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Discussion Starter #1
I have over 5,000 miles on my Versys now and every since I've had the bike I've always put in the highest octane gas that is at the pump. At my last fill up I threw in a half a bottle of STP Octane Booster just to see if it would make a difference. I was on the highway and to me it seemed like it really made a difference. Maybe it was just in my head but it seemed to run like a bat out of hell. I also haven't heard that popping noise I get on deceleration some times. Has anybody tried an octane booster and is it detrimental to your engine? I always run 93 octane and after putting in that octane booster it felt like I was running on 100 octane or something.
 

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MMT (methyl cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) as used in most octane boosters can create hard metal compounds that erodes engine and leaves rusty colored coating on plugs and combustion chamber.
91 octane is already enough for the Versys' compression ratio to prevent pre-ignition. A minimum of 87 is recommended. Going overkill on octane yields no benefits and may cause more carbon buildup in the combustion chamber and exhaust valves/ports due to slower combustion... Higher octane gas needs more heat to self-ignite which reduces exhaust popping.
 

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Unless you tune the engine with an aftermarket device (Power Commander, etc.) and lean it out enough to need higher octane gas, you are wasting $$$ by using the 93 Octane fuel. Granted it's only a dollar or so every fill up on the Versys, but it is $$$ you could be saving. It only requires 87 Octane, and you won't get better fuel economy or performance by using anything higher.
 

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How many miles per tank are you getting on 93, jimstandinghorse?
It runs well on the highest octane available here; 91 (95 RON), but I wouldn't mind trying 93 or 94 (97/98 RON) as well... According to webBikeWorld:
"We knew the engine would be efficient but real world fuel economy has exceeded our expectations, even when a heavy hand is applied (often). We keep usage records on all the motorcycles: the Versys typically returns an average of 59 miles per (Imperial) gallon. A tank of gas should be good for about 225 miles (365 km). No matter the type of riding, the mileage never varies by more than 4 – 5 mpg. Although we have used 89 and 91 octane gas, the Versys seems to thrive on our usual fill of Sunoco 94."

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycles/kawasaki-versys/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
octane booster

The next time you go to Walmart buy some STP Octane Booster and pour some in your tank to see if it makes a difference. Even though I run 93 octane (and my bike runs good on that) I wanted to see what it would do with the octane booster. To me it ran even better then it does on 93 octane. I only tried it because a guy where I work races 4 wheelers and I asked him what he runs in his tank. He said the 93 octane with an octane booster. I've never really checked my mileage but it would probably be about 50 mpg. But I like to get on it with my bike alot and on the highway drive 80 which is probably in the low 70's with the speedometer off as much as it is. I don't get the mileage that the average driver does. Check out the video I made under "Versys Air Time."
 

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I used premium on the first few tanks, then switched to 87 once I read the manual. I can't feel or hear any difference running on the less expensive gas. Higher octane gas prevents premature detonation (knocking and pinging) due to high compression ratios. When fuel is compressed enough it will detonate prior to the spark from the spark plug, like in a diesel engine. The Versys has a low compression ratio, and the manual calls for 87 minimum. Sunoco 94 may have some other additives, (oxygen?) or lubricants that might make the bike run better as it is a "super premium" fuel. Higher octane fuel is simply gasoline that is actually more difficult to ignite due to pressure than lower octane gasoline.

You should be able to run on 104 octane or 87 and really not feel any difference in performance in the Versys.
 

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I use 87 octane in both of our bikes with no problem......When we had Harley's you had to run higher octane, or they would detonate bad under load.
 

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So I had a chance to pick up 70 liters (18.5 US gallons) of 94 octane (98RON+MON/2) gas from Sunoco down south for only $1.439/liter (our regular is $1.445 / 91: $1.555), and I just filled up today after running my tank of usual 91 pump octane (95 RON) nearly dry... The difference is very definite and impressive. More low end torque noticeable right away, even in 6th gear at lower RPM's. It also pulls remarkably stronger up to redline. It's a different animal now, and it even sounds gruntier and a bit louder. I like the improvement a lot. I'll see if fuel mileage is also improved. I might try advancing the ignition timing by a couple degrees at my next oil change in about a week...
 

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Ignition timing wasn't advanced enough to run optimally on 94 octane. Combustion was extended in the exhaust causing it to be louder and a bit rough, even though torque and response was already substantially improved.
I was able to advance ignition timing +5 degrees by slotting the timing rotor groove a bit to rotate it clockwise on the crankshaft alignment pin. (3 mm on its 220 mm circumference) See page 16-41 in service manual. I just leaned it over a bit more on the side stand and didn't have to drain the oil. Timing rotor is easily accessible after removing clutch cover. I was able to remove the timing rotor bolt while in 6th gear and pushing down on rear brake... Widen the slot groove counterclockwise where it sits on the crankshaft alignment pin a little bit at a time and check for no more than 3 mm clockwise rotation at the outer circumference to advance 5 degrees. Timing rotor bolt is then retorqued to 30 ft-lbs. I cleaned the gasket and mating surface and reinstalled with a bit of silicone gasket sealant.
This also advanced the fuel timing by 5 degrees, which isn't a problem as cam timing hasn't changed... It now runs very smoothly and as quiet as before. Idle rpm went up as expected, so I adjusted it back down from 1400 to 1300 RPM. The new found power is pretty impressive. Low end tractability and response is amazing, and it pulls stronger all across rev range. The extra grunt is quite remarkable in top gear. It seems a bit better on gas as well. I'll probably try it later with advanced timing on locally available 91 pump octane (95 RON).

