Octane then, is basically a measure of how much compression a fuel can withstand before it spontaneously ignites. When gas ignites by compression instead of from the spark of the spark plug, it causes engine knock.
91 octane fuel is less volatile and burns more efficiently than 87 octane fuel. (87, 89 and 91 are the three most common octane levels available)
Gasoline has a shelf life of approximately 30-60 days, after that period of time, it begins to break down and becomes gummy (resin) and produces a varnish that coats everything that the fuel touched.
Because I live in the north, during the course of my riding season, I come across a lot of places that only have regular (87 octane) fuel. I also find myself at a lot of pumps that offer three levels of octane from one hose.
The only time such a small quantity would be of concern would be when filling a very small tank, such as a motorcycle.
Shell says that, as long as the premium purchase is more than 10 litres, the total sale will be “on-spec for octane and meet the 91 AKI standard.” It added that Weights and Measures Canada, which monitors and inspects pumps and controls the related regulations, approved the use of “single hose blender pumps” many years ago."
I have been asked by other riders at these one hose, three grade pumps, why I will use regular gas with Amsoil's Motorcycle Octane Boost instead of filling up with high test. They are curious as to performance differences and the expense.
Well, part of the reason I use octane boost is sited in the above snippet from the Globe and Mail article.
If you are on a motorcycle, you are literally being hosed at those pumps that offer three grades of gasoline from one hose. About a half litre or more (depending on the diameter and length of the hose), of whatever gas was purchased before stays in that hose. It's only by pennies, but those pennies add up and YOU AREN'T really getting what you paid for.
Instead of getting 91 Octane your fuel might now be at 90 or less.
Not only that, as prices get higher, fewer and fewer people use the high octane fuels, which means that you can get "bad" or degraded high test fuel. If you're looking for a new wheel and tyre package
for your ride, we managed to get a 10% coupon
that you can use at the AutoCraze rim shop. Use coupon: SAVE10 to get 10% your entire cart.
I always carry Amsoil's Motorcycle Octane Boost
with me because there are many places where I live and ride here in Northern Alberta and even farther north that do not carry anything but 87 octane - regular gas. Because gas evaporates and degrades over 30-60 days, it is not practical for most gas stations in the North to carry a fuel that is seldom used.
Is using Octane Boost going to improve circumstances for your pocketbook or hurt it?
Let's do some math...
If I purchase 12 litres of regular gas at $1.169 (2.64 gallons) I am going to pay: $14.04
If I purchase 12 litres of premium at $1.309 (2.64 gallons) I am going to pay $15.71
(There are 4.546 litres to a gallon.)
The difference in price is $1.67
*based on todays fuel prices in (Whitecourt AB from GasBuddy
A bottle of Amsoil Motorcycle Octane Boost is going to run you about $5.00
I am going to use 1/2 a bottle in the scenario above at a cost of $2.50
They recommend 1.3 ounces of Octane Boost per gallon and say that one 4 ounce bottle will treat 4-6 gallons of gas. (The tank on my bike is rated as a 5 gallon tank - 22.73 litres)
Am I saving any money using Motorcycle Octane Boost? No I am not.
Less wear and tear on my engine and fuel system; I am getting a more consistent octane level, which means better low rpm performance and better start up.
It means less engine knock/pinging that can cause all kinds of internal damage and I am keeping my fuel system cleaner because of the detergents that are in the product.
The other benefit is a less degraded fuel if I happen not to ride for a week or two.
You have to be careful with any Octane Boost because if you spill it and don't wipe it up immediately you will end up with stained paint.
For me as a rider in the North, carrying Amsoil's Motorcycle Octane Boost just makes sense and if you plan on riding in the North, I recommend you pack a few bottles in your saddlebags!
I also began using Amsoil's 20W50 Synthetic Oil for my bike, I'll discuss that transition and my findings in a future write up!
Suffice it to say that I am still using Amsoil products...
And, if you do any amount of long distance riding, KAT Enterprises
offers a really great ship ahead service!
They can arrange to have your oils, filters etc. sent ahead to your dealer or repair shop of choice.
I used their ship ahead service during my 2013 Bikers United in Remembrance Conga - I let Kelly know which repair shop to ship my oils, filters and octane boost to and I had the piece of mind knowing that my bike would have consistency in it's services and the products that were used!
It was a fantastic experience!
They can do the same for you!
Kelly Soule: (403) 350-6274
Arlene Peterson at: (403) 318-7595
Have a great day..
Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider