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With the compression on the GW 1800 being relatively low is 93 Octane helpful or wasteful?
 

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With the compression on the GW 1800 being relatively low is 93 Octane helpful or wasteful?
Higher octane only prevents pre-detonation in the cylinder. Most lower compression engines do not need the higher octane. Honda usually states in the manual which octane to use. On my 1200, 1500, 1800... 87 octane is it. If it was really hot and I was dragging a trailer up a lot of mountains I might throw in higher octane. Higher premium octane gas does usually have more cleaners in them to keep your fuel system clean. I use a bottle of my chosen fuel system cleaner at the beginning of each riding system for a few tanks and then again at the end of the season.
So, is it a waste? To me, for the above reasons, I think so.

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Higher Octane gas as noted prevents pre-detonation, also known as engine knock. I used to calibrate and test the equipment used to determine octane rating. In essence, higher octane gas burns slower. Problem with burning slower in a low-compression engine is the buildup of carbon in the combustion cylinder (piston head, cylinder head and valves).

The Wing has knock sensors to adjust engine timing and performance to prevent knocking, negating the need for higher octane gas. Mother Honda says all you need is 87 Octane, anything more is strictly pouring money out the tailpipe and increasing carbon buildup in the engine.

End result - save your money, by regular gas and once or twice a season put some Seafoam or Techron in the tank.
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I wouldn't say wasteful, as the higher octane fuel usually has a better additive package, but definitely not needed.
 

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Ran the cheapest gas I could find. Did 220,000 miles on my 2006 wing with out any engine problems. The only reason I didn't put more miles on it was because it was totaled.
 

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Wasteful for you but then; it is entirely acceptable . . . . . if you're in the gasoline business.
 

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Don't you trust what the manufacture recommends for fuel octane level in your owners manual....!

I suspect they have already determined what octane level provides the best performance for the engine.
 

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Well,
It's pretty much the consensus that 87 is all that's needed. and, as of yet in the responses, no one's had any issues with 87 in any kind of mileage. I'll throw one more into the soup here. Living for most of my life in CA (had no choice at the time), all we ever had was 87 and 91. But, when we traveled on vacations, we'd hit states like UT that had 85 octane. The first time I encountered that, we pulled into the gas station, all I saw in my mind was Man, that's cheap fuel, better fill up even though we had a half tank. I'd been pumping for a couple of minutes before I realized that I was pumping 85 oct into my V-10 Ford Motorhome. OH CRAP!!

Well, too late to stop now so, I finished filling it up with 85. For the rest of that days driving, 'till we hit Moab UT, I was listening for knocking. None, absolutely none. Hmmmm. I thought. If nothing happened to that V-10 and, it's pulling a serious load with the motorhome and the Jeep, then, why not put 85 in the Jeep? So, I did. Again, nothing happened other than, the Jeep ran like it always has, like a top.

A couple of years later, we were in UT again traveling. Only this time, we had the Jeep AND the Wing. So, I figured the Jeep's doing fine with 85 in it, WHY NOT TRY IT IN THE WING???? So, in went some 85 into the Wing, our present one, an '08. Well, again, just like the motorhome and the Jeep, that Wing engine zoomed on down the road with no noises, great acceleration, normal power, no idle issues, etc.

So, to this day, the Wings had 91, 87 and 85 in it. And to me, it's ran the exact same, each and every time. And, contrary to some folks with their engines in other forums, the mpg NEVER changed for any blend of fuel.
Scott
 

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I use ETOH free Petro and get a bonus of better mileage to boot! Pure Gas app on iPhone helps me locate ETOH free petro as I travel about.
 

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Well,
It's pretty much the consensus that 87 is all that's needed. and, as of yet in the responses, no one's had any issues with 87 in any kind of mileage. I'll throw one more into the soup here. Living for most of my life in CA (had no choice at the time), all we ever had was 87 and 91. But, when we traveled on vacations, we'd hit states like UT that had 85 octane. The first time I encountered that, we pulled into the gas station, all I saw in my mind was Man, that's cheap fuel, better fill up even though we had a half tank. I'd been pumping for a couple of minutes before I realized that I was pumping 85 oct into my V-10 Ford Motorhome. OH CRAP!!

