Regular vs. Premium..different for motorcycles?



Tom and Ray say there’s no difference in using regular or premium gas for cars.

Is the same true for motorcycles? I was told to use premium.


I think you may have misunderstood what T&R said. They said it correctly when they say that if your car does not NEED premium, then it’s a waste to use it. There are many motorcycles that REQUIRE premium gasoline. Mine is one of them. It runs terribly if you use anything less than premium due to the combustion temps and compression ratio. Read your owner’s manual. It will say what is required and maybe even what is recommended.


I think you may have misunderstood what T&R said. I agree 100%


What they said may be true for some cars (those that only recommend, not require, premium), but certainly not for all cars and not for all motorcycles. For both cars and motorcycles, simply follow the fuel requirements in your owners manual. The radio show is fun, but don’t take it too seriously.


The factory knows best. They designed and built you motorcycle. They tell you in the owner’s manual whether you must use premium. They might recommend it and then it is your option. I’d use it if recommended.


Get out your owners manual and see what IT says…Also, check “specifications” and see what the engines compression ratio is. If it’s above 9.6 to 1, premium won’t hurt…If its below that number, it will run fine on regular…


There is at least one big difference between cars and motorcycles as far as sensitivity to gas octane.
Most current cars ( like my 96 Camry ) have pre-ignition (Knock) sensors that retard the timing in case the gas octane is lower than necessary for conditions - I can put regular in my Camry and it runs fine, though it puts out more power and better gas mileage when I put in the premium it was designed to use.
The sensor comes into actions in other situations ( high temps/engine loads/etc.) where pre-ignition or low gas quality might be a problem.
However, I don’t know of any motorcycles with knock sensors. Add the fact that most bike engines are very highly tuned and/or air-cooled, and using the proper gasoline becomes a BIG deal.
Stop by your motorcyle dealer’s shop - the mechanics will be glad to show you what happens when you put regular gas into a bike that is designed for premium - pistons with pitted/melted crowns.


I was filling up the Chevelle the other day and seen a guy pull into the station and headed over to the race fuel(101 octane) pump. I thought about asking why he’d pay almost 2x more for a few octane points over 93($3.09 for 93, $4.59 I think it was, for 101), but I didn’t.


A few octane points?!? You better check your math. The spread from 101 to 93 is greater than from regular to premium.

The concept of a sleeper may be lost on GenX but it’s likely that person had some, or a combination of, mass efficiency improvments done to that motor and so required the octane rating that the race fuel provides.