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Discussion Starter #1
After years on the sideline I have decided to begin riding again. The idea of cruising the country roads is very appealing. I don't want to race anywhere, rather I just want to enjoy the cruise. Two up riding is a likely scenario. After much thought, I have to give the nod to the BMW K1200LT because I love the way it looks and it seems like it would be very comfortable. I have concern about the use of premium only fuel because it seems like it might not be available in certain locations. What is BMW going to do about this if premium fuel becomes scarce. What are the thoughts out there? Your input as I make my final decision is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
 

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Premium Fuel

It's unlikely that Premium Fuel will be any more scarce than any other grade of fuel. As long as there is oil, there will be refineries producing premium fuel and I haven't seen a modern gas station in the past twenty years that didn't offer it and I have been to some pretty out-of-the-way places. I almost always use premium (91 here in Utah) but I have, on occasion used mid grade with no noticeable affects and of course there are always fuel additives.
Most manufacturers recommend premium unleaded. Not just BMW. I wouldn't let it be a concern for you.
 

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I have used 89 octane with no ill effects at all this summer. Moreover the sticker on the gas door says 89 Octane too:) .
The octane ratings have to do with pre-detonation (pinging) and nothing with power. The engine will run fine all day on 89 unless you want to run it at 7K rpm's all day. FWIW my 0.02 Ct's
 

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Joe, I would not be conerned with Premium fuel availability.
Buy the LT, you will love it for touring and distance trips.
The LT is the best bike I have owned to date but not because
it happens to be a BMW, but because I like to take it on trips
and it is Soooooooooo comfortable especicially with the back rest and j pegs.
 

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Mine runs fine on 87 octane as well... My local BMW shop mechanic runs his on 87 as well so I tried it and have yet to have any pinging even on days like today when it's 95+ degrees out.

It's worth the slight "lag" I almost never feel from leaving the Motronic in stock form.

For some reason I also get about 2 more MPG on the 87 than on the 91... :confused:

An added bonus. :)
 

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What I found during the hurricane insane gas stampede in Atlanta was that the most available fuel was premium.

I have not used 87 in my LT, but would use it in a pinch and not expect the bike to implode or explode or leave me by the side of the road.
 

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high octane

I run premium when I am going to be running in the mountains or riding fast. Day to day commuting I stick with the cheaper stuff...Doesnt seem to bother it.

Ron
 

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Ditto to what everyone else has said. In addition, my dealer told me (more than once) not to be concerned with using 91 octane because the flux capacitor (sorry, the term escapes me) has an anti-knock sensor (?) that will let you run OK w/87, 89, etc.
 

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I use 91/93 high octane only because the quality of gas is so variable. "Mid-grade" is what is recommended for the LT and that's just fine if the timing is correct; but, based on a thread on the subject last year, it seems that timing isn't always set quite to specs. Mine pinged on high-test until checked and reset the timing last winter. It ran just fine on mid-grade and an occassional fill of regular in West Podunk, WV. Since gas prices have begun to climb I noticed several times a slight pinging. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but then you produce more gas at the lower rating levels from a barrel of crude at the refinery. Anyway, if you can't run on mid-grade, get the static timing checked.
 

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Someone may be able to correct me, but I don't think BMW uses a knock sensor. At least there is none on my '99.
 

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Someone may be able to correct me but, unfortunately, BMW does not use a knock sensor on the LT. At least, there is n one on my '99.
 

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hschisler said:
Ditto to what everyone else has said. In addition, my dealer told me (more than once) not to be concerned with using 91 octane because the flux capacitor (sorry, the term escapes me) has an anti-knock sensor (?) that will let you run OK w/87, 89, etc.
That is NOT correct on the flying brick! I believe the new K12S/R has one, but *definitely* not on the K12LT/RS/GT. In fact, that's one reason the Motronic has the ignition retard map -- to automatically protect the engine from detonation when at low rpm, high demand, high air temp situations (i.e., because there's no knock sensor to tell the Moronic that retard isn't needed because it's not knocking).
 

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Here in the midwest premium fuel hasn't been scarce. I have always ran "Premium" 92-93 octane although I don't imagine the average rider would notice any lack in performance in a lower octane. For the few cents a gallon on a +/- 5 gallon fuel up, what's the difference? Go for the LT, you won't be sorry.
 

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Fuel

We were forced to use 87 octane in Old Mexico this spring because all stations do not have mid or premium grade. Had absolutely no problems. As others have mentioned, it should cause no problem as long as there is no pinging for an extended period of time.
 

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Here at 'altitude', you often can't even buy 93 premium. Highest test fuel available is usually 91. Has to do with the drop in partial pressure of oxygen at altitude. Not enough O2 to burn that stuff (volume being the same). Gas stations have 'compensated' by dropping the octane for fuel sold here.

Those 'in the know' say that even trying to burn the higher octane fuels at higher altitudes (7K+) is simply a waste of money.

I run 87 (mid range) with no problem at all. When going even higher, I intentional load up on regular (83 to 85 - depending on where you're at).
 

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If you are concerned about the octane rating you can always go to the hardware store or paint store and purchase a gallon or two of Toluol/Toluene. Toluene has excellent anti-detonation properties and will increase your octane rating. For example if you add one quart of Toluene to four gallons of 92 octane gasoline, your Octane will increase from 92 to 93.29.

The formula is : [(quarts Gas X 92) + (Quarts Toluene X 114)] / Quarts Gasoline + Quarts Toluene)
 

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Fuel ratings (& ethanol)... we've got a little discussion going on in Oz similar to this, are you guys talking about RON or MON when you quote fuel numbers (eg "I run 87 (mid range) with no problem at all")
 

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and it seems like it would be very comfortable

Please consider riding one before you purchase it.

Ride it alone until you get use to the way it handles, especially at low speed.
You must keep the front wheel straight when comming to a stop.

Make sure you know how to put in reverse.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As I expected from spending some time reading messages from this website, you guys came through with a lot of good information. I live in Nebraska and am trying to finalize the answers to those last little nagging questions (must be the attorney in me) before I put the money on the counter for the LT. I have considered the touring Harley, and the goldwing, and within a few minutes have returned to the idea of the BMW.

What I like about this group is the pros and cons shared by experienced owners. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

Maybe I will get this LT, put some riding time in, and then meet up with some fellow LT owners for a ride. Sounds like a good time.

Thanks!
Joe
 
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