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2000 VTR1000 Superhawk
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Just wondering.. what type of gas everybody prefers to use for which bike? God willing mine will arrive by Friday and I will have to fill it up for the first time. On my 1997 GSXR600 I used to use premium gasoline (I believe is was 92 octane). I was wondering what my '03 RC51 would perform best with and what everybody else is using/experiencing...
 

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depends on compression. i use 87 in my bikes and cars. don't know about the RC51, but I'm assuming 91 or 93
 

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from rogue site, http://www.rc51.org/

We've pretty much done the homework for you when it comes to testing various grades & brands of race fuels in the RC51 (or any other motorcycle for that part)
In hours & hours of dyno testing & Powercommander map building several key points were discovered some we intentionally set out to test others just came about on their own:

1. Standard Race Fuel (VP C12, C14, Sunoco 104, 100LL AvGas even high octane pump gas 96 or 100) ran straight on a stock RC51 motor will actually lose horsepower.

This is argued by many because the throttle response becomes crisper & is often mistaken for more performance when in truth the bike is making less power on the dyno sometimes by as much a 4-6hp. Many race fuels are designed for higher compression engines >13.0:1 & simply do not perform well in low compression motors like our RC51 (10.8:1). As has been noted many times on just about every sportbike forum on the net more octane does not mean more power! It simply means more resistance to detonation. If a higher octane fuel happens to make more power in a motor it is because of the additives in the fuel having the potential for more energy not just because it is higher octane.

What can be beneficial, but not always so is a blend of about 25/75 of race fuel & pump gas (1 gallon of race fuel added to 3 gallons of premium pump gas) which has been shown to consistently yield a horsepower or two. However I strongly urge you to stay away from the race fuels on a street bike if for no other reason than the extra contaminants it will leave in your motor. For me the cost of premature wear on the motor is not worth the negligible horsepower gains.

2. Oxygenated Race Fuels (Nutec #4, VP MR1 etc) can add 3-5hp without any fuel or mapping changes at all & 5-10hp sometimes even more on a stock motor with proper mapping & lots of playing around with the ignition timing. Some oxygenated fuels benefit from retarding the ignition while others benefit from advancing it.

The catch is that A. the stuff is really expensive usually about $15-$20 a gallon & B. it is highly corrosive & must be drained from your tank after each race weekend to keep it from eating parts of your fuel system. There are also horror stories of racers getting a bad batch of the stuff & ruining a set of carbs or throttle bodies due to a varnish that settles onto the components that is basically impossible to remove. I have actually witnessed this myself once & could not believe how bad it actually was.

There are some newer oxygenated fuels out now such as VP MR9 & Ultimate 4 which is claimed to be much less caustic to fuel system components (o-rings, gaskets etc..). I have sampled the MR9 & was very impressed with the performance, but have not tried the Ultimate 4 yet.

3. In testing various grades of pump gas I consistently found that 87 octane fuel makes 1-2 more horsepower than those exact same bikes ran on Premium 93 octane. We tested five liter class motorcycles (97 CBR900RR, 02 Honda 919, 2000 RC51, 2000 GSXR750 & an 02 R1) & only the R1 seemed unaffected by the octane of the fuel. Now I am certainly not going to tell you to run less than the recommended octane (92) in your RC51 as the specific needs of the motor dictate that a higher octane fuel is needed, but the results are blatant in that more octane does not mean more power.

It is only fair that I note that when testing the pump gas on some of the 600's (Yamaha R6 & the GSXR600) the inverse was true in that they did lose a little horsepower on the 87 octane vs the 93 octane. Most likely because of the higher compression ratios of the smaller motors, however the CBR600F4i gained a little horsepower.

Additional notes (not tested on the dyno): Never add any type of octane boosters or fuel system cleaners to your motorcycle tank. Additives sold in auto stores are designed to treat anywhere from 16-22 gallons of fuel from one small bottle of concentrate & more often than not those chemicals are very hazardous to your motorcycles fuel system especially if the mix ratio is not absolutely perfect. I cannot tell you how many carb jobs I have done over the years because some yahoo dumped half a bottle (or more) of octane booster into his fuel tank. The bike runs great for awhile but within a day or two a varnish starts to set up on the fuel system components & it just gets worse from there. Run quality fuels & stay away from the additives period.
 

