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post #1 of 24 Old Jul 24th, 2016, 2:18 am Thread Starter
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Regular gas in LT

Just coming back from Canada trip. Had a blast! If you are ever in Ontario, I strongly suggest you take Highway 129 north and Highway 17 South. Amazing!

Having said that, Highway 129, which has Canada's version on the Tail of the Dragon, has almost no gas stops. I almost ran out of gas. The buddy I rode with has a Harley Street Glide and he DID completely run out.

Anyways, we were fortunate enough to be fairly close to a secluded Canadian town called Missanabie when he ran out of has. It was only 54 kilometers away (30 km was gravel roads. I was really pleased about that) when my buddy ran out of gas. He rode with me to Missanabie where I got gas for my bike as well as gas in a can for his. The bad part is that there was only one choice for gas: regular. I filled her up a little more than halfway to make sure I could make it to the next civilized town. My LT immediately started running a little funny at slower speeds. Specifically, giving her throttle would sometimes give uneven results below 30 mph. When we got to Wawa, I filled her up with premium gas (91 octane). Since then, I have filled her up with 93 once and 92 once. She is still a bit unhappy at slower speeds.

The miles per gallon is no different than before and she is pretty normal at speeds above 30-35. She still runs well, but not quite like before. In this case, should I have the tank drained or will the lower octane gas eventually work itself out? Is there true damage that can be done from that half tank of regular gas? As always, thank you for your thoughts.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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post #2 of 24 Old Jul 24th, 2016, 3:22 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Originally Posted by gorm5 View Post
Just coming back from Canada trip. Had a blast! If you are ever in Ontario, I strongly suggest you take Highway 129 north and Highway 17 South. Amazing!

Having said that, Highway 129, which has Canada's version on the Tail of the Dragon, has almost no gas stops. I almost ran out of gas. The buddy I rode with has a Harley Street Glide and he DID completely run out.

Anyways, we were fortunate enough to be fairly close to a secluded Canadian town called Missanabie when he ran out of has. It was only 54 kilometers away (30 km was gravel roads. I was really pleased about that) when my buddy ran out of gas. He rode with me to Missanabie where I got gas for my bike as well as gas in a can for his. The bad part is that there was only one choice for gas: regular. I filled her up a little more than halfway to make sure I could make it to the next civilized town. My LT immediately started running a little funny at slower speeds. Specifically, giving her throttle would sometimes give uneven results below 30 mph. When we got to Wawa, I filled her up with premium gas (91 octane). Since then, I have filled her up with 93 once and 92 once. She is still a bit unhappy at slower speeds.

The miles per gallon is no different than before and she is pretty normal at speeds above 30-35. She still runs well, but not quite like before. In this case, should I have the tank drained or will the lower octane gas eventually work itself out? Is there true damage that can be done from that half tank of regular gas? As always, thank you for your thoughts.
If you have put in 4 or more gallons twice, then the effects of the regular should be down to almost nothing. I think the 05 is past the point where they increased the HP and compression a little and I think it required higher octane to keep from knocking but I have an 01 and still use premium only even if I could get by with mid or even regular as I believe i have heard some do.

You shouldn't have to drain the tank as it will continue to dilute and after 2 tanks, should be fine unless you got some contaminants along with that regular.

Unless you rode it for hours with audible knocking, you shouldn't have caused any damage as detonation would be the cause of any damage from the lower grade fuel. I have not heard my 01 knock as i have not been in a situation to require putting regular in it so I don't know how audible it is on the bike but I think you would be able to tell if it was though.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
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post #3 of 24 Old Jul 24th, 2016, 8:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Regular gas in LT

Thanks, Gordon. No knocking. Just semi-jerky acceleration at slow speeds.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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post #4 of 24 Old Jul 24th, 2016, 8:43 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Thanks, Gordon. No knocking. Just semi-jerky acceleration at slow speeds.
That is interesting. I would have expected it to run fairly normally with lower octane but just knock under a load.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
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post #5 of 24 Old Jul 24th, 2016, 1:37 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

try running some fuel system or injector cleaner in a tank or two.
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post #6 of 24 Old Jul 24th, 2016, 10:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Regular gas in LT

