Originally Posted by munson
I have used mid grade 89 octane for over 100k miles in six years with no issues. Most of those miles have been in Texas.
I'm with ya' on that one.
I'm in the middle of a little experiment myself, more to determine whether or not to re-calibrate my "bc" computer than anything else, and am finding that I am getting noticably better mileage on 89 than on premium gas, which is surprising me. It does feel as though I have slightly less "oomph" when I crack the throttle, but no differences in performance.
(I ran 1,000 miles on premium, am 450 miles into the 89 octane test, will share my results when I have them...preliminary results on the premium was that over the TOTAL 1,000 miles, the BC miles per gallon figure on my bike was about 4 mpg off--I did not re-set for the entire 1,000 miles, but when I went back to re-setting it for each fill-up, it was off by as much as 14 MPG each tank--when I have the second 1,000 miles of data, this time on 89-octane I'll be soliciting advice).
Here in Texas, and if you're stuck in areas close to major metropolitan areas, you likely have no choice BUT to purchase gasoline with ethanol in it, regardless of the octane rating (take a close look at the side of the pump). Chicago area was worse because of the fact that corn is a primary crop for Illinois, but most states have the same issue...if you look carefully, even the most pricey will have a tiny sticker with "may contain up to 5% ethanol."
Those of you with subscriptions to Motorcycle Consumer News might have seen the blurb a couple months ago mentioning that the AMA pissed some people off but did something very GOOD for us by lobbying hard AGAINST proposed legislation that would have allowed (and in some cases MANDATED) an increase to 10% ethanol in fuel within a specified distance of major metro areas (known as "smog zones") that was, pardon the pun, "fueled" by american farmers.
While I support the american farmer as much or more than anyone--my Uncle raised corn and hay all his life--the point made by the AMA was that an increase in the ethanol content of fuels WITHOUT adequate investigation into the long-term effects on components of engine parts, particularly those in motorcycles which could lead to life-threatening catastrophic failures, needs to be postponed until its safety can be ensured.
Interestingly, the car I bought a year ago is a Chrysler 300C with an 8-cyl hemi engine. The owner's manual SPECIFICALLY says not to bother using premium fuel, that 89-octane is fine. (Yeah, I anticipate the "Your car is obviously calibrated for a lower octane fuel blablabla" responses...help yourself).
I cut the ol' brown wire, experimented with 87, 89 and 91 , and except for what I perceive to be a little more oomph on the pricy stuff, which may be all in my head, don't notice any difference, even after disconnecting the battery and re-setting the throttle before trying each.
Yeah, I had a lot of time on my hands this summer--not by choice.
For what it's worth, the BMW service manual on the brown wire cut, which I posted and which was removed--but if anyone wants a copy, drop me a line--specifically says "use 93 octane fuel" after the procedure, but I have yet to find this in the US except for $6/gallon racing fuel.
MCN, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, and a number of others have written to the effect that "unless your vehicle demonstrates "pinging/detonation" there is no benefit to using higher grade gasoline, even the old scenario of higher grade gasoline having better detergent properties is no longer universally the case."
If the LT's tank takes about 6 gallons, and you re-fuel with 1 gal in reserve, then it costs you $.20 x 5 gallons = $1.00 more for the "good stuff" to put in premium each time you fill up. A dollar a tank is an awful small price to pay if it gives you peace of mind, particularly if your own field testing (like the great example shared by the forum member above) shows that you get a mpg benefit.
For some, go mid-grade. Others enjoy the comfort that the extra buck a tank buys. Some I suppose alternate.
I'll make my decision in another 600 miles or so when my spreadsheet is full.
Whichever way you go, there is one thing I CAN guarantee you...
on here is going to be critical of your decision!