Motorcycle Club » Star 1300

Can you use 87 octane fuel?

26 posts from 16 voices
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  1. OhioSdewe

    I am considering a new bike purchase. For a vStar 1300, does the owner's manual recommend high octane fuel, or is 87 okay?

  2. yohnnjc

    Dealer told me to use 87 when I bought mine.

  3. Tembezdorm

    Straight out of the owner's manual:

    Your Yamaha engine has been designed to use regular unleaded gasoline with a pump octane number [(R+M)/2] of 86 or higher, or a research octane number of 91 or higher. If knocking (or pinging) occurs, use a gasoline of a different brand or premium unleaded fuel. Use of unleaded fuel will extend spark plug life and reduce maintenance costs.

    I've talked to several friends that right similar V-Twin engine bikes and they reccomend using the higher octane fuel. *shrugs*

    I will say that when I run regular I notice knocking (or pinging) and when I run higher octane the bike seems to run smoother.

    What I would really like to know regarding fuel with this bike is how much everyones tank holds. The specs say 4.9 and that the idiot light is supposed to come on at .9 remaining, but everytime my light comes on and I fill up I can only put 3 gallons. I've mentioned this in a couple of other threads and from what I've seen other people have noticed the same thing. Anyone have any ideas why there is such a gap between what the specs say and what the tank actualy holds?

  4. JuzdSdewe

    I've run nothing but regular regular in mine since getting it. I ONCE ran premium in it, and noticed NO difference in the way it ran OTHER then a lighter wallet.
    IF you experience pinging/preignition, then MAYBE you might want to move up to the next higher octane, but why throw away your money. The bike is made to run on regular unleaded.

  5. Xion495

    I've noticed this too. The specs say 4.9, but I've never been able to put more than 3.5 in it, and this included running it about 30 miles after the idiot light came on. I'm wondering if it was a typo and they meant 3.9.

  6. gewint711

    If we were to fill the tank to the very top where it runs down the outside of the tank we would probably have 4.9g's. If we are only filling it to the bottom of the filler neck then we will be less than 4.9g's. You're looking at atleast 2" of empty tank space from the bottom of the filler neck to the top of the tank. BTW I only use 87 octane. If the manual says that I can use it then I will use it.

  7. auzzie808

    G'day. the most I have ever been able to pour into mine is 16.5 litres (approx 4.3 gallons) and this was after doing 42 kilometers (about 26 miles) after the little yellow light came on. It's supposed to be 18.5 litre tank, but it would be a battle to get 18.5 into it.
    I reckon that if you stood the bike vertical you could put an extra 1 to 1 1/2 litres in, but I'm not bothered by losing those 20 or 30 k's. I was getting around 330 k's before the light, but with the new pipes and PC3 I don't know what my ecomony is like yet.
    I always use 95. I have filled up with standard 91 when out of town, and don't notice any difference, but when I have used 91 it's usually been highway work, so it may not show up at cruising speed.

  8. chaser38

    I used to put a mix in: 87 sometimes, 92 other times. I've just used 87 the last 4-5 months of riding and can't tell a wisp of difference.

    It's nice to know your bike's capabilities. But when the light comes on, I look for a fill. I figure I'm good for between 160-200 miles. It's nice to stretch anyway.

  9. MorkKW

    If I can rudely... : ) ....butt in here. I can assure you our bike will actually run better with regular than premium. Our bike likes the burn rate that reg provides and was designed not to need anything more. I'll also state matter-of-factly that you will not increase power with prem gas, but on the contrary, will most likely lose just a tad. This is all a bit different than what many of us who either raced bikes, or had muscle cars waaaay back in the 60s experienced when we'd hunt all over creation to get to the station with the 100+ octane pump. Regarding octane, it was "the more the merrier. With everything equal in our 1300, regular will win almost all of the time. By the way, there are technical discussions that give more of an in-depth analysis on this topic.


  10. Peapotj

    I asked the factory reps about the dishonest fuel capacity numbers in the manual. I actually ran mine until it started to sputter. I got exactly 37.2 miles out of the fuel thats left after the idiot light turns on. A dry tank will only take 3.7 gallons. They told me it was the countersunk fuel cap that prevents us from filling the tank all the way up to the listed 4.89 gallons. I haven't decided whether I'm going to go through the trouble of pulling out the stock cap and put a top mounted version on.

  11. MorkKW


    I'd like to respectfully say that I've added more than 4 gal on a few occasions, with the most being 4.2 gal. At that time, I had just a tiny bit of gas remaining in the tank (could hear it sloshing much, I don't know). I believe I have an effective capacity between 4.4 and 4.5 gal, which is just my guess. The only way we could possibly come close to forcing all of the air out of the tank and repace it to the brim with gas in order to get close to it's 4.89 gal capacity would be to have a gas cap that sits well above the actual tank, as is found on some of the HD models.