Well, too late to stop now so, I finished filling it up with 85. For the rest of that days driving, 'till we hit Moab UT, I was listening for knocking. None, absolutely none. Hmmmm. I thought. If nothing happened to that V-10 and, it's pulling a serious load with the motorhome and the Jeep, then, why not put 85 in the Jeep? So, I did. Again, nothing happened other than, the Jeep ran like it always has, like a top.

A couple of years later, we were in UT again traveling. Only this time, we had the Jeep AND the Wing. So, I figured the Jeep's doing fine with 85 in it, WHY NOT TRY IT IN THE WING???? So, in went some 85 into the Wing, our present one, an '08. Well, again, just like the motorhome and the Jeep, that Wing engine zoomed on down the road with no noises, great acceleration, normal power, no idle issues, etc.

So, to this day, the Wings had 91, 87 and 85 in it. And to me, it's ran the exact same, each and every time. And, contrary to some folks with their engines in other forums, the mpg NEVER changed for any blend of fuel.
Scott
You can do 85 due to the elevation. That's why mountain states have lower octane at 85

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When I lived in Colorado, our gasoline always seemed at least 2 points less octane than anywhere else we traveled. We were always told at higher altitudes lower octane can be used. I guess the less oxygen, the less octane necessary. I think most engines today (including the 1800 Wings) has anti-knock technology which retards ignition when it detects knocking.

I have a KTM 990 Adventure which absolutely states it is necessary to use premium or 91+ octane. While traveling in South America for 7 months, premium was seldom available. It was almost always only regular 87 available. Had no choice, had to use it. Rode almost 25,000 miles but never had a bit of trouble.
 

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I always buy the Lowest Octane on the pump, and never once had detonation issues.

at high altitudes, 85 is all the engine needs... funny thing that, in the mountains I always seem to get better fuel mileage than down home at 550 MSL.....

I think the reason is the average speeds that I ride up in the mountains, versus the Wide Open Throttle therapy that I do down here at home, where it is 100+ miles in a straight line from home to where I am going..... once you have seen a hay field, what is there to look at?

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You can do 85 due to the elevation. That's why mountain states have lower octane at 85

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Yeah, I always forget about the altitude thing. Thanks for the reminder.
Scott
 

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I always buy the Lowest Octane on the pump, and never once had detonation issues.

at high altitudes, 85 is all the engine needs... funny thing that, in the mountains I always seem to get better fuel mileage than down home at 550 MSL.....

I think the reason is the average speeds that I ride up in the mountains, versus the Wide Open Throttle therapy that I do down here at home, where it is 100+ miles in a straight line from home to where I am going..... once you have seen a hay field, what is there to look at?
You get better gas mileage at altitude because of the decreased drag on the motorcycle with the thinner air. I get better gas mileage at 75 in the Colorado mountains than I do at 55 in Kansas. I told my wife that we needed to move to Colorado to save money on gas for the bike but she saw right through that. She said the 30% better gas mileage won't make up for the 200% increase in miles ridden. I just can't get anything past her! :)

In Kansas, once you have seen one hay field then the next thing you look for is a tree! When I'm feeling really adventurous, I look for a corner to go around. :)
 

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With a carburetor jetted for Kansas or sea level on a motorcycle you will get terrible gas mileage in the mountains. You get better fuel mileage on a fuel injected engine because it has a Mass Air Flow sensor. The FI system leans out the fuel mixture. I used to ride my 84 wing from California up into the mountains. Loss of power and fuel mileage was terrible. My 91 1500 carburetor (as I was told by the dealer) could somehow adjust for the altitude. At the bottom of cottonwood pass I was at a 1/2 tank. My buddy on his 82 wing had a full tank. At the top I was just below a half tank and he was empty. He coasted most of the way down. FI is a wonderful thing!

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