Which octane rating do you use for your versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Which octane rating do you use for your versys

Hi,

The manual says that I can use 87 and if "knocking" occurs I can either change brand or go higher.
However, the dealer told me that I should use 93 because the Versys engine is the same as the ninja's or whatever.

I mean obviously 93 is better than 87 and may even give better mpg, but will 87/89 cause any damage or lower the performance of the engine?

what do you guys use to fill up your bikes?
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob8861 View Post
Hi,

The manual says that I can use 87 and if "knocking" occurs I can either change brand or go higher.
However, the dealer told me that I should use 93 because the Versys engine is the same as the ninja's or whatever.

I mean obviously 93 is better than 87 and may even give better mpg, but will 87/89 cause any damage or lower the performance of the engine?

what do you guys use to fill up your bikes?
Any octane higher than it takes to stop knocking is a waste of money and will not product any more power no higher mpg and might provide less power-on my gen3 I have found using mid grade 89 smooth's the bike out and stops a little knocking if rolled on in to high of a gear
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:39 PM
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The octane rating has no effect on either performance or mpg. 87 is fine. Higher octane is needed for certain high performance, high compression engines, but this will be specified by the manufacturer.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:58 PM
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I'm with MotorBoy, mid-grade for my gen 3 V650 is much better for smoother running.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 11:59 PM
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Yes, at least 89 pump octane (93 RON) is ideal, especially at low altitudes... I always run 91 (95 RON) as it's the only ethanol-free that is locally available.

93 (97 RON) or 94 (98 RON) is a bit high for use in stock form, as fuel is still burning in the exhaust which makes it sound a bit strange, unless ignition timing is more advanced as mine is by an extra 5 degrees BTDC. Your stock muffler's built-in catalyst may not like it, but it won't however cause any harm to the engine.

Last edited by invader; 07-04-2018 at 12:08 AM.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 05:49 AM
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Some engines are designed to take advantage of higher octane fuels and smart enough to compensate for lower octane fuels with anti-knock sensors. The Versys doesn't do this. I always ran 87 in my Versys. If you get pre-detonation then you need to clean your fuel system which is why they recommend changing brands because higher tier fuels usually add cleaners.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
Some engines are designed to take advantage of higher octane fuels and smart enough to compensate for lower octane fuels with anti-knock sensors. The Versys doesn't do this. I always ran 87 in my Versys. If you get pre-detonation then you need to clean your fuel system which is why they recommend changing brands because higher tier fuels usually add cleaners.
If you get detonation, you need to run a higher octane level... The combustion chambers are what need to be cleaned if carbon buildup is excessive, which a good Italian tuneup may take care of.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_tuneup
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 08:59 AM
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I was told by the dealership that mid grade is best (89-91 octane), as the lower stuff produces the knocking and the higher stuff can create heat issues. The guy who told me that was named "Kawasaki Brad" so I definitely believe him.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 09:52 AM
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Basically octane affects how hard it is to ignite the fuel. Higher octane fuel also burns more slowly. Octane does not indicate the energy content of the fuel.

Maximum energy transfer to the piston occurs with the lowest octane which won't detonate. This is because you get more complete combustion with lower octane before the exhaust valve opens. The open exhaust valve just dumps energy out the exhaust pipe. Also you get more torque on the crankshaft when the piston is in the mid portion of travel, so you want good combustion going on then, not later when the exhaust valve is open.

So what causes detonation? Without detonation we can run lower octane. Detonation occurs from too much heat and/or pressure prior to the spark plug firing. Too much heat could be caused by a hot spot in the cylinder, or it could be caused by compression of the air-fuel mixture. Compression causes heating.

Detonation is much more likely to occur at full throttle because a lot of fuel-air is in the cylinder getting compressed. At very low throttle settings there is very little fuel-air getting in there, so it doesn't compress to as high a pressure and thus is cooler. The internal cylinder parts are cooler at lower power settings, too, so it is less likely to have hot spots igniting the mixture prematurely.

