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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all the tech wizards - I have a question about the octane rating that I should fill in my bike. I just moved to northern NM which is at an elevation of ~6000 ft. The regular fuel grade here is 86 instead of 87 and mid-grade is 88. The manual recommends 87, but from what I understand an octane level of 86 at high altitudes is the same as 87 at sea level. What does this mean for the 300's engine? :confused: Anyone have more information/expertise on this? I couldn't find much online to help me make a decision on whether to fill up with 86 or bump up to 88 (which I wouldn't want to unnecessarily).
 

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The rough computation is 2 octane for every 8k feet. 86 should work fine so long as you never leave the immediate area. If you take a trip to ABQ or somewhere else, your engine is going to knock. I would stick with the 88 so I wouldn't be trapped in the immediate local area.
 

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I live in Denver. My dealer told me to use 85 because of the altitude. I've only filled up 3 times, and used the 85. The bike runs great and I plan to keep using it.
 

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I'm also in Denver using 85 and the bike was tuned to 41whp and it seems fine.
 

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It's fine until you go down in altitude. Especially when it starts getting hot and you go down in altitude.
 

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I use the mid grade 89 non-ethanol at sea level.
But beyond the octane rating, my bike runs very noticeably better on non-ethanol.
http://pure-gas.org/extensions/map.html
If you live next to one of those blue flags I highly suggest at least trying to fill up from almost empty at least once.
 

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I got gas (85) in co springs and rode the bike on all the way down to nm and it ran just fine.
This. One or two octane lower isn't going to automatically make your engine explode if you go to sea level. Is it the best thing you can do to your engine? No, but the worst thing that's going to happen is the ECU will tweak the timing slightly to compensate and you'll be down on power.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
im no expert on this area, but if the book says use 87 and i can only get 88 then i would use 88
AND

The rough computation is 2 octane for every 8k feet. 86 should work fine so long as you never leave the immediate area. If you take a trip to ABQ or somewhere else, your engine is going to knock. I would stick with the 88 so I wouldn't be trapped in the immediate local area.
Thanks for your input guys! I looked up the elevations around NM and it seems like everything is above 5000 ft down till Albuquerque at least. In fact, where I live in northern NM its about 7000 ft. Considering that some folks from Colorado who ride at ~5000 ft fill up with 85, I suppose 86 should be fine for me for commuting locally (which is what I do mostly) and also sufficient for occasional trips to southern areas like ABQ (5000 ft). On weekends when I ride with a group I'm mostly going to ride north of where I live and maybe even go to Colorado (just 3-4 hours away). So, in that case I suppose I'll just stick to 86!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I live in Denver. My dealer told me to use 85 because of the altitude. I've only filled up 3 times, and used the 85. The bike runs great and I plan to keep using it.
I'm also in Denver using 85 and the bike was tuned to 41whp and it seems fine.
Thanks, that was helpful. My bike runs fine too and I've not experienced knocking even once. But then I wasn't sure why the octane is 86 instead of the standard 87 until I read about the altitude's effects on compression. Looks like you guys have even lower octane at 85 although you are at a lower altitude than where I am (~7000 ft)! I wonder why?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I use the mid grade 89 non-ethanol at sea level.
But beyond the octane rating, my bike runs very noticeably better on non-ethanol.
http://pure-gas.org/extensions/map.html
If you live next to one of those blue flags I highly suggest at least trying to fill up from almost empty at least once.
Hmm interesting! I live close to some of those blue flags, but not very close. I could try filling up from near-empty from one of those pumps once in a while though. My dealer recommended filling highest octane gas once every 4-5 tanks of regular gas. Not sure what that does since I know that going above the manufacturer's recommendation does nothing but make your pockets lighter :rolleyes: However, this non-ethanol gas that you recommend sounds interesting...I would like to see how my bikes responds to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got gas (85) in co springs and rode the bike on all the way down to nm and it ran just fine.
"Down" to NM, might actually be "up" because as you head toward some areas of northern NM the elevation is >7000 ft ;) In fact when you come down to the NM border the elevation there is >8500 ft! :eek: whereas CO springs is at 6000 ft.


This. One or two octane lower isn't going to automatically make your engine explode if you go to sea level. Is it the best thing you can do to your engine? No, but the worst thing that's going to happen is the ECU will tweak the timing slightly to compensate and you'll be down on power.
I don't expect to be close to sea level anywhere in NM or up in CO (if/when I visit), but I didn't want to lose power using 86 here. However, based on the replies it seems like the bike should be working just fine up here on 86.
 
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