Gasoline used - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 29 Old Oct 5th, 2016, 10:13 pm Thread Starter
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Gasoline used

I've been running 87 octane in my LT and haven't noticed any difference in performance or mileage. Anyone else done this? Had any issues?
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post #2 of 29 Old Oct 5th, 2016, 10:57 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by Phil Fels View Post
I've been running 87 octane in my LT and haven't noticed any difference in performance or mileage. Anyone else done this? Had any issues?
What year do you have. The earlier pre (don't quite me yet) 2005 had lower compression and might get away with regular more easily than the later ones. I still run premium even though I have a 2001.

Gordon
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post #3 of 29 Old Oct 5th, 2016, 11:17 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

Using fuel that is a lower octane rating than the Manufacturer recommends is a great way to save money for your retirement!

Rand & Susan Hawksworth
2000 K1200LT Champagne
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post #4 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 12:38 am
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by Rhawk2 View Post
Using fuel that is a lower octane rating than the Manufacturer recommends is a great way to save money for your retirement!

And if the engine actually requires that higher octane, it is a great way to also require a new bike for that retirement.

For me it is cheap insurance.
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post #5 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 7:45 am
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by Phil Fels View Post
I've been running 87 octane in my LT and haven't noticed any difference in performance or mileage. Anyone else done this? Had any issues?
You probably wouldn't notice any change in performance or mileage. You might notice some pinging if accelerating at lower rpms, especially on hot days. But there will probably be some pinging that you are unaware of going on.

I recall there have been reports piston land damage due "detonation", "pinging", or "knocking" due to low octane fuel in the K1200LT engine. Search on "broken lands" you will find threads on the subject.

Applicable quote, John Z (who knows whereof he speaks regarding KLTs): "You run the risk of broken ring lands on the pistons if you have not been running premium fuel since the LT has no knock sensor."

You can buy a lot of premium fuel for the cost of a top end rebuild...

HTH
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Last edited by CharlieVT; Oct 6th, 2016 at 8:34 am.
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post #6 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 8:57 am
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Re: Gasoline used

My friend has an early 1999 K1200LT. He bought it new, and uses regular no-lead. He said there was a recall on his bike, they change something on the bike to give it more get up and go. The down side of it was you would need to use better gas that regular. He did not get the recall done as he liked using regular and has a bit over 100,000 miles on it now.

That said, all the bikes that got the up-date..and all the bikes sold after need higher rated fuel than regular. As CharlieVT said..
Quote:
You can buy a lot of premium fuel for the cost of a top end rebuild...
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post #7 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 9:39 am
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by Patric View Post
My friend has an early 1999 K1200LT... He said there was a recall on his bike, they change something on the bike to give it more get up and go. The down side of it was you would need to use better gas that regular...
Do any of the old timers here remember any such recall? I don't. I'm thinking the procedure of unplugging the air temperature sensor in the air box to reduce hot weather hesitation sort of morphed into this story of a "recall".
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post #8 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 10:56 am
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Re: Gasoline used

I did the search as suggested on "broken lands" and came up with about a dozen threads... none of which had a discussion about the use of regular gas resulting in broken lands from detonation... There was some discussion on broken lands but no mention of causation.

I sold my LT (2001) a couple of months ago, and before I sold it, I tested it with both regular and premium and found no difference in performance, or sound of the engine. Each engine is unique unto itself... I say if you get the same results with regular as you do with premium, there is no benefit to using premium, but that is just me. Check your spark plugs for condition. They should all be the same. If clean and tan... they indicate to me that the engine is proper time, with appropriate fuel, and proper valve adjustment. If they are oily, or carboned up... then look for a problem.

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post #9 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 12:01 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by biometrics View Post
I sold my LT (2001) a couple of months ago, and before I sold it, I tested it with both regular and premium and found no difference in performance, or sound of the engine.

It has been mentioned in other threads that both regular and premium have the same amount of energy to release so you will see no benefit for power or performance if your particular engine does not require it to keep from knocking. The 2001 was pre compression increase so more likely to be able to run on regular with no other modifications. If your engine is knocking regularly, we all know that damage can occur and it isn't pretty so run what is necessary to protect your engine. Anything more is not of any power benefit other than more Techron or other additives to help keep things clean. There are other benefits beyond anti-knock to running premium.

