Author Topic: Octane... does it make a difference in power?  (Read 1544 times)

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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« on: June 02, 2018, 11:38:59 pm »
 you be the judge.

 Steve
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Offline Dirtwiz

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 02:41:29 am »
Almost as much as a slip on but you have to wait until 7,800 RPM.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 02:45:57 am by Dirtwiz »
In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they aren't. Without data you are just another guy with an opinion.

Offline Jorge

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 10:00:10 am »
Steve,
Could this be just the run-to-run variation?
I've always read that octane doesn't improve running unless you can take advantage of the extra detonation resistance with timing advance.
I thought that the C14 doesn't have knock sensor(s) - or does it?
If not, the engine shouldn't benefit from higher octane. :??:

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 10:21:43 am »
Steve,
Could this be just the run-to-run variation?
I've always read that octane doesn't improve running unless you can take advantage of the extra detonation resistance with timing advance.
I thought that the C14 doesn't have knock sensor(s) - or does it?
If not, the engine shouldn't benefit from higher octane. :??:

  No, not run to run deviation, though there are always deviations in runs. I could closely replicate the results with each octane value, but could never get the 89 to deliver what the 92 did, even at 3k rpm's. And the timing is optimized with the a/f ratio, so I feel we are seeing differences from fuel alone.  It's marginal and you probably won't feel it, but it's there. Steve
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Online Bob H

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 10:45:15 am »
What we don't know is why.  There are likely many differences in the detailed makeup of the two fuels in addition to the octane rating.
Remember, much of what you see on-line is wrong or misguided, your task is to filter that out!
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Offline RWulf

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 02:01:08 pm »
Years ago Shell engineer told me the base stock, the point the product was
removed from the cracking column, were different for the grades of gas. There
would be small differants in the chemical makeup of the gases.

Online Bob H

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 04:53:11 pm »
Might not be a big HP increase, but certainly the cheapest and easiest! :))
Remember, much of what you see on-line is wrong or misguided, your task is to filter that out!
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Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 04:58:06 pm »
Where was the moon and sun during each test?
You know...tidal pull...wierd science.
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Offline Sirk

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 03:57:45 am »
 :rotflmao:
Where was the moon and sun during each test?
You know...tidal pull...wierd science.

Offline RoadKillHeaven

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 07:40:07 am »
This discussion reminded me of ending of the movie, "Burn after reading".

https://youtu.be/SlA9hmrC8DU

Offline smokin

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 01:22:08 pm »
Steve,
Could this be just the run-to-run variation?
I've always read that octane doesn't improve running unless you can take advantage of the extra detonation resistance with timing advance.
I thought that the C14 doesn't have knock sensor(s) - or does it?
If not, the engine shouldn't benefit from higher octane. :??:

  No, not run to run deviation, though there are always deviations in runs. I could closely replicate the results with each octane value, but could never get the 89 to deliver what the 92 did, even at 3k rpm's. And the timing is optimized with the a/f ratio, so I feel we are seeing differences from fuel alone.  It's marginal and you probably won't feel it, but it's there. Steve

Steve didn't you see something similar regarding Australian fuel versus USA fuel in a previous situation?

Offline Jim

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 01:35:05 pm »
Years ago Shell engineer told me the base stock, the point the product was
removed from the cracking column, were different for the grades of gas. There
would be small differants in the chemical makeup of the gases.

What he told you is basically true, but the details are a little off. The refinery where I worked had two units to make the gasoline blend stock: a Low Pressure CCR for low octane stock, and a High Pressure CCR for high octane blend stock. Some people think it's the additives that make the difference in octane, but they start out with different products then add the other components.

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 01:38:52 pm »


Steve didn't you see something similar regarding Australian fuel versus USA fuel in a previous situation?


  I couldn't pin anything down. I looked at the stoic values of pure gas and 10% ethanol fuel. there's a .5 difference, about 3-4% . A little more research indicated that the specipic gravity is about 4% heavier with pure gas. I adjusted my fuel maps to reflect that. Feedback has been positive.

 Steve
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 03:08:47 pm »
I don't know the answer, but I do know; at higher RPM's the exact ignition point becomes more important.

Here's a wild guess;
The HP increase may be because the 92 Octane is more resistant to ignition than the 89.
  Possibly the 89 ignites just a tiny bit {1/2 degree of crank rotation} sooner than the 92.
  So, maybe the {89} ignition,, occurs a tiny bit too soon.
    If so, it could minutely slow the piston, rather than applying an optimum downward force on the piston.

{also} The 92 is supposed to burn differently than the 89. {has a different Flame Propagation}
                  [Think of the difference as a smooth burn, rather than a flash].
          So maybe, that smoother burn is also pushing the piston more efficiently??

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline copdocpvd

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 04:20:00 pm »
Can you help those of us with limited knowledge on this subject understand the graph?

I look at it and find myself thinking "well, there is a TINY difference between the red and blue, but it doesn't seem like paying another $.50/gallon is worth it"

What am I missing here?
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2018, 05:08:35 pm »
The main thing your missing is Kawasaki specifies the Premium for use in the C-14.
 We're not sure why that is; may be to produce peak power, may be to protect the engine from detonation.
   That said, we shouldn't disregard Kawasaki's specification.

"and"; Steve has now shown that you do get more power with the Premium,,,,
                So, why not use what they specify, and have more power..  {win, WIN}
  NOTE: In a normal day of riding, the .50 per gallon only costs a few extra bucks..
              Most COGgers ride because we enjoy it.
                 A few extra $$ to enjoy it more, is even better..   :motonoises: :great:

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 05:13:50 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Wolverine

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2018, 05:10:52 pm »
A few extra $$ to enjoy it more, is even better..


