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Senile Member on 2006 GS
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Doesn't seem to mater what fuel I use, it all works. FWIW, I run "76 Brand" premium, works great. I took a trip to Mexico and used "PMEX Magna Sin" supposedly 90 octane, lead free. Ran into no problems.

John
My '06 seems similarly unaffected by octane and ethanol. It also seems confused about what it needs--the manual says "Super" (95 RON); the EPA compliance sticker on the frame says "91 AKI"; and a mostly-rubbed-away sticker on top of the fuel tank recommends mid-grade 89 octane. The bike in fact runs the same, far as I can tell, on regular, mid and premium, with or without ethanol. It does sound slightly different on 87 octane regular--no knocking or anything like it, just a slightly more "ragged" exhaust note. As a result, I default to mid-grade, followed by premium if available, regular as last resort. I don't worry about ethanol as long as it's 10 percent or less.

I downloaded a PDF of the 2005 manual from BMW's website (in theory, the two bikes are the same, especially since mine has an assembly date of 8/05). It gives more information, including AKI equivalents to RON numbers. And I quote:

Fuel quality
The engine is designed for:

– Super unleaded gasoline (95 RON) (AKI 90)
It is preferable to use this fuel quality to comply with the nominal values for performance and fuel consumption.

In addition, the following fuel quality can also be used:

– Super Plus gasoline (98 RON) (AKI 93)

The minimum quality is:

– Regular unleaded gasoline (91 RON) (AKI 87)

It is recommended that gasoline with a fuel quality lower than (91 RON) (AKI 87) not be used
 

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In Texas we call Top Tier high octane no ethanol gas "Unicorn" !
Yup. Apparently few read the requirements for a gas to be labeled Top Tier®. Top Tier® fuels have between 8 and 10 percent ethanol.

Like saughblade and Bumblebee I've never had a fuel issue regardless of the fuel used. That is due partially to where I live and do most of my riding; it provides a combination of low humidity and quality gas that meets California standards. Ethanol fuel in areas of high humidity can certainly be an issue.

That's not to say people sometimes get a load of bad gas. That is less likely to happen at high traffic gas stations.
 

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Yup. Apparently few read the requirements for a gas to be labeled Top Tier®. Top Tier® fuels have between 8 and 10 percent ethanol.

Like saughblade and Bumblebee I've never had a fuel issue regardless of the fuel used. That is due partially to where I live and do most of my riding; it provides a combination of low humidity and quality gas that meets California standards. Ethanol fuel in areas of high humidity can certainly be an issue.

That's not to say people sometimes get a load of bad gas. That is less likely to happen at high traffic gas stations.
Well I stand corrected and educa-macated .. I didn't know that Top Tier called for ethanol specifically. While I wish that Chevron and Shell would provide a premium octane, pure gasoline option, there must be some legislative or deal with the devil that prevents it. As I do live in a high humidity area I have to be aware of how long gas sits in my various bikes. I'll continue to use Top Tier for the good reasons, and so be it.

D.
 

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This pdf ==> https://www.toptiergas.com/documents/15/TOP_TIER_GASOLINE_Performance_Standard_revE_2017-03.pdf is TOP TIER DETERGENT GASOLINE
DEPOSIT CONTROL PERFORMANCE STANDARD Revision E – March 2017
. It says:


4.3.1.2 Base Fuel. The base fuel shall conform to ASTM D 4814 and shall contain commercial fuel grade ethanol conforming to ASTM D 4806. All gasoline blend stocks used to formulate the base fuel shall be representative of normal territory refinery operations and shall be derived from conversion units downstream of distillation. Butanes and pentanes are allowed for vapor pressure adjustment. The use of chemical streams is prohibited. The base fuel shall have the following specific properties after the addition of ethanol:


1. Contain enough denatured ethanol such that the ethanol content is no less than 8.0 and no more than 10.0 volume percent as measured by ASTM D 4815 or D 5845. In markets with lower fuel ethanol content, fuel matching the market conditions of fuel ethanol content can be used upon approval.​
 

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I personally am of the opinion that the new recommendation was made without BMW modifying the engine or software, I'm sure it has more to to do with them not seeing any holes knocked in pistons over the years.
So no you are not doing any harm to your engine and could probably run regular and be just fine, many do.
There is also a software modification that dealers can do that enables the engine to run on regular gasoline, I tried it and didn't care for the reduction in power so I changed back.


My 2017 1200GS never pinged. Used 95 RON. My mates 2017 1200GSA always pinged with 95 or 98 RON.
My GS came from factory with 91 RON tune. Mates GSA had 95 RON tune.
I changed my GS to 95 tune to experiment. It pinged with 95 & 98 RON so changed back to 91 tune.
My mates GSA with 91 tune stopped pinging.

Neither of us felt any power or delivery change with either of the tunes. 91 tune was excellent as the engine could grunt out of corners & uphills mostly in 6th gear.
 
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