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Sportster Motorcycle Air intake, Carburetor, EFI, Fuel, and Exhaust Problems, advice and/or how tos for Sporster and Buell motorcycle carburators, Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), Air Intake, Fuel and Exhaust.

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View Poll Results: What grade gasoline do you use?
Premium Gas 91+ octane 3,739 81.98%
Mid-Grade Gas 89-90 octane 313 6.86%
Regular 87 octane 387 8.48%
I mix it up, don't care, etc. 103 2.26%
Change based on the weather 19 0.42%
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  #1791  
Old 13th November 2019
Tomcatt Tomcatt is offline
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I run premium. There's a Mobil gas station "mart" about a mile from my house with 91 octane (M+R/2) no ethanol. I've been seeing some detonation, the ECU (with Powervision) has the detection software but oddly doesn't have the software to pull timing. So, I've been tailoring my fuel and timing mapping around knock indications. I expect the detonation to go away when I get the top end off and tighten up the squish clearances.

I went thru the same process on my BT Evo. It also had .055" head gaskets as OE. Harley made a running change to .040" head gaskets to tighten the squish clearance to fix the detonation issues the earlier BT EVO's had. I did more, also shortening the cylinders. Here I am 30+ yrs later doing the same the same thing on my '17 Evo Sportster. My BT EVO was an '87.
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Last edited by Tomcatt; 13th November 2019 at 18:26..
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  #1792  
Old 13th November 2019
boomerguy boomerguy is offline
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The owner's manual says premium gas for the 1200 and regular for the 883 because of the compression ratio for each.
I usually run mid-grade 90 octane because that's the only octane for my non-ethanol gas available locally. While traveling away from the house, I can run 87 in my 2005 XL883 with no problem.
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  #1793  
Old 13th November 2019
Tomcatt Tomcatt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerguy View Post
I usually run mid-grade 90 octane because that's the only octane for my non-ethanol gas available locally.
I'm not a "never ethanol" guy. I run 91 octane no ethanol because the station conveniently near my house sells it. Their (Mobil) premium was 93 octane with ethanol previously and I ran that. Same station where I usually fill my daily driver with "may contain up to 10% ethanol" regular.

Last edited by Tomcatt; 20th December 2019 at 04:08..
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  #1794  
Old 13th November 2019
boomerguy boomerguy is offline
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If I knew that I could ride my motorcycle daily like I do my cars, I wouldn't sweat the 10% ethanol gas because I know it would turn-over quickly in my tank.

However, my daily schedule and the fluctuating weather keep me from riding it as much as I would like to and it may sit for weeks or months at a time. So I keep a 5-gallon can of non-ethanol in the garage to top it off with after each ride. I would rather have it sit completely full of non-ethanol, just in case.

I also turn off the Golan manual petcock about 100 yards from my house so the carb will run empty when I park it in the garage. Probably overkill, but it's easy to do and it gives me peace of mind.
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  #1795  
Old 13th November 2019
Tomcatt Tomcatt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerguy View Post
If I knew that I could ride my motorcycle daily like I do my cars, I wouldn't sweat the 10% ethanol gas because I know it would turn-over quickly in my tank.

I would rather have it sit completely full of non-ethanol, just in case.

I also turn off the Golan manual petcock about 100 yards from my house so the carb will run empty when I park it in the garage. Probably overkill, but it's easy to do and it gives me peace of mind.
That's edited but I hope not out of context. If you're not comfortable with the current ethanol added fuels that's your prerogative.

I traded in a 2002 Kawasaki Mean Streak (that I bought new in 2002) on my Sportster in Feb this year, 2019. It had 9.5:1 CR and ran on regular. It sat 17 winters, plus 2 summers I couldn't ride due to surgeries and chemo, with regular "with up to 10% ethanol" in its' (full) tank. When I traded it in it still had all its' original fuel system components, the tank had never been off to be cleaned, the fuel system (EFI) had never been apart. No problems, ever.

I could go on but that is typical of my experience with ethanol added fuels. Racing on 100% methanol (and setting up carbs and fuel systems to flow enough) is a more fun story.
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  #1796  
Old 13th November 2019
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I find that if I use non-korn-likker gas in my bikes, boats, lawn mowers and atvs, that come spring, everything starts right up & runs fine with no curse words or other issues. (Northern WI) I haven't noticed any other advantage. I suppose that if I jacked up the timing I might need the premium gas, but I don't.
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  #1797  
Old 14th February 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddog View Post
The results are in !!! 100% use high-test !
Yeah I do ....the manual calls for it.
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  #1798  
Old 17th February 2020
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The question I have is:
At the selectable pumps, how much of the last pumped gas comes out before what you selected comes out? If you are only putting in 2-3 gallons the difference can be significant.
And you are paying premium for that left over gas.

I've got a stock 02 883 and run 87 all the time. I haven't noticed any pinging or rattling but it does diesel a bit when it's hot. Running lean? (stock jetting, three turns out on screw)
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  #1799  
Old 17th February 2020
shanneba shanneba is online now
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How long is the hose? (length)
What is the inside diameter of the hose? (diameter/2)

(diameter/2) X (diameter/2) X 3.14 (pi) X (length)

If you use inches for the sizes - cubic inches X 0.00433 gallon

A 5/8" ID hose at 72 inches long (6 feet)- would hold ~ one tenth of a gallon.
A 10 foot hose would hold about 1.5 tenths of a gallon.

One tenth of a gallon of 87 octane added to nine tenths of a gallon of 91 octane would give you a mixed octane of about 90.6
(if the premium is 93 you would have about 92.4 octane)

91 buying 2 gallons ~ 90.8 octane
91 buying 3 gallons ~ 90.86 octane

Around here premium is 60 cents more than regular, so the difference is about 6 cents
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  #1800  
Old 17th February 2020
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I think the 883 is specified to run on 87 Octane. The 1200's are the ones that are spec'd to run 91/93 Octane. I just did 80 miles and filled up with Premium. It cost me an extra $1.20 more than if I used 87 Octane.

Doing the math.

I ride about 3000 miles a year on my bike not including long trips.

3000mi/46mpg =65 gallons

If you figure Premium costs 30% more than regular....

$2.50 gal * 65 gallons = $163 for regular.

Adding 30% for Premium $163 * 1.3 = $212

That's $50 a year/$4 a month extra for Premium. I think I can afford it if I give up Snickerdoodles in my lunch box.
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