I'll try that. I'm home now and she still has inconsistent acceleration up until 2500-300 rpm. As soon as she gets to 3000 rpms, she is back to normal.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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post #7 of 24 Old Jul 25th, 2016, 9:08 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I'll try that. I'm home now and she still has inconsistent acceleration up until 2500-300 rpm. As soon as she gets to 3000 rpms, she is back to normal.
Does it do it when it's below 80F? Have you cut the brown wire to switch to the alternate map? The stock fuel map retards the timing up to ~2.5-3k rpm when the temps are higher. That could be what you're feeling. Mine runs the same way unless it's below 80 (which doesn't happen this time of year in Texas). If you haven't already you can switch to the alternate map and see if that makes a difference. Just remember you will need to use premium fuel with the alternate map.
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post #8 of 24 Old Jul 25th, 2016, 10:42 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I'll try that. I'm home now and she still has inconsistent acceleration up until 2500-300 rpm. As soon as she gets to 3000 rpms, she is back to normal.
Here is a link containing the service bulletin on the brown wire/cat code plug in post #2 so you can read about how to handle your particular year and what to look for.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...rown-wire.html

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #9 of 24 Old Jul 25th, 2016, 1:43 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Thanks, Gordon. No knocking. Just semi-jerky acceleration at slow speeds.
I had that happen once, not to my LT. I filled up at a gas station during a heavy downpour and they were also getting a fuel delivery at the same time. My guess was water in the tank. I ran the tank dry then filled up with fresh gas and dry-gas additive. Problem solved.

MarkF
2009 K1200LT

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post #10 of 24 Old Jul 25th, 2016, 2:22 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I had that happen once, not to my LT. I filled up at a gas station during a heavy downpour and they were also getting a fuel delivery at the same time. My guess was water in the tank. I ran the tank dry then filled up with fresh gas and dry-gas additive. Problem solved.
Never a good ides to fuel up while it is going into the ground. Stirs up too much crap
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Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
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post #11 of 24 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 1:40 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

I've run regular grade fuel a few times with no ill effects, and actually my LT likes running mid-grade as good if not better than premium, go figure. Same fuel economy.

Does sound like a crapy tankful of regular.

I have a small gas station up in the mountains near where I live and they sell very little premium fuel and have gotten 3 bad tankfuls from them (water) in the bottom of the tank for my dirt bike and once in my Ducati ST4s.
I try to stay away from that station! As I NEVER fuel up there with the big Beemer...


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post #12 of 24 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 1:58 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I've run regular grade fuel a few times with no ill effects, and actually my LT likes running mid-grade as good if not better than premium, go figure. Same fuel economy.

Does sound like a crapy tankful of regular.

I have a small gas station up in the mountains near where I live and they sell very little premium fuel and have gotten 3 bad tankfuls from them (water) in the bottom of the tank for my dirt bike and once in my Ducati ST4s.
I try to stay away from that station! As I NEVER fuel up there with the big Beemer...
Mark, I believe both you and I can get away with lower octane on our earlier LT's. There was a HP increase which also boosted compression requiring better gas but I don't remember what year that was implemented. I think it would include Patricks 05 in the upgrade though.

Still waiting on the report of temps in his area and if that has ever affected him before when it is above 80. As stated, it sounds like if could be the issue with temp and spark timing that gets retarded with temps over 80 requiring the cutting of the brown wire or the removal of the cat code plug.
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Gordon
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post #13 of 24 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 2:22 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I've run regular grade fuel a few times with no ill effects, and actually my LT likes running mid-grade as good if not better than premium, go figure. Same fuel economy.

Does sound like a crapy tankful of regular.

I have a small gas station up in the mountains near where I live and they sell very little premium fuel and have gotten 3 bad tankfuls from them (water) in the bottom of the tank for my dirt bike and once in my Ducati ST4s.
I try to stay away from that station! As I NEVER fuel up there with the big Beemer...
Regular and premium have virtually identical energy content so you should see no difference in fuel economy on a bike like the LT which has no knock sensor. No knock sensor means the engine can't make any accommodation for octane.

Regular in my area is 87 and I have run that a few times, but would get occasional light pinging under load so I quit buying 87. I think my bike calls for 89, but I forget if that is using (R+M)/2 or just the research method or motor method. So, I generally buy premium to be on the safe side. In my area this is typically 91, but occasionally is 93. About the only engine failures I have read about here were due to detonation damage and they are bad failures. I am not going to risk that.

I wish my LT would drink anything like my brother-in-law's Wing will, but the reality is it won't. Two years ago, we had to fuel up in Newfoundland and the station only had 85 available. Granted we were at nearly sea level, but that still was inadequate for my LT. It would ping noticeably under load in high gear. I had to run in 4th to keep the ping monster at bay. The Gold Wing was happy as a clam on that cheap stuff. I should say low grade as it was far from cheap!

