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Discussion Starter #1
ok done a lot of reading and I don't want to get too techy but...
The sticker on the tank says 90 octane minimum
Octane ratings in the U.S. are about 4 LESS than in say Europe for the identical fuel

So my question is..do European Ninjas have 94 on the tank sticker ?

If European ninja 1000s have the same 90 sticker, then a U.S. bike can run 87 Octane no problem

Seen huge discussions on octane and plenty of people remark on the country differences, but nobody addresses this particular issue -are European tank stickers showing a higher minimum, and do Kawasaki have different stickers for different countries ? If not then....
 

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So, the way I understand it is, in the US we use the anti-knock index which is an average of the RON (research octane number) and the MON (motor octane number). Most of the rest of the world uses the RON. The RON will list about 4 to 5 points higher than the AKI for the same fuel. So in Europe, and most of the rest of the world, 94 octane would be about the same as 90 octane in the US.

Clear as mud?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, the way I understand it is, in the US we use the anti-knock index which is an average of the RON (research octane number) and the MON (motor octane number). Most of the rest of the world uses the RON. The RON will list about 4 to 5 points higher than the AKI for the same fuel. So in Europe, and most of the rest of the world, 94 octane would be about the same as 90 octane in the US.

Clear as mud?
Yes you are absolutely right, but my next thought was whether European Ninjas also have the 90 sticker ? If they do, and Kawasaki was working on RON when they came up with 90, then in the US we can safely use AKI 87.

However, if Kawasaki were clever enough to have different stickers for different markets, then we should use AKI 90+

Or if Kawasaki were thinking AKI when they came up with the 90, then Europeans with a 90 sticker should ignore that and use something better

So can anyone tell me what stickers European Ninja 1000s carry ?

Might have to email a British dealer if nobody knows coz I am consumed with curiosity !

...and anyone sending their bike to Europe needs to make their own sticker to say 94+
 

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Discussion Starter #6
why not run a tank of 89 octane and see the response?.......
I am running in at the moment - 300 miles on - and indeed I am running regular 87 because I am in low power mode and under 4k rpm and with minimal loading. No signs of pinking with that configuration. However, when I have done my 600 miles probation and am allowed to go to 7.5k, I am going to assume Kawasaki has different stickers for different markets and will go to mid grade gasoline - 89+

It's likely this bike will never go over 90 in it's life with me, but it will get loaded up with big fistfuls of chain stretching acceleration for short dashes, and that way I keep my license and have fun too.

Of course those conditions are exactly what will cause pinking if the octane isn't right, so I will watch it (listen to it) carefully

I am in the UK next month so I will try and stick my nose in the the kawa dealers and see what their stickers say about octane (RON). Doing that on holiday will cause me much more physical risk from "her indoors" than getting my knee down on the Ninja ever would.

If they say 90 then its 87 for me in the US, but I suspect they will say 93 (RON)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is a link to a post in the UK..see bottom post by Andy----super is 97 octane (RON) and ..he runs premium 93 which is equivalent to say 89 in the US. So it looks like Kawasaki are using the correct sticker and about 90 is right in the US - mid grade is how I interpret it. In the "olden days", it was the amount of carbon build up that glowed and caused pre-ignition, but I suppose that isn't a factor noways with detergent fuels. I used to add a bottle of "de-coke" which caused huge clouds of carbon soot and carbon bits and stuff to be blown out ! In the bad old days.

Octane Rating of the Fuel your using
 

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Given my choices at our local pumps - 93, 89 and 87 octane - I use 93 on a full fill-up, but will use 89 if just topping off. I'm not about to risk any long lead problems by using lower than recommended octane just to save a few cents a gallon.
 

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More info on gasoline - Automotive Gasoline FAQ

