What octane fuel does everyone use? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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What octane fuel does everyone use?

I know that Kawasaki states in the owner's manual that the Versys engine is tuned to run on 87 Octane fuel. I have been using 93 octane out of habit from my last bike which was a gsxr750. Does the Versys really run the same on 87 or can you net better mpg's or slight increase in smoothness running 93? I would like to know what everyone else is running and opinions
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 10:41 PM
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Under "normal" operating conditions the cost difference among fuel grades will probably be greater than the cost savings resulting from any increase in fuel economy. More power? Probably not unless the engine systems have been modified. Not to sound flippant, but it's your money to do with as you wish.

Maybe it's because I'm getting old and slow, but 87 works for me.

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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 10:42 PM
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It runs BETTER at 87 than 93 octane. Just compare a few fill-ups in a row of 87 octane. You are in for a surprise: it will almost be like a new bike! I wondered that too when I had a 1997 BMW 650ST, and it burns the fuel up so much better and efficient. Go by what the OEM says: that is what your engine was engineered to use.
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 10:46 PM
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I run either 91 octane with 10% ethanol, or 88 octane no ethanol. Both seem to be about the same performance. I prefer no ethanol but the one station that sells it isn't always on my route. Theoretically the mpg should be better with no ethanol but the price is more, so the $ per mile is the same.
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 11:02 PM
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A coworker who races cars for a hobby was explaining to me the benefits of using the lowest octane you can. The key is that lower octane burns at a rate that matches piston speed better than the burn rate of higher octane.

But if octane is too low you can get detonation. Detonation occurs at high power settings and at low rpms. It is worse with lean mixtures.

If you're running the engine hard at high power settings, you don't want to go too low octane because you will get detonation. The modern electronics can detect it and adjust the mixture and ignition, but it will cost you in power and fuel efficiency. In the old days you'd destroy your engine with detonation.

Kawasaki says our engines will run on 87. I take that to mean it won't detonate under foreseeable conditions such as full throttle acceleration, high air temps, normal rpm ranges. 87 should be safe to run.

Going to 93 octane should theoretically be less efficient. The only caveat I can think of is if the electronics are compensating for detonation by enriching the mixture, you might get better performance with higher octane when you are running it really hard. Full throttle, hot day, maybe lower half of the rpm range. I don't think these conditions are how many of us ride most of the time.
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Last edited by Fly-Sig; 11-05-2015 at 11:09 PM.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 11:29 PM
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87 here with zero issues. Filled up once with 91, and it just didn't feel quite right. A bit of sputtering here and there, and what my butt dyno determined to be a slight loss of top end power.
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 03:36 AM
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87.
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 06:36 AM
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higher octane = more resistance to combustion and can actually result in fouling the plugs if the engine isn't designed for it.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 06:46 AM
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93 here, I notice a slight improvement in Mileage and seat of the pants feel on it.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 07:31 AM
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Check out bobs the oil guy web site...good info there.

Fly-Sig is spot on....you want to run the lowest you can without ping. Anymore and you are flushing money down the crapper....zero point. It does nothing for you makes no more power (less as described)


Me I run 87, last tank before winter gets the booze free gas.

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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 07:57 AM
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:20 AM
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87 with 51-52 mpg
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:23 AM
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What the manual calls for....87. I add ethanol treatment (Startron).
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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:26 AM
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I used 87 for years, but just recently switched to mid-grade at No frills gas bar. Their gas is from Esso. 87 octane lists up to 10% ethanol, while the 91 has up to 5%. 93 has no ethanol.

After using 91 for about 8-10 tanks I have realized that my fuel mileage dropped with the 91 octane, and I have not noticed any difference in power. So, I'm paying more and using more gas too. I'm switching back to 87 octane. I'm certain than Kawasaki are aware of the ethanol amounts in fuel, and if they still recommend 87 octane, that is good enough for my V.

Last edited by Smiley; 11-06-2015 at 05:14 PM.
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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 10:10 AM
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This is great information. I always use a top tier gas (toptiergas.com) as those companies use more than the minimum additives to their gas to keep your engine clean. I started doing this with my Honda Rebel as fouled carburetors are the norm with that bike. I had been using 91 octane because with those brands 91 has more additives than the 87 octane. Now that I have the V with fuel injection, I will still use top tier, but will drop back to 87 octane based on what has been said here. Thanks for the help, Chuck

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post #16 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaGalToo View Post
What the manual calls for....87. I add ethanol treatment (Startron).
Startron? You know all the secrets! I'll have to check that out.
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post #17 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 11:05 AM
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87!

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post #18 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronheater70 View Post
93 here, I notice a slight improvement in Mileage and seat of the pants feel on it.
That "seat of the pants feel" is likely due to the wallet- thickness lightening result of using high octane gas. That plus the usual self-justification the 'remorse' spender employs.

I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one, but I do think that painful feeling can be relieved by fueling with regular 87. Repeat as needed.
You're welcome.
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post #19 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
That "seat of the pants feel" is likely due to the wallet- thickness lightening result of using high octane gas. That plus the usual self-justification the 'remorse' spender employs.

I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one, but I do think that painful feeling can be relieved by fueling with regular 87. Repeat as needed.
You're welcome.
The extra 85 cents isn't considered financially debilitating, I'll stick with what I run and have experience with, but thanks!
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post #20 of 61 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:06 PM
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Up here in the mountains, you can often find 86 octane available as the lowest grade. I will even fill up with that if that is their lowest grade - even though the 86 is an artifact from the days of carburetion. I have never noticed any pinging or other bad acting.

My dad taught for quite a while and he mentioned when I was much younger that he taught about internal combustion engines and that there was always a lot of misinformation spouted by students. Lead did not cushion valves, higher octane did not increase performance unless your engine was designed to use it, etc.

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