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Bigt79 said:
My manual for my 2000 R6 says minimum 87, so I put in 89. Why pay more for nothing?
Exactly...so why pay extra for 89 when you could use 87.

I can't believe how many times this same post comes up. Listen people, higher octane does NOT mean the fuel burns hotter or faster. It has to do with pre-ignition and unless your bike has a higher compression engine you should use 87. Not only does it cost less but it will perform BETTER in your bike than 89 or 92. Read your manual and fill your bike with the fuel that it recommends.
 

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The RC-51 calls for premium fuel. 92 Octane if I remember the sticker on the tank. I have never had problems when I had to use 91, but I have never strayed below that so I can't tell you what happens. I do know that the guys over at ROGUE and rc51.net are a fanatical bunch so you can most likely trust their judgement.
 

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i have an '03 R6. i put 92, 91 or 93 (whatever is premium at the station i'm at).

there was a sticker on the tank that said 90 octane minimum. i've never ran anything lower for fear of knock/no shut off and then having to run a whole tank with that going on.

if anybody has an FI r6 that runs low octane i'll try it, otherwise i see no sense in the risk for $0.50
 

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i run the cheapest grade avail, usually 87. If it starts knocking or pinging i bump it up to 89.
 

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I like how the oil companies call higher octan premium. Like it's going to make your car run better. They only sell that because some cars and motorcycles need the higher octan to run. I would wonder if at some places you are actually getting 91/93. I used to have a car that actually needed it. Running anything less would ruin the engine, to make the point it had a warning lable in the manual, on the dash, and the gas cap. About a month after I started going to one gas station the engine started to knock. Switched gas stations and it stoped.
 

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I know there are many knowledgeable people here but no matter what people say i always use 93 octane on my 01 ZX7R
 

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i use BP 98ron... in bike and car i get more km then lower ron fuels... but then my mate was using the same in his ducati supersport and it starting playing up... the dealer told him high octane is not to good in twins... :bitchslap

only need to use higher ron fuel in high performace engines as it burns cleaner and stops detination...
 

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fbiguy said:
I have never had problems when I had to use 91, but I have never strayed below that so I can't tell you what happens.
Bad news FBIguy. . . .chances are, you run on 86 half the time. You figure you have a 4 gallon or so tank. For the modern pumps with only one hose, it holds Gas. The Gasoline pump hose and the mecahnisms inside that hold gas past the switching part (inside the pump) hold about 2-3 gallons. So what you pump out, is the first 2-3 gallons of the 86 the guy before you pumped out, yet you are paying premium price for. In a car with a 20 gallon tank, this makes little or no difference, but unless you drive around and check the pumps to see what was pumped out before you, you got 86 in your tank regularly. Probably almost half the time. . . :(
 

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I aways run 110 leaded race gas in my 03 GSXR 1000 it runs way better then when i put in 93 unleaded. it runs cooler, has better throtle responce, and the lead protects the valve seat at higher rpm's, the sunoco by my house sell's it for $4.25 a gallon
 

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2000 VTR1000 Superhawk
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Discussion Starter #19
Wow... awesome stuff everybody. Thanks alot!
 

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What we keep saying, but some people never learn.

"If you are already using the proper octane fuel, you will not obtain more
power from higher octane fuels. The engine will be already operating at
optimum settings, and a higher octane should have no effect on the management
system. Your driveability and fuel economy will remain the same. The higher
octane fuel costs more, so you are just throwing money away. If you are
already using a fuel with an octane rating slightly below the optimum, then
using a higher octane fuel will cause the engine management system to move to
the optimum settings, possibly resulting in both increased power and improved
fuel economy. You may be able to change octanes between seasons ( reduce
octane in winter ) to obtain the most cost-effective fuel without loss of
driveability."
 
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