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EFI Sportster Motorcycle Talk (2007 and up) For 2007 and above Sportsters

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  #1  
Old 16th July 2012
wayneo1 wayneo1 is offline
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Default 93, 89 and maybe 87 octane?

Hi All,
My motorcycle is supposed to have high test, or 93 octane.
I put 89 in it and althought the note of the exhaust has changed- it still runs like a top.
I have heard that running 87 octane is a no go, any thoughts?
Thanks
Wayne
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Old 16th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneo1 View Post
Hi All,
My motorcycle is supposed to have high test, or 93 octane.
I put 89 in it and althought the note of the exhaust has changed- it still runs like a top.
I have heard that running 87 octane is a no go, any thoughts?
Thanks
Wayne
2009 883L (Not sure) 87 octane is suggested in the service manual for 2006 883L
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Old 16th July 2012
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Look in your Service Manual and go with what is recommended. If the engine is pinging then go to a higher octane. Otherwise, stay with what is recommended for your bike.
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Old 16th July 2012
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Prior to 2007 (carb'd bikes) Harley recommended 87 octane for the 883 and 91+ octane for the 1200.
Starting with the EFI bikes in 07, Harley changed the recommended octane for all Sporties to 91+.

Since the compression ratio wasn't changed on the 883, it's quite likely that you can still run a lower octane, especially when the weather is cooler.
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Old 16th July 2012
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Quote:
Starting with the EFI bikes in 07, Harley changed the recommended octane for all Sporties to 91+.
I run 89 without any problems in my 2007.
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Old 16th July 2012
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HD tech will only consider 91 octane or better. Eventhough you manual may state otherwise.
To me, its cheap insurance.. Plus I get better mpg with at least 91
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Old 17th July 2012
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I've been running 93 oct, it's an extra 20-25cents per fill-up then 91 octane.
I've seen what happens when you don't run the right octane way too many times in cars that I wouldn't try anything less then 91 in a newer sporty.
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Old 17th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggler View Post
I've been running 93 oct, it's an extra 20-25cents per fill-up then 91 octane.
I've seen what happens when you don't run the right octane way too many times in cars that I wouldn't try anything less then 91 in a newer sporty.
If you think higher octane is better gasoline then you really should do a little more research. Higher octane is not "better" gas, it is "different" gas. Higher Octance gas just requires more effort to ignite. That's why it is recommended for higher compression engines. It does not pre-ignite.

It is not "better" gasoline!
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Old 17th July 2012
polaris0352 polaris0352 is offline
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Precicely. And not only that, running fuel with an octane rating higher than the engine and more specifically the ignition was designed for can lead to carbon build up. Higher octane fuels burn more slowly, so if the rating is too high, combustion isn't as clean as it could be. I use 87 myself, and I only ping in really hot weather in heavy traffic if I lug the motor. I've considered mid grade, but the ping I experience is infrequent enough not to bother me.
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Old 17th July 2012
Reggler Reggler is offline
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I didn't say it was a better gas. I have seen 50-60 engines need valve jobs and even a few slugs replaced because people used 87 when it said to use 91+. Vw's, Ford's, Chevy's, Honda's. 4-8 cylinders. The pinging is worse for an engine then the little bit of carbon build up.
That's just my opinion based on what I have seen and cars that I have had to fix, so I won't risk it on my own motorcycle.
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