Fuel Octane and Horse Power - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel Octane and Horse Power

There are a number of myth's floating around today.

Things like the earth is flat or we really did not land on the Moon. Or for macho men "bigger is better."

For motor heads the big one is: Higher octane fuel will give your engine more power.

I remember as a kid we would drive half way across town to fill our cars with the highest octane fuel available. Thinking it was around 100 octane or so. Sometimes we would go the the local airport to get the "really good stuff" 130 octane and pay a high price for it.

The truth is the lower octane fuel will actually produce more power than the higher stuff. Guys with dyno's will also tell you the same thing and back it up with numbers, usually around a couple of ponies on a motor that produces around 100 hp.

Octane slows the burn rate or explosiveness of the fuel. You want this on higher performance motors with higher compression ratios and combustion pressures, otherwise you will experience detonation which can damage your engine. The cylinder will actually fire before the spark plug goes off.

Bottom line when you drive up to the pump: Fill your machine with the octane the manufacturer recommends. You may save a few dollars and your bike will run better...really!

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.

Last edited by hawkerjet; 04-27-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:43 AM
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exactly !!!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 11:44 AM
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Hawkerjet, that may be the exact factual realistic scientific truth and a six pack... but here's what you're fighting, is the persistent religious belief that more money == more better. Round my house, we call that the BMW Theory. You just cannot convince people that that precept is not gospel.

But good luck and all.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 01:01 PM
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So, I've been putting 91 in my V1k since I bought it... Because there is a sticker on the tank that states that it's what it needs and the manual states the same thing.

All the stuff you just said about octane is exactly as I remember it from my time as a tech.

Do the V650s have a lower octane requirement?

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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So, I've been putting 91 in my V1k since I bought it... Because there is a sticker on the tank that states that it's what it needs and the manual states the same thing. Do the V650s have a lower octane requirement?
Yes they do. The owners manual states use a minimum of 87 octane. Thinking the little V has lower compression than the fire breathing V-1000 and does not require the higher octane as a result.

For those of us that are running the Shoodaben Engineering Flash, Steve designed it to use 87 octane.
https://sites.google.com/site/shooda...-650-ecu-flash

I remember my 2011 Ninja 1000. Same motor as the V-1000 but a bit higher tuned with bigger injector bodies, hotter cam, and higher compression. That bike was a bullet.
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Last edited by hawkerjet; 04-27-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Yes they do. The owners manual states use a minimum of 87 octane. Thinking the little V has lower compression than the fire breathing V-1000 and does not require the higher octane as a result.

For those of us that are running the Shoodaben Engineering Flash, Steve designed it to use 87 octane.
https://sites.google.com/site/shooda...-650-ecu-flash

I remember my 2011 Ninja 1000. Same motor as the V-1000 but a bit higher tuned with bigger injector bodies, hotter cam, and higher compression. That bike was a bullet.
I thought about buying a programmer and tweaking mine to run on 87, but I calculated the fuel cost savings vs the cost of a programmer and realized I'd have to buy 1000 gallons at $0.40 less than premium just to break even.

38,000 miles is a long way to go just to start seeing a return on investment, and that's if it only maintains my current fuel economy.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
There are a number of myth's floating around today.

Things like the earth is flat or we really did not land on the Moon. Or for macho men "bigger is better."

For motor heads the big one is: Higher octane fuel will give your engine more power.

I remember as a kid we would drive half way across town to fill our cars with the highest octane fuel available. Thinking it was around 100 octane or so. Sometimes we would go the the local airport to get the "really good stuff" 130 octane and pay a high price for it.

The truth is the lower octane fuel will actually produce more power than the higher stuff. Guys with dyno's will also tell you the same thing and back it up with numbers, usually around a couple of ponies on a motor that produces around 100 hp.

Octane slows the burn rate or explosiveness of the fuel. You want this on higher performance motors with higher compression ratios and combustion pressures, otherwise you will experience detonation which can damage your engine. The cylinder will actually fire before the spark plug goes off.

Bottom line when you drive up to the pump: Fill your machine with the octane the manufacturer recommends. You may save a few dollars and your bike will run better...really!

Well said, Hawkerjet! Here are some other candidates I might suggest adding to the great myths list: counter steering is all a big lie; never lubricate your chain; higher tire pressures yield better handling; and loud pipes save lives.

Arion

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:32 AM
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Hawkerjet gets it. IMO, I use the minimum octane that prevents detonation, and I would always lean toward top tier fuel because of the cleaning packages in them. Top tier has nothing to do with octane.

52 degrees... i have tuned my v1000 on 89 octane. after piles of dyno time, I've rebuilt the fuel mapping, and there's no need for all the timing the factory had in some areas. I have gained some power and economy. the factories are limited to doing this to pass various emmissions tests worldwide. I'm pretty sure the decisions the engineers made weren't what they would have done had they not been so constrained.
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