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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else notice in the specs that the recommended fuel for the 2011 is 87 octane, and for the 2010 it's 90 octane? What gives? Did Kawasaki make some kind of change to the motor that allows a change in the fuel recommendation? Compression is still the same between years.
 

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That's weird. Would be nice to be able to run 87.

Rob
 

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I've never ran anything but 87 in any of my bikes. You should always run the lowest octane that you can run without ping to get the most power out of your engine.
 

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You should also run what the manual says. My Z has a sticker on it that says you must use gas with at least 90 octane. Unless the bike has a knock sensor (which I kinda doubt), I wouldn't want to risk running less unless I knew for sure it was set to be able to use less.

Rob
 

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Where's the risk? If you get a ping go to the next higher up. It's not like a one tank is going to do permanent damage.
 

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I've never ran anything but 87 in any of my bikes. You should always run the lowest octane that you can run without ping to get the most power out of your engine.
thought higher octain ment more power
 

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thought higher octain ment more power
Higher octane only makes more power if you have an engine built for higher octane gas. Otherwise we'd all be running alcohol which requires around 15 to 1 compression ratio to run efficiently. There's absolutely no reason to run higher octane gas if your engine runs fine on lower octane unless you want to get the detergent benefit. Nowadays though even low octane gas has plenty of engine cleaning capability.

Run the gas that burns most efficiently in your motor which is usually going to be the lowest octane rating that you can run without pinging. Race gas not withstanding since it has other additives to make it burn more efficiently. If we are talking pump gas use the lower octane if it runs good.
 

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Octane is actually a resistance to pre-detonation. So in actuality, higher octane fuel is "harder" to ignite, which is why if you try to run Premium in your car that only needs 87, you won't have as much power, and won't get the same mpg.

The need for octane is determined by a combination of compression ratio and spark advance. I've seen motors running near 12:1 that run fine on 87, but my old '86 Corvette from years ago, which was only like 10:1, needed 91 or it pinged like crazy.

Rob
 

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Wow, what a low rating you guys have.
We got 95 and 98 in overhere... and a special 99 V-power, from Shell (Only).
Octane is measured differently in the US and Canada then in Europe and other countries.

Good read: Wiki - Octane rating

Anti-Knock Index (AKI)

In most countries, including all of those of Australia and Europe the "headline" octane rating shown on the pump is the RON, but in Canada, the United States and some other countries, like Brazil, the headline number is the average of the RON and the MON, called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI, and often written on pumps as (R+M)/2). It may also sometimes be called the Road Octane Number (RdON), Pump Octane Number (PON), or (R+M)/2.


One tank of gas with a ping is more than enough to do permanent damage.
Yes it is.
 

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It is also worth mentioning that when you are at higher altitudes you may be able to run lower octanes. In fact, as you travel to higher altitudes you will see the octane rating of the various grades of fuel drop. For instance, here, at 4500 ft altitude the highest octane at the stations is 91. I know at sea lever 93 is common to find as the "Premium". Also, when ambient temps are low.. you might also get away with a lower octane without pings, but, where 85 might be fine in winter you might have to go back to 87 or 89 for Summer.
 

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Anyone else notice in the specs that the recommended fuel for the 2011 is 87 octane, and for the 2010 it's 90 octane? What gives? Did Kawasaki make some kind of change to the motor that allows a change in the fuel recommendation? Compression is still the same between years.
This is interesting actually. Where did you get each of these specs from? Perhaps the 2011 has slightly less timing advance or after some long term testing Kawasaki has determined that it doesn't actually need the higher octane.

I am 99.9% sure my zx-14 has a knock sensor. When I have tried lower octane pump gas at the track I run slower... I was pretty sure it's pulling timing. I get higher MPH and quicker ET with 91. I don't see why the latest generation z1000 wouldn't have a knock sensor also. Anyone know for sure?
 

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Kawasaki hasn't released the fiche for the new sport bikes yet. If nobody beats me to it, when it does release I'll check for one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was just looking at the spec sheets on the Kawasaki website. Different octane ratings between the 2010 and 2011 spec sheets, but everything else looks the same.
 

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So if it pings don't run the whole tank....put some booster in it and run the next highest on the next tank. These things aren't made of tinfoil you know.
Do whatever you gotta do to get it to stop pinging. If that means drain and refill.. do it. PING is bad, m kay.
 

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I was just looking at the spec sheets on the Kawasaki website. Different octane ratings between the 2010 and 2011 spec sheets, but everything else looks the same.
Can you link to the pages? I didn't see references to octane on the Kawi site.
 

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well.. there it is. Compression pressure spec is lower for 2011 and the spark plug gap is different:

2010
Fuel Min 90 Avg. Oct. Unleaded
Compression Pressure 214 psi
Spark Plug NGK CR9EIA-9
—Gap 0.8-0.9 mm
Engine Oil SAE 10W40 API SG, or SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA
—w/Filter Change 4.0 liter (4.2 qt.)

2011
Fuel Min 91 Research/87 Avg. Oct. Unleaded OK
Compression Pressure 200 psi
Spark Plug NGK CR9EIA-9
—Gap 0.7-0.8 mm
Engine Oil SAE 10W40 API SG, SH, SJ, SL, or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2
—w/Filter Change 3.8 liter (4.0 qt.)

This could mean the engine really is different, slightly, or that the engineers have just revised there specs.. rounding in the other direction? Smaller gap on plugs.. allowing 87 Avg. Oct. unleaded. They are also allowing more oil specs and a smaller quantity.

Keep in mind that these changes could be 100% on paper and not in actual parts on the bike.
 
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