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Discussion Starter #22
Reply from bmw part 2

Thank you for your reply.

My apologies, your vehicle does not have knock sensors. However we still recommend using TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline with an octane rating of AKI 91.

For your convenience, the BMW Motorrad Customer Relations and Services Department is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. You can reach us at 1-800-831-1117.

Have a wonderful day!

Regards,

Katie Sullivan
BMW Motorrad USA
Representative
 

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My 2016 GSA easily gets between 56-58 MPG. I'm not babying it but I am not consistently breaking the speed limits either.

The Swedish BMW Motorrad website has stated that the GS/GSA has knock sensors for at least two years. They don't GAF about accurate information. They even left out the GS range completely from their accessory brochure once.
 

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The ride of Life
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They sell these motorcycles all over the world, I would think that they would run on just about anything that passes for gas (I made a funny) providing it's clean and free from water or Diesel fuel or tetraethyl lead.

Isn't all mo-gas free of lead these days globally?

- Bumblebee
 

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This story is far more anecdotal than factual, but here goes anyway:


This last May my dad and I rented some BMW's in the UK to ride around the country - 2017 R1200GS and 2017 R1200RS. The fellas at the company who rented us the bikes were EXTREMELY anal and over-protective about their bikes (frankly, to the point of utter paranoia - they warned me my riding boots might scuff the heel guards, and had my dad use a blanket under his top bag when he lashed it to the rear rack). Even so, these guys told us to use 95 RON, which I believe is the equivalent of 87 here in the states (though I believe their fuel has far less ethanol than the states).
 

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This story is far more anecdotal than factual, but here goes anyway:
Even so, these guys told us to use 95 RON, which I believe is the equivalent of 87 here in the states (though I believe their fuel has far less ethanol than the states).
I'll have to ask around. I had always assumed that higher octane was better for a high compression engine, never realising it wasn't necessarily a performance thing, but to prevent engine damage.
Not sure how it's like in the UK now, but in France you have a fair choice of fuel : SP95-E10 (10% ethanol), SP95 (which I believe has 5% ethanol), and SP98. Italy for example pretty much only has the lower octane SP95 (although I once saw a gas station selling SP100 - but that's relatively rare). I stay away from the ethanol one, but use SP98 and SP95

("SP" stands for Sans-Plomb, i.e. the unleaded stuff. The leaded fuel is long gone)

Personally I've yet to notice a difference between 95/98, in both cases the bike runs great.
 

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95 RON is equivalent to 91 octane (R+M/2) gasoline sold in the U.S

Most gas sold in Europe has 5% ethanol but 10% is becoming increasingly more popular at pumps across the board but no ethanol gas is available just like it is in the U.S.
One nice thing about Europe is that you can find 98-99 RON (102-104 R+M/2) gas in quite a few stations not that there's many vehicles that require it.
 

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While on my bike trip to Smokies/Appalachia, a few weeks ago, it was a common site to find gas stations bragging about "no ethanol" fuel. Same price as their competition.
 

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Interesting. So lower octane should provide better fuel efficiency, as you get "closer" to pinging? Presumably that's leaving ethanol based fuels out of the comparison? I had always assumed higher octane would increase fuel efficiency!

I'm on the higher octane stuff, and generally do 60mpg, fully loaded with passenger at reasonable speeds. The flat twin seems remarkly fuel efficient to me compared to equivalent bikes I've looked at.
Well that is the first encouraging thing I've read when considering my plans to trade my new R 1200 RS for the current new GS. My reasons are ergo based but I get phenomenal mileage from my RS and finished an 8,000 mile run a couple months ago with a pal on his Harley and me on the Beemer and for the whole 8000 mile trip I averaged on one setting 51mpg overall on premium fuel , and in one or two sections of the ride where the average speed limit was pretty low , I managed a tank average of over 60. Not completely trusting the computer I did a measured test on the next tank and did the math and it was about 54 mpg. So with streamlined panniers and top box and my lard arsed 190 lbs and another hundred pounds of gear on board I was pleased and am currently wondering what I can expect with my conservative riding style to get on the more squarish panniered GS.
 

