I agree...run the 91. The EFI system compensates to a degree for lower octane but for a couple gallons who notices the price really? With no scientific data to back me I say it runs better at low speeds and gets better mileage. Also, with absolutely no science to back me up I say buy gas at a nationally known supplier. I prefer Sunoco, since they have the highest octane around here, 93. I think it's higher quality..
Octane 101 Octane is a measure of how slow or fast the gas burns. High octane = slow burn. Low octane = fast burn. It's help in performance is rooted to being matched to the engine's needs. Use the right octane for the engine. . Gas does not instantly explode, it burns at a rate predicated by the octane. Spark does not happen at top dead center. Spark ignites the gas at distance before top dead center that ensures a complete burn and maximum power at TDC. Because of higher piston speeds, high compression and high revving engines require more spark advance. This requires high octane for a controlled burn. Low octane would cause pre-ignition/detonation in a high performance motor as it would burn out before TDC. High octane in a low performance engine would not burn completely; the unburned gas will form carbon deposits that will affect running over time, damage valve seats, and cause sticking rings. Modern engine management systems are much more forgiving of different grades of octane. But even if the system manages it, it's not really needed or cost effective to run premium fuel in an Enfield. The octane # is an average of two different testing methods here in the US. Other countries use only one method, so the rating may be higher or lower and you can't draw a direct correlation to our numbers. Other misunderstandings: You don't need lead. Modern valves and seats are hardened and do not need the cushioning effect lead gave to 1930 era engines. Don't sweat the ethanol. Modern formulations are pretty good. It does tend to bond with water from condensation during periods of non-use. So ride more or use a drying agent such as Heet during storage.
Strangely, all the damage seems to be to bikes.....
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