As to causation, here is a rather long article on detonation and pre-ignition and the resulting damage that can happen and the causes of both.

http://www.contactmagazine.com/Issue...ineBasics.html
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1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
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post #10 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 2:02 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Do any of the old timers here remember any such recall? I don't. I'm thinking the procedure of unplugging the air temperature sensor in the air box to reduce hot weather hesitation sort of morphed into this story of a "recall".
I am thinking it was not a recall, but anyone complaining of hesitation had their motronic(?) replaced with a updated motronic at no charge. I had mine replaced on my 2000LT. That may be what he is talking about.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
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post #11 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 3:44 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
I am thinking it was not a recall, but anyone complaining of hesitation had their motronic(?) replaced with a updated motronic at no charge. I had mine replaced on my 2000LT. That may be what he is talking about.
Thanks for the memory jog.
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post #12 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 6:28 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

The only thing that will cause broken ring lands is detonation. Now there are several causes for detonation with the primary cause is too low an octane fuel being used. The second is too lean a mixture which can be caused on certain models by "cutting the brown wire loop" AND disconnecting the air box temp sensor at the same time. This is what did in the ring lands on one bike at 100 K. If you are getting detonation you most likely will not hear it and the LT does not have a knock sensor. Your choice always on what fuel to run, but for me it is always premium from a Tier 1 gas station if available.
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post #13 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 7:47 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
You probably wouldn't notice any change in performance or mileage. You might notice some pinging if accelerating at lower rpms, especially on hot days. But there will probably be some pinging that you are unaware of going on.

I recall there have been reports piston land damage due "detonation", "pinging", or "knocking" due to low octane fuel in the K1200LT engine. Search on "broken lands" you will find threads on the subject.

Applicable quote, John Z (who knows whereof he speaks regarding KLTs): "You run the risk of broken ring lands on the pistons if you have not been running premium fuel since the LT has no knock sensor."

You can buy a lot of premium fuel for the cost of a top end rebuild...

HTH
I used 89 octane at Casey's stations in my first LT which was a 2003. Lost a piston land on #3 piston at 149,000 miles. I parted it out and bought another K1200lt cheaper than I could fix the 2003 LT.
Just saying!

So now I run 91 octane w/o alcohol when I can find it. I have 2 stations within 40 miles of home that have it.


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Bought used K1200LT number 3. This one is green/teal with 31,369(now 7/29/2018 54,143) miles and is an '02. The first 2 bikes made it to near 150,000 miles.
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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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post #14 of 29 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 11:00 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

Putting in gas that is higher than recommended octane, you are wasting your $. Lower, a different story.

I have to admit - I laugh like crazy at these threads. I run exactly what the manufacturer calls for in ALL of my vehicles. My LT called for 91. My GTL calls for 89. I know that guys who are a he** of a lot smarter than me made this determination, and they didn't just "make something up".

Running 87 octane saves you what? 20 cents a gallon, or a whole buck-twenty on a fill up, if it was bone dry?

BTW, on my '01, I HAD to get a tank of regular once, while in hot weather, and two up. I couldn't tell a difference performance wise - but in one situation, where I was pulling into traffic, and needed maximum acceleration, she pinged like a popcorn machine.

If you're happy saving $1.20 a tank (which over 50,000 miles represents a savings of about $200) then go for it...
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post #15 of 29 Old Oct 7th, 2016, 10:22 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

For what it is worth I had a Buell 1125r, the high compression Rotax twin engine that called for 93 octane (race ECM). So that is all I put in it. Unless I got caught between a rock and a hard place and she would run like crap. only happy with name brand. So I stuck with Sunoco, Exxon/Mobil or Shell. The Honda GL1800 called for 86 Octane and seemed happy but I still put the good stuff in part of the cost is better additives. I have a friend that services fuel pumps and He claims that pumps with single hoses, your getting about a quart of the last octane that was pumped!

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post #16 of 29 Old Oct 7th, 2016, 11:35 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by roadrash View Post
I have a friend that services fuel pumps and He claims that pumps with single hoses, your getting about a quart of the last octane that was pumped!

Rick
When I go fill my gas can, I pump about a gallon in my car first as I always put premium in the can so I can top off the bike before heading out. I try and run the tank down before filling at a pump so I don't keep adding small amounts of lower octane over and over. Lawn mower doesn't care and I use far more in the bike than in the mower so cost difference is minimal.

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post #17 of 29 Old Oct 8th, 2016, 9:43 am
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Re: Gasoline used

I ran 89 a few times and the bike ran very rough. The moment I switched to Shell 93 Premium, the bike ran a whole lot smoother, it was like flipping a switch. The premium is the way to go, even if it is on the pricey side.
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post #18 of 29 Old Oct 8th, 2016, 9:53 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by Rhawk2 View Post
Using fuel that is a lower octane rating than the Manufacturer recommends is a great way to save money for your retirement!
How does spending money to repair or replace your LT engine help you save money for your retirement?

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post #19 of 29 Old Oct 9th, 2016, 5:50 am
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Re: Gasoline used

I use about 650 gallons of high octane gas each year in my LT's. Each time I fill up the high octane cost me about $1.50 more per tank or about $195 per year more. I never know from one ride to the next how hard I'm going to run the engine so I always use high octane fuel.

