Top tier gas vs non-top tier + fuel treatments

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ShawnD

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I've been in the habit of using Chevron with Techron in all my bikes for a couple of decades after someone who did engine work for road racing suggested it to me. I've seen a lot of talk about top tier gas lately but every web search trying to get someone to answer my question either results in links only discussing the benefits of top tier gas or links promoting different brands of gas treatments.
 

ShawnD

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These gen 1's run just fine on 87 (Us rating) fuel.

I'm talking about the fuel quality, not octane ratings...the one's with higher levels of detergent. Top tier fuel companies will say run their fuel to keep deposits lower, fuel treatment companies will say use their product for the same purpose. The treatment guys will not answer the question about using top tier fuel negating using their stuff, unless they say use it with the better fuel for even more protection & the fuel guys won't comment about treating non-top tier gas & fuel treatments.
 

one2dmax

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I almost always run QT fuel which does have more detergents in it and is a "guaranteed" gas. Plus they offer non ethanol fuel. AND, they have a lot of traffic so the fuels don't sit around as long before being depleted and refilled.
 

ShawnD

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I almost always run QT fuel which does have more detergents in it and is a "guaranteed" gas. Plus they offer non ethanol fuel. AND, they have a lot of traffic so the fuels don't sit around as long before being depleted and refilled.

QT is a new one to me but I'm on the east coast...I've got a list of top tier on my phone, if I'm ever out of town. It's a long list, quite a bit more than I thought but the one I was using wasn't on the list. Yeah, I suppose the cheaper gas gets used up quicker than others & gets refilled often too...guess that's the only positive about it.
 

Randy67500

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Spend you hard earned money on ethanol free fuel of any name brand and don't worry about the detergents etc. That'd be my advice. It's the ethanol that does all the damage and the rest of the "beneficial" additives are just slick marketing practices. It's only my opinion, but my '05 has run flawlessly on 91 octane ethanol free fuel all its life. The plugs have never been drilled out, and the carbs have never been serviced. Granted, there aren't huge miles on it, but I live in a climate that sees my bike stored with a full tank of stabilized fuel for 6 months at a time for the last 16 years. That's when your problems start. Unplug the battery tender and it fires right up smooth as silk every spring. I can never help but wonder when I see bikes for sale or people talking about regular carb cleanings or rebuilds how much of it could be avoided by changing simple habits.
 

maleko89

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Agree but do use BG 44K once every spring to keep it clean. It's amazing how much crap spits out the exist when I use it. Valves look brand spanking new! I like replacing one quart of oil with Rislone too....especially when I had a higher mileage bike.
 

ShawnD

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Spend you hard earned money on ethanol free fuel of any name brand and don't worry about the detergents etc. That'd be my advice. It's the ethanol that does all the damage and the rest of the "beneficial" additives are just slick marketing practices. It's only my opinion, but my '05 has run flawlessly on 91 octane ethanol free fuel all its life. The plugs have never been drilled out, and the carbs have never been serviced. Granted, there aren't huge miles on it, but I live in a climate that sees my bike stored with a full tank of stabilized fuel for 6 months at a time for the last 16 years. That's when your problems start. Unplug the battery tender and it fires right up smooth as silk every spring. I can never help but wonder when I see bikes for sale or people talking about regular carb cleanings or rebuilds how much of it could be avoided by changing simple habits.

There may be some hype involved but it's not all smoke & mirrors or snake oil. I sent my head off to a guy that did porting/polishing & valve work on a ZRX1100 back in the day. Told me the valves had deposits & sent a pic...the joke was that he grossly understated it. I had never seen so much buildup. I don't have that pic but the buildup made the valve look cone-shaped, no joke. Prior to getting the headwork done the bike ran perfectly fine. There wasn't the slightest hint anything was wrong. That was when someone told me about using the Chevron.
 

Randy67500

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There may be some hype involved but it's not all smoke & mirrors or snake oil. I sent my head off to a guy that did porting/polishing & valve work on a ZRX1100 back in the day. Told me the valves had deposits & sent a pic...the joke was that he grossly understated it. I had never seen so much buildup. I don't have that pic but the buildup made the valve look cone-shaped, no joke. Prior to getting the headwork done the bike ran perfectly fine. There wasn't the slightest hint anything was wrong. That was when someone told me about using the Chevron.
Good to hear a real life experience on the subject. I certainly can't dispute those findings. I believe Chevron in the States would be equal to one of our big name companies. That's why I stipulated purchasing name brand gas rather than buying low octane ethanol loaded gas from "Joe's Cut Rate Gas". We have a top tier one here at the big companies as well. 94 octane and a huge price difference. I stick with the normal 91 premium and remain ethanol free for good results.
 

