Using low octane fuel

Here be mechanigeeks. Anything technical that is not a teething problem.
Doerbird02
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Using low octane fuel

Post by Doerbird02 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:54 pm

I remember reading somewhere that if you use lower than the recommended RON 95/ PON 91 gas, that you need to go into the dealer. The details on "why" I can't remember and that's why I'm asking. Looking on the KTM fuel quality diagram http://www.ktm.com/uploads/tx_downloads ... _EN_01.pdf
there is an asterisc in the column for RON 80-90 PON 77-86.6 that says "after setting the ignition curve for low octane fuel."

Not looking to start a debate about using the cheaper gas, as I will admit up front that I always pump the highest octane available. However, here in the US, or at least on my usual commute route, there are no gas stations with pumps with individual hoses for each blend. With that in mind, the hose contains approximately 1 gallon of gas along with another half gallon in the pipe to the regulator which switches blends. That means that on an average fill up of 3-4 gallons, at least 1.5 gallons are of the gas the previous customer pumped. While not scientific, I can assume that 99% of the time, that is the lowest octane/cheapest gas.

Point is, the bike is getting a mixed blend, which compounds over time to be less than the high octane I purchase. Since I have attempted work-arounds to this problem, such as filling a few gas cans with fuel and tanking up at home and finding other gas stations on my route to extend my range and therefore the amount of gas I put in at each stop; ultimately they are unworkable for various reasons, namely convenience and time.

Would it be worth getting the ecu flashed for low octane gas? Realize the nearest dealer is 3 hours away and I commute 400 miles a week, rarely using the bike for fun... :cry: At this point, the engine seems fine and no apparent issues. Just asking to make sure I'm not doing long term damage. Look forward to your thoughts.
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Re: Using low octane fuel

Post by budgesrsv » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:38 pm

Not sure about US bikes but here in the UK the SMT has a single wire connector that when unplugged allows you to safely run on low octane fuel. I can only assume it alters the ignition curve to suit the lower octane fuel. It is shown in the owners handbook, located under the seat near the ecu socket.

Doerbird02
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Re: Using low octane fuel

Post by Doerbird02 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:38 am

Thanks! I've searched the manual, what section is that in? page #

I pulled the seat and checked all the various visible plugs, but none is just a two wire plug.
Rotweiler, Leo Vince cans, SAS and Canister removed, 2nd Flies Removed, Kev's #20 map, forks heavier springs and custom valving from KTM World, random orange anodized bits for looks
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Doerbird02
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Re: Using low octane fuel

Post by Doerbird02 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:38 pm

Got it. Page 149-150 in the owners manual. Nice helpful picture too.

Dug around back by the tail light wiring, it was well tucked away.

Now, the only question is, there is a warning that says "low quality fuel" damages the engine and that you shouldn't use gas below RON 95 for more than one tank. Got that. Question is, the lower octane fuel is not necessarily lower "quality" rather just lower octane.

Called around to some dealers, they all said that using lower octane would only result in lower performance and pulling the plug would adjust the fuel curve to keep from spark pinging. So the question is: what damage is done long term? As I see it, I've been riding for the past 4800 miles with something less than 95 RON anyway, due to the situation I described in the OP.
Rotweiler, Leo Vince cans, SAS and Canister removed, 2nd Flies Removed, Kev's #20 map, forks heavier springs and custom valving from KTM World, random orange anodized bits for looks
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budgesrsv
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Re: Using low octane fuel

Post by budgesrsv » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:45 pm

Well spotted, I was going to dig out my manual but you saved me the job. The biggest worry would be burning the valves when using low octane fuel and sustained high revs. Maybe Kev can enlighten us ?

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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Re: Using low octane fuel

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