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Discussion Starter #1
anyone use sea foam additive in their bike- i heard some of this stuff in every 3rd tank of fuel will help with keeping plugs from getting carbon buildup-which the 800's are famous for?
i've have'nt been able to find any here yet but still looking :shock:
 

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bikeaholic said:
anyone use sea foam additive in their bike- i heard some of this stuff in every 3rd tank of fuel will help with keeping plugs from getting carbon buildup-which the 800's are famous for?
i've have'nt been able to find any here yet but still looking :shock:
bikeaholic, my 800 was pinging so bad i couldnt hear the valve train....guy on another forum (okiesmoke) told me to try sea foam....worked like a charm...took two tanks to get all pinging (carbon out) but i was using 93 ocrane which apparently carbons em up.started using 87 octane as advised, and havent had a problem.
sea foam is available at auto zone and wal mart....ask for it (i couldnt find it)


hope this helps
 

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bad to put in higher octane??????

I think I just learned something! Did I understand from the above post that it is bad to put in a gas with 93 octane if your bike specs out 87??

Why is that??

thanks, Stan :?:
 

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Stan....i am not an expert or even all that knowledgable so take this for what its worth.
it was explained to me that the 800 is famos for carboning up and pinging.the 93 octane does not fire well at the low comresssion our bikes operate at....thus 87 octane fires well at our compression and does not carbon up.....makes sense to me and seems to work for me....6 or 8 tanks of 87 since the sea foam and no problems. when running the 93 the pinging was awful!
maybe some one elese will chime in here to confirm or disagree?
 

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Well I could paste a couple of pages long explanation here but I won't.

The higher the octane the more resistance gasoline has to igniting. Simple heat and pressure are enough to ignite some fuels without a spark, diesel engines don't have sparkplugs for this reason. So to keep the fuel from igniting prematurely additives (octane) are added, more octane= slower burning (ignition) of the fuel.

This is why you must use the fuel recommended for your engine, the engineers who designed the engine tell you what fuel is best according to the engine specs. Since you're not using the recommended fuel and chose a higher octane rating, the fuel is igniting too slowly and not reaching max temperature in order to burn off any residue before the next cycle . Result plug fouling, wasted fuel, decreased power and possible engine damage.
 

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Thanks for the explanation....it makes perfect sense. There is a myth out there that the higher the octane the cleaner the burning......

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
re

hmm, i'ved burned both grades and never noticed a difference,but the kawi only has 1500 miles on it now and i wanted to start using the foam. my bike has never pinged even under a load, it just chugs along pulling the whole time :lol: maybe the quirk of black plugs on #2 is because peeps are burning 93-so far my plugs look fine :wink:
 

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Hi guys, it’s well technical and everyone is right!

As Bob says, the octane rating tells you how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. When gas ignites by compression rather than because of the spark from the spark plug (pre ignition), it causes knocking which is wear on the engine. Lower-octane gas (like regular 87 octane) is suited to low compression ratio engines like the 800 but you can use higher octane to increase power. But not the other way round. So, for the mean streak 93 octane (premium) is recommended but lower octane would mean the fuel pre ignites, you lose power and it causes engine wear. Still following???

Octane ratings of 115 (super) are commonly used to increase horsepower if the engine can take it (you can use one tank of super for every 4 tanks of premium in the mean streak to get extra horsepower and burn off any carbon but anything more than that would damge the engine too much). I don’t know what sea foam is but some additives work in the same way by increasing the octane rating of the fuel and burning off that carbon but minimizing the extra wear by having other additives like a lead replacement.

Like Bob, if we had all night I can tell you all about pinging as opposed to knocking too!!

Another way of burning off that carbon is to give the engine a hot run or good thrashing. If you maintain regular speeds like town riding or cruising, carbon builds up. A further way is changing the spark plugs to a higher rating (or hotter spark) and Kawa do recommend this for winter riding.

Final bit, promise! If you change the cam shaft and pistons you can change the compression ratio which is the key to significantly more horsepower from the same engine. The mean streak engine was modified to prove that it was strong enough to cope with the higher revs = more horsepower.