ShawnD

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Chevron is top tier. Lots of companies but a lot of names I never heard of...like Sean's QT. I can find 93 all day long too but it jumps about $.60 over regular...$3.65
 

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ShawnD

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Good to hear a real life experience on the subject. I certainly can't dispute those findings. I believe Chevron in the States would be equal to one of our big name companies. That's why I stipulated purchasing name brand gas rather than buying low octane ethanol loaded gas from "Joe's Cut Rate Gas". We have a top tier one here at the big companies as well. 94 octane and a huge price difference. I stick with the normal 91 premium and remain ethanol free for good results.

Found the valve pic...
 

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ShawnD

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No man...that was a lot of ugly! :DThey weren't all like that. The guy told me they all had some level of crud but this was the worst one. Well I'm sure there were decreases in performance but it would be impossible to substantiate. Performance losses from normal wear & tear is gradual. I can't speak to anything after it was cleaned up though because that was with all the headwork, degreeing cams, plus a 2mm overbore, hotter cams, 38 flatslides. I had never used fuel additives up to that point & I didn't ride the bike hard all the time. If I did put top tier gas in it, it would have been completely by accident...I just looked for the cheapest.
 

one2dmax

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On the gen 1 (and gen 2 when not in race mode in death valley) the 87 octane is perfectly fine and will typically make more power and economy due to a more complete burn. Non E for sure when available regardless of the octane rating.
 

Woody

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On the gen 1 (and gen 2 when not in race mode in death valley) the 87 octane is perfectly fine and will typically make more power and economy due to a more complete burn. Non E for sure when available regardless of the octane rating.
No corn 87 makes my 85 run great 👍. I've spent money on different race fuels. But other than smelling good.Did not improve performance .
Lesson learned. It's non ethanol 87. From BP for me.
 

mattness

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just FYI since i work in fuel industry, getting bad gas is more likely at the individual station than just going by brand. Underground fuel tanks get water in them over time just from small leaks, opening to fill when its raining, humidity when they get opened. mpisture in the truck tank that also gets poured in etc, after years and years its not uncommon for a gas station to not be able to sell below 500 gallons remaining due to water.

Your best bet is to go to a NEWer gas station that has fresh tanks installed and i personally never fill up when i see the truck there doing a fuel delivery because i know a lot of gas station owners DO NOT maintain their filters and you just dont know what all is getting kicked up off the bottom during the fill.
 

Vexem

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The evidence for using Top Tier fuel is very compelling to me. I will never use non-Top Tier fuel in anything I own again.

Gasoline study by AAA on effectiveness of quality detergent gasolines and others.
The basics - AAA: Not All Gasoline Created Equal | AAA Newsroom - "Tests show quality gasoline keeps engines 19 times cleaner"
In depth - http://www.aaa.com/AAA/common/AAR/files/Fuel-Quality-Full-Report.pdf - results summary starts on page 24.

"Gasolines with an enhanced additive package demonstrated a clean-up performance (reduction of intake valve deposits) ranging from 45 percent to as much as 72 percent in the 5,000-mile test. The variation in cleaning performance was primarily based on the concentration of the additive package in the fuel. "

"Key Findings
1. The test engine operated on a TOP TIER gasoline averaged 19 times fewer intake valve deposits than when it was operated on non-TOP TIER gasoline. (based on the ASTM D6201 test -TOP TIER gasoline averaged 34.1mg of deposits per intake valve versus non-TOP TIER average of 660.6mg)
2. Based upon secondary research findings, long-term use of a gasoline without an enhanced additive package can lead to reductions in fuel economy of 2-4%, drivability issues, and increased emissions.
3. In most cases, carbon deposits can be reduced or removed from critical engine components by switching to a gasoline that meets TOP TIER standards.
5. Most TOP TIER gasolines do not cost significantly more than non-TOP TIER gasoline. The average price difference between the TOP TIER and non-TOP TIER brands surveyed was three cents per gallon over a 12-month period."

Top Tier fuels - TOP TIER™ Gasoline Brands

Common TOP TIER™ Licensed Retail Brands (incomplete):
Amoco with Invigorate
BP with Invigorate
Chevron
CITGO
Conoco
Costco Gasoline
Express
Exxon
Kwik Trip (Express)
Mobil
Phillips 66
QuikTrip
Shell
Standard
SuperAmerica
Texaco
less common brands to use :
76
Aloha
ARCO
Beacon
Break Time
Cenex
Co-op
Country Mark
Diamond Shamrock
Esso
Hele
Holiday
Kwik Star
Mahalo
MFA
Ohana Fuels
PUMA Maxxima
QT
Road Ranger
Shamrock
Sinclair
Superfuels
Tempo
Tri-Par Qwik Stop
Valero

Common brands NOT to use: Speedway, Love’s, Casey's, and Sam's Club.
 
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