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Discussion Starter #1
1) Be sure your drive belt is at the tight end of the factory specs: 3/8" deflection with 10#'s pressure and someone sitting on the bike. Your stock rear sprocket in cushioned in rubber where it connects to the rear wheel. Any extra slap in the belt will aggravate the whiplash effect in the drive line at low speeds and neutral throttle application.
2) Be sure your throttle cables have enough play. EZ test: while idling, turn handlebars all the way to the right, if idle RPM increases...loosen forward cable.
3) Try running 87 Octane (if you get pre-ignition spark knock under load as in "pinging", go up to 89. If you're still getting "pinging" go to 91 or better). Premium fuel only lowers the flash point of the fuel. The lower the Octane, ie. flash point, the more efficient your engine will run. Also, you will get a more even burn with lower Octane fuel and it will start better.
 

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speeding safely
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Interesting advice.

Will the V-rod actually 'ping'?
or will a knock-sensor retard the ignition timing?

How will lower Octane affect performance?
 

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I seek only water...
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danafwelch said:
3) Try running 87 Octane (if you get pre-ignition spark knock under load a in "pinging", go up to 89. If you're still getting "pinging" go to 91 or better). Premium fuel only lowers the flash point of the fuel. The lower the Octane, ie. flash point, the more efficient your engine will run. Also, you will get a more even burn with lower Octane fuel and it will start better.
Ok.... then why does the owners manual state:

"Your motorcycle was designed to get the best performance and effeciency using premium blend gasoline."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
> From the research I've done, our VROD's electronic engine control sensors do make adjustments to control "ping". However, an engine out of tune, being lugged or one with very poor quality fuel will "ping" beyond the control of the ECM.
> Performance improvements are starting and more even, efficient burn of the fuel resulting it improved rideability, however, no noticible increase in HP or torque can be expected.

You might give regular grade a try as AZ is better than CA fuel. I'm part way through a fill up on CA regular 87 Octane and it's running smoother (mine is totally stock with 6,300 miles). If it pings, it won't be but 100 miles and you'll be refueling anyway.

Let me know what you experience.
 

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An even simpler solution is to learn how to go round tight corners fast enough that you don't lug the engine. If you lean the bike over it reduces the rolling circumference of the tires - effectively lowering the stock gearing. If you need to, shift your weight to the opposite side of the bike when leaning at very low speeds. And if you need to go slower than that, you can always "feather" the clutch.
 

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vroddrew said:
An even simpler solution is to learn how to go round tight corners fast enough that you don't lug the engine. If you lean the bike over it reduces the rolling circumference of the tires - effectively lowering the stock gearing. If you need to, shift your weight to the opposite side of the bike when leaning at very low speeds. And if you need to go slower than that, you can always "feather" the clutch.
Instead of feathering the clutch try using hte rear brake and trail brake. You can come to a stop and ride the rear brake and keep moving. Its a motocross trick but it works, try it. Also works for making sharp turns at low speed i.e. U-turns in small areas
 

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Riding the good life
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Been using 89 octane now for about 8 or 9 refills. No problem, can't tell the difference at slow, medium or high speeds. No acceleration problems either under heavy acceleration.
 

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Geezer
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Just filled up with 89. I'll report as soon as the front passes!
 

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spit happens
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I'll stick with my 92-94 octane.I've even seen 95 octane here.unleaded of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Michael,
With your engine mods, it might be best to continue running higher Octane fuel. You're likely running a richer mixture than a stock and have already overcome the low speed surge under 3K...if you do try a lower Octane, I'd be eager to read your findings as after warranty this August, I'll be modifying my engine ECM and other components.
 

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I'll be the first to admit I don't know squat about gas blends. I do find your proposition interesting though.
I recently had my bike tuned by "one of the best in the business." (the dealership had just opened a dyno and he came in from out of town to teach the new techs.) He commented that my custom map was much too lean so he created a new one for me .... for $100. :D Anyway he indicated that if I would have continued running the same map I would have needed new rings. That being said, I want to make sure I do everything to keep the 'Rod healthy. (I think I've fallen in love with a motorcycle.... well I could do worse)
 

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I would not advocate using low octane fuel, if you get preignition/detonation at the least the ecm will pull out some ignition timing advance resulting in lower power output. At the worst, continued operation with low octane and preignition/detonation can result in serious engine damage. I agree with the statement that running overly high octane fuel is a waste, and actually has less energy content than a proper octane fuel, but risking possible engine damage with low octane fuel, 87 or less, is just plain foolish. I use and would advise all to use 92-93 octane premium. I have 22 years experience in fuels manufacturing/refining industry.
 

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danafwelch said:
Good the Tech caught that. Since he seems so knowledgable, perhaps you could review the lower Octane issue with him and share his response with us.
No can do.... he was just in town for the week to school up the techs.
 

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A little Trick a Client of mine who owns a Very Large Company of Truck stop said!My S/O Has a new Jag and it says run premium.Well at almost $3 gallon it gets expensive.He said alternate each tank full on her car 89 then 91.It doesn't sound like much but it does add up and her car runs fine! :diablo:


P.S Did a dyno test with 100 octain compaired to 91 and the 91 made almost 2rwhp more on a NA V-rod! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I hear you. Pre-ignition/detonation can have a serious effect internal components. It can even "hole" a piston. However, if lower the Octane is not causing pre-ignition/detonation (which timing and compression play a key role) then the lower Octane fuel will not cause engine damage. I just fueled up my second tankful with 87 Octane Chevron (CA blend with oxygenates). The bike clearly seems to have more "seat of the pants" pep, seems to run smoother with less surging under 3K and light throttle applications and just seems like it was just tuned. I then rode out to Laguna-Seca Race Track and up the main entrance. It's one of the tallest inclines around here. I was in 1st gear and listened for "pinging" at 2K and then 3K (not much wind noise to cover any "pinging")...no ping. As I neared the steepest part of the incline, I shifted to 2nd gear...still no ping. I then rolled the throttle on while still under 3K. Still...no ping. After this tankful, I'll put Chevron 91 Octane (about the highest I can find out here other than buying racing fuel at the track or 100 Octane Aviation Fuel at the airport) and see if the performance drops off and I notice more surging. It's interesting to note that my PT Cruiser has a 150 HP 4 cyclinder engine and is a heavy car (3,300 pounds). The manual clearly says to run 87 Octane. Do not use Premium as it may harm your engine. I had to read that 3 times to believe it.
 

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I agree with you Dana, excess octane is useless and Kaz is right, if one can run lower octane and not experience detonation, it'll make slightly more power. But its just safer to run a premium as insurance against possible preignition/detonation under a heavy load or lugging, with a higher compression engine.
 
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