Sorry, I just realized my flash was off when taking the pics...
 

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Invader,

Are you still ruining the advanced timing and or how is that working out did you do much of anymore ridding using the 94 octane. I would be interested to advance the timing on my ride just don't want to do it if you ran into problems with 91 octane would be a pain to have to reset it just to take road trips if I don't want to plan a trip around where I could get 94 or have to reset it just for a week or 2 that would suck?

did you run anything more than 94 just to see?

I can get 100 octane pump gas here in my town just wondered

http://www.sunocoinc.com/site/Consumer/RaceFuels/260GT100Locations/
 

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Invader,
If I ever win a substantial lottery, would you be willing to relocate to the states to be my personal mechanic?

Ignition timing wasn't advanced enough to run optimally on 94 octane. Combustion was extended in the exhaust causing it to be louder and a bit rough, even though torque and response was already substantially improved.
I was able to advance ignition timing +5 degrees by slotting the timing rotor groove a bit to rotate it clockwise on the crankshaft alignment pin. (3 mm on its 220 mm circumference) See page 16-41 in service manual. I just leaned it over a bit more on the side stand and didn't have to drain the oil. Timing rotor is easily accessible after removing clutch cover. I was able to remove the timing rotor bolt while in 6th gear and pushing down on rear brake... Widen the slot groove counterclockwise where it sits on the crankshaft alignment pin a little bit at a time and check for no more than 3 mm clockwise rotation at the outer circumference to advance 5 degrees. Timing rotor bolt is then retorqued to 30 ft-lbs. I cleaned the gasket and mating surface and reinstalled with a bit of silicone gasket sealant.
This also advanced the fuel timing by 5 degrees, which isn't a problem as cam timing hasn't changed... It now runs very smoothly and as quiet as before. Idle rpm went up as expected, so I adjusted it back down from 1400 to 1300 RPM. The new found power is pretty impressive. Low end tractability and response is amazing, and it pulls stronger all across rev range. The extra grunt is quite remarkable in top gear. It seems a bit better on gas as well. I'll probably try it later with advanced timing on locally available 91 pump octane (95 RON).

Sorry, I just realized my flash was off when taking the pics...
 

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Invader,
If I ever win a substantial lottery, would you be willing to relocate to the states to be my personal mechanic?
Yes! Thanks potus! :clap: Let me know when you do and I'll be right over. V's been stored since September and it's -10 F now. I'm good and ready to go to the wide and dry Texan wonderland. :thumb:
 

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It's been rainy here all week, and it even snowed last weekend...

I'm curious about the timing too though. Are you still running the advanced timing and have there been any issues with 91 octane? Does the bolt keep the rotor located snugly, or does the widened gap allow some slippage and random advance?
 

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Are you still running the advanced timing and have there been any issues with 91 octane? Does the bolt keep the rotor located snugly, or does the widened gap allow some slippage and random advance?
It's running fine with advanced timing on 91 pump octane (RON+MON/2), and would probably be good on 89 too. Tightening the nut forces the rotor securely to its most advanced position. I removed a bit too much material and had to add a spacer (folded aluminum foil) to secure it at desired position.
 

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Interesting discussion, props to invader!

Being stuck with 95 or 98 octane and a less-than-great fuel mileage, advancing the timing seems like a good mod. An extra timing rotor is cheap, 10€ or so.

I have 2 questions for the forum however:

1) Are there no aftermarket advanced rotors available?

2) Is there any way to do it electronically instead of mechanically?
 

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No aftermarket advanced ignition/fuel timing rotors available for non-carburated versions... Ignition timing rotors are offered with different amount of advance, depending on model: http://www.motorcycleproshop.com/acc/factory/ignadvancers.asp

Dynojet's Power Commander's ignition module (# 6-45) is available for $355.00. It requires and connects to the Power Commander III USB (# 228-411 $349.95).
http://www.powercommander.com/powercommander/powercommander_iii_usb.aspx?mk=8&mdl=181&yr=2007
http://www.powercommander.com/powercommander/Products/IgnitionModule/powercommander_ignition_module.aspx
 

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I cant get that much mileage per tank as you guys do, cant understand why, is a stock bike, I dont add any octane booster nor oil additives, dont trust any of them. I can barely get 195 miles per tank and that is with the blinking fuel light. I have less than 3000 miles on it.
 

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I cant get that much mileage per tank as you guys do, cant understand why, is a stock bike, I dont add any octane booster nor oil additives, dont trust any of them. I can barely get 195 miles per tank and that is with the blinking fuel light. I have less than 3000 miles on it.
195 till the light blinks or 195 till completely dry? 195 till light blinks is about right. 195 miles with 4.1 gallons to fill up is ~47 mpg, & about what a lot of us get...


:thumb:
 
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