Gas! – Chapter Educator Dennis Murphy

GasolineWe all think we know the best gas to use in our bikes. Some of us think that this brand is better than that brand. Some of us get wrapped up on mileage. I heard people claim that they get better mileage with brand X over brand Y. I also have people tell me that they believe that brand X uses different blending to make it a better fuel for your bike. No matter what you feel is right there are a few basic rules I would like you to know.

All the newer bikes will come with a feature, anti-knock sensor so even if you were to fill up with the wrong fuel, it wouldn’t do too much if any damage to the bikes internals, on a limited basis.

Modern engines equipped with knock sensors will compensate by signaling the engine management system to retard the spark timing. Activation will prevent knock but also decrease performance and result in poor economy.

Pinging, in my opinion damages an engine. Indeed, I have been told by many mechanics that for every hour your engine is pinging you will lose about one year of engine life, compared to a ping free engine.

There was a time in my life when I did all my own wrenching. Besides the fact that technology has evolved faster than my ability to keep up with it. I have come to believe that both my time and my life are far too valuable to fail to use an expert who is properly trained. And has the equipment to take care of all the maintenance on my bike.

I have been told that pinging is the sound of damage being done to your engine or it could simply mean that you are driving in too high of a gear. A higher grade of gasoline can eliminate pinging. However, it may also merely camouflage what is really wrong by eliminating those pings. In other words it is perfectly safe assuming that there is not something fundamentally wrong with your motor and you do not use a higher octane to eliminate symptoms.

If your bike does not ping at all when using regular gas, fine. If it does, then move up a grade of gasoline. This is a very simple thing to take care of. Do not take it for grant it that just because the book said to use it, that it is going to work.

Have a great summer and safe riding.

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