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No idea how te r1200rs compares on practice, but with the same engine and better aerodynamics it should in theory be better. I presume it's the same engine/tuning etc anyway...
In general I do find BMW bikes to be very fuel efficient. Tried an f800r the other day, couldn't make it below 65mpg of it tried, and with an easy going riding style I was up to 85. Outrageous.
Driving style definitely plays a role, but still, those are pretty fuel efficient engines I believe.
Although to be fair I'd have to own a few more bikes to have an objective comparison (better fill up the garage!)
 

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While on my bike trip to Smokies/Appalachia, a few weeks ago, it was a common site to find gas stations bragging about "no ethanol" fuel. Same price as their competition.
Yup... I live in Ashe County, NC (with all of 25,000 people in the entire 400 square mile county) and have no trouble getting non-ethanol fuel in any grade - 87, 89 or 93.
 

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Well that is the first encouraging thing I've read when considering my plans to trade my new R 1200 RS for the current new GS. My reasons are ergo based but I get phenomenal mileage from my RS and finished an 8,000 mile run a couple months ago with a pal on his Harley and me on the Beemer and for the whole 8000 mile trip I averaged on one setting 51mpg overall on premium fuel , and in one or two sections of the ride where the average speed limit was pretty low , I managed a tank average of over 60. Not completely trusting the computer I did a measured test on the next tank and did the math and it was about 54 mpg. So with streamlined panniers and top box and my lard arsed 190 lbs and another hundred pounds of gear on board I was pleased and am currently wondering what I can expect with my conservative riding style to get on the more squarish panniered GS.
I'm 170 lbs. and fully loaded I get about 51 mpg on my 2015 GS. Unloaded cruising country back roads I get closer to 55 mpg. I do run non-ethanol fuel though...
 

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Kam - can we resurrect this thread?! I ran across this thread while doing search online for fuel economy wisdom for r1200gs. This specific thread motivated me to officially join this forum ?

I'm getting horrible averages on my new/used 2013 GSA. Just FYI - I REALLY abhor poor fuel economy. ? I'm probably averaging 37-39mpg.
And no that's not revving like a bat out of hell going 80mph etc. I could probably live with 42-48mpg. 50 would be minimum ideal. But 37mpg isn't much better than what my mini Cooper gets! Lol.

I'm curious what you're update is on the 89octane usage etc. Did you still see increase in mpg? Adverse affects since last year?

I'm jealous of ayep over there in France! Like, what??? 60mpg. That's what I'm talking about! That's what we should be getting. I want to atleast understand why or why not.
 

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No idea how te r1200rs compares on practice, but with the same engine and better aerodynamics it should in theory be better. I presume it's the same engine/tuning etc anyway...
In general I do find BMW bikes to be very fuel efficient. Tried an f800r the other day, couldn't make it below 65mpg of it tried, and with an easy going riding style I was up to 85. Outrageous.
Driving style definitely plays a role, but still, those are pretty fuel efficient engines I believe.
Although to be fair I'd have to own a few more bikes to have an objective comparison (better fill up the garage!)
Ayep- bonjour! What model/yr gs do you ride? And where are you in France?
 

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Reply from bmw part 2

Thank you for your reply.

My apologies, your vehicle does not have knock sensors. However we still recommend using TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline with an octane rating of AKI 91.

For your convenience, the BMW Motorrad Customer Relations and Services Department is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. You can reach us at 1-800-831-1117.

Have a wonderful day!

Regards,

Katie Sullivan
BMW Motorrad USA
Representative
Kam! Hiya. Any updates to share with you 89 octane experience over last year?
 

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Just gonna throw in something I saw when I took the Bill Dragoo off-road class at the MOA rally in Des Moines a few months ago...

