Fuel octane rating - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel octane rating

Got a good question about fuel type use in our Versys. I was doing my air filter replacement today and noticed the sticker on the left (sitting on bike) side of the tank under the fairing says that the minimum octane is 91 yet the owners manual says 87 on page 50? I have been running 87 for 12000 miles with no problems, just weird to notice this after the fact. Forgive me if this is posted somewhere else as I searched for a while and didn't find this issue addressed specifically.

I guess my question is what do other people on the forum run for fuel and would running 87 for years damage something? Thanks
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 08:18 AM
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I load regular. Mine doesn't have a sticker so I went by the manual and I'm happy to load cheaper gas in the bike.
So far no problems.


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 08:21 AM
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That 91 is probably a MON rating, 87 is the RON rating usually found on gas pumps and the correct one to use. I have always used the 87 as stated in manual, with no problems. Higher rated fuel is a waste of $ (in my opinion).
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 08:43 AM
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91 RON (Research Octane Number) = 87 PON (Pump Octane Number, as posted on North American gas station pumps)

[MON (Motor Octane Number) + RON] /2 = PON (Pump Octane Number)

91 RON (87 PON) is the minimum requirement.

Last edited by invader; 10-15-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, never new Mon & Ron existed with fuel octane. Read up about it on Wikipedia. Learned something new today. Thanks Cory
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 09:32 AM
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Question

How accurate are these ratings??
Can some gas companies squeeze in a bit more ethanol than others?
Myself & several other people who ride 'bikes/drive cars & trucks truly believe that Murphy's (Walmart gas stations) petrol/gas is of poorer quality than ALL the other suppliers we use. When we fill up here (through necessity only!) we get less MPG, & the vehicles just seem more sluggish with less power.

Have any of you guys'n'gals had any similar experiences or have any input?



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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure how accurate fuel ratings are but I would have to say that fuels are government regulated so I would suspect that they are accurate to a fault. I try to used Chevron, Shell and then Exxon when I get gas, Chevron being my first choice. I do know that some off brands perform terrible.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by qorray View Post
Not sure how accurate fuel ratings are but I would have to say that fuels are government regulated so I would suspect that they are accurate to a fault. I try to used Chevron, Shell and then Exxon when I get gas, Chevron being my first choice. I do know that some off brands perform terrible.

Those are the three stations i use.But the past 6 months i notice my bike runs much better with Shell gas. I use 87 sometimes most times 91 not much more per gallon. An extra buck or so per tank shouldn't kill anyone .

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britmick View Post
How accurate are these ratings??
Can some gas companies squeeze in a bit more ethanol than others?
Myself & several other people who ride 'bikes/drive cars & trucks truly believe that Murphy's (Walmart gas stations) petrol/gas is of poorer quality than ALL the other suppliers we use. When we fill up here (through necessity only!) we get less MPG, & the vehicles just seem more sluggish with less power.

Have any of you guys'n'gals had any similar experiences or have any input?




There are a few gas stations that i avoid because of issues people that i know have had with them..

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 12:35 PM
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I run premium all the time. Switching to 87 I can feel the difference. (Or I think I can...)

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 06:39 PM
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I find that my bike runs better on the cheap stuff.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 10:09 PM
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Problems with Walmart gasoline

I have had similar problems with Walmart gasoline here in Central, Indiana. I believe I can even smell the Ethanol in their gas . Had to replace and older lawn mowers carburetor that was made of pre ethanol era plastic .
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 03:16 AM
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Can't say I notice a difference in fuel. I just use whatever is available in 87 octane.

Currently trying some Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 05:54 AM
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I use 93 all the time here in FL. Our gas is also up to 10% Ethenol (says on pumps atleast). Not sure if anyone has any info on this that can chime in but... I know that on cars if the ECU detects any knock it will pull timing to eliminate it thus reducing power. These bikes could have something similar but I am not sure. Would be interesting to see a side by side dyno comparison of the two on the same bike back to back.

Last edited by bennett311; 10-16-2013 at 06:05 AM.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 07:39 AM
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My brothers are named MON & RON !! 87 octane is all my little girls gets and she's happy to get it !! Runs fine. And here's a thought that might start some debate: Wouldn't you think most gas stations turn their "regular" fuel supply much more often than the premium & mid-grade? Maybe if one of our Forum guys works at a gas station they could enlighten us. My point is perhaps the fuel in their premium & mid-grade tanks, because it does not turn over as much as regular ends up experiencing the ethanol/moisture problem more than the 87 octane and therefore we shoot ourselves in the foot by paying more for the higher octane. (Although I DO undersatnd there are some engines which require and definitely NEED these higher octanes . . . most engines don't.)
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 08:40 AM
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Using a higher octane than recommended is not necessarily a good thing. Problem is it requires a higher temperature to ignite so unless you have a high compression engine designed for it, it does not burn completely. Also ethanol is often used to obtain a higher octane rating.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 09:28 AM
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I run 87 regular as a rule. I prefer Hess over others for a couple of reasons. Their quality has always been top notch, and they're one of the only major oil producers not based majorly in the middle east. With the exception of a 64% stake in an operation in Iraq, the majority of their oil comes from Africa, the US, Europe and Asia. More than that the company was started by one guy in NJ with a secondhand oil truck. I like an American success story, I guess.


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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 09:56 PM
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I use premium only
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 02:28 AM
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I run premium 91 PON (95 RON) only, as it is the only grade locally available that is ethanol free... I also added 5 degrees ignition timing advance to better take advantage of the higher octane grade.

http://pure-gas.org/
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennett311 View Post
I use 93 all the time here in FL. Our gas is also up to 10% Ethenol (says on pumps atleast). Not sure if anyone has any info on this that can chime in but... I know that on cars if the ECU detects any knock it will pull timing to eliminate it thus reducing power. These bikes could have something similar but I am not sure. Would be interesting to see a side by side dyno comparison of the two on the same bike back to back.
There is no knock sensor on the Versys... I had aquired 70 litres (18.5 US gal) of Sunoco 94 PON (98 RON) down south once for much less than our local premium, but it had excess afterburn in the exhaust, and I didn't like the brash noise it made. Adding 5 degrees ignition timing advance cured it and made it run very smoothly, besides remarkably stronger all across rev range. It's great on 91 PON (95 RON) as well, and didn't ping at all when I tried 89 PON (93 RON) once.

Last edited by invader; 10-17-2013 at 02:50 AM.
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