What to do when you travel where there is no premium fuel? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000A - 2017+ DL1000A - 2017 (L7) and later

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post #1 of 14 Old 05-25-2018, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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What to do when you travel where there is no premium fuel?

So if I buy a new V-Strom 1000 I need to know with absolute certainty I can take the bike on a trip to South America and not worry about whether I can find premium fuel or not. That isnít to say I am going anytime soon but I need to know that fuel requirements wonít make the trip impossible.

I know this topic has come up as far as cost justification but I donít recall if anyone ever rode one for several thousand miles where premium was not available and what the outcome was.

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 12:42 AM
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You can get octane booster most anywhere that sells automobile products. You'd need a bunch for a several thousand mile trip, though. On the other hand, most larger towns or cities should have premium gas, so perhaps a quart or so of booster would do.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 06:57 AM
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I just use 87 all the time... except when I am in Colorado, then I use 85...
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 07:54 AM
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Based upon where I was going through South America I would not want to be hunting around for high octane gas.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Numbercruncher View Post
So if I buy a new V-Strom 1000 I need to know with absolute certainty I can take the bike on a trip to South America and not worry about whether I can find premium fuel or not. That isnít to say I am going anytime soon but I need to know that fuel requirements wonít make the trip impossible.



I know this topic has come up as far as cost justification but I donít recall if anyone ever rode one for several thousand miles where premium was not available and what the outcome was.



NC


This is a valid question. And I wonder, would it really cause engine issues if I use a lower octane? I donít bounce the tach needle anywhere near redline, a also donít ride wide open throttle. I wonder what and if it REALLY matters for 95% of us. Just thinking out loud here.


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post #6 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 10:25 AM
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Yes, if you are off the beaten path, super, extra, premium ect might not be available, BUT, even regular here is higher octane than super in the US, i've never had a problem with the octane here in Colobmia, just try to stick with the name brands, Texaco, gulf, mobile ect and fill up before you leave a decent size town and relax,,
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dwayneh View Post
This is a valid question. And I wonder, would it really cause engine issues if I use a lower octane? I donít bounce the tach needle anywhere near redline, a also donít ride wide open throttle. I wonder what and if it REALLY matters for 95% of us. Just thinking out loud here.
It shouldn't hurt the engine at all; the higher octane rating simply tells you the amount of compression it can take before spontaneously combusting.. it tells you how much "knock" you can expect. Highly-tuned performance engines rely on higher compression ratings to squeeze more umph out of the fuel, but most people will see little to no difference in the 87-92 range (except at altitude, although that's not something I've really dealt with..)

All things being equal, I'd be more suspect of the quality of the fuel than the octane rating; I'd definitely bring along an extra fuel filter and know how to change it (heck, I'd probably print the instructions out and toss them in the kit!)
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-26-2018, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kerri Miller View Post
It shouldn't hurt the engine at all; the higher octane rating simply tells you the amount of compression it can take before spontaneously combusting.. it tells you how much "knock" you can expect. Highly-tuned performance engines rely on higher compression ratings to squeeze more umph out of the fuel, but most people will see little to no difference in the 87-92 range (except at altitude, although that's not something I've really dealt with..)



All things being equal, I'd be more suspect of the quality of the fuel than the octane rating; I'd definitely bring along an extra fuel filter and know how to change it (heck, I'd probably print the instructions out and toss them in the kit!)


Yes!!! Quality of fuel will often be a major thought, though the number of times you will use suspect fuel, while traveling... would be limited at best. IMHO


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post #9 of 14 Old 05-27-2018, 02:12 AM
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I use regular gas all the time up North, no issues. As mentioned, it can cause problems if the fuel is not clean, rusty, or has water in it. I try to stay away from Ethanol if possible.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-27-2018, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerri Miller View Post
It shouldn't hurt the engine at all; the higher octane rating simply tells you the amount of compression it can take before spontaneously combusting.. it tells you how much "knock" you can expect. Highly-tuned performance engines rely on higher compression ratings to squeeze more umph out of the fuel, but most people will see little to no difference in the 87-92 range (except at altitude, although that's not something I've really dealt with..)

All things being equal, I'd be more suspect of the quality of the fuel than the octane rating; I'd definitely bring along an extra fuel filter and know how to change it (heck, I'd probably print the instructions out and toss them in the kit!)
This ^^^^^

Here's the science behind it. Your engine lets the fuel/air mixture enter the cylinder chamber, then compresses it with the piston. Once the mixture is fully compressed, it is ignited by the spark plug. Simples. However, if you compress a mixture too much, it will ignite by itself. This is called pre-ignition, pre-combustion, knocking and whatnot and is generally bad for your engine.

So fuels, amongst other things, are measured for their anti-knock properties. This is done using the "octane rating". Octane is originally the name a fuel compound that resists the knocking, but today other compounds are used as well. The anti-knock properties are now indexed to the anti-knock properties of a fuel that's 100% octane, or something like that, where a 100% octane-fuel has an anti-knock index of 100. The resulting "octane rating" therefore tells you something about the maximum compression that you can apply to the fuel before it ignites spontaneously.

If you have a low compression (let's say 1:10) engine, you can use a fuel with a low octane value. If you have a high compression (let's say 1:13) engine, you need a higher octane value.

The 2014+ DL1000 has a compression ratio of 1:11.3. Because of this, Suzuki specifies a minimum of 87 octane fuel (using the R+M/2 method - note there are two methods for measuring the octane rating). Any fuel with an octane rating above that has anti-knock properties that you don't need. And a higher octane fuel does not give you better performance.

Why the myth that a higher octane fuel does give better performance? Because high-performance engines use higher compression rations, and because of this require higher octane ratings. That leads to the association of high performance = high octane. But that association only works one way: A high octane fuel in a low compression engine does not give higher performance.

That's not all of the story though. Fuel manufacturers can also use a different additives package in their "premium" fuels, or may refine them to a higher standard (less impurities). That could potentially lead to less engine problems. However, you have no way of telling this at the pump. That's why I like the advice of Kerri: Use whatever fuel is available as long as it's 87 octane or higher. But make sure you bring along an additional fuel filter, plus the tools, so that you can swap out a fuel filter on the road if necessary.

In fact, I would actually look at the other fuel users at the pump, and use the fuel that they use, as long as it's 87 octane or higher. If the locals all use a particular fuel, it can't be all that bad in the first place. Plus, the pump will have a higher turnover of that fuel so there's less chance that it goes stale or something.

Does the 2014+ DL1000 still have the fuel filter inside the high-pressure pump? In that case it might be worthwhile to do the fuel filter mod as preventative maintenance.

Last edited by BackPacker; 05-27-2018 at 05:13 AM.
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