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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again, Gents and Ladies,

I just got my computer unpacked today from my move to Italy, and while the bike isn't here yet, I'm preparing! Italian gas is usually either regular or diesel. There are a few here and there that are high octane, but that stuff is running about 10 Euro/gallon (regular gas is over 8!). Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has used the GS 911 to reprogram it, or if that is beyond the abilities of that unit. I'm just not looking forward to going to an Italian no Parli Inglesi dealership and trying to explain what I need. I guess I can give google translate a shot - but hopefully someone has figured it out by now!

2016 1200GS Adventure
 
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you could ask them--the dealer-- where to buy gas. There'll be someone there who parle Inglese

what is the octane rating over there for regular, it may be close enough? And be aware that the octane rating is calculated differently in different parts of the world, I believe.

So, where are you based?

I just googled "Octane rating in Italy" and found this on a Mustang forum. It may help.


Be aware that the octane levels between the USA and Europe do not match.

About Octane Numbers, Engine Performance, And More...

The next confusing thing is that octane ratings in the USA and Europe differ significantly. In the USA, you can typically buy regular (87 octane), medium (89 octane), and premium (91-94 octane). The octane ratings differ slightly in high altitude states like Colorado. In Europe, you can typically buy 95 octane fuel and 98 octane fuel. So why do European cars need this high-octane fuel?

Well, they don't.

The story about octane measurement was not quite complete. There are two different sets of conditions under which the octane number is determined. The first set of conditions simulates low load conditions, sort of corresponding to everyday, regular driving conditions. The number that results is called the Research Octane Number, or RON. The second set of conditions simulates a higher load on the engine. The number that results is the Motor Octane Number, or MON.

The choice of these names is terribly unfortunate, in my humble opinion. Research Octane Number suggests a lab test, whereas Motor Octane Number makes you think that they did some road test. Some websites actually state that this is the case. As far as I can determine, both are laboratory tests.

It turns out that in Europe, the octane number posted is determined by the RON method (if you live in Europe, check the small print on the gas pump next time you fill 'er up. Wait, filling it up requires taking out a loan nowadays...). In the USA, the number posted is according to the "(R+M)/2" method. Turns out that this is simply the average of the RON number and the MON number. So, would the MON number typically be lower than the RON number? The answer is....yes! Apparently, for modern fuels, the difference between RON and MON (also called sensitivity) is about 10 (RON is higher than MON). Knowing this, we can now calculate the following:

87 octane in the USA = 92 octane in Europe
89 octane in the USA= 94 octane in Europe
92 octane in the USA = 97 octane in Europe

Go figure, huh? It seems these regular and premium fuels have roughly the same octane rating after all./quote]
So your 91 octane in the US is equivalent to Euro95 in Europe.

Driving in Italy - AngloINFO Rome (Italy)


Quote:
Many petrol service stations in Italy are manned, meaning a pump operator will fill the car while the driver stays in their seat. The driver will have to instruct the operator on the type of fuel and how much is required:
Unleaded fuel: benzina senza piombo (available in 95 and 98 octane)
Diesel: gasolio
Full/fill up: pieno
Leaded fuel has not been available in Italy since January 2002.
Italy has it, I know the Netherlands has it, and Germany has the 95 octane fuel. So I'm pretty sure most countries in Europe can provide you with the fuel. Hell, I've fueled up with a 98 and even a 104 octane fuel in Germany and not have any issues with the Stang.

Basics... If the car is not set to a tune, so it's still running with the factory settings, it should not have issues with the fuel. The tune that the factory hands out is usually set to a wide band, so it can run with the majority of fuels.

Your biggest issue is probably going to be the fuel prices, and the fact that Italy is currently hit hard with budget cuts on account of the EU Parliament.
 

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The GS911 does not have the capability to adjust the engine management computer to run correctly on regular unleaded (91 RON in Europe), that is a dealer only adjustment.

There are many riders in the U.S that report running regular 85-87 (R+M)/2 gasoline with no ill effects, the required fuel specs are 89 AKI (95 RON or 91 (R+M)/2) or Premium grade in most instances.
 

