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The octane requirements of the bike (or any engine really) will depend on many factors...engine loading, intake air temperature, ambient air pressure, etc. The recommended octane is 87. I suspect if you were at high altitude and cool temps, you might be able to get by with a point or two less. But at sea level, on a hot day, you might need a point or two more.
 

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87 pump octane (RON+MON/2) is the minimum recommended for the Versys, as well as the lowest available in Canada and USA. I guess Mexico and a few other areas may have sub-standard gasoline. I'll just stick to 91...
Air is in fact denser at low altitudes (I'm at 750' asl) yielding higher cylinder combustion pressures which requires higher octane to prevent pre-ignition. Cold air is also denser, but a colder intake air-fuel charge temperature actually lowers knock tendency by lowering peak combustion temperature. Higher engine operating temperatures and long-term carbon buildup does increase knock tendency.

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/part3/section-1.html
 

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Not true, at higher altitudes 86 octane is sold. How do I know? That is what I put into my vehicles every time I get gas! 3500' here
 

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86 octane in New Mexico? Where exactly are you, Terranos. Are you using 86 octane in the Versys? 87 is the minimum requirement, and 3500' aint that high...
 

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West Texas - all I have ever seen is 86 octane out here. I am pretty sure there is some formula around that correlates the octane vs altitude. If you head east down to dallas, all they have is 87 octane.
 

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fuel rating

In & around San Antonio, its usually 87, 89, 90 or 91
Whats all this fuel rating, we only have two, regular and premium, I test mine by striking a match if it fires up I`ll use it,,, :eek::eek: :D:D
 

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Well, yo - welcome to the left side of the pond. I guess we just have a need to be different and make things complicated! :)

Most stations have at least 3 grades - 87, 89, and 91 are pretty common, but then some stations - notably British Petroleum or BP have a 'super premium' that can run 92. Some other stations sometimes have a 93 octane. But if you venture into the rocky mountain states (high altitude) you can sometimes find that 'regular' is 85 or 86 octane, mid grade is 2 points higher, and premium is two points higher again. Then we're starting to see a lot of stations with E85 which is 85% Ethanol / 15% gasoline - comes out of the pump about 105 octane (Yay!!). On top of that, it seems as though every state likes to get into the act and specifies a special blend of additives they like, leading to dozens of 'boutique' fuels that are only usable in one small area. It's a wonder it works at all, but we somehow manage.
 

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one more reason why i sold my bmw r1150rt to buy the versys, the RT compression ratio was around 11 1/2 it had to have 93 octane or it knocked, i had to carry booster with me on my trip out west, cause all i could fine usually was 87 grade, easier on the wallet for me now
 

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I live on the right coast:p at 30 ft elevation. 87 works great.
I used to mess around with different octane fuel with my KZ the only effect using a higher rating had was to empty my wallet quicker.

Dan
 

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86 octane here too.

Not true, at higher altitudes 86 octane is sold. How do I know? That is what I put into my vehicles every time I get gas! 3500' here
I'm a fuel hauler here in southeast New Mexico. Yes the 86 octane gas is available at most stations around here. I pay the extra penny and go to Shell or Exxon to get the 87 octane. It's amazing what a points difference can make. My bike, Freestyle, and Suburban all run like crap on the 86 but really good on the 87.
While the 86 is available I wouldn't use it in anything but my lawn mower or weed whacker as it's really a nasty fuel. Don't go cheap when it comes to your baby. Give her what she wants and she'll treat you right.
 

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I hate to dredge up an old thread but does anyone else run 92/93 octane?

I've been running Shell V-Power since I bought my bike for all except 2 tanks of gas and I've been able to manage 50 mpg usually, sometimes 54 mpg when I wasn't cruising I-85 @ 70 mph here in AL.

My question is, with a 10.6:1 compression ratio, am I hurting the bike by running 93 octane?

(I certainly don't *feel* like I am as the exhaust always seems free of any carbon residue and she always seems to have a lot of power on tap running the V-Power)
 

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I found that the ignition timing wasn't advanced enough to run optimally on 94 pump octane/98 RON. Combustion was extended in the exhaust causing it to be louder and a bit rough, even though torque and response was already substantially improved... It could be harder on your exhaust valves and create excessive after burn, harming the catalyst.
I advanced the ignition timing by 5 degrees and it's running even stronger and as quiet and smooth as before. Fuel mileage is also improved.
http://forums.kawasakiversys.com/showthread.php?t=559&highlight=ignition+timing
 

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6.13 Can higher octane fuels give me more power?

On modern engines with sophisticated engine management systems, the engine
can operate efficiently on fuels of a wider range of octane rating, but there
remains an optimum octane for the engine under specific driving conditions.
Older cars without such systems are more restricted in their choice of fuel,
as the engine can not automatically adjust to accommodate lower octane fuel.
Because knock is so destructive, owners of older cars must use fuel that will
not knock under the most demanding conditions they encounter, and must
continue to use that fuel, even if they only occasionally require the octane.

If you are already using the proper octane fuel, you will not obtain more
power from higher octane fuels. The engine will be already operating at
optimum settings, and a higher octane should have no effect on the management
system. Your driveability and fuel economy will remain the same. The higher
octane fuel costs more, so you are just throwing money away. If you are
already using a fuel with an octane rating slightly below the optimum, then
using a higher octane fuel will cause the engine management system to move to
the optimum settings, possibly resulting in both increased power and improved
fuel economy. You may be able to change octanes between seasons ( reduce
octane in winter ) to obtain the most cost-effective fuel without loss of
driveability.

Once you have identified the fuel that keeps the engine at optimum settings,
there is no advantage in moving to an even higher octane fuel. The
manufacturer's recommendation is conservative, so you may be able to
carefully reduce the fuel octane. The penalty for getting it badly wrong,
and not realising that you have, could be expensive engine damage.
from here: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/part3/
and a similar things can be found a million other places.
 

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West Texas - all I have ever seen is 86 octane out here. I am pretty sure there is some formula around that correlates the octane vs altitude.
That's pretty standard for high elevation. In most places in NM, CO, UT, etc. you'll find regular is rated at 86 octane. As the elevation increases, the mixture leans out and your detonation propensity decreases. My Versys runs fine at high elevations on 86 octane.

BTW, I am not sure where the assumptions about Mexico and other countries comes from, but they have just as good a gas as we do, sometimes better. I have ridden and driven all over Mexico, and many places central and south America and never had a problem with pump gas.

Gustavo
 

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I've been using 90 octane only because mohawk gas here in my town 90 octane is their regular
 

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Well, I just got to thinking:

I've been running 93 octane for 4400 miles before my wreck, and the whole time I ran 93 octane I never once had any driveability or idling problems problems using 93.

What I'm wondering is the defining line between low and high compression. I was under the impression that that line was somewhere around 9.0:1 and higher, because I have seen a few performance cars, such as the Corvette and Viper, that run compression ratios around that figure.
 
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