Iowa is in the middle of the corn belt, which unfortunately means that a lot of the gas stations offer four different "grades" of gasoline which differ only in the amount of corn ethanol that's been added to the 87-octane gas. Making things worse, many stations label the 87-octane E10 as "SUPER" because it's got the magic ingredient (that is, an indirect farm subsidy) added. So, a fair number of the bikes at the class were running on this stuff, and when we got to the "starting on an uphill" part of the class things got interesting. In theory, you're supposed to keep the rpm up and slip the clutch to get started, but this was a training exercise and a lot of people lugged their bikes. The older oil-cooled bikes would generally make one or two loud "CRACK!" noises from pre-ignition before the knock sensors backed off the timing for the rest of the climb. The newer LC bikes rattled like a tin can full of marbles all the way up the hill! I doubt this hurt anything, as it was just a quick training exercise, but it sure did sound horrible!

Makes me wonder what MOA was thinking when they put the rally in the middle of a high-octane gas desert...
 

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Just gonna throw in something I saw when I took the Bill Dragoo off-road class at the MOA rally in Des Moines a few months ago...

Iowa is in the middle of the corn belt, which unfortunately means that a lot of the gas stations offer four different "grades" of gasoline which differ only in the amount of corn ethanol that's been added to the 87-octane gas. Making things worse, many stations label the 87-octane E10 as "SUPER" because it's got the magic ingredient (that is, an indirect farm subsidy) added. So, a fair number of the bikes at the class were running on this stuff, and when we got to the "starting on an uphill" part of the class things got interesting. In theory, you're supposed to keep the rpm up and slip the clutch to get started, but this was a training exercise and a lot of people lugged their bikes. The older oil-cooled bikes would generally make one or two loud "CRACK!" noises from pre-ignition before the knock sensors backed off the timing for the rest of the climb. The newer LC bikes rattled like a tin can full of marbles all the way up the hill! I doubt this hurt anything, as it was just a quick training exercise, but it sure did sound horrible!

Makes me wonder what MOA was thinking when they put the rally in the middle of a high-octane gas desert...
Lol. Thanks for sharing. Pretty funny.
Are you riding the oil or the LC?
 

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Ayep- bonjour! What model/yr gs do you ride? And where are you in France?
Hello there

I live in the Marseille area. It's a March 2014 production GS, short of 18000 miles now. I've tried SP95 and SP98, quite frankly, can't notice any difference in behaviour, and fuel consumption is still excellent. I don't lug the bike either, between 3000 and 5000RPM is a confortable zone for this engine I find. The one thing that does kill the consumption is high speeds on motorways. On a section of pure motorway usage, driving 140 kph average, I got the fuel consumption to 42mpg. Was also fully loaded with passenger. That's as bad as I ever got it.
 

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Lol. Thanks for sharing. Pretty funny.
Are you riding the oil or the LC?
Oil ('06 hexhead). I'm too poor (well, cheap) to afford an LC!

I found two not-quite-consistent fuel requirement stickers on the GS: the EPA compliance sticker on the frame says required fuel is 91 octane (since this is a US government sticker, I assume the unit is average R+M). There's a more prominent sticker wrapped around the fuel filler, and while much of it is worn away it recommends 89 octane. Go figure...

I typically run 89 octane mid-grade. If the station has only 87 octane regular and 91 octane premium, I'll go with the premium. And if all they have (as in Iowa) is 87 octane, I'll take that, with as little alcohol as possible. Can't say I find any difference in performance or mileage between premium and mid-grade. Haven't been forced to run regular all that often, but can't say I find any difference there either, but the bike does sound a little different on regular. If the sound under acceleration on mid and premium is described as a "growl," the sound on regular is more of a "snarl." Subtle but detectable.

As for mileage, with the big square Happy Trails boxes installed, I typically get right around 44-46mpg in normal riding. Blasting the interstate with a full camping load, or riding short hops in late winter cold (30s F) can push it down to about 39, while long, lazy days of non-stop, conservative (45-60mph) riding in the Appalachians can make it just touch 50 mpg.
 
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