Without a knock sensor to allow the engine to protect itself from low octane fuel, you take a real and very expensive risk using fuel below what BMW recommends. And remember that many engines require higher octane as the miles accumulate. The LT engine runs too rich much of the time. Run your finger around the exhaust pipe of your LT and your car and notice the difference. And follow an LT when the throttle is whacked wide open. It smokes like crazy. As carbon accumulates on the piston and head, this raises the compression ratio making even higher octane necessary. So, an owner who wants long engine life will run the highest octane they can find. That way, if you can get only low grade fuel, you will have some boost when the 91+ in your tank mixes with the lower octane stuff.

Unfortunately, when I was in Newfoundland, we were already way low on fuel (less than a gallon left) so I had very little 91 octane left to "boost" the 85 I had to buy. Might have netted out to 86, but still way too low for the LT.

Your engine so you get to choose, but I think it is nuts to run less than the highest octane available in a small, high compression engine like in the LT.
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post #14 of 24 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 2:38 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Regular and premium have virtually identical energy content so you should see no difference in fuel economy on a bike like the LT which has no knock sensor. No knock sensor means the engine can't make any accommodation for octane.

Regular in my area is 87 and I have run that a few times, but would get occasional light pinging under load so I quit buying 87. I think my bike calls for 89, but I forget if that is using (R+M)/2 or just the research method or motor method. So, I generally buy premium to be on the safe side. In my area this is typically 91, but occasionally is 93. About the only engine failures I have read about here were due to detonation damage and they are bad failures. I am not going to risk that.

I wish my LT would drink anything like my brother-in-law's Wing will, but the reality is it won't. Two years ago, we had to fuel up in Newfoundland and the station only had 85 available. Granted we were at nearly sea level, but that still was inadequate for my LT. It would ping noticeably under load in high gear. I had to run in 4th to keep the ping monster at bay. The Gold Wing was happy as a clam on that cheap stuff. I should say low grade as it was far from cheap!

Without a knock sensor to allow the engine to protect itself from low octane fuel, you take a real and very expensive risk using fuel below what BMW recommends. And remember that many engines require higher octane as the miles accumulate. The LT engine runs too rich much of the time. Run your finger around the exhaust pipe of your LT and your car and notice the difference. And follow an LT when the throttle is whacked wide open. It smokes like crazy. As carbon accumulates on the piston and head, this raises the compression ratio making even higher octane necessary. So, an owner who wants long engine life will run the highest octane they can find. That way, if you can get only low grade fuel, you will have some boost when the 91+ in your tank mixes with the lower octane stuff.

Unfortunately, when I was in Newfoundland, we were already way low on fuel (less than a gallon left) so I had very little 91 octane left to "boost" the 85 I had to buy. Might have netted out to 86, but still way too low for the LT.

Your engine so you get to choose, but I think it is nuts to run less than the highest octane available in a small, high compression engine like in the LT.
Even though I may not require the highest octane I can get for my 01, I always put it in the tank for the very reasons you outline. If I run across a place that only has regular, I can put some in to get me by till I can find some premium to top off with.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #15 of 24 Old Jul 29th, 2016, 12:01 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

Another possible suggestion - if you're going off the beaten track where lower octane or lower quality gas may be your only option - consider packing a bottle of motorcycle octane booster (AMSOIL, Lucas, etc.) I've had good results putting Seafoam into my tank from time to time. What we should all dread and take action against is a mandate to boost ethanol content to 15 percent. No motorcycles or ATV's are meant to run on this and warranties may be voided. AMA has been strongly advocating against this for some time now.
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post #16 of 24 Old Jul 30th, 2016, 2:04 am Thread Starter
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Mark, I believe both you and I can get away with lower octane on our earlier LT's. There was a HP increase which also boosted compression requiring better gas but I don't remember what year that was implemented. I think it would include Patricks 05 in the upgrade though.

