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Thread: Octane Booster?

  1. #1
    REBECCAV
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    Octane Booster?

    Does anyone use octane booster on their airhead? Any data (or opinion) on results?

  2. #2
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    I got through college doing construction work.

    Is an octane booster the petroleum equivalent of a carpenter's board stretcher?
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  3. #3
    REBECCAV
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    Exactly. Or are you pulling my leg?

  4. #4
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Well, tongue in cheek aside, I must confess a limited knowledge here.

    First, there is no such thing as a board stretcher. That is a common prank played on newbies on construction sites. So I am implying that producers of so-called "octane boosters" might be pulling the same type of trick on naive buyers.

    That said, I have seen products in the auto supply houses that claim to boost octane. But I've not tried them for several other reasons.

    1. The quality of gas today, with the additives already in the mix, makes an aftermarket additive suspect -- to my thinking.

    2. Why pay for a pricy octane booster off the shelf, when simply changing grades of fuel at the pump can get what one needs for less $$ per gallon?

    So I really can't offer a substantive answer regarding octane.

    As a K rider, my gut says that if I use the grade of fuel that my bike "likes," and run an occasional fuel injector cleaner through it, that I'll get a consistent level of performance.

    And I would expect the same from airheads in which the carbs are kept tuned and clean.

    Beyond that ...
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  5. #5
    REBECCAV
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    Originally posted by RickM
    That said, I have seen products in the auto supply houses that claim to boost octane.
    Yep, that's the stuff I'm talking about. It's been suggested to me that my bike would 'run better' if I use it - the theory being that in 1975 when my bike was made, the gas was a higher octane.

    Re: tricks on newbies - I had a weird noise in my bike when I first got it and a friend told me that it was the radiator. I had to think about that for a bit.

  6. #6
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Get me the left handed cable stretcher

    That is the hazing tool on the last job site. We had a new guy going to three different Electrical Contractors on the same job site looking for one. When he hit the first one, they sent him to the second... etc. He spent 7 hours looking for one and all the electricians were smiling.

    I was the one who sent him on the hunt in the first place

    On a more topical note, from word of mouth Sunoco typically has a "truer" octane rating. With where we are out in the midwest you may want to see if the fuel you are using has ethanol added.

    If you go to Discount Auto Parts store, they have some additives that actually do work to help with the ethanol issue. The octane stuff I can not vouch for.

    When is the snow going to stop
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  7. #7
    Brrr YB in IN's Avatar
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    When is the snow going to stop
    At this point I think never.

  8. #8
    srb
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    boxergrrlie

    I would avoid auto store items as described. Having said that I do use a product made by a company called BG. They make something called 44K, and two other similar products I think 16K, and 8K. The name implies how often they should be used. This product doesn't boost octane, rather it cleans up the top end. This company also makes MOA (Motorcycle Oil Additive) that is recommended for airheads. These recommendations come from my mechanic who has been working on airheads for 20+ years, and a machinist. The machinist has built world record drag bikes, so he knows the inside parts of an engine better than 99.9% of the people you'll run into.

  9. #9
    srb
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    The quality of gas today, with the additives already in the mix, makes an aftermarket additive suspect -- to my thinking.


    Today's gas is of a better quality for today's vehicles, however, airheads of the pre-1980 type are wanting for some lead in their go-juice. This is why I use 93 octane at the pump, and an occasional bottle of product from BG.

  10. #10
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    The term 'octane,' as used in fuel-grade parliance, is lengthy to define but suffice to say it only has to do with whether or not you get detonation (also known as knocking or pinging). Use the lowest grade, and if this occurs use the mid-grade and the problem should go away. If not, use the highest grade. There is no real advantage to using a higher grade than is necessary to prevent detonation. Of course you should also make sure the engine is in good proper tune before doing the fuel-grade test, as ignition timing might affect it.
    Oil additives generally have a bad reputation. Fuel additives are another story, except for octane boosters which are intended for very high-performance (racing) engines that have rather high compression ratios and need all the detonation prevention they can get.
    But for an older Airhead, a very good thing is to add a few ounces of Marvel's Mystery Oil (I swear I ain't makin' that up!) to every tankful of fuel. It will help a bit with prolonging the life of the valve seats, assuming of course that you still have the old leaded-gas seats. It will also help with top-cylinder lubrication.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  11. #11
    Registered User RUSSBRITT's Avatar
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    Would a small amount of two cycle oil do the same ? And this is designed to be burned.

  12. #12
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    [i]It's been suggested to me that my bike would 'run better' if I use it - the theory being that in 1975 when my bike was made, the gas was a higher octane.
    Not a lot to this suggestion--motorcycling is full of self-appointed experts.

    There is not magic pill. Today's premium will be fine. Power comes from the mechanical tune of the engine and is hardly affected by the liquid burned.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  13. #13
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Power comes from the mechanical tune of the engine and is hardly affected by the liquid burned.
    Feeling a bit unsure here ... as I always thought power was directly linked to the quality of the fuel.

    Does this mean I can run diesel, or kerosene in my engine?

    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  14. #14
    srb
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    Power is derived from mechanical tune, but I would say that mechanical tune is greatly affected by the liquid burned.

  15. #15
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RickM
    Feeling a bit unsure here ... as I always thought power was directly linked to the quality of the fuel.

    Does this mean I can run diesel, or kerosene in my engine?

    Well, you could if you had a diesel or jet engine.

    But our engines are designed to run on gasoline. Octane is a measurement of resistance to pre ignition.

    If your bike runs without pinging on regular pump gas, you don't need octane booster.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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