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I'm surprised at how often this question comes up, given that the answer is in the rider's manual (albeit a little hard to find and decode). The (US version, page 170) manual recommends "super unleaded," also known here as mid-grade (89 AKI/95 RON)--NOT premium, which is typically 91 AKI in the US, but says you can use regular (87 AKI/91RON) as an "alternate fuel" (though you may see a reduction in power and fuel economy). The ECU only needs to be reprogrammed (by BMW) if you are going to a country where the gas is below 91 RON.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm surprised at how often this question comes up, given that the answer is in the rider's manual (albeit a little hard to find and decode). The (US version, page 170) manual recommends "super unleaded," also known here as mid-grade (89 AKI/95 RON)--NOT premium, which is typically 91 AKI in the US, but says you can use regular (87 AKI/91RON) as an "alternate fuel" (though you may see a reduction in power and fuel economy). The ECU only needs to be reprogrammed (by BMW) if you are going to a country where the gas is below 91 RON.
The question came up because, though I've read the rider's manual, often people figure ways to circumvent needing to go to the dealer and I wanted to ask the collective if anyone knew. Italy itself, I believe, has some gas that meets the manufacturer's recommendations (though not all stations stock it), however, I plan to travel from here to other countries that may not, and had hoped there was an easier/more convenient way to tune the engine. (I figured if I could get JetSpeed to comment, I'd have an answer I could take to the bank!)

My experience here (in this area over the last 3 weeks) is that very few people over the age of 30 parli Inglesi very well, and I don't parli Italiano much at all. Google translate helps, but misses the mark about 30% of the time, so I'll try that, but it's tedious. I guess I have to get the brake light reprogrammed to be flashy like the rest of the European bikes, so I'll be taking it in anyway.

Thanks for the comments, gents. If you get a chance to come to Italy and want a place to stay right at the base of the mountains - shoot me an email! :)
 

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Texas to Italy......must be a major culture shock. Beautiful country and should be lots of good rides once out of the urban areas. Be safe there Pard!
 
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... I have to get the brake light reprogrammed to be flashy like the rest of the European bikes, so I'll be taking it in anyway...
If that means getting the Dynamic Brake Light actuated, or installed, or upgraded or uploaded, or whatever please report if that is a simple switch on the software, if it can be hacked somehow, if it requires different hardware or a firmware upgrade, etc

I suspect it is a double secret software setting, unaddressed by the GS911, but I do not know that. For anyone with a 16 or 17 LC that would be invaluable information.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If that means getting the Dynamic Brake Light actuated, or installed, or upgraded or uploaded, or whatever please report if that is a simple switch on the software, if it can be hacked somehow, if it requires different hardware or a firmware upgrade, etc

I suspect it is a double secret software setting, unaddressed by the GS911, but I do not know that. For anyone with a 16 or 17 LC that would be invaluable information.
I'll be sure to report back what I understand of their Italiano or their Inglese :)
 
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Ok - so I finally went in and set up an appointment for January. They're going to fix the reflectors (even though I told them I didn't really need/want that done) and check the fork stanchions/fix/replace as necessary.

I asked about the dynamic brake light that the European models have, and the lower octane rating fuel as well as the hill brake thing. Probably will cost several hundred dollars to get the software upgrades (sheesh - take a note from Tesla, BMW and upgrade the software for free for crying out loud!), but will report back after with the total damage.
 

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great, look forward to the report. Of particular interest re the dynamic brake light....is this just a setting from the computer, or a firmware upgrade or a hardware upgrade.

and Buon Natale!
 

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Nature of Adjustment

The GS911 does not have the capability to adjust the engine management computer to run correctly on regular unleaded (91 RON in Europe), that is a dealer only adjustment.

There are many riders in the U.S that report running regular 85-87 (R+M)/2 gasoline with no ill effects, the required fuel specs are 89 AKI (95 RON or 91 (R+M)/2) or Premium grade in most instances.
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1. Does anyone have any idea of the nature of the mysterious "adjustment" that would be performed? (that is, is it merely an electronic code tweak, or something of a mechanical nature, such as a thicker head gasket, as an example, to lower the compression slightly.)

2. It has crossed my mind that one of those devices that trick the ECU into running a richer mixture for improved driveability (at the expense of a reduction in mileage and emission degradations) could be helpful when forced to use lower octane fuel. In the same thought, I suspect, but don't really know, that apparently identical GS1200 bikes sold in different countries might have slightly different tunings to account for varying fuel characteristics of diverse regions . . . i.e., bikes sold in India or Vietnam might be "tuned" slightly differently than bikes sold in US, as an example .
 