Still waiting on the report of temps in his area and if that has ever affected him before when it is above 80. As stated, it sounds like if could be the issue with temp and spark timing that gets retarded with temps over 80 requiring the cutting of the brown wire or the removal of the cat code plug.
It was practically always above 80 my whole time in Canada. I just rode her for about an hour (first time since I got back Sunday). It is 70 degrees here and she is still inconsistent below 3000 rpms. I have heard that the 05's don't have the brown wire. I went to Meijers and bought some Techron fuel injector/gas treatment tonight. The directions say it should be used on an almost empty tank. Unfortunately, I have a half tank right now so it will be a few days before I get her down low enough to use it. I am hoping it will help. It happened so many tanks ago, I am now assuming the gas was "bad" and not just "regular". I will let you guys know how she reacts to the Techron treatment.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
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IBA Saddlesore 1000

Bucket List destinations:
Sturgis (maybe)
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post #17 of 24 Old Jul 30th, 2016, 9:48 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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It was practically always above 80 my whole time in Canada. I just rode her for about an hour (first time since I got back Sunday). It is 70 degrees here and she is still inconsistent below 3000 rpms. I have heard that the 05's don't have the brown wire. I went to Meijers and bought some Techron fuel injector/gas treatment tonight. The directions say it should be used on an almost empty tank. Unfortunately, I have a half tank right now so it will be a few days before I get her down low enough to use it. I am hoping it will help. It happened so many tanks ago, I am now assuming the gas was "bad" and not just "regular". I will let you guys know how she reacts to the Techron treatment.
You can add it with half a tank. The reason they state this is so it will be mixed in well by the fueling. Just fill it up when you put it in and don't use more then recommended per gallon.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #18 of 24 Old Jul 30th, 2016, 9:59 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Originally Posted by HillmoorPete View Post
Another possible suggestion - if you're going off the beaten track where lower octane or lower quality gas may be your only option - consider packing a bottle of motorcycle octane booster (AMSOIL, Lucas, etc.) I've had good results putting Seafoam into my tank from time to time. What we should all dread and take action against is a mandate to boost ethanol content to 15 percent. No motorcycles or ATV's are meant to run on this and warranties may be voided. AMA has been strongly advocating against this for some time now.
You think with the seafoam you have to worry about measuring it I have to admit I have been using it and just been dumping some in I was just wondering what the thoughts were on this
I do feel it runs better with it in

Gary
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post #19 of 24 Old Jul 30th, 2016, 10:29 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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You think with the seafoam you have to worry about measuring it I have to admit I have been using it and just been dumping some in I was just wondering what the thoughts were on this
I do feel it runs better with it in
I am not sure about what is in Seafoam but many cleaner type additives recommend limiting the number of times used between oil changes as they contain stuff that doesn't burn and is supposed to seep down past the rings and clean those areas. The danger is that if you use it too often, those chemicals can build up in the oil. There is obviously some concern of a negative interaction with the oil in some higher concentration, maybe reducing its lubrication properties. Techron I believe says not to use the concentrate more than twice between oil changes but to be sure of that, I would have to find a bottle.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #20 of 24 Old Aug 1st, 2016, 5:48 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I am not sure about what is in Seafoam but many cleaner type additives recommend limiting the number of times used between oil changes as they contain stuff that doesn't burn and is supposed to seep down past the rings and clean those areas. The danger is that if you use it too often, those chemicals can build up in the oil. There is obviously some concern of a negative interaction with the oil in some higher concentration, maybe reducing its lubrication properties. Techron I believe says not to use the concentrate more than twice between oil changes but to be sure of that, I would have to find a bottle.
I looked it up on there web site it does not matter how much you add its got a lubricant in it It sounds like you can not over due it with this
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post #21 of 24 Old Aug 1st, 2016, 11:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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I looked it up on there web site it does not matter how much you add its got a lubricant in it It sounds like you can not over due it with this
Thanks, Gary. Are you referring to the Techron or the Sea Foam?

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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1986 Red Honda Nighthawk 450 (abandoned)
Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
1997 Black Honda Valkyrie (still own)
2005 Ocean Blue BMW K1200LT "Apocalypse" (bought in March '16)

IBA Saddlesore 1000

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post #22 of 24 Old Aug 1st, 2016, 11:50 pm
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Thanks, Gary. Are you referring to the Techron or the Sea Foam?
From the Chevron site.

TECHRON Concentrate Plus is designed for gasoline carbureted or fuel injected spark ignition engines. To keep the entire fuel system clean, use TECHRON Concentrate Plus every 3,000 miles or at scheduled oil change intervals, not to exceed twice per oil change.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #23 of 24 Old Aug 2nd, 2016, 6:12 am
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Thanks, Gary. Are you referring to the Techron or the Sea Foam?
I am talking about Seafoam added to your gas I have been adding it in my gas for some years now
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post #24 of 24 Old Aug 2nd, 2016, 7:01 am
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Re: Regular gas in LT

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Originally Posted by GaryEm View Post
I am talking about Seafoam added to your gas I have been adding it in my gas for some years now
You are probably OK with Seafoam as it is pretty mild compared to Techron. Techron is potent stuff and a little goes a long way.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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