If I knew I could contain myself to to ride easy around town during the week I would buy 89 octane gas. I never know when I'll feel like running up the RPM near the red line so I always get 91 to 93 octane gas.
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post #20 of 29 Old Oct 9th, 2016, 1:54 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

Hi ,... Yes...That's it , as mtrevelino said :

Quote:
I am thinking it was not a recall, but anyone complaining of hesitation had their motronic(?) replaced with a updated motronic at no charge. I had mine replaced on my 2000LT. That may be what he is talking abou
He said that he decided not have the motronic replaced. His bikes was to use mid-grade , but has run regular thru it for 100,000 miles.

Me, I run premium in My K1200LT..

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post #21 of 29 Old Oct 9th, 2016, 9:15 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

Well, Having just gotten my '02 LT i ran Premium on the way home from Ohio with it, No issues. Since being home I've been running 90 octane NON- Ethanol gas in it. As much as possible. Otherwise using premium. Anyone see any problems with this setup/ I'd appreciate any advice.

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post #22 of 29 Old Oct 11th, 2016, 8:16 am
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
I use about 650 gallons of high octane gas each year in my LT's. Each time I fill up the high octane cost me about $1.50 more per tank or about $195 per year more. I never know from one ride to the next how hard I'm going to run the engine so I always use high octane fuel.

If I knew I could contain myself to to ride easy around town during the week I would buy 89 octane gas. I never know when I'll feel like running up the RPM near the red line so I always get 91 to 93 octane gas.
Running near redline is probably the safest place to be in regards to detonation resistance. The cylinder pressures are lower and the fuel/air mixture has the least dwell time in the cylinder to get hot before normal ignition. The worst place is low RPM (long dwell time), full throttle (high cylinder pressure) and high temperatures (long grade to climb). One thing to do if you ever hear detonation and can't get higher octane fuel is to run a gear or two lower and run at higher RPM. I had to do this in NF a few years ago when the only gas available was 85 octane. Running in 4th at 55 rather than 5th kept the engine out of the audible detonation range until I reached the next gas station. No detectable damage 20,000 miles later, but it was a harrowing ride to the next gas station.

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post #23 of 29 Old Oct 12th, 2016, 9:16 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

only if u want to put new slugs in ur LUMP
then ur retirement fund dwindles quickly
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post #24 of 29 Old May 5th, 2017, 8:50 am
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Re: Gasoline used

I pay the € equivalent of $ 5,15 for a US gallon of our 95 octane, which is the equivalent of your 91, and the € equivalent of $ 5.64 for 98 octane, which is the equivalent of your 93 .

Our 95 (your 91) is the lowest octane fuel you can buy and our 98 (your 93) is what one would classify as the premium one.

Having said that, I normally use our 95 for long trips when not much gear changing is going to take place and our 98 for ones when lots of twistys, overtaking or town riding is involved.

My bike is a 2005 K1200LT

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post #25 of 29 Old May 5th, 2017, 10:00 am
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Re: Gasoline used

I always use mid grade (our 89 Octane) in my LT. I use premium in my oilhead.

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post #26 of 29 Old May 5th, 2017, 12:00 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

It´s not possible to buy such a low octane fuel in Europe.

BMW recommend using 95, your 91.
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post #27 of 29 Old May 5th, 2017, 2:29 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by simoncharles View Post
It´s not possible to buy such a low octane fuel in Europe.

BMW recommend using 95, your 91.
BMW recommends 89 for my USA-spec 2007.

I generally run 91 or higher to be on the safe side. I can confirm that 85 (long story) is inadequate for my LT.

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post #28 of 29 Old May 5th, 2017, 2:46 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
BMW recommends 89 for my USA-spec 2007.

I generally run 91 or higher to be on the safe side. I can confirm that 85 (long story) is inadequate for my LT.
I can´t speak for the USA, but over here they recommend using 95, which is the lowest grade available.
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post #29 of 29 Old May 5th, 2017, 4:02 pm
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Re: Gasoline used

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Originally Posted by simoncharles View Post
I can´t speak for the USA, but over here they recommend using 95, which is the lowest grade available.
That makes sense if the lowest available grade is adequate. In the USA, that isn't the case. 87 is the lowest where I live, but many areas have even less, particularly at higher altitudes where 85 is common and places like Newfoundland where the only gas station within 50 miles only had 85. These are all calculated using the (R+M)/2 average.

Newfoundland was one place my brother-in-law's Wing had a big advantage over my LT. It drank the 85 without complaint. My LT would ping like crazy in 5th gear at anything above about 20% throttle. I had to run in 4th for 50 miles to the next gas station.

Thus is yet another area where BMW makes some perplexing design choices. Touring and adventure bikes should be compatible with the lowest octane fuels found most anywhere in the world as these bikes are made to travel to remote places, the GS in particular. Honda got it right designing the wing to make power through displacement rather than high compression. BMW should do the same. I have often had my LT in places where I could not obtain the 89 octane fuel recommended.

I understand requiring premium for the S1000RR, but for the LT or a GS? That is just poor design.
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