Q Am I wasting cash on topnotch petrol?
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