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In Nebraska, 89 octane is cheaper than 87 octane. That is because it has a fairly high percentage of grain alcohol in it, and there is a law here that they can't charge as much for grain alcohol as they do for gasoline. But I won't run it in any of my vehicles - based on articles I've read in the past that argued that the alcohol is not really good to put in a vehicle. I think it had something to do with causing fuel lines and gaskets to deteriorate over time - I don't remember exactly. Anyway, back when I read those articles, I made a mental note to avoid that stuff.

So my choices here are 87 octane and 92 octane. Since all my vehicles run well on 87 octane, including my two high compression Suzukis - I can't see paying for 92 octane. I believe that any performance gain would be very slight, and from some folk's reports, fuel mileage might even drop a bit. I did try a couple of tanks of high octane in my V-Strom last year and it actually ran worse on the high octane. The V-Strom engine has slightly higher compression than the Burgman 650.

If 92 octane made an "Oh My God" difference in performance - you know I'd run it. But the rider reports I've seen don't indicate that. A barely perceptible gain in performance is not worth the additional cost in my opinion.
 

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Randy said:
Just don't seem to remember it working that way back in my hot rod days.:lol:
Nope - it sure didn't. One of my friends had a '51 ford coupe. Offenhauser 11:1 high compression heads on a '53 Merc flathead V-8. Hot cam, 3 deuces, Mallory dual point ignition, etc. The only gas that thing would run on was Sunoco 260 (highest pump octane available). It would still ping occassionally.

I know. The younger guys are saying "flathead?", "3 deuces?" :dontknow:

Had to be there...
 

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Randy said:
Of course when I started driving regular gas was a around twenty five cents a gallon. 8)
Model A? Just kidding. Actually I have driven a 1931 Model A. I remember regular gas at about 35 cents a gallon. Of course there were frequent "gas wars" too, which could drive the price down a bit.

And don't forget, at 35 cents a gallon it was full service and you got your windshield cleaned and oil checked in the process!
 

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Well, after my just completed trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, I'm whistling a different tune... Yep, the 650 will run without complaint on 87 octane as I've been saying. But she appears to be a bit of an alcoholic. I started running the mid-grade gas with 10% ethanol (corn based alcohol) on the trip. She definitely accellerates stronger in the upper speed ranges. Not my imagination. On this trip I was cruising at 85 mph indicated on I-90 and getting only 40 mpg. I decided to try the alcohol laced mid-grade gas. Same mileage. But hold on to your hat when you twist the throttle to pass a truck at 85 mph!. She screamed past the truck and was still accellerating strongly at 104 mph, when I cut the throttle back. And that was fully loaded for touring... So, same mileage, big gain in high speed passing power, and five to eight cents cheaper than 87 octane - I decided to run the mid-grade for the rest of the trip.

Hi, my name is Burgman... And I'm an alcoholic...

I really don't know whether to put her back on the 87 octane, or just keep feeding her the cheaper happy stuff....
 

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Some octane trivia from the S.D. trip.

At home, and at most gas stops on the trip:
Regular unleaded = 87 octane, Mid grade = 89 octane

At Rapid City, South Dakota (just outside the Black Hills):
Regular Unleaded = 85 octane, Mid grade = 88 octane

At West Point, Nebraska (last fill up of trip)
Regular unleaded = 88 octane, Mid grade = 90 octane

(All Mid grade gas was enhanced with 10% ethanol.)
 
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