likely be in one of the carbs. I've since added Seafoam, changed the fuel filter, bled the bowls, cleaned out the air filter and checked the plugs. I'm told if it's not in the carbs, it's probably in the V-boost system. After completing the above mentioned work, it does sound better, but my issue has continued to be no power in the low end. Starting out in first gear it's still bogging down. Since I'm just not good with carbs and small parts (I tend to break stuff...) the bike is in the trusted hands of a local V-Max tech that's familiar with these bikes.

However, since I first brought up the issue of "low octane fuel" I've received several comments that maybe I just don't need higher octane. I normally run super in the bike, and it preforms like a champ. When I run lower octane fuel in it, I get pings and loss of preformance. I spoke with the fella that bought it new (I'm it's third owner, all in the family though...) and he always ran super in it too.

I would appreciate that information however, the V-Max isn't the only vehicle I have...

Thanks again.
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Harry
Junior Member
91 Posts


Suffern, NY
USA

Honda

1983 V65 Magna

Posted - 05/17/2007 :  2:09 PM
I went looking for that information, and I'm at work and can't find it. I'll keep looking, but if I remember correctly the main reason was if you use high octane and your motor isn't made for it, the gas doesn't burn completely which can foul up other components.

This faq might help - I'm at work and don't have time to go through the whole thing (it's LONG!)

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/part1/


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