A richer mixture is less prone to detonation. A faster revving engine is less prone to detonation. All of this adds up to detonation being a problem at lower rpm with heavy application of throttle.

Unless you run the engine really hard, and especially at lower rpm, you are unlikely to cause detonation even if you use a lower than recommended octane. Using the correct octane should be adequate for all normal operation of the bike. (If you literally race it on the track for a significant period of time you might start having problems due to red hot spots inside the cylinder like the spark plug tips). Using higher than needed octane simply wastes money and at least theoretically reduces performance and mileage.

Last edited by Fly-Sig; 07-04-2018 at 09:56 AM.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob8861 View Post
...The manual says that I can use 87 and if "knocking" occurs I can either change brand or go higher....
The OWNERS MANUAL says to use 87 octane..."Antiknock index of 87 or more"... in GENERAL INFORMATION.

Among my three V650s I've ridden about 155,000 MILES and have NEVER used anything but 87 in any of them!

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 05:27 PM
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I run 87 octane in mine and have never had a problem. I only buy from top tier stations though. If your dealer told you to run 93 octane, I'd find a different dealer because they really don't know what they're talking about. Manual says 87.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 08:56 PM
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2008 V and i believe the MOM says 93 octane. i started early on using 87 octane e10 and have noticed no change in performance nor gas mileage compared to 93 octane e10, no knocking. so that's what i've always run as it's cheaper. my gas lines look fine after approx 10 years. recently tried 87 octane e0 with no change in performance except worse gas mileage !!! very noticeable. it should have been the opposite.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 09:39 PM
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I've mostly used 87 (sometimes 89), and no issues to my knowledge.

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 07:49 AM
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#1 The Versys engine isn't exactly the same as any other engine. #2 Higher octane isn't "better" than a lower octane. #3 If your bike runs fine on 87, run 87, unless you can get ethanol-free in a higher octane, then I'd recommend trying it to see if you notice any difference. My Gen3 runs noticeably smoother on the corn-free stuff; no more power or better MPG, but smoother, so I get it when I can, which is rare because it's unavailable in my state.

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 09:28 AM
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There's one corn-free gas station near to me here. I do get better mileage with it, and it is mid-grade 88 octane. But the price as much higher as the improvement in fuel economy, so it is not a financial gain to run it.

A few weeks ago I stopped at a station in southern Utah with the no-ethanol fuel but it was 93 octane so I didn't buy it.

As it gets closer to winter I try to run only the ethanol free stuff so that when the bike gets parked for a couple of months the gas is less likely to gum things up.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob8861 View Post
However, the dealer told me that I should use 93 because the Versys engine is the same as the ninja's or whatever.
I normally don't like to do any name-calling online but your dealer is an idiot.

Speaking as a Versys and Ninja owner, I've only used 87 in each as recommended in the owner's manual and they both run great. I get around 56 mpg on the Ninja and 53 mpg on the Versys when riding normally.
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 10:32 AM
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Why do you think that your Ninja gets better mileage than your Versys? is your Versys a gen III?
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 10:36 AM
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Why do you think that your Ninja gets better mileage than your Versys? is your Versys a gen III?
Not 100% certain of course but if I had to guess I would say it's because I have the LT version and 95% of the time I'm riding with the luggage attached and maybe that reduces efficiency but I believe others here ride with their luggage attached and do better. I don't really have any other clue, the Ninja is a 2012 and the Versys is a 2016.


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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 02:24 PM
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I run premium ethanol free in pretty much everything except my Toyota pick which doesn't care.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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thanks all. 87 it is. I certainly don't want to give my money to the oil mongers.
When she told me that I needed 93 and that they fill up all their bikes at the dealership with 93 I was like "that doesn't sound right". after checking the manual it clearly stated 87.
either she bs'ed me or they are wasting their money or both.
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