Indeed  :great:
Thanks

Rick

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Offline copdocpvd

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2018, 07:24:54 pm »
The main thing your missing is Kawasaki specifies the Premium for use in the C-14.
 We're not sure why that is; may be to produce peak power, may be to protect the engine from detonation.
   That said, we shouldn't disregard Kawasaki's specification.

"and"; Steve has now shown that you do get more power with the Premium,,,,
                So, why not use what they specify, and have more power..  {win, WIN}
  NOTE: In a normal day of riding, the .50 per gallon only costs a few extra bucks..
              Most COGgers ride because we enjoy it.
                 A few extra $$ to enjoy it more, is even better..   :motonoises: :great:

Ride safe, Ted


I don't mean to sound argumentative, but based on that graph, you're talking about less than 1hp.  I look at that graph and say "unless there are other reasons to use more than 89 octane, this doesn't seem to convince me that I'm getting anything for the extra money to go from 89 octane to 92 octane.

(If there are mechanical reasons/longevity issues that justify 92+ octane, then by all means I'd continue using that)
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Offline Roger B

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2018, 07:52:29 pm »
I use 91+, but would use 89 if it is safe for the motor.   I'm surprised it requires 91+.    Have any of you used anything other than 91+ for years / miles ?

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2018, 08:09:17 pm »
I know that many use lower octane fuel and have no problems.
           They probably save $2.00 per fill up...   :whoo:

          Kawasaki say's to use high octane in this engine.
            They also say, not doing so could possibly result in engine damage..
               ie; It takes a lot of $2.00 savings to pay for a damaged engine.

"And" more power, {even only 1 HP} is still,,,,, more fun...  :motonoises:

Make sense now?

Ted

NOTE: Near sea level 92 is required in many vehicles, and we don't have 91.
           At altitudes {or in cooler climates}, 92 is not available and 91 is.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 08:13:51 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2018, 08:11:28 pm »
I will say this, the bike vibes less on premium. My bike is smooth as silk with premium.  Steve
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Offline copdocpvd

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2018, 08:20:59 pm »
I know that many use lower octane fuel and have no problems.
           They probably save $2.00 per fill up...   :whoo:

          Kawasaki say's to use high octane in this engine.
            They also say, not doing so could possibly result in engine damage..
               ie; It takes a lot of $2.00 savings to pay for a damaged engine.

"And" more power, {even only 1 HP} is still,,,,, more fun...  :motonoises:

Make sense now?

Ted



Nope.

I've been riding a C14 for four years, have yet to see a reasonable explanation for why I need to use premium fuel other than "the manual says so." (although Steve's response above that it's smoother is a darn good reason for me to continue to use 92+). 

It's not the extra $2 a fill-up, it's no real reason being given other than "that's what Kawasaki says."  I had a Chrysler 300c that the manual said "use 87 octane."  I got it custom dyno tuned and picked up 40 lb/ft of torque and almost 20hp on 92 octane.  For me, that was reason to spend the extra money on premium gas. 

My questions in this thread aren't critical, and I'm certainly not a cheap-a** when it comes to my bike, I'm just curious and interested in a real reason for the octane recommendation.  I personally haven't noticed a difference when I've HAD to run 87 in the bike (traveling, no other options), and the dyno graph in this thread suggests that up to 9,000 rpm, no one else is going to, either. 

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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2018, 08:25:23 pm »
err; Going back to my wild guess;

The HP increase "smooth as silk" feeling may be because the 92 Octane is more resistant to ignition than the 89.
  Possibly the 89 ignites just a tiny bit {1/2 degree of crank rotation} sooner than the 92.
  So, maybe the {89} ignition,, occurs a tiny bit too soon.
    If so, it could minutely slow the piston, rather than applying an optimum downward force on the piston.

{also} The 92 is supposed to burn differently than the 89. {has a different Flame Propagation}
                  [Think of the difference as a smooth burn, rather than a flash].
          So maybe, that smoother burn is also pushing the piston more efficiently {and making the bike feel smoother}??

Ride safe, Ted

PS: I am not being a s___t A--. You have a good question.
        Just trying to reason-out what is happening..
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Offline barberman

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2018, 08:49:50 pm »
I've heard that people who race (like in dragsters) use regular unleaded because they get faster times than when using premium. I've been using Costcos third tier rated regular for this last year and have never had a ping. Even starting out in second gear a couple of times on accident. (on my c14).  Still get about fifty mpg average at least. I think the variable timing is making this possible.

Offline Sailor_chic

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Re: Octane... does it make a difference in power?
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2018, 08:55:12 pm »
The main thing your missing is Kawasaki specifies the Premium for use in the C-14.
 We're not sure why that is; may be to produce peak power, may be to protect the engine from detonation.
   That said, we shouldn't disregard Kawasaki's specification.

"and"; Steve has now shown that you do get more power with the Premium,,,,
                So, why not use what they specify, and have more power..  {win, WIN}
  NOTE: In a normal day of riding, the .50 per gallon only costs a few extra bucks..
              Most COGgers ride because we enjoy it.
                 A few extra $$ to enjoy it more, is even better..   :motonoises: :great:

Ride safe, Ted

Premium or 90 octane?  I suppose that you are correct on this Ted, as mid grade is usually 89, so then were forced to go to premium which is 91 or even 93, at least here in Fl.
Nicole     Port St Lucie, FL.
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2006 Vmax
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