    I just happily accept the fact that we have a tank that holds what it does and provides our cool cruiser with a longer range that what is normally needed. Or, I could have chosen a Kawi Vulcan Nomad (a really nice bike that I had also considered) and get between 32 and 42 mpg, which is what most of their riders are getting today. But, that's another subject, altogether. I love our little Yammy!

    Make it a great day.

    Also, if you're able to add only 3.7 gal to a dry tank, you must be adding gas only until it reaches the bottom of your tank's filler-neck, or just barely above it, after which the tank will hold another 1/2 gal of gas. If you're having difficulty doing this, perhaps you may want to consider the mod to the filler neck....besides, it costs nothing, except about 20 minutes of your time.

  12. unpitten

    When I purchased my 1300 a few weeks back, I posted on this forum a question pertaining to fuel additives; this prompted me to look into our bike and octane ratings. As already state by another poster, our bikes are made to run on 87 octane and performance can suffer using a higher octane. You can also run into injector ills with higher octane. On occasion running a little injector cleaner is a sensible idea; of course if you start changing things like exhaust and airflow, this may have an effect on how the motor reacts to different octane (me thinks!). Bottom line, my 13 is running perfectly on 87 octane.

    Run a search within this forum on 'octane' or 'fuel' and you'll find many posts concerning the subject.

  13. VRIDER686

    My last 2 tanks have been 88 octane, and i beleive it may even be running
    a little better,

  14. VRIDER686

    P.S. if you rock the bike a little a couple of times when filling (burp it)
    you can get that extra bit in pretty easily.

  15. VRIDER686

    can anyone recommend a GOOD, safe, effective , injector cleaner?

  16. JuzdSdewe

    BG products makes an excellent injector cleaner.
    Also I've used a couple of times and lots of people have used with good results, Seafoam.

  17. MorkKW

    re: can anyone recommend a GOOD, safe, effective , injector cleaner?

    If you're talking about a product for our 1300, you shouldn't normally need it and it's better if you don't use it. Products and their marketing departments want you to believe otherwise, but that's nonsense with on our hi-tech FI 1300 motor. Only if your bike is sitting around a lot, the one product you should consider adding is SeaFoam. Anything else and I believe you're making more of a mistake than providing a benefit to your engine.

    It's also important, probably more than you think, to keep your bike's tank FULL (again, not topped-off) when it's sitting, rather than have it sit around with only a 1/4 to 1/2 tank of gas. Not good. Make it a fill up when you finish your ride and prior to putting your bike away until the next time out. If you don't do this, why not??? There's no other logical way to address this, unless you happen to live 50 miles from the closest gas station, and in that situation, just fill up as best you can.


  18. Peapotj

    I don't know when your fuel light is coming on Morg, but I ride 7 days a week and fill up at least 4 times a week. My light comes on at exactly 3 gallons. I know from experience that I don't have a full gallon of reserve. Even the manual says you don't. The two times I barely coasted into a gas station I only got 3.7 gallons into the tank. I know about keeping the bike upright and "burping" the tank. It's still 3.7 gallons. Maybe mine has a defect, but if you do the math (depth of filler cap sleeve X surface area squared) I bet there's about 1.2 gallons of unusable fuel tank.

  19. MorkKW

    Hey, Peapotj.

    I trust everything up there in "Gator Country" is well. I just went and looked and, after putting the bike away last night, it currently reads 170.3 and the low light remains off. This should put me right at, or a little over 200 mi with this tank of gas. We're leaving in a short while to ride up the Keys to have breakfast and, while I was going to first go out and get gas, for the fun of it I'll now wait to see how much further I'll get before the light does come on. I'm expecting to see it fairly soon. By the way, my most recent fill was with just a tad more than 4 gal and I am certain I had almost a half gal of gas remaining at that time. My avg fill-ups are 3.6 to 4 gal, as much as 4.2. Considering what I've documented to date, my take (which is somewhat of a guess) is that I've got about .5 ga of unusuable space in the tank, which is really not so much due to the "filler neck sleeve," but mostly the result of the location & positioning of our bike's gas cap, itself. There IS a small price we pay to have such a cool & sleek looking tank. One more time, and with all due and absolute respect for what you say, if your light is coming on at 3 gal, there is NO way you are getting even close to filling your tank when getting gas. Lastly, our bike is not alone in this scenario as many other makes and models have similar issues....true tank volume does not mean actual usable volume. This is perfectly understandable and acceptable by me, now that I have learned that, in reality, I have close to a 4.4 gal tank, rather than 4.89 as advertised by Yammy.

    Make it a great holiday weekend.

  20. ngink20762

    I am considering a new bike purchase. For a vStar 1300, does the owner's manual recommend high octane fuel, or is 87 okay?
    I use 89 octane because I drive more conservatively with my wife aboard, and the engine works harder. I want to avoid any "pinging" which is pre-ignition. I had a problem with 87 octane on my '85 F-150 that 89 octane cured. Premium is a waste, but the 89 octane is a safety measure.


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