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Where I live in northern Minnesota we have many gas stations with non ethanol gas, but only in 91 octane. I much prefer non ethanol in my bikes even if
it cost more, but worry it may damage the bike in the long run if the bike is designed for 87 octane. The owners manual does say 87 minimum, which seams
to mean higher octane is ok. Anyway I don't like ethanol, my 04 FZ1 has run wonderfully on 91 non ethanol for 135,000 miles, which I believe is 87 minimum
also, but my 03 DL1000 is quite different than the FZ1 so maybe 87 with ethanol is the way to go. Anyone using 91 non ethanol in their v-strom ? I have been
using 87 gas which the bike seams to like, but prefer the non corn stuff
 

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My BMW's calls for 91 octane to be used but I use 87 octane. 3 reasons:

1. Most pumps round here are 1 nozzle for all grades. Most people use 87 so if I choose 91/93 chances are I'm getting a fair amount of 87 before the line if flushed out with the grade I chose. In a car with a 15 gallon tank is not so bad but in a 5 gallon tank where I might top up in the morning with 2 gallons before setting out is a lot more percentage.

2. More people use lower octane fuel becasue it is less expensive. So that means more product turnover and less likely to get fuel that has sat in a tank for a longer period of time.

3. 87 works seems to work fine in my bike with no knocking or pinging.

If you prefer to use fuel that does not contain ethanol that's what you should use.
 

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You need to understand what those numbers actually mean. Basically, if you're motor is designed to run at a compression ratio that calls for 87 than anything over that is just throwing away money. It won't burn cleaner or better. Keeping in mind this is a ethanol to ethanol, or non to non comparison. The different octanes resist detonation under pressure. That's it. For something with forced air or higher compression it can be detrimental to not run higher octane fuels if your engine management cannot retard timing enough to get rid of pre-detonation.

Non ethanol WILL burn better and with more MPG though.
 

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What they said. If the owners manual says 87 octane is fine...run 87 octane. The only reason I run 90+ octane is that’s what the manual calls for in my case.
 

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I like the use of non-ethanol fuel because it is less likely to damage the fuel injection system if the bike sits for long periods of time. I use it most of the time. I also use the 91 octane. I have high compression pistons and a 4 degree ignition advancer, too, so in my case, it's for detonation prevention. In your case, you don't need the higher octane but the non-ethanol feature is desirable to my mind.
 

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Using gasoline with a higher-than-necessary octane rating will NOT hurt your engine. However, it might put a slightly bigger crimp in your wallet. The main advantage to non-ethanol fuel of any R+M rating is that it doesn't have the same affinity for absorbing water, typically from atmospheric moisture, as does fuel containing 10% ethanol. The higher the ethanol content, i.e., 15-85%, the more water it can absorb.

If you regularly burn through a tank of fuel--or if you happen to live in a dry part of the country, say Arizona/New Mexico--this doesn't ever become an issue. If your fuel sits in the tank for extended periods of time--longer than a month in high ambient humidity conditions--the water/ethanol eventually becomes an emulsion and gels out in the bottom of the tank. This can cause corrosion in a metal tank and fuel pump/injector problems if left long enough.

The problem of water absorption in ethanol fuel is a far greater problem on the older carb'd bikes (or other types of engines) than it is on FI bikes. I typically don't worry about using ethanol gas during the summer when I'm riding regularly. In late fall and over the winter when miles ridden goes down significantly, I switch to the "pure" gas. As an add, I ALWAYS use the non-E gas for my seasonal tools like mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, etc.
 

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I've seen no difference in performance using the 87 ethanol vs the 91 or 92 non ethanol. I've never measured the mpg difference. Like above post, I do use the good stuff in all my small engines and also over the winter in the bike. I tend to run my 09 wee in the winter for at least 1/2 hour on the road 1x/month minimum when temps get above 35 so I never really "put it up" for the winter. Also use a battery tender for a few hours/day when it's cold to keep battery happy
 

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Cheapest I have seen it is around $2 a gallon here lately. Nice thing about this virus. ;)

I use the non ethanol stuff AMAP. Not riding much this year so I like the gas to be more stable over long periods.

When I rode all the time 89 10% is what I used mostly.

If you ride a lot the 87 10% should be OK. Burn at least a tank a month and fuel should be fine.

ADD: now non ethanol 91 octane is back to around $2.75 a gallon. I'll probably use 91 E0 from here on out. Plus it gets better fuel mileage.
 

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Where I'm at there are very few places that have E0 gas. I use the E10 87 octane in my 650 with no problems. I've tried all different octanes and see no difference in mileage or performance of the Strom. No problem with water here in the desert.
 

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i use non ethanol in all my small..... er engines regardless of what rating they call for. so up here that means 91 octane, even for the KLR :oops:
 

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You're never going to be able to ride anywhere interesting if you refuse to use gas cut with corn likker. And some of the most interesting places I've ridden don't even have premium. You're lucky to be able to buy a few gallons of 87 and a pack of peanuts. Cash only.

A V-Strom is a modern vehicle made with the exact same fuel system components and materials used in modern cars. It's engineered from the get-go to burn gas with 10% alcohol. (And I think all but the later Vees are fine with 87.)

Dump in the cheap stuff. It'll be fine. Ride more. Worrywart less.

If you commit some unpardonable sin like letting your V-Strom sit for six months, you could end up with problems no matter what kind of gas is in there. Or it might fire right up. Most do.
 

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You're never going to be able to ride anywhere interesting if you refuse to use gas cut with corn likker. And some of the most interesting places I've ridden don't even have premium. You're lucky to be able to buy a few gallons of 87 and a pack of peanuts. Cash only.

