What fuel (octane level) are you guys running? - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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What fuel (octane level) are you guys running?

What fuel are you guys using in you Honda Africa Twins?

One of the last things the dealer told me was that I should use premium, high-octane gas in my 2018 ATAS.

But my manual recommends unleaded “86 or higher.” I'm inclined to use regular unleaded 87 after reading that. I’ve always been a “stick to the manual” guy and it’s never let me down.

But “86 or higher” isn’t a very exact recommendation. I imagine it runs best on one of the typical three ratings, 87, 89, or 91-93-95. I have no reason to disbelieve my dealer; he’s been selling and servicing Hondas for years. (But that brings up yet another point, if “premium” is best, then, ideally, should I be using 95 or better where I can find it)?

Just curious to see what others are using or if anyone knows anything more specific about the fuel recommendations.

Thanks, Gary
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 12:04 PM
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Regular gas is fine. That's what the manual is suggesting. It doesn't have to be premium fuel. High compression engines and turbocharged engines 'require' higher octane fuel.

Regular or premium
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 04:59 PM
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Why waste your money on anything more than regular? Premium isn't going to make the bike run any better or last any longer. I know there are people who insist on using it for whatever reason, but they are usually just uninformed. Besides, premium has most likely been sitting underground a lot longer, thus would not be as fresh as regular at the same station.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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It's probably too early to say I've learned anything interesting, but I can tell you this...

(However, remember, this is a new bike, the engine is still breaking in, so furthermore, it's probably way to early to make any assumptions):

1) From the dealer with presumably high octane premium fuel in the bike - the bike ran fine but was averaging about 45MPG from brand-spanking-new mile 2 to 250 miles.

2) When gauge showed 50 miles to empty (so about 1 gallon left) I added 2 gallons (mid-grade) 89 octane on my first fill up. The bike ran fine and avg'd about 47MPG over about 150 or so miles.

3) When bike was at 50 miles to empty this last time, today, I added 3.5 gallons (regular) 87 octane.

Watching the avg cons readout, I immediately noticed better gas mileage. Over about 20 miles, I'm now avg. 56.7.

Furthermore, I opened her up a bit today for the first time, really. Nothing too crazy, but on a couple of nice country lane straightaways, I let her rip a bit, shifting at around 5k RPMs between 2nd-3rd, 3rd-4th, and 4th-5th. And I gotta say, she just flat out *took off*! This bike has plenty of power--and to spare! She accelerated like a bat out of **** (and I wasn't close to red-lining her). Color me impressed. And this, with the mostly 87 octane fuel in her.

I may just be imagining it a bit or it may have more to do with the engine breaking in (she's only got about 450 miles on her yet) but it seems to me she runs better on the regular stuff. Time will tell. I'll keep testing. But for now, all is well.

Last edited by garyh; 07-27-2018 at 05:19 PM.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 08:36 AM
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I live at 5000 feet and rides take me up from there. I run 85 octane which is our regular. Of course at altitude you can get by with a lower octane. The bike runs great.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 05:42 PM
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If it says regular, then regular is fine. Salesmen aren't required to be tech savvy and often don't know their @$$ from a hole in the ground when it comes to anything mechanical (I used to work in the service center at a Ford dealership) so take anything they tell you with a grain of salt.

Also, if it can run on regular but will benefit from premium, then manual will usually tell you. For example, the Focus ST (and most of Ford's Ecoboost engines) manual says you CAN run regular, but it will pull timing and you'll lose 10lb/ft of torque.

Our engines at 10:1 compression won't need to use premium unless you get a tune that can take advantage of it by bumping up the timing.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 09:11 AM
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I agree with everything posted here, if the manual calls for 86 than 86 is fine and little to no benefit will come from higher octane fuel.

I may add one thing relating to fuel, I feel strongly that you should try and limit the amount of ethanol that is in the fuel you use. I would even go so far as to say that id would probably cure most of the stalling problems people are complaining about.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 02:26 AM
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My experience has been that premium fuel (91 octane) will get a bit better mileage over 87 octane regular. I don't think it is enough to justify the increased price, that said there have been a few rides that mileage matters. So knowing that was coming up I would put in the premium fuel. I now carry a 2 gallon Rotopak which pretty much resolves the mileage issue. I can't tell any difference in the performance, but then I'm not riding the bike to it's limits, so I would not expect to. Just my $.02.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvhdudeJoe View Post
My experience has been that premium fuel (91 octane) will get a bit better mileage over 87 octane regular. I don't think it is enough to justify the increased price, that said there have been a few rides that mileage matters. So knowing that was coming up I would put in the premium fuel. I now carry a 2 gallon Rotopak which pretty much resolves the mileage issue. I can't tell any difference in the performance, but then I'm not riding the bike to it's limits, so I would not expect to. Just my $.02.

I would argue with that. The high octane gas has slightly lower calorific value than regular, due to octane boosting additives. So logically, regular should give better fuel consumption...
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 02:17 PM
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Ok, I can weigh in here because I used to manage gas stations lol now I work for a dealership and we have both turbo and non turbo vehicles.
Alot of people assume higher octane means more power or efficiency..... that is a total myth. The higher the octane of fuel the slower it burns. 87 octane fuel is actually more volatile and releases more energy than 93 octane. The reason Turbo and high compression vehicles will need higher octane is that 87 is so volatile that it will pre-ignite before the engines top dead center. It will ignite from the shear compression almost like diesel, but too soon. The explosion will happen while the piston is still attempting to compress. So in comes higher octane fuels which are harder to ignite and the engine can fully compress the fuel and air mixture. In our engine it does NOTHING!
Now there still is a good side to 93 in the states anyway. Certain companies like Mobil 1 will put more cleaning agents in their high end fuel, but you could also just run injector cleaner every so often. I hope this helps a bit!
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