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Sed8R, If your offer for a place to stay still stands next year, I will be returning to Europe about July '18. My rough plan is to transit Italy to ride some of the Dolomites and then head north to the Baltic states. I understand if things change but will gladly buy you dinner in exchange for a bed or cot.
 
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1. Does anyone have any idea of the nature of the mysterious "adjustment" that would be performed? (that is, is it merely an electronic code tweak, or something of a mechanical nature, such as a thicker head gasket, as an example, to lower the compression slightly.)

2. It has crossed my mind that one of those devices that trick the ECU into running a richer mixture for improved driveability (at the expense of a reduction in mileage and emission degradations) could be helpful when forced to use lower octane fuel. In the same thought, I suspect, but don't really know, that apparently identical GS1200 bikes sold in different countries might have slightly different tunings to account for varying fuel characteristics of diverse regions . . . i.e., bikes sold in India or Vietnam might be "tuned" slightly differently than bikes sold in US, as an example .
The difference in the low octane program is simply slightly less aggressive ignition timing, the engine itself has a remarkable ability to avoid detonation due to the head design.
 

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Group Ride Results

I was on a multi bike group ride where all the bikes were fuel injected with modern electronic ignition. We were in the middle of Idaho and the only gas for 100 plus miles was regular. No one could tell a performance difference or heard and ping.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sed8R, If your offer for a place to stay still stands next year, I will be returning to Europe about July '18. My rough plan is to transit Italy to ride some of the Dolomites and then head north to the Baltic states. I understand if things change but will gladly buy you dinner in exchange for a bed or cot.
Depending on the dates, the offer is still open! :) The only thing that may put a damper on it is if we are planning on a trip or if I am on call around the same time. I have an uncle and his family that are coming early July '18, so I have some time off on the books, but the spare beds would be taken on those days. However, you'd be welcome to camp on the lawn and eat/shower/relax at the house if the beds are otherwise occupied! haha

PM me the dates and your email and we can stay in touch and see if it can work out and save you some money, as well as get you some home cooked food!
 
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The old fuel myth....

Most of Europe has already banned Regular 91 and Italy is no different as far as I know from my mates in Europe.
Most engines that are now produced in Europe require at least Super 95, as the need to meet emission standards and the small capacity engines have a high compression ratio.

You should never have a problem finding the right fuel for the bike.
Should you really come across Regular 91 somewhere, no reason to panic, as the engine is more than capable to run a few tanks with this as well.

Forget your US Octane ratings and look for Super or 95 to 98 Octane fuel.
They call it Benzina, Gas is LPG and only the people in the USA call it Gas, most people in Europe call it Fuel or Benzin(a)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The old fuel myth....

Most of Europe has already banned Regular 91 and Italy is no different as far as I know from my mates in Europe.
Most engines that are now produced in Europe require at least Super 95, as the need to meet emission standards and the small capacity engines have a high compression ratio.

You should never have a problem finding the right fuel for the bike.
Should you really come across Regular 91 somewhere, no reason to panic, as the engine is more than capable to run a few tanks with this as well.

Forget your US Octane ratings and look for Super or 95 to 98 Octane fuel.
They call it Benzina, Gas is LPG and only the people in the USA call it Gas, most people in Europe call it Fuel or Benzin(a)
The old "Guy from Australia who has friends in Europe tries to educate a guy who lives in Europe about what to expect in Europe" post.

Thanks for your contribution. Was super helpful. Except for the wrong parts about the octane and what people call fuel... I got a laugh out of it at your expense, so that was nice.
 
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The old "Guy from Australia who has friends in Europe tries to educate a guy who lives in Europe about what to expect in Europe" post.
The old guy used to live in Europe for over 30 years and travels to Europe many times a year for business. But go on...
Seems you are in the know and I'm not, yet you want to re-program an ECU.

Please kindly educate me, where I was wrong with the Octane rating?
Most countries call it Super, which has 95 RON and Super Plus 98 RON
(Italy calls it slightly different)
 

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This is a silly thing to be arguing about especially since it has zero relevance in relation to this thread.
 

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To redirect the thread only slightly, I had read on another forum that all gasoline is basically the same, except for the quantity of anti-knock compound ("octane") added to it. If anyone can knowledgeably verify or deny this, why couldn't you just carry a bottle of octane booster and treat your gasoline as you deem necessary?
 
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