Gasolines are not equal.... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Jeff Kushner's Avatar
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Location: Just north of Annapolis Maryland
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Gasolines are not equal....

I'm not trolling nor am I trying to rehash something that may have been discussed a few times before. I've been here a couple of years and don't remember too much discussion so I'll relate what I found. This is just what I found and may be different for others......

I belong to a car forum as well for my sports car and read a great article about fuel a couple years back but since I had a company gas card, I just filled all my vehicles up at Exxon. I of course use regular...and still do in the Vee.

Fast forward to present. I opened my vee back in the fall to do a little work to the intake tracts....nothing too involved but wanted to flow them a bit better. I was amazed to see at 10K that they were heavily coated with ash, carbon and other sh*t. It sure was a lot of crap for not a lot of miles! I finished up my work and buttoned everything together with no further thought about it. I continued to fill my machines at Exxon and that was that. Then late this past winter (or was it early Spring?) I switched jobs. I left the company that had given me a gas card and went with a firm that simply reimburses me for fuel. I soon after, had to do some maintenience to my bike and when I peared into the intake tracts, the ash and buildup were only 2000 miles! I was amazed to see how dirty it had become again after only a couple of thousand miles.

This time I made the decision to avoid the exxon stations at all costs and only went to Top Tier Gas stations. Last week, after my trip to Ohio and before my camping trip to Skyline drive this past weekend, I again had the tank off and looked deep into the intakes.....this time they were clean...not quite spotless but pretty damned close....and I had only run about 1500 miles with Top Tier fuels.

I'll never again use anything less....and here's a link for those of you that aren't sure what I'm talking about;


Present only:
My VStrom 1000 K7
Stock bikes: a
purple '74 RD350 in great shape,
'72 H1,
1975 GT550,
All-original 1975 H2 750 triple (purple of course),
Modified bikes:
1974 H2 750(my go-fast), a scary fast & fully ported street machine!
'82 Yam 650 Turbo- running 18PSI, Be sure to be pointed where you want to go!
'75 GT550 built up & ported,
'75- H1 wrist-rocket- HOLY GOD ALMIGHTY!
'75 S1 Kaw 250 baby triple w/ lifted and ported 350cc cylinders/28mm flatslides
To-Restore list: '72 H1, 1-'75 H1, 1974 GT750
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post #2 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 02:48 PM
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Hmmm... Still running the same grade of gas? I usually buy my gas at Quick Trip because they are convenient, competitively priced, and have a really good c-store to stock up on goodies. Nice to see that they are on the Top Tier list.
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post #3 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 04:25 PM
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Hmmm.. well, we always want to put the best oil in our bikes, so why not the best gas. I always wondered if there was a difference, thanks for the info.

Blue DL650 K7
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post #4 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 04:35 PM
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I notice BP is not on the top tier list. I recently filled both the wee and vee at a BP in Maryland. Rode 50 miles home then let the bikes sit for a week. Both bikes were very, very hard to start the next weekend. Hard starting is out of character for both bikes and the only common thread was the BP gas.

2019 BMW F750 GS, 2015 XT1200 ES, 2012 Yamaha XT250, 2013 Suzuki DR650
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post #5 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 05:09 PM
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great... thanks

I've been using Exxon/Mobile or Shell, possibly something like Texaco if neither is around. Guess I'll look for those on the list.

The thing I don't understand is why additive cleaners are needed. All the gas here has 10% ethanol, that should be all the cleaner you need. I always laugh at people buying STP, it's 4oz of ethanol. Put 10 gal of gas in your tank and 1 gal is ethanol.

R.I.P. (Retire In Peace, thanks for the great ride.)

Previous ride: Orange Wee Club #34

Last edited by Mercenary; 08-10-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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post #6 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 05:45 PM
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Would some of the build up in the intake be from the PCV System?

Normally I run Exxon or Shell because both are close to the house. From what I have always read all gas comes from the same pipe line in my area. The company's additives are normally added in at the delivery tanker. The quality of the station's storage tanks are very important.

It's kind of strange, how the mountains pay us no attention at ll. You laugh or cry and the wind just keeps on blowing.

Flint Gray 2002 DL1000
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post #7 of 33 Old 08-10-2009, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by T3/T4 Hybrid View Post
The quality of the station's storage tanks are very important.
As is how well they maintain their fuel filters at the pump. If a station pumps gas slowly, I avoid it like the plague... that means their fuel filters are clogged.

I have good luck with Costco gas but then again I also try to run a tank of Chevron through the car/bike about every third tank or so which may help things run smoothly.

K7 Wee
92 DR350S
07 TT-R125LE (son's)
07 Shadow VLX (sold)

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." - Theodore Roosevelt
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post #8 of 33 Old 08-11-2009, 10:34 AM
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Top Tier is a marketing ploy, plan and simple. No ExxonMobil, BP, or the nation's largest refiner, Valero, but Turkey Hill Minit (sic) Mart????

As T3T4 mentions, all base mogas is the same - no matter the brand, they all get the same base from the closest refinery. Each brand's additive package is added when the tankers are filled at a terminal - a Shell terminal has Exxon additives, a Valero terminal has Costco additives, etc.

You should try to buy a name-brand gasoline from a station with high turnover for best quality, and never fill up when a tanker is delivering - water and sediment will be suspended in the fuel instead of settling above and below the gasoline.

post #9 of 33 Old 08-11-2009, 10:40 AM
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I'm a little unclear on how 'ash' in the intake tract could be caused by the gasoline? Doesn't the gasoline get injected just a hair up-stream of the intake port, and only when that port is open? Seems to me that any fuel-related build-ups would occur in the combustion chamber or exhaust, not the intake.... No?

Just wondering...
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post #10 of 33 Old 08-11-2009, 02:42 PM
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Fuel problems are a big issue in North America.

Porsche monitors how their cars are performing in all the markets they sell in. For 2008 model year on Porsche cut service intervals in half for North America. For example, oil change intervals changed to yearly or 15,000 km from two years or 30,000 km (which is still the case in Europe.) Likewise changes for plugs, filters, etc change for North America. The reason they gave for this was the poor quality of fuel additives in our market.

I believe that Top-Tier gas is a legitimate attempt to ensure that the quality of these additives is up to a certain level.


My Opinion:
Vee or V= DL1000 before 2014
Vee2 or V2 = DL1000 2015 to 2019
Vee3 or V3 = DL1050 2020 to?

My Stroms:
2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 205,000+ km, 127,000+ miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.

Last edited by V-Tom; 08-11-2009 at 05:08 PM. Reason: grammer and speeling
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