6.15 Can I mix different octane fuel grades?
Yes, however attempts to blend in your fuel tank should be carefully planned. You should not allow the tank to become empty, and then add 50% of lower octane, followed by 50% of higher octane. The fuels may not completely mix immediately, especially if there is a density difference. You may get a slug of low octane that causes severe knock. You should refill when your tank is half full. In general the octane response will be linear for most hydrocarbon and oxygenated fuels eg 50:50 of 87 and 91 will give 89.
Attempts to mix leaded high octane to unleaded high octane to obtain higher octane are useless. The lead response of the unleaded fuel does not overcome the dilution effect, thus 50:50 of 96 leaded and 91 unleaded will give 94. Some blends of oxygenated fuels with ordinary gasoline can result in undesirable increases in volatility due to volatile azeotropes, and that some oxygenates can have negative lead responses. Also note that the octane requirement of some engines is determined by the need to avoid run-on, not to avoid knock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
'Run-on' wow I remember that and its really annoying - especially when you are stopped, but it gear, and you switch the engine off. I think that was probably more common in the bad old days of non detergent gasoline - when the whole combustion chamber was caked in glowing carbon. When I am on the bottom bar on the tank indicator, I can get exactly 3 US gallons into the tank, so not much scope to mix although I think the indicator is squiffy and it has best part of 2 gallons even when its ready to flash empty. The speedo is really annoying too, as it shows 64 when the GPS says 60. I have checked the gps in both Camrys and it shows 2 under the car speedo - but 4mph different ? Its not like I am running custom sized smaller wheels .
 

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I am running in at the moment - 300 miles on - and indeed I am running regular 87 because I am in low power mode and under 4k rpm and with minimal loading. No signs of pinking with that configuration. However, when I have done my 600 miles probation and am allowed to go to 7.5k, I am going to assume Kawasaki has different stickers for different markets and will go to mid grade gasoline - 89+

It's likely this bike will never go over 90 in it's life with me, but it will get loaded up with big fistfuls of chain stretching acceleration for short dashes, and that way I keep my license and have fun too.

Of course those conditions are exactly what will cause pinking if the octane isn't right, so I will watch it (listen to it) carefully

I am in the UK next month so I will try and stick my nose in the the kawa dealers and see what their stickers say about octane (RON). Doing that on holiday will cause me much more physical risk from "her indoors" than getting my knee down on the Ninja ever would.

If they say 90 then its 87 for me in the US, but I suspect they will say 93 (RON)
as an aside, when running in make sure you give it a couple bumps up above that 4K hard deck, you need to seat everything proper, most importantly the piston rings!

Good thread BTW :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
as an aside, when running in make sure you give it a couple bumps up above that 4K hard deck, you need to seat everything proper, most importantly the piston rings!

Good thread BTW :D
I cannot tell a lie - been to 5k 3 times - it was fun but I wish Wisconsin would stop with the snow and let me get some miles in. The sheer cleaniness of a new engine means there is no carbon in the spark plugs or anywhere, so that should help with pre-ignition, and it takes while to get up to operating temperature in this polar vortex, but I will up the octane with the next tank full.
 

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I cannot tell a lie - been to 5k 3 times - it was fun but I wish Wisconsin would stop with the snow and let me get some miles in. The sheer cleaniness of a new engine means there is no carbon in the spark plugs or anywhere, so that should help with pre-ignition, and it takes while to get up to operating temperature in this polar vortex, but I will up the octane with the next tank full.
bounce it off the red line a few times, I promise it will thank you for it later :eek::D

Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
..and here's me sweating 89 octane when Mr Kawa says 90

Course if it does throw a piston+conrod through the head, it wont mangle my crown jewels like a V twin would

I am sure the crazed set-up mechanic didn't red line it coz it had 0.5 miles on the clock when it arrived in my garage in February - yes its well into its warranty with 300 miles on !
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I changed the oil/filter at 200 miles, and shortly after it seemed to smooth out some. Before that it was as tight as a crab's bottom - and that's watertight. My 1200 Bandits seemed to free up at 5k also. The engine braking on the N1k is quite spectacular (good job I don't ride on ice/snow) and that is supposed to help. We are getting into the upper 50's in Wisconsin so will let it see 7k every now and then (today) - but under fairly light load. I will use 89 octane at this stage and move higher if I ever hear pinking once it has done 600 miles and I start opening it up some
 

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I've got a little over 2K on my '14 & have started to bang the rev limiter once in a while. I think in the past I've been too gentle on new engines, as I tend to keep rpms down in 4-5K range. I can't seem to find any 90 octane around here in Central Florida so it's either 89 or 93. I doubt if it will make much of a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Spent a whole winter in Safety Harbor, Tampa. Nice biking on the side roads but the US 19 is a killing zone - even for cars. No rev limiter stuff for me, but 7.5k a few times looks good. Yep 89 octane is my preference in the absence of any noises and I will fill up on that pm today once temps get above 50
 
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