A V-Strom is a modern vehicle made with the exact same fuel system components and materials used in modern cars. It's engineered from the get-go to burn gas with 10% alcohol. (And I think all but the later Vees are fine with 87.)

Dump in the cheap stuff. It'll be fine. Ride more. Worrywart less.

If you commit some unpardonable sin like letting your V-Strom sit for six months, you could end up with problems no matter what kind of gas is in there. Or it might fire right up. Most do.
I try to buy fuel from top tier manufacturers but sometimes when out in the middle of nowhere and there is one pump and the word "Gas" on the sign is good enough for me. I don't care what it is its beats pushing.
 

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A perspective from the other side of the world.
We have E10 as well. Ou octane numbers are different for the same product as we use the RON (Research Octane Number) rather than the AKI (Anti Knock Index) used in the US.
I avoid E10 in the bikes and in the car. With the exception of the BMW they all CAN use E10 but even the car (a Corolla) feels noticeably down on power with it. I did careful logging of my fuel consumption when I had my first Strom, a K7, and confirmed it got slightly better mileage using 95RON over 91RON, and better with 91 than on E10. If you convert it to cash the difference in mileage didn't pay the difference in fuel price. 98RON was no better in that bike than the 95 and much more expensive. In the BMW (R1150RT) 98 runs better than 95 and I refuse to even try 91 or E10 (plastic tank but steel pump assembly).
If it's a difference between half a tank of E10 and pushing the bike to the next town, I'll use E10, but I'll do my best to purge it as soon as possible.
 
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A perspective from the other side of the world.
We have E10 as well. Ou octane numbers are different for the same product as we use the RON (Research Octane Number) rather than the AKI (Anti Knock Index) used in the US.
I avoid E10 in the bikes and in the car. With the exception of the BMW they all CAN use E10 but even the car (a Corolla) feels noticeably down on power with it. I did careful logging of my fuel consumption when I had my first Strom, a K7, and confirmed it got slightly better mileage using 95RON over 91RON, and better with 91 than on E10. If you convert it to cash the difference in mileage didn't pay the difference in fuel price. 98RON was no better in that bike than the 95 and much more expensive. In the BMW (R1150RT) 98 runs better than 95 and I refuse to even try 91 or E10 (plastic tank but steel pump assembly).
If it's a difference between half a tank of E10 and pushing the bike to the next town, I'll use E10, but I'll do my best to purge it as soon as possible.
In my area and most of the areas I ride (Eastern USA) E-10 is whats available 99.9 of the time. Very few stations have E-free fuel and honestly the one that do sell so little of it who know how long its been in the tank. If you want regular access to E free you going to be stuck riding around marinas.

For me I have no issue running E10 fuel. I've never had a problem with it and its what readily avalaible to me so its a non-issue.
 

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In my area and most of the areas I ride (Eastern USA) E-10 is whats available 99.9 of the time. Very few stations have E-free fuel and honestly the one that do sell so little of it who know how long its been in the tank. If you want regular access to E free you going to be stuck riding around marinas.

For me I have no issue running E10 fuel. I've never had a problem with it and its what readily avalaible to me so its a non-issue.
I have had issues with it, both in my yard equipment and in my current Strom. The previous owner left it sitting for an extended period with E10 in the tank. End result was me having to replace the pick up screen and the regulator assembly (high pressure filter) before the bike would run right (severe fuel starvation). The mower and brush-cutter both ended up with melted fuel lines that had to be scraped out of the tanks and replaced.
Here very few fuel stations have only E10, there is almost always the option of regular fuel of a higher octane rating.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everybody, even thou there's plenty of stations up here with E free gas, guess I'll go with 87 E10 since I ride most
every day
 

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Thanks everybody, even thou there's plenty of stations up here with E free gas, guess I'll go with 87 E10 since I ride most
every day
If you think the 91 makes your bike run somewhat better, go for it. As far as costing you more, if you fill up 3-4 gallons at a time at $.20 or so per gallon more, you spend $.80 more. If that will brake your bank you got much bigger issues than octane! Just my 2 cents.
 

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I'm riding an ancient ('02) Vee, so I'm out of date. Do the new ones have knock sensors? Mine does not. I'm going to assume the BMW mentioned above does. Generally engines with knock sensors start with somewhat advanced timing, then turn it back when knock is detected. Oftentimes those engines will benefit from higher octane gas as they can run with more advance. While engines will run on 87 octane they may not run as efficiently. I bring this up because my '02 Mazda pickup with the 4 liter V6 (somewhat larger cylinders than the Vee) is rated to run on regular, but runs much smoother and more efficiently with premium. With the timing retarded to work with regular, the engine needs to be revved more and runs rougher. I suspect many manufacturers specify 'regular' as a sales tool, knowing their engines run better on premium. Having said that, if you don't notice the difference, then stick with regular.

Another issue with ethanol is higher volatility in high temps. Usually not a problem on FI engines, but carbs can vapor-lock more easily in high summer temps with ethanol fuel. One of the reasons ethanol is a no-no in mogas-converted aviation engines.

If you have to use it, then obviously you use it. There are a variety of reasons not to use it, from food diversion to pollution to lying about ecological benefits. But this is not the place for that.

I routinely run ethanol-free premium in all my vehicles (and lawn equipment) except a Honda CRV that gets non-ethanol regular. Probably costs me $30-$40 a year more. So what.
 

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Since using non-ethanol 91 my mileage is up as much as 5 mpg. Maverick stations here added it to there pumps(Separate nozzle) in late summer.
My DRZ has been much more fussy about fuel than my DR350 was. Even a month sitting between rides has it running rough and requiring a carb cleaning. With the Non-ethanol it sat from Oct to Mar and fired right up and ran smoothly.
 
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