Mileage, octane rating - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Mileage, octane rating

When I first got my bike I remember calculating between 52 and 56mpg for the first few tanks. Now I consistently get about 46-48. I know I'm not in the "break in" period anymore (when I was keeping it under 4,000rpm and then 5,000rpm) for the first 600 miles or so. I obviously drive it a little bit more agressively but not that much. I'd still expect to get 50mpg.

Should I be putting 93 octane rated gasoline in my bike? Is that the problem? From the book as far as I can tell, 87 is fine.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 07:07 AM
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I always use the highest octane rating at the pumps. I get 50 to 53 mpg all the time.
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 09:23 AM
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There is no reason to use any gas other than regular (87 or whatever it is in your neck of the woods) if you have a stock bike (unlike, say, Invader whose bike is far from stock these days). Your mileage will drop in winter, even without the difference between being in break-in vs. allowing the engine to rev higher, both because of the colder temps and, in some places, because of winter gas formulation. Don't worry about it, just ride and enjoy it.

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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 10:42 AM
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The octane rating of gas does not change the energy capacity. A gallon of gas has a specific number of BTUs no matter what the octane rating is. Further, the Versys does not have a knock sensor to advance the spark ignition to take advantage of higher octane. So, the octane is not affecting your mileage.

Keep in mind, as the weather gets cold, fuel may contain oxygenates to improve cold starting (usually ethanol). Ethanol has a lower BTU rating than gasoline, so mileage can drop there. Also, longer cold weather warm up periods may reduce economy.

Just a few guesses.

Don
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 04:19 PM
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Yep, winter/ethanol blend is the most likely culprit. Using higher octane fuel will do nothing 'cept empty your wallet faster.

Dave

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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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ok. This seems to be making sense. I bought it in June...mid-summer, and have been riding it since. Almost 9,000 miles on it right now. Planning on riding it through December, and then I might put it in storage for the month of January (starting to get somewhat cold here--27F on my ride in to work this morning). So I should see a slight increase in mileage as summer comes around next year? Shayne99, how are you getting 53 all the time? Does it make a difference if you put 87 octane in?

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Bought in May 2008 and have 58,000 miles on it as of July 2014
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 05:13 PM
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93 octane is too high for the Versys which is designed to work with minimum 87 pump octane (91RON+MON/2) . You could try 89 or 91 (95 RON+MON/2)... A lighter synthetic oil may help too in colder temps. I use Amsoil's synthetic 0W40 year long in our relatively cool weather. Its viscosity is actually higher than their 10W40 at operating temperature.

Last edited by invader; 12-03-2008 at 07:19 PM.
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 05:27 PM
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We seem to discuss mileage quite a bit on the various forums. I find it interesting the wide range of these claims. My experience has been a very consistent 46~48 mpg from the first tank 'till now. My 'low fuel' indicator almost always blinks right at 190 miles, give or take a few miles. It almost always takes 4.1 gallons give or take a tenth of a gallon. That comes out to 46.3 mpg. The cold weather does seem to reduce fuel efficiency a little. You can google it & read for days as to why.

As far as your mileage efficiency getting better in the summer, it may, but I wouldn't say 'should'. I also wouldn't expect a huge increase. I would say more like a slight increase.

And last, as far as octane, I highly doubt it'll affect your mpg either way. 87 is fine for a stock motor. Now you start bumping up compression ratios you'll probably need to step up an octane rating or two...



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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 06:41 PM
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i use 87...get 53-55 mpg...but don't ride in cold weather..i seem to get better mileage when i control my right hand.....
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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 07:23 AM
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On the reccomended 87 oct I get a consistant 50 to 54 mpg for the 8k I have on her

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post #11 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane99 View Post
I always use the highest octane rating at the pumps. I get 50 to 53 mpg all the time.
And you are wasting money and probley building carbon up on the top of the piston

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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear on a bicycle View Post
We seem to discuss mileage quite a bit on the various forums.
I agree. I fill my tank, ride it like I stole it and then fill it up when the light comes on. I don't even calculate anymore. I seemed to get just under 50 mpg when I did my calculations. Having said that, my Vs. is a toy and I work from home so mileage doesn't really matter to me.

Just a side note, octane demands diminish in cool weather.

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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 02:09 PM
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The octane number you should use is directly dependent on the compression ratio the engine has. My old (POS) BMW 650CS had 11.5 to 1 compression and if you didn't use 93 octane, it knocked like crazy.

My/our Versys has a compression ratio of 10.6 to 1 and that is really close to the BMW. I use 93 but could probably get by with 91. A "normal" engine has around 9.5 to 1 compression ratio and can use the 87 octane just fine.

My advice is to go with the mid range octane of 89 or 91 and never use 87 octane unless you want your engine to knock. Knocking will tear the main bearing and rod bearings out of the motor.
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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Racerman View Post
The octane number you should use is directly dependent on the compression ratio the engine has. My old (POS) BMW 650CS had 11.5 to 1 compression and if you didn't use 93 octane, it knocked like crazy.
Sort off. Octane number needed is dependent on compression ratio but also on combustion chamber design. There are lots of bikes that run compression ratios into the high 12's and still run fine on 87 (entire GSX-R range, for example). The reason your CS needed 93 is exactly what you noted, it's a POS design... It doesn't mean that other bikes are too, though.

The Versys runs fine on 87, no need to waste your money on higher octane gasoline.

Gustavo

Last edited by Gustavo; 01-23-2009 at 09:33 AM.
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post #15 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 08:19 AM
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I was averaging 50mpg for the first couple thousand miles... now down to 46-48. I usually run mid-grade. I have noticed that just about all the gas in my area is now 10%.. so I figured that was most likely the reason. South Alabama is not exactly known for cold weather issues... we get stuck with 10% because its cheaper and people will just about do anything to save 2 cents a gallon... what's that, 25-35 cents a tank?

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post #16 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 09:12 AM
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Ugh, ethanol.

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post #17 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavo View Post
Sort off. Octane number needed is dependent on compression ration but also on combustion chamber design. There are lots of bikes that run compression ratios into the high 12's and still run fine on 87 (entire GSX-R range, for example). The reason your CS needed 93 is exactly what you noted, it's a POS design... It doesn't mean that other bikes are too, though.

The Versys runs fine on 87, no need to waste your money on higher octane gasoline.

Gustavo

I agree, but it goes beyond compression ratio and combustion chamber design to include camshaft profiles and timing. Compression ratio is only one part of the puzzle that defines the cranking pressures and the cranking pressure as well as the combusion chamber design will dictate the required octane.

As an example, my 440-6 Super Bee runs a relatively modest compression ratio of 10.75:1 but because of the extremely high cylinder pressures created by the low overlap cam, the 40 degrees of advance and the non-quench open chamber heads, I need to run race fuel.

Dave

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post #18 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 06:57 PM
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That many bikes and a Super Bee!!!!!!!! Just for the record I am the first to apply as your new son.

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post #19 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 11:11 AM
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That many bikes and a Super Bee!!!!!!!! Just for the record I am the first to apply as your new son.
LOL, and I didn't mention the 'Cuda yet!

I'll put your name on the list, but my current son is trying his best to make sure I don't have the money for anyone else!

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post #20 of 63 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 11:51 AM
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Question octane vs vehicle emision control information sticker

Am I the only one with octane rating conflicts between the emission control sticker on the swingarm [states (ron) min 91], and the text in the manual (as many have observed states 87). The emission control sticker is also shown in the manual, and same as on the bike, indicates 91 min.
What does anyone else's VECI sticker say?

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