Here’s a good source of info http://www.howstuffworks.com/question90.htm
 

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That probably sounds like the wrong way round from reading what Bob rightly said, on reading it back it did to me! But if I can add a bit more:

the upward stroke of the piston compresses the gas – if it explodes in this part of the cycle it is pre-ignition and the spark then doesn’t burn off all the fuel = carbon build up.

the spark (controlled by the ECU or timing) actually ignites the mixture in the downward cycle, when the gas is expanding again (and the air is drawn in to fuel the burn), allowing the gas to fully burn off before the cycle starts again.

Sounds complicated, but if you interfere with the timing you change when this happens and that drains horsepower and increases wear so I don’t recommend after market parts that do this. But forcing the air in by ram air or supercharging add ons like the Thunder Ace kit will increase the amount of air in the fuel/air mix and therefore the force on the piston. A higher octane rating will again increase the force of the ignition.
 

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This is good, I like it when there's a little controversy.

My info says that higher octane is used to retard combustion by compression, so far we agree.

Now this is where our thinking differs, IMO octane levels are increased to retard compression ignition but also affect spark ignition retarding the reaction of the fuel to the spark.

BTW we should mention that switching to a hotter plug actually requires that you buy a plug with a lower number.
 

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Cheers Bob, me too. Techy stuff gets my juices flowing and I really enjoy the arguements with mates over a beer. This is a complicated subject!!!

I'll let the board know what the consenus is after a few beers.
 

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Well fellow Kwackers, after a few beers and several evenings we still couldn’t agree (see message above). So I contacted a colleague at MCN (Motorcycle News – the UKs top weekly bike paper) and still no consensus!

It got them thinking in the office though and they’ve published a ‘biking myths exploded’ supplement this week. On good authority (Honda racing) modern bikes are designed for an optimum octane rating of 95 (the most common rating in UK – 87 is very rare). A higher rating will only marginally increase power but will not affect ignition, you are just wasting your money on the higher price, ie if it says 87 then that is what you should use. You need a higher compression ratio to get the benefit.

But Bob, this still doesn’t answer your point about there being a delayed ignition because of the higher retard qualities. The feeling was it is only a marginal effect.

If you can get hold of a copy it is interesting reading (I believe it is sold in US)!
 

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Hi Octane Fuels

:?
Yes you should use what the bike was made for. Higher octane fuels burn slower and creat more of a power stroke in high compression engines or if the engine was" JETTED TO RUN ON IT." This also includes fuel injection models like the VN1500P-2 which runs on 92 or better fuel @ 9.0 to 1 compression ratio. This is not considered high compression but is approching it. 87 octane burns faster and you use more of it to run at the same power. 92+ will run richer if you are not compressing it enough.

Fastpaul 8)
 

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bikeaholic said:
anyone use sea foam additive in their bike- i heard some of this stuff in every 3rd tank of fuel will help with keeping plugs from getting carbon buildup-which the 800's are famous for?
i've have'nt been able to find any here yet but still looking :shock:

use it all the time, best thing since pockets on a t shirt
 

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other addatives

for a long time i worked at harley davidson.. they sell a lead addative that is actually a chunk of 4 disks of lead on a string. our sponsered race team mechanic also recommens this in every bike, harley or import. he said it actually disolves in the gas .. over a long period of time .. one tablet for i think 6 months .. or something like that.. and will help pinging and help eliminate all build up .. and keep it gone .. my zx9 was a used motorcycle when i purchased it .. i put a tablet in . and all problems just disapeared after 3 tanks of gas.. dont know if this will help or not, or even if it applies to this subject but it did help.. looking forward to see more on this subject.

PS: I DONT LIKE POCKETS ON MY T-SHIRTS
 

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well i guess with the vance & hines pipes and rejetted carb i use super and have not noticed any pinging or anything else.they jetted it for use with super.
 

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A good friend of mine swears by sea foam about every 3 or 4 fill ups. I've even considered using it to clean up the gummed up carbs in my EN500 (though I understand it's not a "real carb cleaner". As far as finding it, I know I just saw it in a NAPA auto parts store. I'm sure Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone carry it too.
 
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