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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm riding a Rebel 300 and have been running 87 octane since that's what the owners manual says.
I'm being told from other riders that I should stick to Premium 92/93. Just curious what others are using, and if there really is much of a difference you notice?
 

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If you are not getting any pre-ignition then 87 octane is good.
 

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Maybe I'm wasting money, but I put premium in my 500. I figure it's better for the bike, maybe a bit better performance-wise, and the excellent fuel efficiency more than makes up for the added cost.
 

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I've ridden my CB500X over 15K miles using nothing but regular gas with no problems. That includes passes over 10K feet.
 
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Well the gas you put in it actually won't matter much as long as it is at least 87.
The bikes is made to run on 87 and the fuel system computer is made for that Octane. If you run any other Octane the bikes computer will try to make up for any difference and return the bike running the same as 87 fuel anyway.
The reason most bikes used it was to stop pre-ignition inside hot engines. These bikes are not super high performance and do not seem to get nearly hot enough to have that problem.


There would be no problem with running 89 or 90 octane, but the higher you go the more the bikes computer is trying to make up the difference.


The only real advantage would be if you found gas without ethanol.
 

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when I bought my rebel 300, the service manager, knowing I am a complete noob, went through a whole maintenance break down for me since there is no Honda dealer close to where I live. Closest is 4hrs away. I asked about the fuel, and he said there is a lot of debate. The bike can handle any octane, the computer will work itself out, but, if you put say 87 oct in it, stick with it, if you put 91, then stick to 91. computer takes a bit to learn the new fuel parameters, and constantly changing the oct WILL make the bike run like crap. He recommended I stick to 91, as I use Shell 91 in all my vehicles. Its a cleaner fuel, no ethanol, and quite honestly, filling from empty is only $8. And I can get just over 200kms on a full tank. To each their own I guess. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good stuff, thanks for the response everyone.
Even though it sounds like 87 works fine, I think I'll stick to mid Grade 89 for good measure.
 

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My choices are 87, 89 and 93. I didn't realize that 87 was ok since premium (93) was recommended. I'm on the third tank but I may drop it to 89 and stick with that.
 

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The 471 cc engine was designed for a "world bike", meaning that it is marketed all over the world. Compression was reduced to 10.6 to 1 to allow the bike to run on the available gasoline in most countries (my 1989 Honda NX250 had 11:1 compression and ran on regular).

Consequently, first world regular should work fine. If you can get ethanol-free mid-grade gas, that is your call, but the bike runs fine on regular.
 

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I mean.. you should typically run whatever the owners manual recommends that you run though no? Living at different altitudes could make a difference as well or is that just not important?
 

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The 471 cc engine was designed for a "world bike", meaning that it is marketed all over the world. Compression was reduced to 10.6 to 1 to allow the bike to run on the available gasoline in most countries (my 1989 Honda NX250 had 11:1 compression and ran on regular).

Consequently, first world regular should work fine. If you can get ethanol-free mid-grade gas, that is your call, but the bike runs fine on regular.
Most discussions I look at about what type of fuel to use always come back to regular. Even with cars. I try not to over think this stuff so its always whats recommended. Plus coming from gas guzzling cars, even if I use higher octane fuel in these bikes, i'm still well ahead in savings compared to my cars.

10-15 MPG's in a mid-sized V8's drains your wallet.
 

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I use premium on all my vehicles.
 

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I mean.. you should typically run whatever the owners manual recommends that you run though no? Living at different altitudes could make a difference as well or is that just not important?
Higher elevations require slightly lower octane ratings. This is adjusted by the suppliers. Regular drops from 87 octane to 86 or 85 octane as you get higher in elevation. The user just needs to know that they can use the same grade of gasoline that they normally use. IIRC, they sold 85 octane in Cooke City, Montana when I worked there.
 
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The 471 cc engine was designed for a "world bike", meaning that it is marketed all over the world. Compression was reduced to 10.6 to 1 to allow the bike to run on the available gasoline in most countries (my 1989 Honda NX250 had 11:1 compression and ran on regular).

Consequently, first world regular should work fine. If you can get ethanol-free mid-grade gas, that is your call, but the bike runs fine on regular.
From everything I know about cars anything with a compression ratio in the 10 and above should receive premium.
 

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From everything I know about cars anything with a compression ratio in the 10 and above should receive premium.
Compression ratio is just part of what you look at. The temperature is another part as well. Years ago you would be correct, but engines are made differently now with fuel injection and such where they can run on regular at higher compressions.
 

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As pointed out by others, octane levels is really about the resistance to early detonation, to put it simply, which is why (traditionally) high compression engines required higher octane fuel (higher pressure = higher temp = tendency for fuel to self-combust). Many believe (as I used to) that octane will offer higher performance. This is false. Your engine is tuned/optimized for a certain octane rating and that is good enough; the only caveat being any "engine cleaning additives" that tend to get added to higher octane fuels if you believe the marketing hype.

Ethanol is another thing altogether. Our engines (the 500s at least, and for the CBs for sure) are built to accept up to 10% Ethanol mixture (EDIT: I believe it's 10%. Could be 15%. I don't have my manual handy to check at the moment) however, it doesn't hurt to avoid it altogether. Up here in Canada, in these parts at least, that usually means Shell 91 V-Power if you want to be sure. Here's a handy site if you want to do your own research: https://www.pure-gas.org/

Note: The site claims that Esso also provides ethanol-free mixtures at the high end but I've seen differing opinions on this so if you want to be sure you may have to do your own research on a case-by-case basis. Shell actually has an infographic on their pumps denoting the ethanol breakdown of each of their fuels which is smart and handy. I have not seen any such infographics on Esso pumps.

Hope all of this helps! Happy and safe riding!

Bert
 

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As pointed out by others, octane levels is really about the resistance to early detonation, to put it simply, which is why (traditionally) high compression engines required higher octane fuel (higher pressure = higher temp = tendency for fuel to self-combust). Many believe (as I used to) that octane will offer higher performance. This is false. Your engine is tuned/optimized for a certain octane rating and that is good enough; the only caveat being any "engine cleaning additives" that tend to get added to higher octane fuels if you believe the marketing hype.

Ethanol is another thing altogether. Our engines (the 500s at least, and for the CBs for sure) are built to accept up to 10% Ethanol mixture (EDIT: I believe it's 10%. Could be 15%. I don't have my manual handy to check at the moment) however, it doesn't hurt to avoid it altogether. Up here in Canada, in these parts at least, that usually means Shell 91 V-Power if you want to be sure. Here's a handy site if you want to do your own research: https://www.pure-gas.org/

Note: The site claims that Esso also provides ethanol-free mixtures at the high end but I've seen differing opinions on this so if you want to be sure you may have to do your own research on a case-by-case basis. Shell actually has an infographic on their pumps denoting the ethanol breakdown of each of their fuels which is smart and handy. I have not seen any such infographics on Esso pumps.

Hope all of this helps! Happy and safe riding!

Bert

I don't care if they said it acceptable. Ethanol is bad for bikes. I'm putting nothing but she'll nitro in it so I will talk to you in 16000 miles. It literally cost a fiver to fill up. Ok I get it if your infrastructure hasn't caught up, but if you can spare it go big. Premium gas isn't the worlds biggest conspiracy and don't let people tell you it doesn't matter.
 

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I use regular (87) ethanol free. Some stations sell ethanol free and you can find them on the net. You should run the recommended gas octane. Premium does not have higher energy content. It just ignites at a higher temperature. Using too high octane can can cause carbon build up in the cylinders, at least it did on the older engines.
 
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