Q Am I wast­ing cash on top­notch petrol?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - GARAGE -

I was told when first rid­ing many years ago that I should use higher-oc­tane fuel, but I can’t say that I’ve ever no­ticed an en­gine be­hav­iour change when forced to use reg­u­lar petrol. My 2016 Tri­umph Ex­plorer owner’s man­ual spec­i­fies plain old 91 oc­tane. Any idea why Team Hinck­ley would spec­ify this? Am I sim­ply wast­ing money at the pump? Mark Hucke, Lon­don

An­swered by Ray Stringer, SRS

A Your Tri­umph is built for a global mar­ket so it’s got to be able to run on the worst fuel pos­si­ble in In­dia or Africa. If it was tuned it might need higher oc­tane gas to cope with higher com­pres­sion ra­tios and more ad­vanced tim­ing. When you started out you could get ‘hot pock­ets’ in some com­bus­tion cham­bers on low-oc­tane fuel that would leave lumps of hot fuel that would ex­plode in­stead of burn and dam­age the pis­ton. Mod­ern en­gines burn fuel much more ef­fi­ciently to meet the lat­est emis­sions stan­dards, so stick to what­ever the stan­dard fuel is at that pump.

Mod­ern en­gines don’t re­ally need pre­mium-grade fuel to work well

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